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Languages and Applied Linguistics

Welcome to the home of our research and teaching expertise in the study of languages, cultures and applied linguistics. Supported by expert teachers, you can learn languages, deepen your cultural understanding and explore the impact and evolution of language in modern society.

Learn a language with us

We run a variety of Modern Languages courses that also explore the culture, society, science, history, and geography of the countries in which each language is spoken. At a time when many universities are withdrawing their language courses, we offer a range of study options, from short courses to degrees, with plenty of opportunities for language practice in reading, listening, writing, speaking and interaction. Whatever your other commitments, ambitions or starting point (whether you have an A level in languages, GCSE, or no language experience at all), we will have a programme to suit you.

Delve deeper into language

Our courses in Modern Languages and English and Applied Linguistics explore how the way we use language reveals cultural, political, and social meanings, helping us develop a deeper understanding of each other.

Whatever inspires you to study, we can help you fulfil your career plans or personal interests, taught by experts in online and distance learning. You can combine your chosen language with English, with another language, with other subjects or enrol for an Open Degree, which allows you to select from a wide range of modules from across the whole University. Languages subjects available include French, German and Spanish at degree level, and we also have short online courses in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian andWelsh. In English and Applied Linguistics you can study multiple aspects of language and cultures, including English in the world and Language, Literature and Childhood, as well as short courses on intercultural communication and the emerging importance of AI in the workplace.

We are an internationally recognised leader in Applied Linguistics and online Language Learning, and our teaching is founded on leading research in these subjects. We’re also one of the biggest schools in the UK to combine Languages and Applied Linguistics and many of the most respected researchers in those fields choose to teach here. Their ongoing research ensures our courses are contemporary, relevant, and aligned with the latest developments in the field.

Study with us and you’ll be motivated by teaching materials written by world experts that bring out the best in you. And you’ll be inspired by the great diversity of linguistic, social, and cultural backgrounds among both tutors and students alike. This is a truly vibrant, authentic, multilingual, and multicultural environment where you can truly immerse yourself in the study of languages.


What our students say

A portrait image of Joanne Walker.

The scope of the OU course was huge. We looked at how to translate legal language, medical language, literature, poetry, songs, news… I even got to translate a new Spanish play into English. Doing this course has radically affected the way I think about everything. And that’s invaluable.

Joanne Walker
Studied: MA Translation
See more student stories


Want to learn more?

We truly believe that the study of languages and linguistics is a positive force for deeper empathy and understanding between people and nations, as well as being a fascinating, rewarding and enjoyable area of study. If you think so too, explore our courses. We’d love to have you join us.