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Any recent experience of University of Bath for a modern languages degree?
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Bath789 · 28/12/2020 18:37

That's it really. DD is considering it as one of her options, so interested in anyone's experiences, good or bad.

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PresentingPercy · 28/12/2020 19:22

DD didn’t go there but discounted it because it’s language courses are business focussed more than other universities.It’s their usp! DD wanted a greater breadth of academic research from lecturers. Business is the big thing at Bath and the language degrees support this. Bristol nearby has a wider range of options. Depends what you want though. If the languages are to support a business career then it would be worth it. My DS felt if was too narrow and she preferred elsewhere: Oxford, Durham, Leeds and Manchester from memory.

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Moominmammacat · 28/12/2020 19:57

I know someone who did german and Business, very happy with it.

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Bath789 · 28/12/2020 20:03

Thank you both. DD is interested in the literature and culture, so I'm not sure Bath would be the right choice for her.

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PresentingPercy · 28/12/2020 23:29

My DD was too. Plus arts and history. If you are looking at West Country universities you would find Bristol or Exeter would tick those boxes. Oxford is literature heavy but of course there are many other options there too.

She does perhaps need to look at what each university offers in terms of options. They are subject to change (a lecturer might leave) but you can get a distinct flavour of the breadth of choice in her favoured areas. However do suggest to her that learning about new aspects of a language should not be closed off. I remember dd was not interested in medieval French at an open day at one university but went in to do it and really enjoy the literature of the crusades. So you never know! Keep your mind open.

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Moominmammacat · 30/12/2020 13:39

Exeter offered very limited modules in German when my DS was there, certainly not much lit.

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fromthesamecloth · 30/12/2020 13:43

DD discounted it too for the reasons @PresentingPercy has listed. She is a real literature lover and didn’t feel as though it’d give her enough in that respect

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PresentingPercy · 30/12/2020 16:16

When DD was looking at Universities, it was fairly well known that Exeter was cutting back on MFL options. Good German A level candidates are much rarer these days so some universities struggle with numbers and cannot justify employing staff. It has definitely affected DDs second language which is not so widely available now as joint or single honours. Just as a module or two attached to French or Spanish. Without knowing which MFL, it is difficult to judge whether Exeter would be good or not. Bristol and Durham certainly maintain their academic profile for MFL as far as I know but definitely look at the breadth of options at the universities and see what they value.

Another issue that must arise, is that potential MFL students seem to want more languages but in less depth. You see the discussions on MN about this. I tend to think more is less rigorous and MFL degrees fom the best universities are not just about language acquisition. That's another common error. Thee degrees are not training for an interpreting or translating job. They are academic degrees which should have a much wider subject matter and be research driven. It makes me wonder if specialisms such a translation and the spoken language are now so much to the fore that the more academic work is sidelined?

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Bath789 · 30/12/2020 20:47

Thank you for further replies. DD's languages are French and Spanish. She has now applied to: Oxford (been interviewed, awaiting outcome), Edinburgh, Newcastle and Bristol. So one UCAS place left! DD has ruled out Exeter, partly on distance grounds. Leeds and Sheffield ruled out as too close to home. I think DD is now trying to decide between Manchester and Durham. Finding it difficult due to not having had the chance to visit any of them.

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Tenpastseven · 30/12/2020 20:54

Hi @Bath789. My DS is also applying to read French and Spanish. He also discounted Leeds and Sheffield for being too close and settled on Cambridge, Bristol, Newcastle, Southampton and UCL. To be honest, if your DD has offers from those 3 and is awaiting Oxford, does she need to add another?

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PresentingPercy · 31/12/2020 00:56

DD was underwhelmed with Manchester on offer day. She got into Durham but didn’t want the college they placed her in! Her least favourite when we visited and not realky in the city! However their MFL offering is excellent. It’s much smaller than Manchester and obviously the college system is similar to Oxford. I would lean towards Durham if she likes Oxford. As MFL grads going for Oxbridge are usually well qualified, it would be hard to see why the other 3/4 would not want them.

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fromthesamecloth · 31/12/2020 08:02

DD had offers from Durham, Bristol and Manchester for French and Spanish (I can’t remember the other two.) She recently graduated from Manchester with a really high mark and I don’t think she’d change a thing, she loved every minute and said the staff were absolutely wonderful.

Completely agree with @PresentingPercy though about going for Durham if she’s into the whole Oxford vibe. I really wanted DD to go for Durham but she wasn’t keen at all - she wanted a big uni with a big city and wasn’t into the idea of colleges etc. I’m so glad she made the decision that’s right for her, I think she realised over the course of her degree that for her personally the location and ‘vibe’ of the uni was just as important as the course. Such exciting times for your DD, doesn’t seem like it’s been five years since I was in your shoes! Shock

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PresentingPercy · 31/12/2020 09:05

I think DDs problem with Manchester was that she applied for the MLang course and they couldn’t sell it to her as being of any advantage over the standard 4 year degree. It was 5 years with the year abroad and it felt like an unnecessary slog when the staff couldn’t think of any advantage for students in the work place. DD assumed it was for potential academics and that wasn’t her.

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Frazzled2207 · 31/12/2020 09:09

Sorry to hijack- I did MFL at Leeds years ago. Just wondering if unis are still going to be able to organise years abroad with brexit? Will uni exchanges and assistantships (like I did) still be allowed? I really hope so. Thanks and sorry.

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NiamCinnOir · 31/12/2020 11:38

What about Lancaster? It’s highly regarded for MFL and is also a collegiate university in a lovely setting. My dd would have applied there for MFL if they had offered her subject combination.

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PresentingPercy · 31/12/2020 16:09

One of the problems with fewer and fewer dc taking MFL at school is that MFL provision at universities is shrinking. Hence the combinations are more difficult to find. French and Spanish are still ok but DD couldn’t look at Sheffield because they didn’t do Italian as joint honours. Only a module.

I think it’s also worth thinking about employment afterwards. Not every MFL grad uses their languages after graduating by any means. Choosing a university that’s got a good employment record and is looked upon favourably by target employers is also worth putting in the mix. Lots of 17 year olds have limited knowledge of employment and by just look at course content, you could limit options later depending upon ambitions.

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PresentingPercy · 31/12/2020 16:12

Lancaster is a good shout though for French and Spanish but not if you wanted Russian or Arabic!

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