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What Access course would be the best for doing a languages/linguistics degree?

Hey there,
I am looking for help on what Access to HE course would be the best for someone who is intending to study a language and/or linguistics degree at university.
Any help would be appreciated.
Original post by SethDunbar26
Hey there,
I am looking for help on what Access to HE course would be the best for someone who is intending to study a language and/or linguistics degree at university.
Any help would be appreciated.


If you're specifically looking for a degree in linguistics, then the opinions are somewhat mixed. Having said that, there are only a handful of degrees that are in linguisitics in the UK:
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-ba#tab3-other
https://www.city.ac.uk/prospective-students/courses/undergraduate/linguistics#accordion502079-header2 (something in health or science - don't know why)
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2023/00291/ba-linguistics/entry-requirements/#alternative-entry-requirements (something in a humanities related subject - don't know why)
https://www.york.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/ba-linguistics/#entry
https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/linguistics, which would lead you to the following page: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/before/accepted-qualifications (i.e. nothing specific)
https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/study/undergraduate/ (you should be able to get into a linguisitic degree with any language with any Access course, but you should ideally have good GCSE results in your languages)
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/modern-languages-and-linguistics, which would lead you to the following pages: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/uk-qualifications, https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/admission-requirements-table (you need an A Level in modern languages if it's a modern language that you want to do your degree in)

For language based degrees, it would depend on whether it's an European language or something outside of Europe. Something outside of Europe generally don't require the specific A Level to do, since it's not widely taught in colleges. If it's an European language, you will struggle to find something that doesn't require it. See the following for example:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/modern-languages
https://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/2024/modern-languages/ba-modern-languages/ (accepts Access courses in humanities, social sciences, law, and history)
https://warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/modernlang/
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/lang/modern-languages.aspx#EntryRequirementsTab (Access not accepted)
https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/languages/modlang/#entry-requirements
https://www.qmul.ac.uk/clearing/find-your-course/courses/2023/modern-languages/ (might get away without doing the language at A Level, but would need to demonstrate ability in an interview)
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/subjects/modern-languages/
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/modern-languages-ba
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/t901/
https://www1.chester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/modern-languages#section_entry (might be able to get away without doing an A Level)
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/ugstudy/courses/UG/Modern-Languages-BA-Hons-U6UMODLG.html

In all likelihood you would preferably do a Humanities Access course, but be open to do an A Level in the language you want to do.

On a more important note, why do you specifically want to do a degree in linguisitics and languages?
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
If you're specifically looking for a degree in linguistics, then the opinions are somewhat mixed. Having said that, there are only a handful of degrees that are in linguisitics in the UK:
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-ba#tab3-other
https://www.city.ac.uk/prospective-students/courses/undergraduate/linguistics#accordion502079-header2 (something in health or science - don't know why)
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2023/00291/ba-linguistics/entry-requirements/#alternative-entry-requirements (something in a humanities related subject - don't know why)
https://www.york.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/ba-linguistics/#entry
https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/linguistics, which would lead you to the following page: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/apply/before/accepted-qualifications (i.e. nothing specific)
https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/study/undergraduate/ (you should be able to get into a linguisitic degree with any language with any Access course, but you should ideally have good GCSE results in your languages)
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/modern-languages-and-linguistics, which would lead you to the following pages: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/uk-qualifications, https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/admission-requirements-table (you need an A Level in modern languages if it's a modern language that you want to do your degree in)

For language based degrees, it would depend on whether it's an European language or something outside of Europe. Something outside of Europe generally don't require the specific A Level to do, since it's not widely taught in colleges. If it's an European language, you will struggle to find something that doesn't require it. See the following for example:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/course-listing/modern-languages
https://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/2024/modern-languages/ba-modern-languages/ (accepts Access courses in humanities, social sciences, law, and history)
https://warwick.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/modernlang/
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/lang/modern-languages.aspx#EntryRequirementsTab (Access not accepted)
https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/languages/modlang/#entry-requirements
https://www.qmul.ac.uk/clearing/find-your-course/courses/2023/modern-languages/ (might get away without doing the language at A Level, but would need to demonstrate ability in an interview)
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/subjects/modern-languages/
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/modern-languages-ba
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/t901/
https://www1.chester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/modern-languages#section_entry (might be able to get away without doing an A Level)
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/ugstudy/courses/UG/Modern-Languages-BA-Hons-U6UMODLG.html

In all likelihood you would preferably do a Humanities Access course, but be open to do an A Level in the language you want to do.

On a more important note, why do you specifically want to do a degree in linguisitics and languages?


I have three potential languages I'd like to get a degree and they're all Asian languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean), so I don't really have to worry about doing an A Level.

I want to do a degree in linguistics and/or languages because I'm planning on getting a career that involves using languages (such as a career teaching English to speakers of other languages) and I'm also just generally interested in languages/linguistics.
Original post by SethDunbar26
I have three potential languages I'd like to get a degree and they're all Asian languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean), so I don't really have to worry about doing an A Level.

I want to do a degree in linguistics and/or languages because I'm planning on getting a career that involves using languages (such as a career teaching English to speakers of other languages) and I'm also just generally interested in languages/linguistics.

I have three potential languages I'd like to get a degree and they're all Asian languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korean), so I don't really have to worry about doing an A Level.

I concur, you won't need the A Levels. There are A Levels in Chinese and Japanese (both via EdExcel or Cambridge International - EdExcel for British A Levels) though, if interested.

I want to do a degree in linguistics and/or languages because I'm planning on getting a career that involves using languages (such as a career teaching English to speakers of other languages) and I'm also just generally interested in languages/linguistics.
Sounds good. I like languages myself. However, I thought I might throw this out there just in case you weren't aware:

To teach English as a foreign language, you need to be proficient in the language you teach in but there is no mention that you specifically need a degree

If you intend to teach English as a foreign language, I would recommend either CELTA or Trinity College's CertTESOL (these are the equivalent of A Levels/Access or Level 3 under the NVQ framework), even though you don't need these certificates in specific countries to teach e.g. China

If you intend to teach foreign languages at a British school (in the UK or abroad), you will likely need a PGCE on top of your degree in languages

Are you familiar with the CEFR framework? In summary, it's a comparison of international language certifications to the level of fluency for specific languages (for British English, you have IETLS, Cambridge English, TOEFL for example). Whilst it's specifically for European languages, it has been used to compare other languages outside of Europe. In particular, there are language certificates for Mandarin Chinese (HSK), but there are also the language tests for Japanese (JLPT) and Korean (TOPIK) .See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages#Language-specific_scales

If you do use the CEFR framework to compare qualifications, you would notice that some language certificates have higher levels of fluency (C2) than what you can learn from a language degree (usually C1 at most).

A C1 fluency is the equivalent of a foreign student being able to pass a higher tier in GCSE English Language for British English. C2 is a pass in A Level English Language. In other words, if you do a degree in a foreign language in the UK, your level of fluency won't be significantly different to that of a foreign "GCSE"/high school certificate in their home language.

Linguistics is useful if you intend to go into academia.

It's said that usually you can become fluent a lot quicker through immersion in the language as opposed to studying in a classroom.

Polygots have experimented and shown that you can sometimes become fluent by picking up children's nursery books in the language to pick up the basics and then try conversing with a fluent/native to get the gist of a language within 30 days.

In all, what I am trying to say is that you can become fluent in a language without needing to do a degree, and you won't really need it as far as I know unless you want to teach foreign languages in a British school (either in the UK or abroad - I am not sure about foreign schools though). If you intend to teach English as a foreign language, it's ideal if you have a teaching certificate but for TESOL it's not required to be a degree.

By all means, if you want to do a language degree, then do so. However, I just thought you want to be aware of the above first.

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