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What A-levels do you need for modern languages?

Budding linguist? If you’re thinking of studying a modern language, you’re probably planning to take an A-level in your chosen language too. But what other subjects should you combine it with?

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If you’re planning to study a modern language such as French or German at university, an A-level in your chosen language is, in most cases, an essential. For languages not so commonly offered in schools and colleges, such as Italian or Chinese, a modern foreign language is required or preferred.

Whatever language you plan to study, at least one A-level in a modern language should be in your A-level line-up. Check out our six steps to choosing your A-levels, to guide your decision.

Note, the following requirements apply to degrees in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

A-level subjects for modern languages

What A-level subjects are needed or essential for a modern language degree?  

  • French for a French degree and German for a German degree (in most cases) – not too surprising! 
  • an A-level in a modern language is usually required

What A-levels are useful for a modern language degree?  

  • any other modern language
  • English literature
  • history
  • politics


Other typical A-levels taken by current modern language students

  • general studies
  • English language
  • maths
  • business studies

Take a look at individual language courses on The Uni Guide to find out the most popular subjects that students studied before taking their languages degree, entry requirements they ask for and more.

What can you study later with your A-levels? Take a look with our A-level Explorer tool...

Examples of modern language degree requirements

Below are a few modern language degree courses offered by different universities including the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 17 April 2018):

University of Warwick: ‘A,A,B. To include A in a language. Offers exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.’

University of Central Lancashire: ‘72 UCAS points at A2. Must include a Foreign Language that can be studied in Year 1.’

University of Bristol: 'A,A,B. AAB including grade A in two of the languages to be studied. Contextual offer: ABC including grades AB in two of the languages to be studied.’

Other similar degree subjects

Bear in mind that even different language subjects will have slightly different A-level requirements; so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check the entry requirements for specific courses before you finalise your choices. Search for a course now to see what these are, plus more key stats.

Check out our French, German and Spanish subject guides to learn more about studying these at university and possible courses.

Where could your A-levels take you?

Enter your A-level choices below to find out

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