If you're interested in learning a new language or developing one of your current languages, have a look at the University's open language programme, Polylang.

The programme is open to all students as well as to members of staff, our alumni community and members of the public. All levels are catered for, from beginner to advanced.

What are the benefits of studying a language?

There are many good reasons to study a language as part of, or alongside, your main subject, including the following:

  • You'll enhance your employability and career progression prospects (74% of British employers look for candidates who have at least conversational language skills in a foreign language, according to a Confederation of British Industry survey)
  • You'll improve your general communication skills
  • You'll gain an insight into new cultures and ways of seeing the world
  • More than 85% of graduates who took Polylang found professional employment

To find out more about the career opportunities open to those with foreign language skills, visit the Target jobs website

Which languages are available?

You can study the following languages as an elective:

  • Arabic (Grades 1-5)
  • Spanish (Grades 1-5)
  • Chinese (Grades 1-4)
  • Italian (Grades 1-3) 
  • French (Grades 1-5)
  • Japanese (Grades 1-3)
  • German (Grades 1-4) 
  • Russian (Grades 1-3)

You can start a new language as a complete beginner or you can continue with a language you have studied previously.

Undergraduate students

Polylang offers you the opportunity to study a foreign language at the University of Westminster as part of your course, as long as your course allows you to take an elective. 

If you are going into Level 4 or Level 5, you can start a new language as a complete beginner or you can continue with a language that you already know. However, there are certain rules that apply to Final Year students:

  • Final year students can only take a Grade 2 Polylang module if they have previously completed a Polylang module in the same language.
  • A final year student who has not yet taken a Polylang module can only take a module that is Grade 3 or above.

When do the modules run?

Modules are year-long and classes take place at different times to ensure that they accommodate the majority of timetables.

How are modules taught and assessed?

Classes are normally two hours per week. Exceptions are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian grades 1 and 2 which are taught for three hours.

Teaching on the modules is classroom-based and takes place in an atmosphere that is enjoyable and interactive. In addition, a range of tailor-made study materials will be available to support your learning.

Polylang uses formative and summative assessment to help you keep your language learning on track.  Formative assessment takes place throughout the course and comprises both online and classroom-based assessments to ensure that you get good quality feedback on your learning.  At the end of the module there are summative assessments in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

How can I register for a Polylang module?

Polylang classes are arranged in a series of grades. To help us to assign you to the most appropriate grade, please complete the Polylang online registration form:

Register for Polylang

What happens next?

On receipt of the form, the Polylang team will identify which grade you should apply for.  If necessary, the language-specific module leader will contact you to arrange either a face-to-face meeting or a phone call to discuss your language level.

Do Polylang modules contribute towards your degree?

In most cases, Polylang modules can contribute to the classification of your undergraduate degree. For further details, please check our academic regulations (Part V, Section 17, page 3–4).

Undergraduate students

  • You can take a Polylang module as a Westminster Elective module free of charge within your 120-credit (per year) limit
  • All modules carry 20 credits and can potentially count towards your progression and degree qualification
  • If you cannot take a Polylang module within your 120 credit limit, you can still study a language with Polylang but you would need to pay an additional module fee (£650 in 2019–20)

Postgraduate students

  • As a postgraduate student, you will need to pay an additional fee (£650 in 2019–20) to take a Polylang module, unless it is explicitly included in your programme
  • Polylang modules cannot contribute to a postgraduate award, but students can obtain a Certificate of Achievement upon successful completion of the module

More information

For students

If you still would like to register for a Polylang module or have any questions about a specific language, please contact the coordinator for the relevant language:

If you have any general queries about Polylang, please contact the Course Leader, Kate Weir at [email protected] .

For alumni and members of the public

Please contact the Polylang team about fees and registration details at [email protected].