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Choose from a wide range of languages and combinations

Our degree programmes are designed to allow you to combine up to three languages that you wish to study, starting from a variety of different levels of ability. 

We offer French, German, Italian and Spanish as core languages from beginner’s, intermediate and advanced level. Arabic, British Sign Language, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish can all be integrated into your programme as additional languages from beginner’s level.

We are proud to be one of the few universities in the country to offer British Sign Language as part of a degree. 

“The variety of the languages and modules that Reading offers were a major factor in my decision. The array of languages they offer is amazing.”

Miranda Roberts

BA Modern Languages (core French and Italian with additional Spanish)

Our wide selection of joint degrees with languages includes popular subjects such as English Literature, History, Economics, International Relations, plus a number of programmes with the prestigious Henley Business School. We also offer innovative combinations such as Spanish or French and International Development. On these pathways, you will specialise in one of our core languages, combining it with your joint subject.

Learn with the experts in our research-led culture modules

At Reading, you will deepen your knowledge and perfect your language skills by learning about the cultures and histories of the languages you are studying. You will study languages in practice, crafted into inspirational literature, works of art, or film, and how they have been shaped by the history and politics of the countries in which they are spoken.

The flexibility of our courses allows you to choose your own pathway – you can tailor your degree to fit your interests with our range of cultural modules. Many of our modules are unique to Reading because they reflect the research specialisms of our expert teaching staff.

We pride ourselves on the range of our innovative culture modules, which are led by world-class researchers in their fields. Topics for study include postcolonial writing, revolutionary cultures, children’s literature, cinema, music, performance, visual arts, philosophy, history, conflict studies, politics, publishing, linguistics, translation and migration.

In the National Student Survey 2023, 98% of students in the Department of Languages and Cultures said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things.

Please note that modules may change due to developments in the curriculum, the research interests of staff, or the relocation of staff.

Student feedback on our modules

SP1I1 Icons of Spain and Latin America:

“This module really opened my eyes to the diverse world of Spanish and Latin American culture and history. There was something for everyone as we focused on literature, film, poetry, art and theatre, amongst other topics!"

Sophie Murray

BA Spanish and English Language

FR2GFLS Global French Life Stories:

“What really piqued my interest was the idea and definition of 'Frenchness': who is considered a French person and how has that definition changed? We explored this idea through books such as Azouz Begag’s Le Gone du Chaâba, where we see French identity through the eyes of a second-generation Algerian immigrant."

Ishani Ramessur

BA Modern Languages (French and Spanish)

GM2ECG East German Cinema:

“Looking at German cinema between 1919 and 2010, you watch a lot of fantastic films which I would otherwise never have come across. The seminars encourage discussion, and I learnt how to analyse film-texts which is an incomparable skill.

"The culture and historical aspects of the films helped me to understand German history better. Really, the module surpassed my expectations! It is definitely the best choice one can make, if you are a film lover!"

Maja Wieckowska

BA Modern Languages (German and Spanish)

IT3CCO Crisis, Change, Opportunity in Italy From 1968 to the Present:

“The module covers a wide range of topics, from terrorism to fashion, so you really get a good, broad understanding of recent Italian history. I particularly like that the assessment for the module is coursework. This really allows you to focus on specific areas that interest you and be able to specialise.

"The module encourages students to think critically about specific events such as the kidnap and murder of Aldo Moro or much larger overarching concepts such as Italian feminism or the mafia.”

Eithne King

BA Italian and Spanish

For more examples of the modules we offer, please see our BA Modern Languages page

Tailored careers support for language students

When you study with us you'll receive the support of a dedicated careers advisor, and benefit from regular events with professionals showcasing careers where languages and humanities graduates are particularly valued. Recent events have focused on translation, publishing, advertising, journalism and marketing.

Professional skills training and work placement opportunities are embedded in our courses, while CV surgeries and support for applying for jobs abroad is provided alongside your studies.

Students on their year abroad have completed work placements with prestigious employers including Publicis Advertising and PR, Nintendo Europe, Oxford University Press, Airbus Helicopters, BMW Group and Deutsche Bank.

“I was involved in creating the Department of Languages and Cultures’ Instagram page and led the student social media team. I learnt so much about leadership, running an Instagram business account, and gained digital marketing experience which I didn’t even realise at the time.

"I’m so pleased with the success of the account, and I was awarded with Reading Students' Union’s ‘Outstanding Impact on Student Experience Award 2021’, which was the best way to finish my time at Reading!"

Sophie Murray

BA Spanish and English Language graduate / 2021 Kickstart intern as Business Reporter at The News, Portsmouth

In the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/21, overall, 93% of our leavers are in work and/or study within 15 months of graduation*. 

*Based on our analysis of HESA data © HESA 2023, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/21; includes first degree Languages and Cultures responders.