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Languages at UCD

Why study languages at UCD and where to go

Why study languages at UCD?

Today’s globalised world is a multilingual and multicultural world, where language competencies are highly valued. As Ireland’s Global University and an advocate of global citizenship, UCD actively seeks to encourage more students to learn languages, not only as part of their studies but as a lifelong endeavour that fosters understanding, respect and enjoyment of other cultures and societies.

Language skills can open up new opportunities and experiences, whether you envisage an international career or would simply like to expand your own cultural horizons.

You can study a language as a full subject as part of your degree, or you can take a language using your elective credits. If you take enough of these, you can gain a Structured Elective qualification (see also Spotlight on Electives). You can study up to three languages in the (opens in a new window)BA Modern LanguagesExtracurricular activities can also allow you to practice your language skills.

Scroll down to see where you can study languages at UCD and how to make languages a part of your University journey:

UCD Centre for English and Global Languages (CEGL)

The UCD Centre for English and Global Languages (CEGL) offers electives in fourteen world languages at levels ranging from absolute beginner to advanced. So, whether you’re starting from scratch, refreshing your memory or honing your skills, the CEGL has something for you! 

Our small group teaching offers a very personal experience, with greater opportunities for interaction with your teacher and classmates. The teachers are all either native or near-native speakers of their language with years of experience.  All classes are also synchronised with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) making it much easier for students to clearly define their language learning progress and level of proficiency. On top of that, our flexible timetable, with classes running from 10 in the morning until 8 in the evening, enables students of all disciplines and profiles to find a class that suits them.


UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

The School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics invites you to study one or more of the following languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. You can choose to take a language with us as a full subject in a wider programme of study (for example, combined with Business, Education, History, Music or another language), or you can build language learning into your degree by using your elective credits.

If you choose a language as a full subject, you will embark on a journey towards an advanced level of proficiency and a comprehensive grasp of the culture(s) in which that language is spoken. That choice will normally involve one year of study abroad so that you can perfect your language skills and fully immerse yourself in a different culture, forging your own unique connections with the people and places of your host country. Alternatively, if your programme only allows you to access language learning through elective credits, we offer pathways towards a Structured Elective qualification that will bring you to the “Independent User” standard favoured by employers and form part of your official academic transcript.


UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore

UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore is a vibrant multi-disciplinary School with a specific focus on Irish and Celtic culture and traditions, and on Irish language, literature and society in a national and international context. Den fháilte an fhéile!


UCD Irish Institute for Chinese Studies

The Irish Institute for Chinese Studies (IICS) was established in January 2006. The IICS contributes to the University's strategic objectives by promoting its international profile and delivers a range of courses and degree programmes with partner Schools in UCD (see our Study section for more details). Our Structured Elective strands encompassing Chinese Language and Culture modules are aimed at the “General Elective” audience within UCD for students with an interest in both Chinese language and its culture, society, politics, economy and doing business in China. Our teaching is informed by internationally recognised research of the school’s staff and by an ethos that encourages active engagement with, and application of learning to, cross-cultural cohorts beyond the academy. As well as providing diverse degree programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, we also host community-outreach workshops and events which are designed to deepen knowledge and understanding of China.


Classics Museum at UCD

UCD School of Classics

The UCD School of Classics offers language programmes in Ancient Greek and Latin. Whether you are learning the languages from scratch or building on existing knowledge, you will find an exciting range of modules to suit your needs! You can choose to undertake a full programme of Ancient Greek and/or Latin or dip into the languages using elective credits. Both Ancient Greek and Latin offer beginners and intermediate modules as well as more advanced text modules in which students translate and discuss works by, for example, Homer, Plato, Sophocles, Herodotus and Euripides for Greek, and Cicero, Virgil, Tacitus and Catullus for Latin. Come join us and learn about the ancient Greek and Roman world through its languages!


More ways to study and get involved with languages at UCD

Gaeltacht UCD, UCD’s Global Centre for Irish Language and Culture shares the Irish language (Gaeilge) and its associated culture with students, faculty and staff. The Centre offers courses in conversational Irish at 5 levels, beginner to advanced. Course materials are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and taught by qualified Irish language tutors with a particular expertise in the teaching of Irish to adult learners. We welcome visiting and exchange students who may have no prior exposure to the language as well as those who may have learned some Irish previously but who wish to enhance their skills or work towards a European Certificate in Irish. In addition to language courses, we offer a range of cultural events which provide learners with the opportunity to use the language outside the classroom. 


UCD Languages for Life

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777