Language Studies

All City students as well as members of staff are eligible to apply for a wide range of free language courses on the Languages for General Purposes Programme.

Our language courses

We offer courses in FrenchGermanSpanishArabic and Mandarin at various levels. According to a report by the British Council these are the top five foreign languages most relevant to ‘the UK’s future prosperity and global standing’ [PDF]. We also offer Russian because of Russia’s geopolitical importance and the large number of native speakers it has.

Our programmes develop your communication skills in foreign languages as well as your cultural knowledge of how to live, work and be part of a culturally diverse global society.

Teaching is interactive and based on the communicative approach which emphasises practical use of the foreign language for effective communication.

All language courses are taught by native-speaker lecturers who are also linguists.

Please note that our courses are not for native speakers.

How will I be taught?

All our courses run over Term 1 and Term 2. You will have two face-to-face contact hours per week and there will be additional material on Moodle.

We develop and improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills on our modules as well as your understanding of the structure of the language.

You will study events, topics and vocabulary relevant to everyday life and (on the LSP and Business programme) to your studies/ specialism. You will develop and deepen your cultural knowledge related to the countries where the language is spoken.

Each session deals with a mixture of skills. Classroom activities include:

  • presentation/input
  • drilling
  • role-playing
  • pair and group work
  • work on pronunciation and intonation

as well as grammar in context and if relevant, exercises related to script.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are also an important element in the class room. More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts will be set as homework, which you are required to complete regularly.

All our language courses are assessed.

Please note that studying a language is a commitment and requires regular attendance and self-study.

If you would like more practice outside your language class, you may want to join City’s Language Exchange Society.

Which language to choose?

Generally, we recommend to choose the language you think you may enjoy most as this is the best motivation for your learning. If you still cannot decide, you may find the information in this report interesting:

Languages for the Future report from the British Council [PDF]

What level am I?

All our courses are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

LevelUK qualification
(starting level)
Starting levelEuropean level (CEFR)
*working towards
BeginnerNo prior knowledge necessaryNo knowledge, apart from a few words maybeA1
Lower intermediatePre-GCSE, or rusty GCSEBasic understanding of languageA2
Upper intermediateGood GCSE, rusty ASGood understanding of languageB1
AdvancedA-levelComfortable use of languageB2

This is only a general guide – lecturers will adapt their programme to the linguistic level of the students in the class.

Diagnostic test

If you have prior knowledge in the language you would like to study, we need to test your level in order to place you in the correct class.

For this, we will ask you to take an online diagnostic test in which your passive language skills are assessed through multiple choice and gap filling exercises, as well as short texts.

It takes about 30 minutes to complete and tasks relate to grammar, vocabulary and reading. There is no speaking or free writing involved.

The test is designed for all levels, so if you cannot answer a question you should not worry but just go to the next one.

How to register/apply

Our registration process for the 2022/23 courses is now live. For courses that are above ‘Beginner’ level, you will be asked to complete a diagnostic test so we can establish your competency in your chosen language.

Register your interest for a language course

The deadline for your registering your interest is 13.00 on Friday 30th September 2022.

If a course is oversubscribed, we use 'lottery system' to award a place. [PDF]

Languages as part of your degree

You may be offered to take a language module as part of your degree, for credit, either as a core module or as an elective. This option is available to most Undergraduate students in the School of Communication and Creativity and the School of Policy and Global Affairs.

It depends on your degree course which language options are available to you and in which part(s) of your studies they are offered. Check with your department which pathway applies to you.

LSP and LBM programmes

We offer European languages - FrenchGermanSpanish and Russian and non-European languages - Arabic and Mandarin.

The European languages are offered as part of the Languages for Specific Purposes Programme (LSP), which means you will study the language in the context of your main degree in Journalism or Social Science.

The vocabulary and topics will be related to the world of Media, Social Science and Culture to make the syllabus more relevant to you.

The non-European languages are offered as part of the Languages for Breadth Module Programme (LBM), which means the language is taught for general purposes.

You can either start a language from scratch or you can build on your existing knowledge.

Here are the levels on offer

Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP)*

  • French – beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • German – beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • Spanish – beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels.

Languages Breadth Modules (LBM)*

  • Arabic – beginner level
  • Mandarin – beginner level.

The module will be worth 15 credits per year. It will be studied over Term 1 and Term 2 with assessments during and at the end of the year.

There will be one 2-hour session face-to-face teaching per week. Depending on language you choose, the class will take place either Tuesday 1pm-3pm or Tuesday 4pm-6pm. This slot is scheduled to suit your Undergraduate time-table.

In addition to this, we offer a voluntary support class for students who would like to have more practise. There will also be plenty of material on Moodle to support your self-study.

*Please note that French, German and Spanish at all levels are also available in the LBM programme (for general purposes). This is a fall back option in case we are unable to run one of the modules offered in the LSP programme. Should your chosen LSP module be cancelled due to low student recruitment, we can still place you in an LBM course if you wish.

Languages outside of your degree

The Centre for Language Studies at City University offers a wide range of modern language courses at various levels across the university, including free extracurricular courses.

Free languages for students and staff

All students at City (postgraduate and undergraduate) as well as City members of staff are eligible to apply for a free language course on the Languages for General Purposes Programme.

However, there is high demand for the limited number of spaces available on the LGP courses. In the interest of fairness, we place students on courses using a ‘lottery system’.

Language Courses – Languages for General Purposes (LGP)

If you are interested in taking a language as an extracurricular activity/ not for credit, you may want to register for a language course available on the Languages for General Purposes (LGP) programme.

These are the language options available:

European Languages

  • French – at beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • German – at beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • Spanish – at beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • Russian – at beginner level

Non-European Languages

  • Arabic – at beginner and lower intermediate levels
  • Mandarin – at beginner level

The language is taught in the context of day-to-day use and a broad variety of topics will be studied.

Format and timetable

Courses run over term 1 and term 2. There will be one 2-hour session face-to-face teaching per week.

The Beginner & Lower Intermediate level for all languages take place on Tuesday 4pm-6pm and the Upper Intermediate & Advanced level take place Thursday 4pm-6pm. There is no alternative to these slots.

Assessment and certification

Module assessment is 100% coursework. Upon successful completion of your language course, you will receive a certificate to demonstrate your level of proficiency. The course is not part of your degree and marks do not count towards it.

Registration guidelines and restrictions

All City students and staff may apply to take this free-standing module at no extra cost but note that these courses are very popular and spaces are limited – not all applicants may be accommodated.

Our registration process for the 2022/23 LGP courses is now live. For courses that are above ‘Beginner’ level, you will be asked to complete a diagnostic test so we can establish your competency in your chosen language.

Register your interest for a language course

The deadline for your registering your interest is 13.00 on Friday 30th September 2022.

If a course is oversubscribed, we use 'lottery system' to award a place. [PDF]

Learning a language is a commitment. Please only apply for a free/extracurricular language course if you are sure you can complete it. Otherwise you are potentially taking the place of a student with genuine interest in studying a language.

Business school undergraduate languages

All Business School Undergraduate students regardless of their year of study can apply for course(s) on this programme which is specifically designed for business purposes.

Language courses for Business School Undergraduates

For undergraduates studying at Bayes Business School, we offer language courses in addition to your degree.

You have the opportunity to study a foreign language in the context of Business. We will develop and improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills as well as your understanding of the structure of the language. To make the syllabus more relevant to you, much of the vocabulary and topics will be related to the world of Business and Finance.

You can either start a language from scratch or you can build on your existing knowledge.

Languages and levels offered

European Languages

  • French – beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • German –beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • Spanish –beginner, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels
  • Russian - beginner level.

Non-European Languages

  • Arabic – beginner, lower intermediate levels
  • Japanese - beginner, lower intermediate levels
  • Mandarin – beginner, lower intermediate levels.

The courses will only run if there is sufficient demand. If a course is oversubscribed, the above mentioned rules apply.

Format and timetable

Courses run over Term 1 and Term 2. There will be one 2-hour session face-to-face teaching per week.

Most courses run on Mondays 2pm-4pm or on Wednesdays 4pm-6pm with a few exceptions in the evenings from 6pm-8pm. These slots should suit your Undergraduate time-table.

Assessment and certification

Module assessment is 100% coursework. You will also have the opportunity to complete an online language portfolio during your course.

Upon successful completion of your language course, you will receive a certificate to demonstrate your level of proficiency. The course is not part of your degree and marks do not count towards it.

Eligibility

ONLY undergraduate students studying at Bayes Business School (regardless of their year of study) and UG-Bayes exchange students are eligible to take these courses. Postgraduate students studying at Bayes Business School can join the LGP courses.

How to apply for Business School undergraduate languages?

Our registration process for the 2022/23 Extracurricular Language courses is now live. For courses that are above ‘Beginner’ level, you will be asked to complete a diagnostic test so we can establish your competency in your chosen language.

Register your interest for a language course

The deadline for your registering your interest is 13.00 on Friday 30th September 2022.

If a course is oversubscribed, we use 'lottery system' to award a place. [PDF]

Study abroad and exchange

This programme offers courses for exchange and study abroad students.

These students can take a language course as well as the following cultural programmes:

Performing Arts in London

This module provides an introduction to the Performing Arts in London relevant in particular for short-term visiting students.

  • Students will learn to critically review performances and engage in developing transferable skills in the area of art analysis
  • The course will also refer to the historical and cultural background of the performances and explore the variety of art forms on offer in the capital and where they can be seen and heard. How the arts are funded and the arts funding process is also considered
  • The course begins with an overview of English-speaking theatre with the Tudor monarchy's relationship to theatre, Shakespeare and the Globe and then moves to contemporary times and modern interpretations of performance including dance, opera, musical shows and theatre. It discusses what is perceived as Art, and looks into the issue of High and Popular art.

Art forms discussed and analysed

  • Theatre - history, development, influences and venues
  • Dance (classic or modern) - development, movements and history
  • Opera - history and development, from its origin up to musicals, including their similarities and differences.

Students, accompanied by their lecturer, will attend performances covering these art forms.

Historic London

This module provides students with an insight into the development of modern London through its history and its historical landmarks.

  • Students learn to critically assess the historical influences which have shaped modern London through focusing upon a selection of districts which have contributed to the creation of the town
  • Students will develop their ability to interpret and analyse the historical influences and pressures on the city from a historical perspective.

Students will visit various sites linked to historical landmarks or symbols

  • The Square Mile (City of London) and the City of Westminster - influences and historical development – There will be a focus on why the City of London is financial and the City of Westminster Royal and Political.
  • Spitalfields and the impact of immigration from the 16th century onwards.
  • Buildings such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace and how they all represent the powers of Authority (past and present) and are physical reminders of these authorities.
  • The British Museum as an example of Globalisation.

European Business Culture (EBC)

This course is designed for Bayes Business School exchange students as well as study abroad students who want to understand European business culture in the context of the European Union (EU) and its relevance within the globalisation of our economies and societies.

It is taught in English and does not require the understanding of any language other than English.

  • Throughout the course the students develop their knowledge of European business culture and its dynamics in today's globalised economy from social, economic and political perspectives
  • The course helps students to synthesise the most important information within this business culture and its relevance to creating and effectively doing business across the EU.

About the Centre

The Centre for Language Studies provides a wide-range of modern language courses as part of students’ degree and as an extra-curricular activity. We also offer cultural modules to study abroad and exchange students.

Language Studies were introduced to City University in 1990 to:

  • present languages across the curriculum
  • provide language support for international students
  • develop external language activities and links with professional bodies.

In 2009 Language Studies was re-organised and two Centres were created. One for the study of Translation and the other, the present Centre for Language Studies as a provider of foreign language programmes across the Institution.

The Centre for Language Studies provides a wide range of language courses across the university, for credit and as an extracurricular activity. We also run cultural modules, mainly to study abroad and exchange students.

Research and development

The Centre staff's research interests focus on Educational Research, particularly on policies within Higher Education, their effects on teaching and learning, assessment of language skills and the use of technology to this effect.

How to register/apply

Our registration process for the 2022/23 courses is now live. For courses that are above ‘Beginner’ level, you will be asked to complete a diagnostic test so we can establish your competency in your chosen language.

Register your interest for a language course

The deadline for your registering your interest is 13.00 on Friday 30th September 2022.

If a course is oversubscribed, we use 'lottery system' to award a place. [PDF]