Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Modern languages electives

The elective scheme is part of Sussex's interdisciplinary approach to teaching, and allows you an element of choice in customising your degree.


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 (e.g. Intercultural Encounters), or as a specific named pathway over Years 1, 2 and 3. Students successfully completing a named pathway will be able to have this recorded in their degree title.

Language elective pathway

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 communicate in another language.

For this reason we offer a range of language electives allowing students on a wide range of single-honours degrees to gain credits. Students who complete a named pathway can opt for an award to be recorded in the title of their degree, giving added value to their 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 B2)
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 (French/Spanish, subject to level)
  • brush up your language skills
  • develop your communication skills
  • communicate with people from other countries
  • gain an insight into other cultures
  • prepare for a visit abroad

The current range of languages available is: Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Follow the links for videos about these pathways - more coming soon!


British Sign Language and Deaf Culture elective

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

English Language Teaching electives

For more information on the English Language Teaching electives and pathways, see our ELT electives page.

  • English Language Teaching elective pathway
  • Introduction to English Language Teaching and Learning
  • Theories of Language Learning
  • Perspectives on Global English

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.