English Literature and Modern Languages BSc

Explore literature, hone your creative writing skills and turn your talent for modern languages into serious future employment prospects by studying a BSc English Literature and Modern Languages degree course at Aston University.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

 

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 year with integrated placement year / 3 year course without integrated placement year option only available for international students.

UCAS code(s)

Q3R1 (French)

Q3R2 (German)

Start date

Overview
Explore English Literature and Modern Languages BSc at Aston University
Emily Downes

"My year abroad allowed me to learn about teaching careers and see how it differs in other countries. This prepared me for the future and helped confirm my career path."

Emily Downes

BSc French and Spanish

Alina Fuhrmann

"All the lecturers that I encountered at Aston were great. Since the very first day they always told us that if we had any doubts or needed further support in their module we could always e-mail them or come by their office. It was good to have this support when you felt lost in a module or not prepared for an exam."

Alina Fuhrmann

BSc Translation Studies, Spanish and German

Alina Fuhrmann

"All the lecturers that I encountered at Aston were great. Since the very first day they always told us that if we had any doubts or needed further support in their module we could always e-mail them or come by their office. It was good to have this support when you felt lost in a module or not prepared for an exam."

Alina Fuhrmann

BSc Translation Studies, Spanish and German

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

Whether you are coming to us with an A Level language or picking up a new language from beginner’s level, a BSc joint honours degree in English Literature and Modern Languages at Aston offers something quite different. The course takes an applied approach to the teaching of the English literature and modern languages through the integrated placement year and professionally relevant modules, designed to help you flourish in your future career.

As an English literature student at Aston, you’ll get a broad introduction to literary genres and periods from the seventeenth century to the present day, while being given the opportunity to explore your own interests in specific areas through a range of elective modules.

You’ll study literature, culture and history and explore the style choices of films, digital fiction, Instapoetry and Twitterfiction, alongside more traditional modes of text. We will equip you to critically engage with a variety of texts across both literary genres and periods, and you’ll be able to develop your skills as a writer through our Creative Writing module.

Our modern languages courses have a practical focus, with an emphasis on language as a means of communication and mutual understanding. At Aston, you will acquire near-native linguistic skills and the deep understanding of social, cultural and political realities that mark Aston’s students out.

You will spend a year abroad on a professional or study placement and return equipped with the experience, resilience and emotional intelligence to succeed in the world of work.

You will take innovative assessment tasks based on real-world professional scenarios and will learn in a small, friendly department at the heart of a supportive intellectual community.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Modules 

BSc English Literature and French (Beginner/A Level) UCAS code: Q3R1
Year 1

Core modules:

  • Literary Genres in English
  • Literature in History
  • Literature and Film
  • French Language Skills I*

 

Optional modules:

  • Introduction to the French-Speaking Countries*
  • International Business Environment (France)*

 

* Beginners (ab initio) students do not take these modules as they have more language skills classes.

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Literature, Culture and Society
  • Writing and Ideology
  • French Language Skills II*

 

Optional modules:

  • Stylistics
  • Crime Fiction
  • Creative Writing
  • Post-apocalyptic Fiction
  • Politics and Society (French-speaking countries)*
  • Culture and Conflict (French-speaking countries)*
  • International Business Environment (France)*
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)*

 

* Beginners (ab initio) students do not take these modules as they have more language skills classes.

Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year placement in a French-speaking country.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • French Language Skills III
  • Dissertation (Literature or French)

 

Optional modules:

  • Cognition and Style
  • Marriage in Literature: Class, Race, Gender and Money
  • Language and Literature in Education
  • Ghouls, Goths and Vampires
  • La France d'Outre Mer
  • Vichy France: Occupation, Collaboration, Liberation
  • Contemporary French
  • Technology in France: Inventing Progress and Disaster
  • Representations of Minorities
BSc English Literature and German (Beginner/A Level) UCAS code: Q3R2
Year 1

Core modules:

  • Literary Genres in English
  • Literature in History
  • Literature and Film
  • German Language Skills I*
  • Introduction to the German-Speaking Countries*
  • International Business Environment (Germany)*

 

* Beginners (ab initio) students do not take these modules as they have more language skills classes.

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Literature, Culture and Society
  • Writing and Ideology
  • German Language Skills II*
  • Politics and Society (German-speaking countries)*
  • International Business Environment (Germany)*

 

Optional modules:

  • Stylistics
  • Crime Fiction
  • Creative Writing
  • Post-apocalyptic Fiction

 

* Beginners (ab initio) students do not take these modules as they have more language skills classes.

Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year work and/or study placement in a German-speaking country.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • German Language Skills III
  • Dissertation (Literature or German)

 

Optional modules:

  • Cognition and Style
  • Marriage in Literature: Class, Race, Gender and Money
  • Language and Literature in Education
  • Ghouls, Goths and Vampires
  • Cultural Identities in the German-Speaking Countries
  • Global Germany
  • International Business Environment (Germany)

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels
  • BBC in 3 A Level subjects (with B in chosen Language to be studied either French or German)                                      
  • BCC (with B in chosen Language to be studied either French or German) with B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths
  • CCC  in 3 A-evel subjects for our contextual offer scheme (with C in chosen Language to be studied, either French or German)  
BTEC
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (+ grade B in chosen Language French or German) 
  • BTEC Diploma (QCF/National) with A Levels - Distinction, Merit (DM) and Grade B at A Level (in chosen Language French or German) 
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BC at A Level (in chosen Language French or German)      
IB
  • 29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects
  • Maths and English 5 required and Higher Level French/German grade 6.
GCSE

GCSE English Language and Maths grade C/4.  

 

View our Admissions Policy.

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year maybe offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (e.g. GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement.

Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:

  • Have A Level (or equivalent) qualifications similar to those required for first year entry
  • Have gained (or be expected to gain) 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Obtained (or be expected to obtain) an overall average of 60 per cent or above on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere

Individual programmes may have additional requirements in addition to those stated above. These will be clarified upon application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

As an English literature and modern languages student at Aston, you’ll be taught by research experts with international reputations in their fields, all in a lively, friendly, experienced and enthusiastic department. You’ll experience our innovative approach to teaching, which combines a range of teaching methods including interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. Modern language teaching is almost exclusively in your chosen language to work quickly towards the kind of fluency and adaptability that employers value. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study.

Study skills

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated an academic supervisor for this work and a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in online student guides and module handouts, which include full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, translation tasks, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year. Exams take place in January and May/June. The year abroad is an integral and assessed part of language studies at Aston, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree.

Personal development

You will develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking, team-working and communication skills.

The year abroad gives you an immersive language experience that is invaluable in developing language skills and knowledge that cannot be replicated in the lecture hall.

Course Director

Dr Chloe Harrison (English)

Dr Claudia Gremler (Languages)

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £15,600

During placement year: £2,500

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

Our English literature and modern languages graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers, with former Aston students now working at companies such as Bloomberg LP, Deutsche Bank and Apple, as well as for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in schools, colleges and universities across the UK and overseas.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in roles including Analyst, EFL Teacher, International Sales Coordinator, HR Coordinator, Languages Teacher, Operations Support Analyst, Senior Project Manager and Translator.

Frequently asked questions

Why study English Literature and Modern Languages BSc at Aston?

Our joint honours course means you can pursue your interest in English literature alongside your talent in modern languages, which will give you a real head-start in your chosen career.

Why study Modern Languages at Aston?

You’ll acquire near-native linguistic fluency in your chosen language, which means you’re at a real advantage when it comes to applying for jobs. What’s more, the year abroad will give you the high-level political, social and cultural insights that make Aston’s students stand out. We’ll make sure you’re happy: Modern Languages at Aston are ranked 5th for teaching satisfaction (Guardian University Guide, 2020).

What jobs can I get with a Modern Languages degree?

Our recent graduates are often our best ambassadors, with former Aston students now working at companies such as Bloomberg LP, Deutsche Bank and Apple, as well as for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in schools, colleges and universities across the UK and overseas.

Why do a placement year at Aston?

A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and visit you during your time away.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

 

Chat with current students

 
Register your interest
Register your interest form


The information you provide will be used by Aston University to contact you about the University, courses you may be interested in and events you may wish to attend, for anything outside of this purpose we will obtain your consent. Your data is subject to Aston University’s privacy policy and cookie policy.  For further information, please visit www.aston.ac.uk/dataprotection