Modern Languages

Course Information

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN541
CAO Points Range 2021: 320
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 50

Leaving Certificate:

O6/H7 in English, Irish, a third language and three other recognised subjects.

Special Entry Recommendation: If you choose to study a language at advanced level during your first year, it is recommended that you have at least a H4 grade in that language at Leaving Certificate, or equivalent.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Modern Languages combines advanced language skills with the literature, history and culture of the countries where these languages are spoken. It also focuses on developing critical faculties and cross-cultural awareness.

This degree is for those of you who want to concentrate on at least two modern foreign languages, explore the connections between them, spend a year abroad and graduate with a BA International degree.

You can study French, German, Italian or Spanish at an advanced level (post-Leaving Certificate or equivalent), and you can take Italian, Spanish and German as a beginner. Portuguese can be taken on an elective basis.

Much of our teaching is in small groups, where you will expand your communication skills and develop as an independent learner. A central element of the degree the built-in year abroad, where you have the unique opportunity to become immersed in another culture.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Your excellent knowledge of languages and strong communication, intercultural and analytical skills will open careers across a wide spectrum of industries, including: Translation and Interpreting, Politics and Public Service, Journalism, Education, Finance, Marketing and Business, Creative and Media Industries.

Did you know that careers in EU institutions require competence in at least three EU languages, making modern languages graduates strong contenders for many exciting career opportunities in Europe.

When you graduate, you will be well qualified to pursue a a range of courses at MA and PhD level, including the UCD taught Master of Modern Languages & Linguistics. You will also be eligible for conversion courses in translation, International Relations and International Business.

What Will I Study

First Year

Modules in two languages, at least one language should be studied at an advanced level [post Leaving Certificate equivalent].

  • Choice of modules in literature, history and cultural studies or linguistics
  • An optional third language.

Second Year

  • Two main languages
  • Choice of modules in literature, history and cultural studies or subject specific linguistics
  • An optional third language

Year Three

All students spend a year abroad in one country from their chosen language. You will study linguistic, literary, historical and/or cultural courses at the host institution and continue your study of your chosen second language.

Fourth Year

  • One intercultural module
  • Continuation of the languages chosen in second year
  • Option modules as above

Students spend approximately 15 hours a week attending language classes, lectures and tutorials and 25 hours a week undertaking independent study. Assessment is through a combination of end-of-trimester written and oral examinations, and continuous assessments.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

Studying abroad is an essential element of this degree. Students are guaranteed an Erasmus exchange place at one of our more than 40 partner universities in

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • South America.


“Having enjoyed Spanish and French at secondary school, the Modern Languages course at UCD was the best option for me. I was able to develop my fluency in these languages, as well as learning Italian at beginner’s level. I found the lectures to be very engaging and diverse as I studied a variety of modules encompassing both the culture and literature of my chosen languages. I spent my Erasmus year at the University of Salamanca, which was an incredible experience and one that helped me develop both academically and personally. My lecturers were always available to offer advice and encouragement throughout my time at UCD, which created a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.”

Maitiú Rafferty, Student

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