Centre for Language Studies
  1. Language Courses
  2. Learning Support at the Centre for Language Studies
  3. About the Centre
  4. Centre for Language Studies Staff
    1. Language Courses
    2. Learning Support at the Centre for Language Studies
    3. About the Centre
    4. Centre for Language Studies Staff
Centre for Language Studies

Centre for Language Studies

Why study a foreign language?

  • Foreign language skills, as well as communication skills and cultural competence, remain extremely important for those seeking employment. Mastering more than one language gives newly graduated students a more competitive edge when applying for jobs.
  • 74 per cent of employers (already in 2009 an according to the Confederation of British Industry) seek employees with foreign language conversational skills and inter-cultural competence.
  • Rather than full fluency in foreign languages, UK firms are looking for graduates who are aware of the importance of understanding the culture of those countries in which they operate (CBI report 'Emerging Stronger: The Value of Education and Skills in Turbulent Times', April 2009).
  • The UK has a language deficit marked by major declines in language learning at all levels. This has hampered economic growth with the "cost to our economy estimated at between £7bn and £17bn".
    (The Economic Case for Language Learning and the Role of Employer Engagement, by the Education and Employers Taskforce, November 2011).
  • If you're a student who aim for an international career in today's global society, you will need to engage with the employability agenda from the beginning of your university degree. From this perspective mastering more than a language, experiencing work placements and internships in different cultures and countries are big steps towards helping you acquire the skills to find graduate level jobs. (CBI and Universities UK, 2009).

To reflect this, 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.

Our current language classes and cultural modules

The Centre for Language Studies offers three broad categories of course plus Study Abroad & Exchange Programme modules

Language for General Purposes (LGP)

These courses are part of a wide-ranging programme of language courses offered at no cost to all students and members of staff at City.

These are language classes running as free-standing modules for those who do not have language electives in their degree but who wish to develop their communication skills in foreign languages. On successfully passing this type of course students receive a certificate of completion.

Find out more

Language for Specific Purposes (LSP)

Specific-purpose language electives are offered as tailor-made courses in degree programmes focused on preparing students to work in a globalised workplace. Modules are related to the discipline and expertise of the degrees and are available in French, German and Spanish at four levels.

This type of course prepares students to work in international teams and environments in their workplaces in the UK and worldwide. The learning of the foreign language is thus linked to individual programmes.

Programme Directors who wish to have, or who already have, student exchange programmes with foreign institutions or work placements abroad could consider these courses as a way to prepare their students for studying abroad, as well as for their future place of employment.  

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Language Breadth Modules (LBM)

Following the Undergraduate Review in 2009 language breadth modules are offered as electives in undergraduate degree programmes. The courses are available in: Arabic, French, German, Mandarin and Spanish.

The programme emphasises a multicultural and non-discipline based approach to the learning of foreign languages, providing a broader cultural perspective to language learning.

Opportunities are created for students to expand their vision of work and social life beyond the disciplines of their degrees (adding true learning 'breadth'), which helps them to adapt to today's multicultural and globalised societies. These modules are shared with students from various other degree courses.

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Language Extracurricular Courses (Cass)

The extracurricular courses in languages are taught in the context of Business within the target cultures. They are designed for Cass Undergraduate students to learn a foreign language as a free standing module and do not provide any credit towards their degree.

The studied topics are related to the world of business management and finances. Cultural knowledge relates to global business culture and the countries where French, German, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin are used. The students are encouraged to put together a portfolio online of their work and achievement in the target language so to increase their employability.

Find out more about learning support

Study Abroad & Exchange Programme

This programme offers courses for exchange and study abroad students. These students can take a language course as well as the following cultural programmes:

Find us

City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.