Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Study levels

Progress and assessment is aligned to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages. This framework is in use throughout Europe.

CEFR levels and how they map to SCLS Language Elective modules

The CEFR Global Scale gives an indication of general language proficiency for each of the six bands.

There are ten stages of study and you can start each pathway from either beginner or intermediate depending on your level. For French and Spanish you can also start at advanced level and follow the Professional Purposes pathway.

Module levels:

 Name of moduleLevel on entryCEFR FGISCEFRACJLevel of course UK equivalence
Stage 1 Ab initio A* For beginners, assuming no previous knowledge A1 A1 Beginner
Stage 2 Ab initio B For post-beginners with an elementary knowledge of the language who have completed Stage 1 A2 A2 Foundation GCSE
Stage 3 Intermediate A* For lower intermediate learners who have completed Stage 2, have a high GCSE grade, or equivalent A2*-B1 A2*-B1 Higher GCSE
Stage 4 Intermediate B For intermediate learners who have completed Stage 3 B1 B1 AS level
Stage 5 Advanced A For upper intermediate learners who have completed Stage 4 B1/+ B1 AS level
Stage 6 Advanced B For advanced learners who have completed Stage 5 B1+ B1+ A level
Stage 7 Language in Context A ** For advanced learners who have completed Stage 6 B2 B1*-B2 Undergraduate first/second year
Stage 8 Language in Context B ** For advanced learners who have completed Stage 7 B2 B2 Undergraduate second year

** Available from 2019-20

 Name of moduleLevel on entryCEFRLevel of course UK equivalence
Stage 6 Professional Purposes 1A* For advanced learners who have a good A level grade, or equivalent B1-B2 Undergraduate first year
Stage 6-7 Professional Purposes 1B For advanced learners who have completed Professional Purposes 1A, Stage 6 B2 Undergraduate first year
Stage 7 Professional Purposes 2A For advanced learners who have completed Professional Purposes 1B, Stage 6-7 B2/+ Undergraduate second year
Stage 8 Professional Purposes 2B For advanced learners who have completed Professional Purposes 2A, Stage 7 B2-C1 Undergraduate second year
Stage 9 Professional Purposes 3A For advanced learners who have completed Professional Purposes 2B, Stage 8 C1 Undergraduate third year
Stage 10 Professional Purposes 3B For advanced learners who have completed Professional Purposes 3A, Stage 9 C1/+ Undergraduate third year

* indicates a Pathway entry point. All pathways begin in the autumn term (part A). Modules can be studied as stand-alone electives subject to availability of places and Visiting and Exchange students are placed appropriately subject to availability of places.

For a more detailed description of these levels, study SCLS ML Elective Placement - Typical use of language on entry.

Choosing the right study levels

The language pathways include modules at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels.

If you wish to start an Ab initio (Beginners) language you must do so in Term 1 of Year 1. You can only begin a pathway at a higher level if you have equivalent prior learning to meet the pre-requisites. You may be asked to carry out a placement test to decide the most appropriate level for you.

Availability of modules and levels:

Language elective pathway modules
 Ab initio AB
(A1-A2)
Intermediate AB
(A2-B1)
Advanced AB
(B1-B1+)
Language in Context AB (B1+-B2)Professional Purposes 1ABProfessional Purposes 2ABProfessional Purposes 3AB
Arabic Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Not available Not available Not available
French Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Yes Yes Yes
German Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Not available Not available Not available
Italian Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Not available Not available Not available
Japanese Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Not available Not available Not available
Mandarin Chinese Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Not available Not available Not available
Spanish Yes Yes Yes Yes (from 2019-20) Yes Yes Yes

 *Please note that the availability of places on some modules may be limited.

British Sign Language and Deaf Culture elective pathway modules
 BSL 1ABSL 1BBSL 2ABSL 2BBSL 3ABSL 3B
BSL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes