Language is fundamental to our thoughts, our relationships, and our civilisations. Through language, we transmit knowledge, from inviting someone for coffee, to promoting the latest scientific theory, to settling global political disputes.
If you’re a high achiever with an A-level grade B in a major language, this four-year course is for you. You integrate your undergraduate and postgraduate studies into one course, graduating with an Integrated Masters in Modern Languages in four years, rather than five if the courses are taken separately.
You specialise in at least two modern languages, studying one to our highest Mastery level. Language study is combined from the third year with translation and subtitling skills. Your progress will depend on reaching target grades each year with first class work expected.
In your first and second years, you study practical language modules to develop your language skills. French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish can be studied to Mastery level, with Mandarin Chinese taken as an option. These languages are all widely used in the business world and many of our graduates have developed successful global careers with international firms.
Your third year is spent studying abroad with modules taken in language and translation. You carry out research relating to translation and subtitling for your year abroad project, supported by your supervisor. This independent research project develops your ability to conduct research, work with complex sources of information in your chosen language and employ research methods. You also develop your analytical thinking and problem-solving skills and expand your linguistic and translation skills and communication proficiency in your chosen language. The project is the culmination of both your undergraduate studies and preparation for your final year where you take postgraduate modules.
In addition to the language skills you develop, you explore themes relating to global cultures, history, and politics to gain in-depth knowledge of the countries where the languages you’re studying are spoken. Topics include:
In your final year you return to Essex to study modules in translation and subtitling at postgraduate level.
Unique to this course is your third year abroad project, which you carry out under supervision from an Essex academic.
During this year, you study abroad at one of the prestigious universities with which we have a link relating to the study of translation, learning your chosen language in a country where the language is spoken. You continue to study translation modules relevant to your course while conducting your own research for a translation studies project.
Since you’re not based at Essex for this time, the fee for this year of study is £1,350.
Our lecturers are skilled interpreters and translators, experienced in training students with the necessary skills for professional practice. We maintain excellent student-staff ratios with capped language-specific seminars.
Our lecturers come from around the world including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Cuba, China, and the UK. They will share their expertise with you in the areas of professional translation.
Companies and organisations in the UK and abroad are struggling to find university graduates who are fluent in at least one other language, apart from English.
Being an Essex modern languages graduate places you in a very advantageous position. You will be able to speak and write fluently, or to a very competent standard, in up to four languages. Language skills are in scarce supply and can be used in almost any job.
Alongside skills in translation and subtitling, you also gain key employability skills such as researching and writing for specific purposes.
Our graduates are successful in a wide variety of career paths. They leave Essex with a unique set of skills and experience that are in demand by employers. Some become teachers, translators, administrators and journalists. Their valued language, interpreting and subtitling skills have enabled them to work in diverse fields including banking, entertainment, media, education and tourism, as well as for a host of UK and international companies. In particular, this degree lends itself to a career in education, translation, interpretation, trade, PR, communications, immigration or diplomacy.
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
"The seminars have been informal and fun, and we’ve been allowed to develop our linguistic ability through several types of assignments and oral examinations. At Essex, I have been particularly impressed by the number of international students and the range of activities available to students. These years will undoubtedly be the best of my life."
Gigi Capone, BA Modern Languages student.
"I loved the combination of all three practices because it provided a lot of variety and expanded my expertise in not one but several linguistic fields. I also found that it struck the perfect balance between theory and practice. My classes focused largely on collaborative learning in small groups which attributed to a dynamic, engaging and interesting learning environment."
Jenny Higgs, MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling, 2014.
Specific entry requirements for this course in Clearing are not published here but for most of our degree courses you will need to hold a Level 3 qualification. If you are interested in applying and have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2020 entry and find out if you are eligible. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory modules and options chosen from lists. Below is just one example of a combination of modules we offer for the current academic year. For a full list of optional modules you can look at the course’s Programme Specification.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change.
Our courses allow you to study up to two, three or four modern languages. The language module you study depends upon your level when you arrive in the department. We are happy to accept students with no previous knowledge of the language (unless you major in Portuguese, when an A-level pass (or equivalent) in Italian, Spanish or Portuguese or first language level fluency in Italian, Romanian or Spanish is required). Please refer to the progression pathway table to find out which modules are suitable for your linguistic profile.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
£9,250You have the opportunity to take part in seminars delivered by DG Interpretation (DG SCIC) and DG Translation at the European Commission during our optional annual trip to Brussels. The additional cost for this is £250, depending on your mode of travel.
£16,050You have the opportunity to take part in seminars delivered by DG Interpretation (DG SCIC) and DG Translation at the European Commission during our optional annual trip to Brussels. The additional cost for this is £250, depending on your mode of travel.
Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision. There’s no need to call us to apply; just do it all online.
We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:
The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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