Learn a foreign language
Life on campus
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:
- British Sign Language
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 are now open for lessons starting in the autumn of 2021. Apply now before the deadline of 30 July 2021.
Your classes will be added to your timetable.
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 are now open for lessons starting in the autumn of 2021. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information and to apply.
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 for lessons starting in autumn 2021 when choosing your module options for the coming academic year.
Your department will be able to advise you on how to proceed.
How it works
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.
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 before the Christmas break and 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.
Each IWLP module lasts 1 teaching block, giving you flexibility to choose when you study.
You can study more than 1 language a year, but most students focus on 1 or 2 languages throughout their time at university.
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.
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.
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.
Find out more about life in Portsmouth
Take a closer look at more of the exciting things on offer in our amazing city.
From water sports to football and quidditch – few cities can compete with Portsmouth's sport opportunities.
Take a closer look at the many societies and clubs you can join, and find out what the Students' Union can do for you.
From galleries and museums to comedy nights and late-night cafes, there's plenty of culture to discover in the city.