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MA Modern Languages, Communication and Culture

Key information

The Languages and Intercultural Studies department at Heriot-Watt University has been one of the leading providers of language degrees in the UK for over 50 years – ranking 3rd in Scotland in the Guardian Good University Guide 2024.

UCAS code
C4CC/C4CF/C4CG/C4CS/C4CB
Level
Undergraduate
Delivery type
Full Time
Degree qualification
MA
Mode of delivery
On-Campus
Duration
4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Start date
September

The MA (Hons) Modern Languages, Communication and Culture programme at Heriot-Watt University gives you the chance to study a modern language of your choice from a beginner level to a proficient standard. 

This degree allows you to choose either Chinese, French, German or Spanish. Language skills are combined with advanced communication skills and studied alongside the societies, cultures, and political systems of the countries where your chosen language is spoken.  

The MA Modern Languages, Communication and Culture programme is a clear example of our career-focused approach to language studies, and Heriot-Watt University ranked 2nd for German, 2nd for Iberian Languages and 3rd for French in Scotland in the Complete University Guide 2022. We are also accredited as a higher education partner by the Chartered Institute of Linguists. 

In your third year, you’ll spend at least one semester working or studying abroad at one of our partner universities. This is a great opportunity to further develop your language skills, as you will be immersed in the language and culture you are studying.  

This degree can be studied by individuals with no prior language learning, using Heriot-Watt's tried and tested beginner pathway for language learning, which allows you to catch up during your first year and join standard language courses by year two of the degree.  

There is sufficient flexibility in the programme structure to allow you to select courses in areas of specific interest, such as business, economics, and intercultural studies. Beyond the subject specific knowledge and skills, you’ll be given the opportunity to learn and practice transferrable skills such as presentation, communication, analytical and ICT skills. 

You’ll benefit from the industry relevance of the programme, which will set you up for life after graduation. This degree will provide you with opportunities for a global career. Upon completion, you’ll be equipped with transferable communication and language skills that are required to enter the employment market in a strong position.   

Study at least one language to degree level:

  • Chinese (UCAS Code: C4CC)
  • French (UCAS Code: C4CF)
  • German (UCAS Code: C4CG)
  • Spanish (UCAS Code: C4CS)
  • Beginner Pathway (UCAS Code: C4CB)

MA Modern Languages, Communication & Culture gives you the opportunity to study Chinese, French, German or Spanish from beginner/intermediate level to a proficient standard in four years. 

On this degree, Language skills are combined with advanced communication skills and studied alongside the societies, cultures, and political systems of the countries where your chosen language is spoken. 

This degree allows you to choose either Chinese, French, German or Spanish and spend Year 3 studying one or two semesters abroad, immersed in your chosen language and culture. 

Start from Beginner or Intermediate Level

This degree can be studied by individuals with no prior language learning, using Heriot-Watt’s tried and tested beginner pathway for language learning, which allows students to ‘catch up’ during Year 1 and join standard language courses by Year 2 of the degree. 

There is sufficient flexibility in the programme structure to allow you to select courses in areas of specific interest, such as business, economics and intercultural studies. 

 

Your student experience

Our MA Modern Languages, Communication and Culture degree is taught by experienced, leading academics who, in many cases, have published the research which shapes their disciplines and written the books which will guide your learning. Many academics balance teaching time with continued professional practice as translators, interpreters, practitioner psychologists, tax and finance specialists and management consultants. They bring real-world experience to the classroom.  

Go Global

With Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme, you can carry your studies to new places and experience new cultures, expanding your horizons on the way. You'll discover what it means to be a true global citizen and emerge prepared for wherever your career journey will take you.

European Exchange

This Exchange Programme enables you to study or work in Europe as part of your degree programme, usually for a full academic year.

Worldwide Exchange

This Exchange Programme enables you to study outside of Europe as part of your degree programme, usually for a full academic year.

Course content

September Intake - Edinburgh

NB: Intensive for Beginners is for students with little or no knowledge of their chosen language. It is the equivalent of two standard, 15 credit, courses. Those sitting this course do not take electives in Year 1.

Mandatory September

  • Introduction to Language and Intercultural Studies

Optional September

  • Chinese Intensive Beginners 1
  • French Intensive Beginners 1
  • German Intensive Beginners 1
  • Spanish Intermediate 1
  • Chinese Intermediate 1
  • French Intermediate 1
  • German Intermediate 1
  • Spanish Intensive Beginners 1
  • Critical Writing and Analysis

Mandatory January

  • Introduction to World History and Culture

Optional January

  • Chinese Intensive Beginners 2
  • French Intensive Beginners 2
  • Chinese Intermediate 2
  • German Intensive Beginners 2
  • Spanish Intermediate 2
  • French Intermediate 2
  • Employability and Professional Skills
  • German Intermediate 2
  • Spanish Intensive Beginners 2

Programme Video

Languages at Heriot-Watt University

Fees and funding

StatusFee
ScotlandPaid by SAAS
England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland£9,250
International£18,704
  • Status: Your residency status is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course.
  • International: 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above).

Scholarships and bursaries

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (A in chosen language, unless studying Beginner Pathway)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB (B in chosen language, unless studying Beginner Pathway)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (HL 5 in chosen language, unless studying Beginner Pathway)
  • BTEC DDM
  • HNC B in graded unit
  • HND BB

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (B in chosen Language)
  • A-Levels BCC (B in chosen Language)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.

Employability

Work and study

This is what our MA Modern Languages, Communication and Culture students are doing 15 months after graduating:
80%
are working
5%
are studying
5%
are studying and working

Salary

£25000
The average salary of students 15 months after graduating
£24000
The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course

Potential career paths

  • Business, Research and Administrative Professionals
  • Finance Professionals
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Student life

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