Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Modern languages electives


About electives at Sussex

Most single-honours subjects across the arts, sciences and social sciences are offering electives, exceptions being where professional-body requirements do not provide sufficient space within the curriculum (e.g. law, accountancy, engineering ...). Under the electives system, you can spend 25 per cent of your study time each year studying a subject different to your major discipline.

Electives will either be offered as free-standing modules, or as a specific named pathway over Years 1, 2 and 3. If you successfully complete a named pathway you will be able to have this recorded in your degree title.

Language pathways

SCLS recognises that as future global citizens, students of all disciplines will travel, live and work in countries across the world, and that it is increasingly useful and important to be able to understand and communicate in another language.

For this reason we offer a range of language modules allowing students on a wide range of single-honours degrees to study a language for credit. If you complete a named pathway your language will feature in your degree title, giving added value to your studies.

A two year pathway leads to an award of '... with proficiency in (a language)';
A three year pathway leads to an award of '... with (a language)'.

For example:
BA (Hons) International Relations with proficiency in Arabic (Intermediate)
BSc (Hons) Business and Management Studies with Mandarin Chinese (CEFR B1+)
BA (Hons) in Film Studies with Spanish for Professional Purposes
BSc (Hons) in Psychology with French (CEFR C1)

Language electives provide the opportunity to:

  • start a new language
  • develop a language you have already studied
  • brush up your language skills
  • develop your communication skills
  • communicate with people from other countries and cultures
  • gain an insight into other cultures
  • develop your intercultural awareness
  • prepare for a visit abroad

The current range of languages available is: Arabic, British Sign Language, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and TESOL. Follow the links for videos about these pathways!


British Sign Language and Deaf Culture pathway

For more information on the British Sign Language pathway, please refer to our BSL page.

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) pathway

For more information on the TESOL pathway, see our TESOL pathway page.

Intercultural Encounters

This free-standing elective module seeks to promote cultural awareness and inter-cultural comprehension.

Students will be concerned to define what is meant by 'culture' and to analyse their own cultural backgrounds and attitudes. They will consider how and why cultural characteristics arise and whether generalisations (such as national or cultural stereotypes) are ever valid. In particular they will reflect upon the ways in which culture and language are linked, and on how cultural values and attitudes are encoded in language. They will sample various theoretical approaches to these issues by way of original lectures, prepared seminar questions, academic essays, and a range of audio-visual sources.
The module is available in the spring term to first and second year students.