two female students walking and talking together

Choose from 8 languages

Studying for personal interest and for credits you can put towards your degree

Learning another language at uni is a great way to meet new people and make yourself more employable.

Being able to confidently speak with people who speak another language is also useful when you work, study or take a holiday abroad.

When you study with us on campus, you can learn a language for free alongside your course with our Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP). You have the flexibility to choose to study a language for personal interest as well as for credits towards your degree when studying a full-time Bachelor's degree.

Languages you can study

You can choose from 8 languages:

  • Arabic
  • British Sign Language
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

Apply to learn a language

You can choose one of several options, depending on your level and whether you'd like credit for the module.

Learn a language for fun

Option 1: Beginner route without credits

If you are a complete beginner in a language, you can apply for free beginner language classes outside of your course. This is for students who have limited or no previous formal learning or qualifications in your chosen language. Most students join this beginner route.

Applications for lessons will open 6 March 2023 and will close 28 July 2023. 

Your classes will be added to your timetable. First year undergraduate students can apply from Teaching Block 2 of their first year.

Application information

Option 2:  Advanced route without credits

If you have any knowledge or qualifications in the language you'd like to study, you can apply for free advanced language classes outside of your course. This is for students who have passed an A-level qualification in the language (or equivalent).

Applications for lessons starting in September 2022 are now closed. Applications for lessons starting in January 2023 will open on Monday 4 October 2023 and will close on Friday 17 November 2023.

Application information

Learn a language as part of your course 

Option 3: Learning a language for credits

You can achieve credits for studying a language via IWLP from the second year of a full-time Bachelor's degree. You have the option to choose it as a 20-credit module in the first or second semester. This means it counts towards your degree, even if it's your first time studying the language.

You can apply to do an IWLP module for credits when choosing your options for the next academic year. Your School will be able to advise you on how to proceed..

How it works

Study level

You can study a language even if you're a complete beginner and have never studied it before. When you apply, we'll determine your ability and which classes will best suit you. 

The application process will determine a student’s language ability and therefore which level they will begin on. Students will be assigned to an appropriate level, subject to availability. 


Classes take place weekly during term time in the evenings and on Wednesday afternoons at times when there's usually no other scheduled teaching. This makes it easy to fit in classes alongside your main studies.

There are 11 classes in teaching block 1 and another 12 classes in teaching block 2. Classes are 2 hours long if you study at beginner or intermediate level or 3 hours long if you studied the language at A level.

You're assessed so that you're put in the right group for your level of experience.

Pease note that all IWLP modules are campus-based only.

Course length

Each IWLP module lasts 1 teaching block, giving you flexibility to choose when you study.

You can study your chosen language either in Teaching Block 1, or in Teaching Block 2 – or in both teaching blocks of an academic year, if you wish.

group of students in coffee shop working

Extra support and resources

Away from language classes, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get extra help and support, and practise your language skills.

Language Corner

The Language Corner service is an optional weekly drop-in session. You can meet with a language tutor, get help with specific challenges and practise your skills with proficient speakers of your chosen language.

Global Cafe

The Global Café meets in-person and online on Wednesday afternoon. Students from all over the world meet here to learn about each other's cultures and practise speaking in each other's languages. 


Moodle is the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE). You can access all IWLP study resources on Moodle from anywhere with a web connection.


Sport in Portsmouth

From water sports to football and quidditch - few cities can compete with Portsmouth's sports opportunities.

Portsmouth FC vs Exeter City FC
For UoP internal use only
Let's play

Societies and student union

How to get involved in your Union including the clubs and societies you can join.

Collage of student union activities, including lacrosse
Read more

Art, culture and nightlife in Portsmouth

There's so much to see and do in Portsmouth – from art galleries and museums, to nightclubs and late-night cafes

Old Portsmouth
Read more

Places to eat in Portsmouth

Hungry for adventure? Here's a taster of the great food and drink you can savour in the city.

Busy meal at table from top-down
Grub's up