This section of the site provides detailed information about the course of study leading to a degree in Modern Languages at Durham University. It tells you which languages you can study, how you can combine them to make up a degree programme, and what modules are available in each language.
Durham offers you a uniquely flexible course in languages:
- You will be able to study one, two or three languages out of the six major languages that we offer
- You have the opportunity to begin a new language in the first year
- You will be able to change your combination of languages and the amount of time that you spend on each of them as you proceed from year to year.
- Within the language programmes there is a wide range of topics for you to choose from. You can, for example, organise your studies so as to concentrate primarily on improving your language skills across three languages, or you can make choices that will enable you to explore the literature and culture of one country in great detail
- Whichever pathway you choose, you will gain expertise in a wide range of skills: writing and speaking, intercultural mediation, research procedures, processing and presenting information, and many more
- You will have considerable freedom in deciding how to spend your year abroad, providing that you spend some time in a suitable country for each of the languages you intend to study in your final year
- Graduates from the School are among the most employable in the UK and they go on to very interesting and responsible positions in a range of careers
The School also offers degree programmes in the following related subjects:
- BA in Chinese Studies over four years, including a Year Abroad studying in China
- BA in Modern Languages and History, a joint honours programme taught in collaboration with the Department of History
- BA in Combined Honours in Arts and Social Sciences, in collaboration with a range of Departments across the University
There will certainly be questions you will want to ask. Please take advantage of Open Days and opportunities to visit the School, or contact us direct.
The School of Modern Languages and Cultures
The School comprises the following departments:
The School is one of the largest sections of the University. There are 35 full-time academic staff, about 32 language assistants and part-time teachers, and 7 support staff. In total at any one time there are approximately 1000 students taking courses in the School, about 600 of them studying for the BA in Modern Languages.
The School is located in Elvet Riverside, a group of modern university buildings situated on the bank of the River Wear between the ancient Elvet Bridge and the new Kingsgate footbridge, and within easy walking distance of the Colleges, the Cathedral and the Market Place. All lectures, classes and tutorials take place in Elvet Riverside, which also houses language laboratories, computer classrooms and a large study area. There are satellite and video facilities for viewing and recording television programmes in all the major languages taught in the School.
The University's English Language Centre, which has computer, video and audio resources to support the Modern Languages courses, as well as facilities for learning other languages, is housed in the same building, and Modern Languages students have privileged access to all its facilities.
All the language departments in the School have their own student societies, which arrange excursions, invite speakers, produce plays, show films, hold parties and run other social events. There are also many college and university clubs and societies catering for all kinds of interests. Durham itself is a small cathedral city, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne with the shopping centres, cinemas, theatres, discos and other facilities of a large urban centre is less than twenty minutes away by train.
How to apply for entry to Durham University
Durham is a collegiate university, which means that in order to enter the University you have to be offered both an academic place by the relevant Department(s) and a residential place by a College. Some students live in lodgings in later years; but their first year is usually spent in residence.
For further information on Colleges, see the University Prospectus. You may specify a choice of college on your UCAS form (although you should note we cannot guarantee that this will be the college that will make the offer), or you can leave it to the Admissions Tutor to direct your application to a college for you. All colleges take students in Modern Languages. Most offers are made without interview and the applicant is then invited to come to Durham to visit the Departments and the College at an Open Day.