About Us

The Department of Modern Languages at Aberystwyth University offers students the chance to study French, German, Italian and Spanish at both beginners' and advanced level, in a research-active academic environment.

In the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) the Department came first in the UK for student satisfaction in French and was in the top five for student satisfaction in Spanish/Iberian Studies. The Department was also ranked in the top ten for German and achieved a score of 98% for the overall quality of its teaching accross all languages. The Department is part of a wider success story at Aberystwyth University which was rated the best in Wales and one of the top ten higher education institutions in the UK for overall student satisfaction.

In the Guardian subject table for 2016 we also scored 92% for satisfaction with our teaching (Guardian University Guide 2016).  

Central to what we do is language teaching, the core of any modern languages degree and (presumably) the main point of it. We are proud of the levels attained by our students, especially in spoken language, and we invest a lot of time in this. We also teach modules on the history, literature and linguistics of these languages - crucial, we believe, to gaining a full understanding of any language and its cultural context. Many of our courses pool our expertise in individual languages in order to offer a wider European perspective.

Teaching Hours and Class Sizes

  • 4 hours of language classes per language per week
  • Weekly conversation classes with no more than 10 students
  • Language classes not more than 20 students
  • Twenty-credit ‘content’ modules: 2 hours per week
  • Most class sizes 10-20 students

We take seriously our two major commitments: our teaching (our commitment to you, as students), and our research. You will be taught by top-flight research-active academics, from year one onwards.

Most of our teaching is done in small groups. Most staff are native-speakers of the languages they teach and so there is considerable exposure to the languages being studied, even outside formal language classes. It also makes for a strongly multilingual atmosphere in the Department.

The Department is extensively involved in research activities at international level. We have secured several times the sector average in prestigious (and competitive) external funding. Colleagues' research in literature and linguistics is regularly published in article and book form, often in the countries concerned. Staff are active as conference organizers, both here in Aberystwyth, and in events run elsewhere (Bristol, Paris, Tangiers, Innsbruck) and in giving papers in the UK and, particularly, abroad.