Modern Foreign Languages Education with QTS BA (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Qualify to teach 11-18 year olds. Earn an internationally attractive degree. Immerse yourself in a new culture by spending an invaluable year abroad.

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BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) will prepare you to train as a secondary teacher of French and Spanish, and gain QTS 11-16. If you choose to follow the four-year route with Year Abroad, you will develop language skills in your major language allowing you to teach post-16 and A-level. This route, in addition, provides you with the opportunity to teach 17 to 18-year-olds in your major language during placement.

During your studies, you will develop the professional and linguistic skills required of a teacher of languages, and by the end of the programme you will be ready to start employment as a qualified teacher.

Why us?

  • Sunderland is one of a handful of universities offering opt-in QTS in Modern Foreign Languages
  • Our Education courses are in the top 20 in the UK according to The Guardian University league tables 2019
  • Option to access a £9,000 bursary in your final year
  • Option to study abroad and immerse yourself in a foreign culture
  • Students spending a year abroad as part of this course pay no fees for the year abroad
  • Teaching staff are research-active, which enhances the curriculum and student experience
  • Course is accredited by The National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for QTS
  • Gain valuable international experience and skills which will make you globally competitive

Course structure

This course uses a wide variety of teaching and learning methods. Most classes consist of seminars and workshops which take place in the language laboratories. You will be taught in a mixture of English and the foreign languages.

The Year Abroad is a requirement for students wishing to teach 11-18. It offers the opportunity of gaining pedagogic/teaching experience through a placement as an English assistant in a school in France or Spain. A year of residence abroad is a key element of a language and necessary for the highest level of proficiency for Stage 3. The placement will provide you with the confidence to teach a Language at advanced level.

In Year 3 you will undertake at least two school placements for a minimum of 100 days in Secondary Schools.

Students unable to take a year abroad, and who enter with A-level equivalent, can opt to take a three-year route which qualifies them to teach 11-16 only.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Introduction to French and Spanish Studies (20 credits)
  • French Language and Culture (20 credits)
  • Spanish Language and Culture (20 credits)
  • The History and Aims of Education (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Issues in Education (20 credits)
  • Understanding Experiences of Education (20 credits)


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Spanish Language and Translation (20 credits)
  • Spanish Language and Culture (20 credits)
  • Language and Society of Spain (20 credits)
  • French Language and Translation (30 credits)
  • French Language and Culture (30 credits)
  • Language and Society of France

Year abroad:

  • Year Abroad Investigation (20 credits)
  • Year Abroad Learning Agreement (20 credits)
  • Year Abroad Portfolio (20 credits)
  • Residence Abroad Investigation (France) (20 credits)
  • Residence Abroad Learning Agreement (France) (20 credits)
  • Residence Abroad Portfolio (France) (20 credits)
  • Residence Abroad Investigation (Spain) (20 credits)
  • Residence Abroad Learning Agreement (Spain) (20 credits)
  • Residence Abroad Portfolio (Spain) (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Development of Professional Learning: Critical Study (20 credits)
  • Negotiated Curriculum study in Education (20 credits)
  • Subject Studies – French and Spanish (20 credits)
  • Practice of Teaching (20 credits)
  • Reflective Work based Learning Experience in an Educational Setting (20 credits)
  • The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s is nestled between the River Wear and the sea, just two minutes from the coast, and set in expansive green space on the banks of the river next to the historic St Peter's Church. This provides a picturesque backdrop and a great location for travelling to the beach or the city centre. 

    The David Goldman Informatics Centre has been described as a ‘computing cathedral’ in the past and has over 300 computer workstations in one space it’s easy to see why.

    David Goldman Informatics Centre
  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • The University of Sunderland’s Language Centre is a dedicated space for language learning and teaching. It includes:

    • We have 4 Sanako language laboratories for teaching, with Sanako Study 1200
    • Open-access language laboratory for independent study
    • TVs, DVDs, textbooks, magazines and dictionaries
    Language Centre
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Library resources which you might find particularly useful include:

    • Project Muse, which provides over 180 full-text humanities and social sciences journals
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
    • Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
    • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Database, which includes full-text journal articles on topics spanning emotional and behavioural sciences, psychiatry and psychology
    • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
    • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals
    Library Services - education studies
  • Map and directions


You'll be based at The David Goldman Informatics Centre, situated on the award-winning St Peter's riverside campus. The location benefits from dedicated library services and has superb transport links with the city centre and City Campus.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 120 UCAS points from a minimum of three A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award) with a minimum GCSE in either French or Spanish. All students must have passes at grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics and English or a recognised equivalent qualification. We will only accept equivalencies from

In addition to academic qualifications, you must also:

  • Have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Complete a medical pro forma (based on DFEE Circular 8/92)
  • Have passed the professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy, set by the Department for Education. This is essential before you can achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It is helpful if you are able to take the tests before your interview with us, but this is not a requirement of applying for this course.

If English is not your first language, you will also need International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and no other element lower than 6.0.

You will be assessed on your potential to learn and not your experience.

All successful applicants will be invited to an interview. Interviews start early November, so we recommend that you apply as soon as UCAS opens, in October.

When applying for this course, please use one of the following UCAS codes:

  • BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages Education (French with Spanish Studies) X332
  • BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages Education (French with Spanish Studies) with Year Abroad X330
  • BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages Education (Spanish with French Studies) X333
  • BA (Hons) Modern Foreign Languages Education (Spanish with French Studies) with Year Abroad X331


Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is tbc.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

There are currently no additional University of Sunderland fees for the year abroad. Erasmus grants are currently available to assist with the cost of living overseas. Students are supported in applying for funds by the International Office.

You could also be eligible for a £9,000 bursary in your final year. Please see Department of Education’s Get into Teaching website for more information and Terms and Conditions.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


This degree awards Qualified Teacher Status, this will enable you to teach in schools in England as a qualified teacher. Qualified secondary school language teachers will always be in high demand. The average starting salary for a teacher is £22,000, and experienced teachers can earn up to £56,000 outside London, and £64,000 in London. Head teachers can reach a salary of between £42,379 and £112,000. Teachers also benefit from excellent holidays, and the teachers’ pension scheme is the second largest public sector pension scheme in the UK.

Fluency in a modern foreign language is also a skill valued widely by employers outside of the Education sector.

Be in demand

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has identified a requirement for more qualified language teachers in secondary schools. This programme is designed so as to facilitate opt-in to Year 3 from Combined Subject Programme (CSP) routes in French and Spanish. Years 1 and 2 of this degree closely parallel CSP language modules, and students are taught alongside CSP students. In year 3, students can opt-in to the French with Spanish Studies or Spanish with French Studies with QTS routes with no disadvantage. Equally, students deciding a career in teaching is not for them can transfer to CSP languages.

Modern Foreign Languages Scholarships

£28,000, tax-free MFL teacher training scholarships available via the British Council.

The scheme is aimed at high-quality linguists, passionate about teaching French, Spanish or German. Successful candidates must secure a training place by September 2019, which leads to achieving QTS status, at an ITT provider or lead school with permission to recruit by DfE. They should have a subject-relevant 2:1 (or predicted) degree. Candidates with a 2:2 (or predicted) degree may be considered if they can demonstrate significant subject knowledge. Successful applicants will receive additional support to enhance their subject knowledge and gain access to high-quality professional development resources.

Applications are now open. Candidates can apply via the British Council website. For further details, including eligibility, please visit Get Into Teaching.

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