Languages and cultures

Knowledge of different languages and cultures expands our minds, transforms our experience of the world and brings benefits to local and global economies.

Why study Languages?

The rewards from studying languages are many and last a lifetime. There is the personal satisfaction from taking on an intellectual challenge. There is the practical payback that Language graduates have in the job market - that 'something extra' that employers look for in a competitive environment.

What skills do Language students develop?

Language students develop a number of technical and and transferable skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills: summarising complex information, report writing and conducting effective discussions.
  • Mental agility: Languages and cultures graduates are skilled at switching from one mental framework (language) to another quickly and constantly. People who can ‘think on their feet’ tend to perform well in interviews and are valued by employers for their adaptability.
  • Innovative thinking and creativity: Practice in the ‘de-coding’ process of translation and language construction means that graduates are skilled at identifying hidden structures and links buried in abstract information.
  • Intercultural competence: Languages and cultures graduates demonstrate cultural empathy, which can be essential in certain jobs but also contributes to constructive working relationships in general.
  • Interpersonal relationships: In today’s highly interactive global marketplace, relationship building and relationship management are core competencies for many positions.
  • Attention to detail, high standards of accuracy and discipline.

Where can Language graduates work?

In addition to jobs where languages are central to the job such as a translator, interpreter and languages teacher, languages add value to other work skills. For example website designers need linguists in order to reach global markets. Languages are particularly valuable in industries which are global in focus such as:

  • importing/exporting services or products
  • education
  • media, publishing and entertainment
  • professional and research based organisations

For more information see Languages and Cultures Career View and the School of Languages and Cultures.