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BA (Honours) Language Studies with French and Spanish

This is one of several subject combinations available in our BA (Honours) Language Studies (Q30). You’ll study a range of aspects relating to French and Spanish language and culture around the world – including history, current affairs and the arts – through a range of interactive materials and practical activities. You’ll also develop transferable academic and digital-literacy skills. On completion, you’ll have a high level of modern-language proficiency and intercultural competence, making you an effective global communicator.

Key features of the course

  • Develops you into a proficient user (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages level C1) of French and Spanish
  • Develops advanced knowledge of the cultures where French is used and where Spanish is used
  • Extends your competence in intercultural communication
  • Offers the option of a week in France and a week in Spain (or online alternative)

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q30
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3–4 years*
Time limit – 16 years
*See How much time do I need? for more details
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This qualification has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • In Stage 1, you’ll study a compulsory 30-credit module. You’ll choose your remaining 90 credits from a range of language modules.
  • In Stage 2, you’ll study a 60-credit French module and a 60-credit Spanish module.
  • In Stage 3, you’ll study a 60-credit French module and a 60-credit Spanish module.

Your chosen route will be a combination of two modern languages. You have two options for completing the different stages of your study:

  • study both languages at the same time, working through Stages 1, 2 and 3 in order, or 
  • study one language first, completing these modules at each Stage, then repeating the route for your second language.

Whichever option you choose, if you start from beginners' when studying any modern languages you’ll study 150 credits at Stage 1. Your degree will take at least four years to complete.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

We recommend starting your study with Exploring languages and cultures (L161).

For modern language modules, your choice at Stage 1 will depend on your current level of language proficiency. If you are unsure about your current level, you can use our languages self-assessment quiz or see Entry requirements for more advice.

We strongly recommend that you do not study a Beginners' and Intermediate module in the same language concurrently unless you already have sufficient prior knowledge of the language to study at Intermediate level.

ModulesCredits
You'll study the following:
Exploring languages and cultures (L161)30
You'll choose 90 credits from the following lists (at least 30 must be from list B):
List A
Introduction to French studies (beginners) (L102) – planned for October 202330
Introduction to German studies (beginners) (L103) – planned for October 202330
Introduction to Spanish studies (beginners) (L106) – planned for October 202330
Introducing English language studies (L101)60
English for academic purposes online (L185)30
List B
French studies 1 (intermediate) (L112)30
German studies 1 (intermediate) (L113)30
Spanish studies 1 (intermediate) (L116)30

Stage 2 (120 credits)

In Stage 2, you’ll develop your skills in and knowledge of French and Spanish, deepening your understanding of the cultural, sociological and technical aspects of these languages. This includes a one-week residential school in France and a one-week residential school in Spain, or an online equivalent.

Stage 3 (120 credits)

In Stage 3, you’ll advance your understanding of the society and culture of contemporary France and Spain, plus other countries using French and Spanish. You'll also extend your practical skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in French and Spanish.

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 make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 09 September 2022.


Accessibility

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
  • face-to-face and/or live online tutorials (face-to-face events may be replaced with an online alternative where required)
  • working in a group with other students
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using specialist software such as Adobe Connect
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of online quizzes, recorded presentations, essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
  • some modules may require you to attend a residential school or an online alternative.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.


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; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

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, we’ll award you our BA (Honours) Language Studies.

If you choose a specialist route, your degree title will show that:

  • BA (Honours) Language Studies with English and French
  • BA (Honours) Language Studies with English and German
  • BA (Honours) Language Studies with English and Spanish
  • BA (Honours) Language Studies with French and German
  • BA (Honours) Language Studies with French and Spanish
  • BA (Honours) Language Studies with German and Spanish

The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

Regulations

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 Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

However, there’s a choice of starting points in the modern language element – your choice will depend on your current level of confidence and proficiency.

Beginners’ or intermediate languages module?

How to choose the right level

Unless you have prior knowledge of your chosen language(s) equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level A2, we recommend you start Stage 1 with a beginners’ module.

Beginners’ and intermediate language modules are both 30-credit modules, and both start in October and end in June. Intermediate modules follow on from the learning in beginners’ modules, so you should not study them in the same language concurrently unless you already have significant knowledge of the language.

Our self-assessment quiz can help you decide between starting with beginners’ or intermediate French, German and Spanish, and provide guidance on choosing the right modern language level for you.

Contact us if you’d like to speak to an adviser.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
  • If you start from beginners' when combining two modern languages, you’ll study 150 credits at Stage 1 and your degree will take at least four years to complete.

Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the arts, humanities and languages. It's perfect preparation for your study with The Open University as you'll develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. From the perspective of its central theme, ‘popular protest’, it explores a range of subjects, including art history, English, English language studies, history, and popular music, all through its central theme of ‘popular protest’. The module also offers an opportunity to explore other subjects, such as modern languages, classical studies, religious studies and creative writing.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,228*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,456*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £19,368*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2023. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access. If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.

Residential schools

This qualification has one or two compulsory modules (L222, L223, L226) that each include a residential school you must attend. For each school you must pay £313 for accommodation and meals. You’ll pay when you book the residential school, after you’ve enrolled on the module. You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we may replace face-to-face events with online alternatives. Read the module descriptions for further information.

If you can’t attend the school for reasons beyond your control, you may apply for the online alternative. There’s no additional cost for the online alternative.


How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work, or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website, with:

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials throughout the course could be online, face-to-face or a mixture of the two, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms, and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end of module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance; you’ll need to attend one of our many exam centres in the UK or Europe.
  • All exams taking place before 31 December 2023 will be remote exams that you will complete at home or at an alternative location.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

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:

  • communicate effectively, clearly and accurately with others
  • 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
  • put together reasoned arguments and question assumptions
  • use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively
  • analyse data and undertake research using a range of methods.

Career relevance

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 and 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 a new life abroad.

Other careers

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 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 being open to different points of view which are highly regarded skills in many professional settings.

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):

  • teacher
  • language teacher, in modern languages or English as a foreign language
  • lecturer
  • translator
  • interpreter
  • diplomatic service officer
  • journalist
  • advertising account manager
  • marketing officer
  • copywriter
  • editor
  • PR consultant
  • tour manager
  • event organiser
  • travel agency manager.

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