(BA) Bachelor of Arts
International Relations and Modern Languages
University of Essex
University of Essex
Language and Linguistics
Languages, Cultures and Societies
Politics and International Relations
If Portuguese is taken as the major language, A Level pass (or equivalent) in Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese or first language level fluency in Italian, French, Romanian or Spanish is required.
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
To study Portuguese as your major language, you need a pass in Higher Level Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese or fluency in Italian, French, Romanian or Spanish.
Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The
specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of
Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is
optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
Enable students to become proficient in one or more modern languages, developing an appropriate level of fluency and accuracy in using the chosen language(s) as a medium of understanding, expression and communication (both oral and written), with knowledge of stylistic and sociolinguistic variation (language skills and intercultural awareness are integrated in all classes). In their final year, students have the option to develop a corresponding level of proficiency in translation, interpreting, and subtitling.
Develop students' understanding of aspects of the culture and society of one or more countries which use the chosen modern language(s) as a medium of communication, enabling them to draw comparisons with their own culture and observe contrasts, and (through the year abroad) to experience, engage with and integrate into another culture.
Develop students' knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues associated with the study of government and politics; both at the national and the international levels and of quantitative methods for studying politics.
Provide the opportunity for students to learn about existing political science and international relations research.
Develop and promote students general analytical skills and capacities to undertake subsequent academic study and for employment, personal development and social participation.
Maintain an intellectual environment that is exciting and challenging, fostering students' capacities for study and dialogue and maintaining high standards of teaching and learning.
Develop students' critical thinking and their understanding of civic consciousness, social participation and the responsibilities of citizenship in an increasingly global society.
Equip students with a range of transferable cognitive, practical and key skills, and a foundation for further study, employment and lifelong learning.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, usage, and socio-stylistic variation in the chosen modern language(s), and (on relevant higher-level courses) techniques of translation, interpreting, and creative writing
A2: Aspects of the culture and society of one or more countries which use the chosen modern language(s) as a medium of communication, drawing comparisons with their own culture and observing contrasts.
A3: Linguistic concepts and metalanguage used to describe and analyse the chosen modern language(s), and analytic methods and techniques used to analyse texts and other authentic modern language materials from a variety of perspectives
A4: Knowledge of the main theoretical and empirical concepts in politics and international relations about e.g. democracy, the European political system, the international system, methodological issues and theories of international relations.
A5: Knowledge of the processes of interaction between domestic and international politics (in e.g. Britain, Europe and other areas and the international system)
A6: Knowledge of developments, issues and debates in the specialist regions or subjects they choose to study.
Modern language proficiency A1 is developed through classwork, homework, use of dedicated software and Web materials, and the year abroad.
Cultural awareness A2 is developed through class and web materials, and the year abroad. During the year abroad, students experience, engage with and integrate into another culture, either by a period of study at a partner institution offering the opportunity to operate in a different academic, linguistic and cultural environment, or by working (language assistantship or placement) and thereby acquiring valuable vocational experience of working abroad.
Skills of linguistic analysis A3 are developed through study of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class.
A1-A3 are reinforced by feedback from staff in class, in office hours, or by email.
A4-A6 are developed on Politics courses, through lectures, participation in seminars and classes and written comments on essays.
A5 and A6 are additionally addressed in optional choices in years 2 and 3 and/or in projects.
A1-A3 are assessed on Modern Languages modules with a range of methods that test the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as a range of other transferable skills. Assessment typically includes: role-play activities; class presentations; oral exams; written coursework, e.g.
Essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; online assignments.
A4-A6 are assessed on International Relations modules.
The assessment of most full-year modules is normally based equally on course work and on a written examination, each counting for 50 per cent of the final mark.
An average course work load consists of three essays per module or equivalent.
Class tests are used to assess A4.
The Project counts as a separate module and is assessed on its own merits.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Abstract and synthesise information from authentic written and spoken language materials
B2: Interact in the chosen languages, expressing one's own ideas (and responding to those put forward by others) coherently and articulately
B3: Analyse authentic Modern Language materials from a variety of perspectives
B4: Question received thinking, and think independently
B5: Develop their own thinking
B6: Reason critically
B1-B3 are acquired on Modern Languages modules by a range of methods which typically include: group discussion of topical themes and analysis of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class; laboratory work involving use of dedicated software and Web materials; and staff advice, feedback and interaction with students in office hours and via email.
Skills B4-B8 are developed on International Relations modules through:
(a) Seminars and classes
(b) class presentations
(c) written comments on essays.
(d) Year abroad activities
(e) project Individual guidance is available for the writing of essays and the construction of presentations.
Opportunities exist to consult a Study Skills Officer.
B1-B3 are assessed on Modern Languages modules with a range of methods that test the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as a range of other transferable skills. Assessment typically includes: role-play activities; class presentations; oral exams; written coursework, e.g. Essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; online assignments.
Skills B4-B8 are assessed on International Relations modules through essays, written examinations and dissertation.
C: Practical skills
C1: Organise and present (orally and in writing) ideas and materials in the chosen modern language(s)
C2: Gather and process information from different sources, e.g. doing a bibliographic search in the library, accessing material from online databases and locating and downloading appropriate foreign language materials from the Web
C3: Organise and structure an extended argument, advancing clear critical positions
C4: Compile and present bibliographies
C5: Provide references according to accepted conventions
In Modern Languages C1 and C2 are acquired and developed by a range of methods which typically include: group discussion of topical themes and analysis of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class; laboratory work involving use of dedicated software and Web materials; and staff advice, feedback and interaction with students in office hours and via email.
C3-C5 are developed in International Relations modules.
They are taught in seminars and developed through tutors' comments on essays, and in supervision of written work
In Modern Languages C1 and C2 are assessed with a range of methods that test the four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as a range of other transferable skills. Assessment typically includes: role-play activities; class presentations; oral exams; written coursework, e.g.
Essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; online assignments.
Skills C3-C5 are assessed on International Relations modules, mainly through essays and projects, though written examinations are also used to assess skill C3.
D: Key skills
D1: Achieve clear, focussed, relevant and effective expression and communication in English and the specialist modern language(s)
D2: Use electronic information sources, and acquire IT skills which typically include word processing, Powerpoint, e-mail, bibliographic searches, locating and downloading internet materials, and utilising software packages
D3: Manage projects and timetables; find, understand and organise information; work with ideas; analyse relevant materials, identifying problems and creatively proposing solutions
D4: (On Modern Languages courses only) Collaborate with others, working creatively and flexibly as part of a team
D5: Work autonomously showing organisation, self-discipline and time management; be receptive to feedback; learn new material and improve ways of learning
Methods employed to develop key skills on Modern Languages courses typically include: group discussion of topical themes and analysis of authentic (textual, or video, or film, or aural) materials in class; laboratory work involving use of dedicated software and Web materials; and staff advice, feedback and interaction with students in office hours and via email.
On Politics courses, the relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree.
D1, D2 and D4 are employed in essays.
D1 and D5 are employed in seminars, classes and one-on-one discussions with class teachers.
Methods employed to assess key skills on Modern Languages courses typically include: role-play activities; class presentations which may involve the use of Powerpoint; oral exams; written coursework, e.g.
Essays, book reports, translations, project work; unseen written exams; class tests; web-based assignments involving a web search or producing web materials.
On Politics courses, essays and projects are assessed for qualities that implicitly incorporate skills D1, D2, D4 and D6.