UCC Undergraduate courses

World Languages

Course Fact File
Duration4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 409
CAO Points Range2023: 409-625

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 Core Modules

  • WL1101 Language: Sounds and Structures (10 credits)
  • WL1103 Becoming Multilingual (5 credits)


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 Core Modules

  • Intercultural Communication
  • 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

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

Year 4

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

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

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 coordinated 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 Classics.

Why Choose This Course

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

Rachel Willis, BA World Languages

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The BA World Languages has a niche for every language learner, there is so much to choose from...

Astrid Heraughty, Graduate & Data Annotator, LinkedIn

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World Languages offers a multi-disciplinary approach to broadening your understanding of languages, societies, and cultures in an increasingly globalised world...

Ronan Keohane, BA World Languages

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Government and private bodies worldwide (IBEC, PayPal, Google, British Academy) testify to shortages of graduates with language skills. In Ireland, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) has reported on the need to extend the range and number of language graduates. 

This BA 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 is 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.

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 Work Placement Module in Year 2.

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, and 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. See our PhD pages too.


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:

EnglishIrishOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 H3
Additional Requirements
  • 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 with 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 with a grade below H3 in Spanish can also join Spanish (Beginners).
  • Gaeilge/Irish: H3 in Gaeilge/Irish in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent). 
EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest, and prospective students must also apply for and sit the Mature Student Evaluation (MSE) test. Applicants must also demonstrate evidence of language learning ability.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants 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 visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • 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.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact