Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University

More Languages

On this page

A picture to illustrate studying languages at The Open University

In addition to French, Spanish, German and English, we offer modules in Chinese, Italian and Welsh. You can also study classical Latin and Greek. You do not need any prior knowledge of these languages to begin your study.

Chinese (Mandarin Chinese) is spoken in China, Taiwan, Singapore and by many overseas Chinese communities in other areas of the world. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The Chinese language is rooted in its 5000-year cultural heritage. In the past, the Chinese culture and language heavily influenced its neighbouring countries such as Japan and Korea. Nowadays, China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and few would doubt the importance of its global power in the twenty-first century.

Italian – spoken by around 70 million people worldwide, Italian is the fifth most taught non-native language in the world, after English, French, German and Spanish. Italy’s long heritage in fine arts, literature and music is behind its modern-day reputation for innovation in design, fashion and technology – areas where it plays a significant and influential role in international commerce. Learning Italian is the key to enjoying and understanding more about Italy’s culture.

Welsh is a Celtic language with a long literary tradition. It is spoken today by almost 600,000 people in Wales, and by significant numbers of speakers beyond Wales, particularly in England, but also in a long-established Welsh colony in Argentina. The Welsh Assembly Government has committed itself to promoting Wales as a bilingual nation, and you need Welsh in an increasing number of jobs. Welsh-medium education is proving extremely popular, many books and magazines are published in Welsh, and it is used extensively on radio and television. It is also the medium of a flourishing and varied musical tradition extending in style from choral to pop.

Latin and Greek – for lovers of classical civilisations, Reading Classical Latin (A297) concentrates on early Roman drama and the legal speeches of Cicero, while Reading classical Greek: language and literature (A275) introduces classical Greek language through the study of classical Greek culture and literature in translation, teaching basic vocabulary and grammar, and focusing on Euripides’ Medea, Aristophanes’ Clouds and Plato’s Defence of Socrates from literary, cultural and performance angles.

Degrees ( More about Degrees
More about Degrees

Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.

For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.

With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.

You can use a degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.

  • Language Studies
    Combine the study of two modern languages (from French, German and Spanish) or English language studies with one modern language.
  • Open degree
    The BA/BSc Open Degree is a qualification that gives you a huge choice in terms of subjects and modules that you study to make up your degree.

Diplomas of Higher Education ( More about Diplomas of Higher Education
More about Diplomas of Higher Education

A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study.

DipHEs are designed to increase the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or extend your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. A DipHE shows that you are capable of extended study at university level.

You can use a DipHE to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain technical and professional skills
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • achieve a full honours degree through additional study.

The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.


Certificates of Higher Education ( More about Certificates of Higher Education
More about Certificates of Higher Education

A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.

You can use a CertHE to:

  • gain confidence to study successfully at university level
  • change careers or progress your current career
  • build on your existing experience and gain new skills
  • gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in
  • achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.

Getting started with an Access module

There are two ways to start a qualification. If you haven’t studied for a long time or need to build your confidence, beginning your studies with an Access module may be the right choice for you.

Choose a qualification to find out more.

Study a module as a standalone course

You can study a single module on its own for personal interest or to improve your career prospects. See the list of all our individual courses in More Languages.

Postgraduate options

If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Languages.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Studying outside of UK and Europe?

If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

Download or