Bachelor of Arts in Applied Languages
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
Do you enjoy speaking languages and finding out about the countries in which they are spoken?
Are you also interested in language itself – why languages are different, why people in different places speak differently, how we communicate? Do you enjoy travelling and getting to know other cultures in depth?
Would you like to study three languages or combine your study of two languages with subjects like Marketing or Politics and International Relations?
Would you like to acquire specialist skills, such as Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or Technical Communication while you study languages?
If this sounds like you, then Applied Languages at UL could be the course for you.
Why Study Applied Languages at UL?
This programme aims to produce graduates with a high level of competence in at least two languages combined with a specialist knowledge of the societies in which those languages are spoken. The course also offers the unusual opportunity to take three languages to degree level. Graduates will also possess professional expertise in an area such as Marketing, Politics and International Relations, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or Technical Communication.
Pathways and Electives for Applied Languages
It is compulsory to study 2 of the languages below as core languages. All languages are available at an advanced level, with German, Japanese and Spanish also available at beginners' level.
Along with your 2 core languages, you will generally have 1 additional core module each semester, as well as a professional elective stream and 1-2 literature/cultural elective modules.
In Semester 1:
For your professional elective stream, you must choose one of the following:
You must also choose one Literature/Cultural elective from:
- Literature in one of the languages you are studying
- Introduction to New Media and Cultural Studies
What you will study
The Applied Languages programme is a four-year programme, divided into eight semesters. In each semester you will study: two languages (Language A and Language B); 1–2 compulsory modules (e.g. Linguistics 1 and 2, Language Technology, Applied Languages Project); and 2 elective modules. Firstly, you choose a professional subject: A third language, Marketing or Politics and International Relations); secondly, you choose from a range of literature modules in a language you are studying, or cultural studies modules focusing on a language.
Semesters 1, 2 and 3: You will spend the first three semesters in UL, building a foundation in your two (or three) chosen languages and the societies in which these languages are spoken, as well as in Linguistics, which is the science of language, and in your elective subjects.
Semesters 4 and 5: You will spend semesters 4 and 5 away from UL. You will be on a work placement for the first semester (cooperative education) and you will be studying in a university for the second semester (external academic placement). Working and studying abroad gives you a fantastic opportunity to deepen your linguistic skills and cultural knowledge. Students generally divide their time between their two main languages; so if German and Spanish are your main languages, you could spend your cooperative education in Spain or Argentina for example, and spend your external academic placement in a German-speaking country. If you are studying Irish, you may be working in the Gaeltacht or in Irish-medium schools and media organisations. Whatever your language combination, you will get plenty of advice and guidance about these choices and you will start planning them well in advance.
Semesters 6, 7 and 8: During semesters 6, 7, and 8, you will acquire a deeper understanding of the historical, political, economic and cultural factors that have shaped the societies in which your two languages are spoken, while also continuing the study of these languages to a high level of proficiency. You will also acquire specialised, advanced skills such as interpreting and translating. In addition, you have the opportunity in your last 3 semesters to continue the study of your third language/ politics and international relations/marketing, or you can choose to specialise in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or Technical Communication. You can also choose to study literature modules in your second language. In addition, you can choose from a variety of interesting electives in the areas of linguistics, media, sociology, literature and film.
|Year 1 | Semester 1||Year 1 | Semester 2|
|Language, Culture and Society A: French OR German OR Irish OR Japanese OR Spanish||Language, Culture and Society A: French OR German OR Irish OR Japanese OR Spanish|
|Language, Culture and Society B: French OR German OR Irish OR Japanese OR Spanish||Language, Culture and Society B: French OR German OR Irish OR Japanese OR Spanish|
|Linguistics 1||Linguistics 2|
|Elective 1: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish OR Japanese OR Marketing OR Politics and International Relations||Elective: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish OR Japanese OR Marketing OR Politics and International Relations|
|Elective 2: Literature in Language A OR B O Cultural Studies and New Media||Elective 2: Literature in Language A OR B OR Language and Culture|
|Year 2 | Semester 1||Year 2 | Semester 2|
|Language, Culture and Society A: French OR German OR Irish OR Japanese OR Spanish||Cooperative Education|
|Language, Culture and Society B: French OR German OR Irish OR Japanese OR Spanish|
|Language and Technology|
|Elective 1: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish OR Japanese OR Marketing OR Politics and International Relations|
|Elective 2: Literature in Language A OR B OR Research Methods 1|
|Year 3 | Semester 1||Year 3 | Semester 2|
|External Academic Placement||Language, Culture and Society A: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish|
|Language, Culture and Society B: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish|
|Elective 1: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish OR Japanese OR Marketing OR Politics and International Relations OR Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages OR Technical Writing|
|Year 4 | Semester 1||Year 4 | Semester 2|
|Language, Culture and Society A: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish||Language, Culture and Society A: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish|
|Language, Culture and Society B: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish||Language, Culture and Society B: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish|
|Applied Languages Project||Applied Languages Project|
|Elective 1: French OR German OR Irish OR Spanish OR Japanese OR Marketing OR Politics and International Relations OR Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages OR Technical Writing||Spanish OR Japanese OR Marketing OR Politics and International Relations OR Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages OR Technical Writing|
|Elective 2: Literature in Language A OR B OR Crime Fiction OR European Cinema OR New Media||Elective 2: Literature in Language A OR B OR Cultural Theory OR European Cinema OR Travel Literature|
Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.
In addition, applicants must hold a minimum Grade H3 in French or German or Irish or Spanish or Japanese.
Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation Maths is not reckonable for scoring purposes.
We welcome applications from Mature Students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.
Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme.. Go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.
Careers open to you with a degree in Applied Languages include:
- Translating and interpreting
- Communications, media and public relations
- English Language Teaching
- International business, marketing, exporting
- Information & communication technologies
- Further study with a view to a professional qualification (e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Professional Masters in Education, subject to meeting requirements).
- Postgraduate research leading to enhanced professional or academic career
Applied Languages graduates are highly attractive to employers because of their mix of proficiency in more than one language, excellent communication and intercultural skills, and experience of living and working overseas.
This programme aims to provide you with a high level of competence in at least two languages, combined with specialist knowledge of the societies in which those languages are spoken plus professional expertise and experience in a multilingual environment.
Want to find out more about possible careers with this degree? Click Here
This programme aims to give you a high level of competence in at least two languages, combined with a specialist knowledge of the societies in which those languages are spoken.
Student Profile - Kevin McCarthy
Languages are my livelihood. Studying Applied Languages at UL allowed me to learn two completely new languages - Spanish and Japanese – as well as building on my French. Obviously, spending time abroad is an important part of the language-learning process, and my year abroad proved invaluable in this regard. I spent one semester at the Université d’Orléans in France, and then 6 months in Argentina on a Co-op placement organised by UL. While at UL, I also won a scholarship that enabled me to study in Japan.
With 24 official EU languages, language training is central to my job here in Brussels so I’m currently taking classes in Dutch.
If you have a passion for travel and language-learning, I can whole-heartedly recommend studying Applied Languages at the University of Limerick. The lectures are interesting and interactive, and the language-learning technology is top notch. Once you graduate with this degree, you’ll be able to travel the world. Who could ask for more?
Kevin currently works as a Conference Interpreter at the European Commission in Brussels.
Which languages can I study?
French and Irish are only available at the advanced level (i.e. post Leaving Certificate or equivalent);: Spanish and German are offered at Beginners’ level and Advanced level. Japanese is offered at Beginners’ level only.
What does Applied Languages mean?
The term ‘Applied Languages’ is commonly used to describe degrees which produce graduates with a high level of proficiency in their chosen languages and an in-depth understanding of the culture and society where they are spoken, combined with an appreciation of how they might best be used in a range of professional contexts at home and abroad.
How many languages can I take?
You must take 2 languages; you can take a third as an option. At least one language must be taken at the advanced level. The exceptional opportunity offered by this course to study three languages to degree level is one of its most attractive features for students who wish to pursue careers as language professionals.
Which languages can I take?
As core languages you can choose two from French, German, Irish, Japanese and Spanish. French and Irish are only available at Advanced level (i.e. post Leaving Certificate or equivalent); the other languages are available at both Advanced and Beginners’ level. If you would like to take a third language, you can take any of the above.
What elective options can I take?
From Year 1, a third language (as above), Marketing or Politics and International Relations.. In Year 3, you can continue with these, or take up Technical Communication or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Will I spend time abroad at a university or working?
Yes! You will spend at least two six-month periods on work placement and study abroad. It is particularly important when learning foreign languages that you keep working regularly rather than “cramming” in the week before exams. It is also a good idea to take advantage of holiday periods to spend more time living in the countries where your chosen languages are spoken. This is particularly important if you decide to take three languages. You might do a summer job or visit a language course – it’s your choice.