skip to primary navigation skip to content

The Language Centre  The Language Centre

The Language Centre

Postgraduate language training

Language learning opportunities for postgraduate students

The following information is mainly about languages other than English. However, we do have a comprehensive programme of Academic Development and Training for International Students (ADTIS) support also available.

Postgraduate students (both MPhil and PhD) often need language skills for the following purposes:

    • Reading texts in a language other than English
    • Communicating in other languages when doing fieldwork or collaborating with researchers in other countries
    • Building their employability skills

The Language Centre can help by providing:

    • courses (see below),
    • resources (see below),
    • advice on alternative study opportunities (see below),
    • advice on possible sources of funding, including eligibility to apply for language training bursaries.

Languages for Academic Purposes Courses for postgraduate students

Dedicated provision on reading texts in a language other than English and relevant oral skills

  • If you are in the Schools of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences* you can join academic purposes courses in Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish free of charge, funded by the University's Researcher Development Funding. Please visit the information about academic purposes courses for course details, timetables and enrolment information.
  • Enrolment on academic reading skills courses for students of other faculties/departments may be possible if space is available. A fee will be chargeable.

Developing communicative language skills for fieldwork, research collaboration and employability purposes

  • Join a 'general purposes' CULP course. These are available in 12 languages at a variety of levels. They are offered in 3 cycles per year: standard (one class/week, during Michaelmas & Lent Terms); semi-intensive (2 classes/week in Easter Term); intensive (one class/day for 3 weeks at the beginning of the Long Vacation).
  • See the CULP pages for course details, timetables and enrolment information. A fee is charged for these courses, but go to the Funding Opportunities page for information on possible support.
  • Click tab above for alternative study opportunities.

Dedicated workshops for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Students

  • We offer workshops on specific areas of language needs on the basis of demand from postgraduate students in the Schools of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences*.
  • These are intended to supplement language learning in our Academic Purposes (LAP) courses or in our general CULP courses and are free to access, with funding provided via the University's Researcher Development Fund.
  • Plans already include a workshop on Accessing Archives in German. Additional provision will be added on the basis of feedback and demand.

* The School of Arts and Humanities and School of the Humanities and Social Sciences comprise the Faculties listed below and include all the Departments that fall within the scope of those Faculty Boards. Also included are the Centre for Research in Arts and the Language Centre.

School of Arts and Humanities School of the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Architecture and History of Art
  • Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Faculty of Classics
  • Faculty of Divinity
  • Faculty of English
  • Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages
  • Faculty of Music
  • Faculty of Philosophy
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of History
  • Faculty of Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science
  • Department of Politics and International Studies
  • Faculty of Law
  • Department of History and Philosophy of Science
  • Department of Land Economy

Engineering Language Unit

  • The Engineering Language Unit offers free foreign language courses (in French, Chinese, German, Japanese and Spanish) to all students from the Department of Engineering.
  • English language support is also available to postgraduate students and researchers from that department.
  • The Language Unit foreign languages courses are also available to postgraduate students from the Computer Laboratory.

Please see the Language Unit website or email for more details.

Resources and alternative study opportunities


  • Anyone can study one of the 190 languages for which we house resources in the John Trim Centre, supported by advice on developing appropriate language skills from our Language Advisors.
  • The Language Centre has developed a range of interactive online learning resources designed to develop reading skills in French, German, Italian and Spanish, which can be used standalone, or in conjunction with taught courses. These can be accessed from LC Online (Raven access) or by downloading them from our Open Courseware pages.
  • The Language Centre makes many of its interactive online learning resources, developed for CULP courses, widely available to members of the University and beyond as Open Courseware.
  • We provide a language teaching resource for postgraduate students considering future careers in language based academic roles / language teaching. This is derived from workshops delivered in association with the Faculties of MML and AMES.

Alternative study opportunities

The Language Centre will:

  • Help you to identify alternative providers of courses in languages not offered by the Language Centre, whether within the University or externally. Check the Funding Opportunities page as some funding may be available for these courses.
  • Identify other students with whom to form a self-study group in a 'lesser taught language', and explore the possibility of organising workshops with a teacher or native speakers within the University community.

Postgraduate training

Please come and see us or contact: to let us know your requirements.

Back to top