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School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures (legacy Site)



There are over 130 language, linguistics and area studies degree courses on offer in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and whichever one you choose you can be sure to develop skills that will be vital in your future career. All of our courses will help you to develop analytical and intellectual skills and to enhance your knowledge and understanding of language and culture. Those who choose to study a foreign language will also gain highly valued international experience through their residence abroad and will develop a thorough command and understanding of communication in this language.

We are confident that employers will continue to value the type of education offered at Manchester, and that future graduates will maintain their predecessors' successful record in many different spheres, ranging from publishing and banking to teaching and public administration. A significant number of our graduates pursue careers abroad. Prospects for our graduates have undoubtedly been enhanced by an increasingly global job market, and this trend is set to continue in the future

More than a qualification

Our degrees in languages are designed to equip you with a range of skills, many of which are highly sought-after by employers. As well as developing advanced written and verbal communication skills, you will improve your teamwork, listening, presentation and organisation skills, think creatively and logically and gain experience of working independently to deadlines. You will also enhance your understanding of diverse cultures and develop useful research and analysis skills.

Examples of jobs language graduates do

Our graduates enter a diverse range of  careers including: PR and Marketing, Advertising and the Media, Financial Services, IT, Journalism, the Civil Service and Teaching. A recent study confirmed that businesses in a wide variety of sectors actively seek recruits with language ability and that employers overwhelmingly reported that a UK graduate with knowledge of one or more foreign languages would have “the edge” over a similar graduate with no language skills (Labour Market Intelligence on Languages and Intercultural Skills in Higher Education, UCML 2011).

What the employers say

Employers value the skills which language graduates obtain during their degree and many actively seek to employ them.
The 2011 CBI Education and Skills Survey indicates that the majority of UK businesses value language skills among their employees, with only a quarter (27%) saying that they have no need for them. The study further shows that languages are particularly important in sectors such as manufacturing, banking, finance and insurance. Some companies who particularly look for language graduates include the Civil Service, Google, Bloomberg, Reuters, GCHQ, MI5 and KPMG.

Graduate success

Jenny Price

Jenny Price, MML French & German 2010

I believe my Master in Modern Languages really helped in interviews as I was often asked whether I could cope in stressful situations and my intense undergraduate Masters was a very good example to use.

students graduating

Hannah Jaycock, French & Italian 2009

On my return to the UK I decided to apply for various graduate schemes, and did lots of graduate interviews. I was often asked about the skills that I learned while studying for my degree and I always found this easy to answer as the list is so long, (attention to detail, communication, research, time management, logic, to name but a few!). Many people that interviewed me were surprised by the range of things I had done as part of my degree – they seemed to think all we ever did was learn verb tables! I am now on the graduate scheme at PricewaterhouseCoopers working in tax. When colleagues ask me what I studied at university, many of them tell me that they would have loved to have studied languages if they’d known that it was possible to get a job in business and finance with an arts degree. Well with languages, so many career paths are possible you’ll be spoilt for choice!

See further graduate profiles on our Graduate success  page

Useful websites

A selection of specialist language recruitment websites

The University of Manchester Careers Service