The National Student Survey 2016 ranked Languages at Heriot-Watt 2nd in Scotland and in the UK Top 10.

View all Languages and Intercultural Studies courses

For over 40 years we have been producing graduates with international communication skills of the very highest quality. Communication is the essence of our degree programmes. We offer Chinese, French, German, Spanish and British Sign Language (BSL).

LINT/ALT

Our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree (LINT) and our Applied Languages and Translating degree (ALT) prepare students to work as language and communication specialists. Both degrees provide a wide variety of practical skills and a sound knowledge of the European Union and international current affairs.

British Sign Language (BSL)

Our British Sign Language programme is the first undergraduate programme of its kind in Scotland in which BSL is studied to professional level. Students are trained to work as BSL/ English Interpreters and Translators and to use BSL proficiently in related professional areas. In Years 3 and 4 students undertake placements working with the signing community and with interpreters.

French/German/Spanish and ALS

Our Applied Language Studies (ALS) degrees offer students the opportunity to specialise in one main language but also to study a second (and third) language. Students can also choose to study subjects such as Business, Psychology, and Economics.

IBML

Our International Business Management and Languages (IBML) degree includes a range of Business Management subjects as well as language classes. The focus is on communication and practical skills, covering a wide range of topics, the foremost of these being business.

All our degree programmes include a compulsory year abroad at one of our partner universities during Year 3, with the exception of the British Sign Language degree which includes a work placement with a Deaf organisation.

Courses

Teaching and assessment

Teaching facilities include:

  • three state-of-the-art interpreting laboratories equipped for simultaneous interpreting
  • three further digital language laboratories
  • audio-visual self-study facilities
  • a Virtual Learning Environment accessible on or off Campus.

Our language practice and interpreting classes are small and interactive.

Professional recognition and exemptions

Our BSL programme is accredited and graduates can register with the UK and Scottish sign language interpreting bodies NRCPD and SASLI. We are one of only four UK members recognised by CIUTI, the International Permanent Conference of University Institutes of Translators and Interpreters. We are also a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK-based professional association of interpreters and translators.