Language classes

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Today, we believe it is important to study a second language in business, even though English is the language of the business world.

Speaking a second language as well as having a business qualification will give you a competitive edge when job hunting. At Hertfordshire Business School we offer a choice of 5 languages and most of our courses offer the possibility to study one.

Indeed, research suggests that British firms have lost trade through cultural and linguistic barriers and UK graduates are being beaten to jobs in the City by continental competitors with better language skills.

A survey of 2,700 firms found 9 out of 10 thought their businesses could benefit from better language skills. According to the findings of the survey, media, sales and marketing are the sectors most in need of language skills.

We offer 5 different languages, all from beginners level:

  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

It is also possible to start a language in the second and final year, but this will be subject to prior study, or a test to assess your level of proficiency.

Level of language courses offered
Level French German Japanese Mandarin Spanish
Beginners - Route A✓ 
Intermediate - Route B n/a
Advanced - Route C✓  n/a n/a ✓ 
  • Beginners = No prior knowledge/ less than GCSE grade C
  • Intermediate = GCSE grade A* - C or A1 grade D or E or equivalent
  • Advanced = A2 pass or equivalent

Please Note: You may only join a language class at an appropriate level for you. This means that normally you will not be permitted to attend at a given level if you are eligible to join a higher level. However, we would encourage you to consider an alternative language instead.

You can only join a language class at a level commensurate to your prior knowledge or qualifications. For example:

  • If you have a GCSE German grade C or above, you are only eligible for intermediate level, Route B.
  • If you have an A-level Japanese, you are not eligible to take Japanese, as we don't offer it at advanced level, Route C.
  • If you have a Mandarin GCSE, grade C, you are not eligible to take Mandarin.
  • If you have lived in a French speaking country and studied in French at secondary school level, you are not eligible to take French as you have already achieved advanced level.
  • If you are a native/near native speaker but without any developed skills in writing the language, you are still not eligible to take a class in that language.

We reserve the right to assess your language level on arrival and you may be advised to attend an alternative route.

If you're not eligible for a language you've previously studied because we do not offer a route appropriate to your level, we encourage you to take an alternative language to broaden your skills even further.

If you find that you are not eligible for a language which you have previously studied we would encourage you to consider an alternative language instead.

If you are still not clear whether you are eligible to take your chosen language, please contact our Admissions team at bs.admissions@herts.ac.uk

The classes

In language classes, groups are small and emphasis is placed on the type of communication skills needed in the business world. Cultural insight into the country of the language studied is also an important part of modules.

The study of a language, as well as being enjoyable and useful, can give you the opportunity of spending one or two semesters in a foreign country at one of our many partner universities and business schools.

Students who have taken up this opportunity have reported that their experience was thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening, providing them with an added bonus when applying for jobs after graduation.