UCC Undergraduate courses

World Languages

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

The BA World Languages is a four-year specialist language programme, including a year of study abroad and, in most of the languages offered, Computer-Assisted Language Learning to complement traditional teaching.

It aims to produce graduates with sought-after language skills, as well as an understanding of language as a system and of the cultures of the languages studied. While the focus of the programme is on living European and world languages, Latin is also offered for its value as an academic discipline and as the root of several of the other languages available.

Most of the languages offered (except French or Irish) can be taken without having been studied previously, but all students must have demonstrated competence in a language other than English.

Year 3 of the programme is a structured year abroad, involving study at a partner institution or a combination of study at a partner institution and a work placement. 

In Years 1, 2 and 4 you will take courses in a range of languages, together with dedicated content (eg language structures, translation theory/practice, digital skills, teaching English as a foreign language).

Year 1 Modules:

All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.


  • WL1101 Language: Sounds and Structures (10 credits)
  • WL1103 Becoming Multilingual 


Three languages (15 credits each) from:

  • Chinese
  • English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL),
  • French
  • Gaeilge/Irish
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

at least one language must be continued for the remaining years of the programme.

Year 2 Modules:


  • Intercultural Communcation
  • Introduction to Semiotics


Two or three languages (50 credits total), at least one of which must be continued from Year 1: the number of credits available in different languages varies.

Year 3 Modules:

Study and/or Work Placement in one or two of the countries of the languages studied in Years 1 and 2.

Year 4 Modules:

  • Language and Power
  • Languages and Information Technologies
  • Introduction to Translation Studies
  • Languages (1,2 or 3)
  • Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on modules.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Teaching Arrangements for World Languages 2021/22

Course Practicalities

In each year of the course, students will take intensive language courses in small groups and should expect to do additional exercises for each of the languages studied.

Independent study will be an important part of the programme.

For most languages, access is also provided to an online language course, reinforcing classwork and taken whenever and wherever the student has internet access, or in the language laboratories.

Students will also have additional lectures and readings on the cultures of the languages studied, but this will vary in quantity according to the language combinations chosen. 


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment.

Language skills are assessed by assignments and/or written and listening tests, which provide students with regular feedback on their progress. Most language modules also involve students taking written examinations at the end of the module, and all include oral examinations.

Other courses are assessed by a combination of in-class tests, oral presentations, written assignments and end-of-semester examinations. Assessment is designed also to take into account the writing and presentation skills developed during the programme. Students are encouraged to engage in dialogue with lecturers during the drafting of essays and projects.

The year abroad in Year 3 is assessed entirely on a pass/fail basis.

Who teaches this course?

All course are taught by highly qualified staff, many of whom are native speakers of the language subjects taught.

The programme is co-ordinated by staff in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, but the teaching team also includes specialist staff in the School of Asian Studies, the School of Irish Learning, and in Classics.

Modern Languages at UCC was ranked in the top 100 institutes worldwide (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2013)

Why Choose This Course

I ended up going to Seoul in South Korea for my year abroad last year...

Rachel Willis


Find Out More

Government and private bodies worldwide (IBEC, PayPal, Google, British Academy) testify to shortages of graduates with language skills. In Ireland, Forfás has repeatedly reported, most recently in the report on Key Skills for Enterprise to Trade Internationally (2012), on the need to extend the range and number of language graduates.

The programme’s flexibility and the possibility of studying multiple languages will enable graduates to meet these needs. The range of languages offered in UCC (including seven of the 10 languages identified by the British Council as most important for Britain’s future) is unique in Ireland.

The inclusion of English as a Second Language alongside other world languages will also appeal to international applicants; non-EU students will now be able to benefit from ERASMUS funding for study abroad.

Students of this programme will be eligible for the Mary Ryan Language Scholarships, awarded by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences to highly qualified students who choose to study two languages. The naming of the Scholarships after the first woman professor in Ireland and Britain, appointed to the Chair of Romance Languages in 1910, marks UCC’s commitment to and long tradition of excellence in languages.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study and/or placement abroad are an integral part of this degree programme. You will spend Year 3 in either one or two of the countries of the languages studied. The UCC Schools involved have well-established links with leading universities across the globe, where students will spend all or part of Year 3.

UCC’s outstanding International Education Office and Careers Service provide unbeatable support for students while studying or on work placements.

Students are encouraged to take the initiative in organising work placements but this will be facilitated by the Board of Studies. All work placements must be approved by the Board of Studies.

You can also avail of UCC's new Arts work-placement module in Year 2 of this degree. 

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates can expect to find employment in a wide range of areas in both the public and private sectors, including:

  • teaching
  • the financial sector
  • international trade
  • retail management

Employers of UCC language graduates include:

  • the EU
  • the European Central Bank
  • Bord Bía
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • Google
  • Emc2
  • Bank of Ireland
  • Allied Irish Bank
  • Musgraves
  • Lidl
  • Apple

Various postgraduate opportunities exist within the schools delivering the programme. 


Leaving Certificate entry requirements: 

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H3 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:



Other Language




Specific requirements for individual languages:

French: A student will not normally be allowed to select French unless they have attained a pass standard in French in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

German (Non-Beginners): H4 in German in the Leaving Certificate Examination (or equivalent).

German (Beginners): H3 in any language other than English in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

Italian (Non-Beginners)H4 in Italian in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

Italian (Beginners): H3 in any language other than English in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent). Students who have obtained a grade below H4 in Italian can also join Italian (Beginners). 

Spanish (Non-Beginners): H3 in Spanish in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

Spanish (Beginners): H3 in any language other than their first language in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent). Students who have obtained a grade below H3 in Spanish can also join Spanish (Beginners).

Gaeilge/Irish: H3 in Gaeilge/Irish in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent). 

Students presenting with a 2016 or previous Leaving Certificate in 2017 will require a HC2 in the languages mentioned above where a H4 is required and a HB3 where a H3 is required. 


FETAC Requirements.

Mature entry applicants

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.


If you are hoping to pursue the BA World Languages programme, you must sit the Mature Student Admissions Pathway (MSAP) assessment.  This is a two-hour exam that is designed to test your verbal reasoning and written ability skills. The MSAP is independently administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).  Once you have a CAO number, you can make an application to ACER for the MSAP. The timeframe for making an application for the MSAP falls in to line with the CAO application deadlines. This is an online application process also.  MSAP do not accept late applications.  There is only one sitting of the MSAP. This occurs in early March every year and is held in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Dublin. You choose, when making your application, which test centre suits you best.  For further details on the MSAP please click on the following link - https://msap-ireland.acer.org/


Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. The state will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student Contribution and Capitation Fees are payable by the student. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130.

 Please see Fees Office for more information.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to the first year of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Overseas applicants may make an appointment to speak to Dr Chu by Skype (m.chu.ucc). 


Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact