Marcelleknox
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So I recently realised that the amount of time you are in lectures or tutorials varies from course to course. If you take a language degree, can you please tell me what your timetable is like and if you feel you are able to pursue your own hobbies (sports, reading, societies etc.).
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EllaMay89
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Hi there! I graduated from a degree in French and Japanese at the university of Leeds, and my timetable was pretty full on every year of my degree. For first and second years I was in 5 days per week, for around 4-7 hours per day. Final year I had one full day without contact hours but the course was very intensive so this was taken up with studying or writing.

The timetable will really depend on which languages you're studying and your level of competency when you start the course, for example I had fewer contact hours for French as I came to university with a French A level, so the structure of the course for that side of my degree was different to the Japanese side. As I was learning Japanese from scratch, I had more contact hours for Japanese language classes. The split was about 35% French-related lectures and seminars, to 65% Japanese in first year. It evened out in subsequent years. I did find it hard to dedicate enough time to French in the beginning! Some very weird French-Japanese sentences would often sneak out in seminars!

If you manage your time well, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be able to follow your interests or join societies! Very few people on my course were able to hold down part time work though as it was just too much with the intensity of the course.

I hope this helps! What languages are you planning on studying?
Last edited by EllaMay89; 4 weeks ago
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Marcelleknox
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(Original post by EllaMay89)
Hi there! I graduated from a degree in French and Japanese at the university of Leeds, and my timetable was pretty full on every year of my degree. For first and second years I was in 5 days per week, for around 4-7 hours per day. Final year I had one full day without contact hours but the course was very intensive so this was taken up with studying or writing.

The timetable will really depend on which languages you're studying and your level of competency when you start the course, for example I had fewer contact hours for French as I came to university with a French A level, so the structure of the course for that side of my degree was different to the Japanese side. As I was learning Japanese from scratch, I had more contact hours for Japanese language classes. The split was about 35% French-related lectures and seminars, to 65% Japanese in first year. It evened out in subsequent years. I did find it hard to dedicate enough time to French in the beginning! Some very weird French-Japanese sentences would often sneak out in seminars!

If you manage your time well, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be able to follow your interests or join societies! Very few people on my course were able to hold down part time work though as it was just too much with the intensity of the course.

I hope this helps! What languages are you planning on studying?
I hope to take Japanese and German, so I will likely have a similar experience to you. I took German A level and already know basic Japanese (including reading hirigana, katakana an some basic Kanji). Do you think it is worth putting in effort to study Japanese further by myself before beginning the course? Also, would you say it was more, less or the same intensity as A levels?
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EllaMay89
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(Original post by Marcelleknox)
I hope to take Japanese and German, so I will likely have a similar experience to you. I took German A level and already know basic Japanese (including reading hirigana, katakana an some basic Kanji). Do you think it is worth putting in effort to study Japanese further by myself before beginning the course? Also, would you say it was more, less or the same intensity as A levels?
Any study you can do before you start is great, it's excellent to be ahead of the curve! Leeds offered intermediate classes to those who had prior knowledge of the language, but most of them had at least a GCSE in Japanese. Every university is different, others may have more than two tiers of classes. If you were put in beginners though it would be very thorough and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. I definitely recommend going to offer holder open days to talk to tutors about your queries as everywhere will be structured differently.

It is definitely much more intense than A Levels, in my opinion. If I'm honest, as someone who coasted through my A Levels without too much hard work, I found the step up quite significant. Especially in the later years, after the year abroad. A lot more independent study is expected of you in order to become fluent (minimum JLPT N2, preferably N1) by the time you graduate. If you don't put in the hours, it's certainly a struggle to stay afloat with the workload and content.
Last edited by EllaMay89; 4 weeks ago
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Marcelleknox
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(Original post by EllaMay89)
Any study you can do before you start is great, it's excellent to be ahead of the curve! Leeds offered intermediate classes to those who had prior knowledge of the language, but most of them had at least a GCSE in Japanese. Every university is different, others may have more than two tiers of classes. If you were put in beginners though it would be very thorough and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. I definitely recommend going to offer holder open days to talk to tutors about your queries as everywhere will be structured differently.

It is definitely much more intense than A Levels, in my opinion. If I'm honest, as someone who coasted through my A Levels without too much hard work, I found the step up quite significant. Especially in the later years, after the year abroad. A lot more independent study is expected of you in order to become fluent (minimum JLPT N2, preferably N1) by the time you graduate. If you don't put in the hours, it's ycertainly a struggle to stay afloat with the workload and content.
Good to know. What A levels did you take?
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EllaMay89
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(Original post by Marcelleknox)
Good to know. What A levels did you take?
French, Art & Design, Drama & Theatre studies, and Biology.
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I'm studying French and Spanish at Oxford atm. I have 14 contact hours a week, but it would be more if I were doing a beginners language. It's a lot more than other humanities students, but a lot less than scientists! We have a lot of independent study to do, but I still find time to be in a couple of societies and hang out with friends
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