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BALanguage and Society

University of Southampton
United Kingdom, Southampton
Tuition fee To be confirmed
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Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



BA Language and Society is a degree programme which supplements your learning of two languages with the two popular strands of linguistic studies and social and political studies. This will allow you to explore in detail how language form, language use, language policy and language ideology relate to social, political, and cultural factors. You will study two languages side by side throughout your degree. One of these two languages of study may be taken ab initio.

A distinctive part of the BA Language Learning degree is that your language learning is complemented by modules in linguistic studies and social and political studies, building on an area of considerable expertise and research activity in Humanities at Southampton. Alongside your two languages, you will study a balanced range of modules related to social and/or political studies and modules related to sociolinguistics. Some of these modules will be specific to your language(s) of study (such as “Immigration, Race and Ethnicity in France”, “Language and Society in the German Speaking World”, “Barrios and Borders: Language and Identity amongst US Latinos”). Others will not be restricted to particular languages (such as “Exploring Talk: Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Communication”, “Globalisation: Culture Language and the Nation State”, “Multilingualism”). These modules will support your understanding of your languages of study, providing new perspectives on language through many of the wider contemporary political, social and cultural debates that language is tied up in.

Programme structure

Throughout your degree, you will study two languages alongside each other. As a language student you will be allocated to a stage of language proficiency in our unique system of seven language levels (your second language can be taken from scratch). This is designed to place you at the stage most appropriate to develop your spoken and written skills, enabling you to make rapid progress in your chosen languages. In all years of study you will benefit from our wide range of resources. You will use the excellent facilities in the Centre for Language Study and in our French, German or Spanish Resources Rooms, including extensive multimedia facilities and online resources.

In your first and second years, you will take a balanced range of modules in your first language, second language, social/political studies, and sociolinguistics. In your final year, alongside your language study you will continue to pursue your interests in social/political studies and sociolinguistics to an advanced level, choosing from a range of modules that are closely related to the research expertise of current staff members. You will also have the opportunity to prepare a final year dissertation as a double module, under the guidance of an appropriate supervisor.

Your third year is spent abroad, in a country appropriate to the main language of your degree. This offers you a unique opportunity to enhance your linguistic and cultural proficiency. You can spend your year abroad as an English language assistant in a school, studying at one of our partner universities or on a work placement. Most students of French choose a European country, but many go further afield – to Québec or La Réunion, for example. If you spend your year in the German-speaking context you normally go to Germany or Austria, however, some students have also stayed in Switzerland. Our current German-speaking ERASMUS partner universities are Potsdam, Hamburg, Freiburg, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Marburg, Tuebingen, Siegen, Cologne and Vienna. Our current Spanish-speaking ERASMUS partners are Barcelona, Granada, Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Malaga, Castellón and Salamanca. We also have links with several Latin American Universities (including in Brazil, for students of Portuguese). Our Mexican Exchange Scheme is open to students of Spanish who wish to spend a year working as a Language Resources Assistant in a Mexican University Self-Access Centre. This is part of a special exchange between the Mexican Ministry of Education and the University of Southampton. While abroad you will also conduct an investigative project, supervised by a tutor at Southampton.

Career opportunities

Employability is embedded into the course modules from the first year onwards, right from the first lecture. We offer a number of optional employability modules.

Your specialities in intercultural communication, listening and language will be highly valued by employers.

A year abroad gives you the chance to achieve something away from education-centred activity, such as gaining relevant work experience to help form your future plans. With many employers now expecting extracurricular or voluntary experience, this can prove vital.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States