University of Chester

Programme Specification
European Languages and Global Cultures MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

European Languages and Global Cultures

European Languages and Global Cultures

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester, Chester campus, Binks building, with on-line learning

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

6 Years

Bienniel - October




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Modern Languages

No specific benchmark statements exist to cover this award, but the statements for Languages and Related studies and for Area Studies at graduate level have been taken into account.


Modern Languages

Wednesday 27th November 2013

  • To consolidate and extend language skills in a major European language, with special emphasis on writing in and translating from the target language.  
  • To develop an in-depth understanding of the factors that have shaped contemporary European and global cultures and identities and develop critical awareness of the interaction between languages, politics, culture and identity.  
  • To develop in-depth knowledge of specific areas of languages and cultures.  
  • To familiarise students with a range of approaches to research and to encourage the critical, reflective and analytical use of resources and current research in European languages and global cultures.  
  • To foster independent study and self-direction and encourage students to deal with complex issues effectively and creatively.
  • To foster the development of critical and evaluative skills in the production of an independent piece of scholarly research into an appropriate area.  
  • To further develop expertise in transferable, vocational skills such as oral and written argument in both English and the target language.  
  • To prepare students for further research and study in the field of European languages and global cultures and to enhance employment opportunities in areas such as the teaching profession.


By the end of this programme the student will demonstrate:

  • knowledge and understanding of the factors that have shaped contemporary cultures and identity and the spread and development of European languages (EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • knowledge and understanding of the political and cultural dynamics of contemporary societies (EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • in-depth knowledge of specific areas of contemporary culture linked to the appropriate target language (EU7001, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • thorough knowledge and understanding of a major European language (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006)

By the end of this programme the student will :

  • evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the field of cultural studies in general and in that of cultures related to the appropriate target language (EU7001, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • plan and conduct a programme of original research, tackle and solve research problems with self-direction and originality, and present the outcomes applying scholarly conventions; evaluate translation theories and methodology and reflect critically on their implementation (EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)

By the end of this programme the student will :

  • communicate effectively and accurately, orally and in writing, in a major European language (EU7001, EU7006, EU7007)
  • demonstrate systematic and creative research skills, including selection and synthesis of sources, and analysis of materials (EU7001, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • produce an extended piece of written academic work in the target language; translate a substantial text from target language into English (EU7005, EU7006)
  • use technological resources to conduct dialogue with peers and staff (EU7001, EU7007)
  • demonstrate bibliographical and referencing skills in accordance with academic conventions (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • the independent, reflective learning ability required for continuing professional development (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • proficiency in language and communication skills in both English and the target language (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)

By the end of this programme the student will:

  • communicate effectively in English, employing appropriate register, orally and in writing (EU7005, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • analyse and interpret statistical data; be able to use a wide range of IT resources (EU7001, EU7006, EU7007, EU7011)
  • demonstrate independent learning ability and self-evaluation (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)
  • work collaboratively to discuss and debate complex issues systematically and creatively (EU7001, EU7007, EU7011)
  • demonstrate problem-solving capabilities in a range of scholarly activities (EU7001, EU7005, EU7006, EU7007, EU7008, EU7011)


EU7001 Language Development  –  20 credits 

EU7005 Translation Project – 20 credits

EU7007 Research into Cultural Identities   –  40 credits 

EU7008 Cultural Representations in the 21st Century – 20 credits


EU7011 Applied Research Skills: Progressing Towards the Dissertation – 20 credits  

EU7006 Dissertation – 60 credits (deadline October)


The master’s programme consists of six compulsory modules, delivered and assessed over two years with an October deadline at the end of year two for the dissertation. The content and structure ensure that all students progress through an increasingly independent learning experience, in which the study of language and its contexts are equally important, culminating in the research dissertation which combines use of the target language with a detailed examination of a chosen aspect of related culture. Of the 6 modules, 4 are taught modules and 2 are tutor supported independent projects. The programme promotes in-depth knowledge and understanding of the development and representation of cultures, and a critical awareness of current trends. As outlined in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) framework, much of the study undertaken will be at, or informed by, the forefront of research and advanced scholarship in European languages and global cultures. 

The first year of the programme consists of two year-long modules running simultaneously and two shorter modules running consecutively. In module EU7001: Language Development (20 credits), the cohort is sub-divided into French, German or Spanish groups, enabling students to consolidate and extend their skills in one of those languages. The language study is centred on cultural contexts and students will develop practical techniques such as debating skills, essay writing, summary and translation and will acquire and develop appropriate IT skills. A feature of the module is the completion of a dossier of written and oral work over the course of the year. This will encourage discipline and self-management and will stimulate student reflection on their autonomous learning activities. The regular submission of dossier items will provide opportunities for continuous formative assessment and feedback throughout the year. Module EU7007: Research into Cultural Identities (40 credits) serves partly as induction to the programme and provides students with the critical, theoretical and practical skills necessary to research and analyse academic resources. It will also ensure that students have the IT skills required to manipulate online materials and will introduce the use of Research workshops. They will encourage, at group level, semi-autonomous learning through the sharing of knowledge and ideas on campus and online. The advantage of incorporating research methods induction into this module is that the methodology can be directly applied to the content of the module, which reflects on the breadth of European cultural heritage and explores the impact of the influences of colonialism, migration, multiculturalism and globalisation on modern European and global identities. Assessment for this module includes online submission and collaborative work as well as individual essays. Module EU7008: Cultural Representations in the 21st Century (20 credits) is taught over five months in the earlier part of the year and examines contemporary cultural representations in a variety of media. Texts are studied in translation or with subtitles and assessment includes a presentation and an essay to help consolidate appropriate skills, knowledge and scholarship. This is followed by module EU7005: Translation project (20 credits), the first tutorial-based independent study module. Students will work on a previously untranslated text from a contemporary work of literature or one broadly in the area of cultural studies. Each student will choose his or her own text for translation, subject to approval by tutors. Along with online support, tutorials will be used to monitor progress and give advice on individual projects. Work is completed over the summer and submitted in October.

The second year of the programme begins with  EU7011 Applied Research Skills: Progressing Towards the Dissertation.  This module builds on EU7007 Research Into Cultural Identities to provide students with focussed, practical skills to help plan, prepare and complete the dissertation. The assessment engages students in developing a research proposal, annotating a bibliography and presenting their dissertation subject.  Immediately following EU7011, students begin module EU7006: Dissertation (60 credits). Each student will write a literature review of 1500 words (submitted part-way through the year) and a dissertation of 10,000 words in the target language on a subject related to European languages and global cultures. This module allows students to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the area of study, engaging in a detailed scholarly examination of a specific element at the forefront of cultural studies, as outlined in the FHEQ framework. Regular supervision via face to face and online tutorials will support independent study. The programme as a whole will blend face to face and online learning, and will encourage and support autonomous directed study, provide opportunities for discussion, debate, and formative assessment and feedback.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
EU7001 7 Language Development 20 Comp
EU7003 7 European Cities in Dictatorship and Democracy 20 N/A
EU7005 7 Translation Project 20 Comp
EU7006 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
EU7007 7 Research into Cultural Identities 40 Comp
EU7008 7 Cultural Representations in the 21st Century 20 Comp
EU7011 7 Applied Research Skills: Progressing Towards the Dissertation 20 Comp

  • a postgraduate certificate can be awarded for the successful completion of the two compulsory modules in the first year (60 credits).
  • a postgraduate diploma will be awarded for the successful completion of five modules (120 credits) without the submission of the dissertation.
  • a Master’s degree is awarded to students completing all modules including the dissertation (180 credits).


Students will normally be required to have a good honours degree (strong 2ii or higher) in French, German or Spanish or in one of those languages combined, as major or equal subject, with another discipline. The Modern Languages Department will, however, also consider applications from candidates who have studied a language as the minor component of their degree.

Applicants with equivalent qualifications from universities outside the UK, in particular France, Germany or Spain, will be considered. Applicants with good honours degrees in other disciplines who also have substantial experience of living and working in continental Europe and who have the required language skills may be considered. All applicants to the programme will be interviewed and will take a diagnostic test to assess their linguistic ability in French, German or Spanish, or in English for those who are not native speakers. They will also need to demonstrate that they have an adequate level of IT skills and the necessary equipment at home to be able to engage with the online elements of the programme. These specific requirements will be stated in the marketing literature.

There are currently no Master's level benchmark statements for Modern Languages or for Cultural Studies. However, many of the principles expressed in the undergraduate benchmark statement for Languages and Related Studies are appropriate, and the proposed Master's programme embraces a number of those principles as indicated below. On successful completion of the programme students will:

  1. have acquired and developed explicit knowledge of and skills in their chosen language. They will have practical competence in the main skills of reception and production, and some skills in mediation between two languages;
  2. recognise, represent and critically reflect upon ideas and concepts from other cultures;
  3. demonstrate awareness and understanding of relevant vocabulary of contributory methodologies and theories, and the capacity to assess the merits of contrasting approaches;
  4. apply and differentiate between concepts from different disciplines (for example: politics, literature, cinema) and/or interdisciplinary approaches as means of understanding the area under study;
  5. demonstrate awareness of, and ability to use and evaluate, a diverse range of relevant information and research resources, including major internet-based resources;
  6. identify, represent and debate a range of issues and differing opinions;
  7. identify and analyse problems using relevant approaches, and reflect upon what has been ascertained and understood;
  8. synthesise information, adopt critical appraisals, and develop reasoned argument based on such appraisals;
  9. work independently and to deadlines within a guided framework, with a capacity to define problems/questions and to set about finding answers;
  10. employ effective essay writing skills (in English and the target language) showing the ability to integrate and critically assess material from a variety of sources;
  11. develop collaborative skills in group work, and contribute creatively, flexibly and adaptively to the achievement of shared goals;
  12. utilise proficiently a range of IT resources such as word processing, email, podcasts, databases, and locate, employ and evaluate internet sites.

The programme combines concentrated on-site learning and guided autonomous learning. The modules are team-taught to ensure that students benefit from the research expertise of the contributing tutors.  Modules include a mix of lectures, seminars and peer group discussion in Research workshops as well as online support. A range of written and recorded materials will be central to the modules and will be available for self-directed study. EU7007: Research into Cultural Identities, will include a substantial element of induction to ensure that students are competent in their use of the required IT functions and the application of research methods.

In the Language Development module (EU7001), which runs throughout the whole of year one and is sub-divided into the three languages, a variety of learning and teaching methods will be employed. The language seminars will be conducted primarily in the target language, with an integrated skills approach to language acquisition with maximum participation in active language use. In addition to written texts, a range of multi-media and online materials will be used as the basis for textual analysis and the development of comprehension and production. These materials will be used in timetabled sessions and will be available in private study time. Blended learning will be integral to the module, and time will be devoted to further development and consolidation of appropriate IT skills. The two independent study modules (Translation Project and Dissertation) are, by definition, modules for which the students take responsibility for their own learning. They will be supported by face to face tutorials and there will be the opportunity for an ongoing dialogue between student and tutor via e-mail. Guidelines will be provided regarding the amount of online tuition and support the students can expect. For all modules, students will be able to access electronic materials on computers across the campus and at home via the University intranet, and additional materials will be provided as necessary. As well as being able to contact their tutors electronically, students will maintain online group discussions which will become a significant element of the learning experience. Thus, the programme will offer opportunities for the development of transferable IT-related communication skills. 

Module Assessment type Weighting Comments
Year 1      

EU7001 Language development

(20 credits)

Coursework dossier of written and oral tasks      

Essay – 1000 words in target language ·        





Tasks will be completed and submitted over the course of the year for formative as well as summative assessment.  


End of year oral discussion and written summary of dossier of prepared written and recorded texts.

EU7007 Research into Cultural identities

(40 credits)

Online discussion ·        

Presentation with abstract and bibliography        

Draft introduction and literature review1,500 words

Essay x 2,500 words





Set tasks on locating, evaluating and sharing research materials online.     



Essay to be submitted at end of year.

EU7005 Translation Project (20 credits)

Reflective commentary - 1500 words        

Translation of target language into English - 2500 words



Target Language > English .

Project to be submitted in October.

EU7008 Cultural representations

(20 credits)


Essay – 3000 words



1000 word equivalent

Essay to be submitted at end of module.

Year 2





Applied Research Skills: Progressing Towards the Dissertation

(20 credits)


Abstract (400 words)

Research proposal (1,600 words)






EU7006 Dissertation

(60 credits) 

Literature review- 1500 words 

Dissertation – 10,000 words




In target language and submitted by end of October.

The assessment strategy for this programme is to ensure that students engage in a variety of appropriate assessment tasks in order to demonstrate their achievement of the full range of learning outcomes, and to provide opportunities for formative assessment and feedback. The assessment methods will reflect increasing levels of learner autonomy as the programme progress. Each of the year one modules has several assessment components, spread throughout the year, providing regular opportunities for feedback. As students work towards ever increasing independence, they engage first with their translation project, then with their dissertation to complete the programme. These two modules, above all, assess the outcome of the students’ autonomous learning.

Knowledge and understanding as well as analytical and research skills are assessed by a variety of means: oral presentations, debate, translations, essays, commentary and online discussion. This range of assessments permits a thorough evaluation of student attainment across the different elements of the programme. Throughout the process, both in-depth knowledge of cultural issues and linguistic proficiency are evaluated. The Research workshops, online communication with tutors and with peers (notably in module EU7007), face to face tutorials, regular submission of assignments (in particular the portfolio items in year one) provide regular opportunities for formative assessment and feedback, including peer and self-assessment.

The Modern Languages Department has developed a range of task-related criteria sheets (written production, oral production, language mediation), the purpose of which is to ensure greater consistency of marking and to make students more aware of how their assignments are evaluated. They also help to ensure that all major aspects of the programme are assessed and directly relate to the range of activities that comprise the learning experience. These guidelines reflect the University criteria for M level assessment. The assessment process, therefore, will consistently assess the range of knowledge and abilities the students are expected to demonstrate and will inform them on their progress throughout the programme. It will cover the students' analysis of written and recorded sources, their ability to synthesise and evaluate the quality of their expression and argument in the target language and in English, their presentation skills, and their skills in translation. The ability to engage in personal research and present findings is also assessed throughout the programme, culminating in the dissertation, where students are required to demonstrate their expertise in the target language as well as their knowledge, understanding, critical awareness and their originality in tackling and solving problems.

On completion of this programme a successful graduate will have acquired a range of communication, research and transferable skills valuable to their current or potential employers (see also ‘Aims’; and ‘Learning Outcomes’ above). The successful graduate will have demonstrated in-depth understanding and critical awareness of cultural environments, in particular that of their target area, along with advanced scholarship and linguistic expertise in their chosen language. S/he will have developed transferable skills such as the exercise of initiative, originality in tackling and solving problems and the ability to continue to advance her/his language and research skills autonomously. Thus the MA in European Languages and Global Cultures will prepare students for further research and enhance career prospects, for example in the teaching profession. The successful graduate will have demonstrated the skills and characteristics detailed in the FHEQ descriptor for an M-Level degree, summarised as “the qualities needed for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative, in complex and unpredictable professional environments”.

The University of Chester values the diversity of its student body and aims to promote equality of opportunity in all its activities. All suitably qualified students are welcome on this programme, irrespective of the protected characteristics of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex.Every effort will be made to accommodate students with specific learning or physical needs and to ensure that all students benefit equally. Each case will be examined individually and the University learning support plans will provide guidance and support as appropriate in, for example, support provision in lectures, examination and research, specialist equipment and funding applications. On campus the programme will be delivered in the Binks Building which is fully accessible.

International students who meet the admissions requirements are welcome and will enrich both the programme and the postgraduate community at the University. Support and guidance is provided for international students at the institution, particularly through the International Student Welfare Officer.

The delivery of the modules – weekends, blended learning, and autonomous guided study – will facilitate further study for a diverse range of candidates, such as those with young children, professional constraints or other responsibilities, who might not be able to study via conventional programmes.

Through its network of contacts in French, German and Spanish speaking countries the Modern Languages Department will support in any way possible students who wish to undertake short study placements to assist with their research.

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