Polylang – the University's open language programme

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. You can find out more by downloading the Polylang 2017 flyer (PDF).

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
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Italian
  • French
  • Japanese
  • German
  • Russian

Most languages are offered at five different levels, from beginners to advanced levels, subject to demand. You can start a new language as a complete beginner or you can continue with a language you have studied previously.

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.

2017–18 teaching timetable

  • Semester 1: 9 October – 15 December 2017
  • Semester 2: 22 January – 13 April 2018
  • Oral exams: To be confirmed
  • Written exams: To be confirmed 

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.

There are three pieces of assessment during the year: one listening coursework at the end of semester 1, one oral test at the end of semester 2 and a final exam.

How can I register for a Polylang module?

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 students.

Undergraduate students

Step 1: You need to include Polylang in your module choices. The generic codes are:

  • Arabic: 1ARAB999W
  • Chinese: 1CHIN999W
  • French: 1FRNC999W
  • German: 1GRMN999W
  • Italian: 1ITAL999W
  • Japanese: 1JPAN999W
  • Russian: 1RUEE999W
  • Spanish: 1SPAN999W

Step 2: If you are new to Polylang, you’ll need to come to a registration session to complete your registration.

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 2017–18).

Postgraduate students

  • As a postgraduate student, you will need to pay an additional fee (£650 in 2017–18) 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.

Information for Alumni and Members of the public

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

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