Certificate of Higher Education in Language Studies

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate of Higher Education in Language Studies

The Open University

Certificate of Higher Education in Language Studies

If you’ve always wanted to learn a language, this Certificate is for you. You’ll start your studies with an introduction to key issues such as intercultural communication, language and identity, communication in the workplace and communication in a digital world – raising your general awareness of how language works. It introduces you to key concepts in language learning and offers the choice of French, German, Italian and Spanish at beginners and intermediate levels, and Chinese (Mandarin) and Welsh (only in 2014) at beginners level, plus you can increase your knowledge and skills in using English for academic study. By the end of the course, you’ll have moved well beyond the basics in at least one of your chosen languages.

Key features of the course

  • Introduces you to the cultures of the languages chosen and develops your intercultural communicative competence
  • Takes you to level B1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in one or two modern languages
  • Develops a range of transferable skills such as working independently, scheduling tasks and managing time effectively
  • Enhances your employability
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Educational aims

This certificate offers a broad grounding in key concepts associated with languages and intercultural communication. You study a range of modern languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian (Chinese and Welsh can be studied at Beginners’ level) and you gain a sound knowledge of the basic concepts associated with language study. You can learn two foreign languages and you will also be able to develop your academic communication skills in English.

On completing the qualification, you will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately in one or more foreign languages, at the level required by most employers (at least one language will be at level B1 of the CEFR). You will have learned to reflect on yourself and others in intercultural encounters and you will have learned how to take different approaches to solving cultural misunderstandings. You will also have gained and practiced many professional qualities needed for employment, including the skills for working successfully in a multicultural and international environment, the ability to work independently, and the ability to gather, process and present information.

Your study experience will be equivalent to the first year of a full-time degree and will provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to study at OU level 2. This certificate provides a pathway to the BA (Honours) Language Studies (Q30).


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £5,264 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 3 years
  • Full time – 2 years
  • Time limit – 7 years

Career relevance

Languages and intercultural skills are key assets in tourism, international business and administration, and the diplomatic service. They are also highly valued by employers in a wide range of other sectors, who place a premium on the ability to make contact and communicate with global trade partners and to understand overseas business environments – and who often acknowledge this with higher salaries. According to the National Centre for Languages, knowing foreign languages opens the doors to a wide range of economic, social and personal benefits. Being able to communicate effectively with our customers, colleagues and business partners is critical to competitiveness and social cohesion. The languages most in demand in UK industry are French, German, Spanish and Mandarin, though knowledge of any other language will also give you the edge.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
2 - 7 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Duration 2 - 7 years
Price Contact school