This qualification has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In Stage 1, you’ll study a compulsory 30-credit or 60-credit module, depending on if you choose to combine English language studies with a modern language or choose two modern languages. You’ll choose your remaining 90 or 60 credits from a range of language modules.
- In Stage 2, you’ll study a 60-credit module in each of your chosen subjects/languages.
- In Stage 3, you’ll study a 60-credit module in each of your chosen subjects/languages.
Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
You'll choose to either combine English language studies and a modern language (French, German or Spanish) or combine two of these modern languages.
You may study the modules in your chosen subject one stage at a time or study the modules in one subject - completing 60 credits at each stage - before studying the modules in your second subject. We strongly advise you to start Stage 1 with your compulsory module.
Which modules you choose at Stage 1 will depend on your current modern language proficiency. We strongly recommend that you don’t study two modules in the same language at the same time.
In Stages 2 and 3, you’ll continue with your chosen subject combination. Stage 2 modern language modules include a one-week residential school in France, Germany or Spain (as appropriate).
The module and qualification information listed in this description was accurate as of 21st March 2018. We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we change this qualification, we’ll do our best to update this page immediately; and, where practically possible, we’ll warn you of upcoming changes before we make them. If you need confirmation of any information before registering, please contact us.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Language Studies uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- working in a group with other students
- finding external/third party material online
- using specialist software – if you study Exploring English grammar (E304).
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this course, the name of your undergraduate degree will reflect your chosen route. For example BA (Honours) Language Studies with French and German.
You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Essential Documents website.
Skills for career development
By the time you graduate, you’ll be an effective communicator with an awareness of cultural differences and similarities – attributes that are particularly valuable in an environment of increasing international contact. If you learn about English alongside another language, your study of its structure, history, and place in societies and cultures will greatly enrich and develop your understanding of all aspects of communication.
Certain skills flow directly from your studies like translation, fluent communication in more than one language, the ability to compose and analyse a range of texts, and the ability to work well with members of other cultures and communities. You’ll also develop a broad set of employability skills, including the ability to:
- manage and motivate yourself
- plan, organise and prioritise your work
- manage time and work independently and as part of a team
- evaluate and reflect on your own work
- set realistic objectives and meet your own goals
- understand contemporary global issues and appreciate cultural diversity
- draw together, analyse and critically evaluate information
- use your knowledge about how language works in a range of settings
- communicate effectively, clearly and accurately with others
- put together reasoned arguments and question assumptions
- use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively
- analyse data and undertake research using a range of methods.
As a linguist, you’ll enjoy a broad range of career opportunities directly related to your field: teaching; translating; interpreting; the diplomatic service; the media (publishing, journalism and advertising); leisure, tourism and travel; and working in international organisations and government bodies. There is also particular demand for language skills in education and more broadly across the economy in client-facing roles. These range from business development, sales, marketing, logistics, tourism to supporting and managing performance in global markets, and to offering services (from health and social care to driving instruction) in an increasingly diverse UK. Studying a language can also be your passport to new life abroad.
Employers in all fields value applicants who can communicate well, analyse, evaluate and present ideas and arguments effectively. These skills can be used in work where research or written communication plays a major part such as information work, advertising, marketing, journalism, publishing and public relations.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree. Linguists are particularly adept at relating to other people and beng open to different points of view which are highly regarded skills in many professional settings.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime, if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- language teacher, in modern languages or English as a foreign language
- diplomatic service officer
- advertising account manager
- marketing officer
- PR consultant
- tour manager
- event organiser
- travel agency manager.
Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.