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University Language Programme

The University Language Programme (ULP) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) provides a range of language courses to students, staff and members of the general public. You'll have the opportunity to learn a new language or improve your existing foreign language skills.

Student in library

Explore your opportunities - learn a language

If you're an absolute beginner, have some prior foreign language skills or are at an advanced level, we'll help and support you to build your ability so that you can communicate confidently in your chosen language.

Language skills can support your professional development or build your abilities for international work or travel. You'll be taught by experienced language specialists, many of whom are native speakers, so that you can benefit from an authentic experience.

The language courses are open to NTU students and staff and the general public.

Free to NTU students

ULP language courses are free to NTU undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Some students will be able to study a language as part of your degree course (accredited), meaning the course is included in your tuition fee. If you study a language in addition to your degree (supplementary), you will be asked to initially pay a course fee upfront which will be fully refunded on successful completion of the module.

Course fees are applicable for all other learners. Please see fees section below.

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University Language Programme
Hear from our students as they talk about their experience studying on the University Language Programme.

What you'll study

Classes take place on the City Campus. The courses start in October and run until the end of April for 22 weeks during term time. Depending on the language, a range of classes are offered at different times of the week, including evenings.

You will be required to attend two hours per week of class contact time over one full academic year in order to complete a stage of the language programme. In addition you will need to complete, on average, two to four hours per week of directed or independent learning.

The confirmed class timetable for 2019 will be available in September. To register for updates or for more information, please fill in this form.


Our language classes are divided into Stages. Stage one is designed for real beginners whilst stage six and seven are for advanced learners. Check out the entry requirements to determine which stage is most appropriate for you, or attend an information session to speak to a specialist. Some languages are available across levels in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This allows students to work towards UNILANG recognition, which is highly recognised by employers. For more information, see our 'Awards' section.

To see which CEFR levels are taught at each ULP stage and find out more about CEFR, click here.

Courses and entry requirements


Assessments will take place in class during University term time. To progress onto the next stage of your chosen language you must complete and pass all the assessments on the previous stage.


  • Certificate of Achievement

    If you study the language as a supplementary student, you will be awarded a certificate for each language stage you pass.

    If your language module counts towards your degree, the credit points will be added automatically to your transcript.

  • Certificate of Language Learning

    This is awarded to students who successfully complete either three stages (stages one to five), or two stages from stage one to five and one year-long course (stages six or seven). This can be progression in the same language or a combination of different languages. For example, German stages one, two and three or French stage one, Spanish stage one and Mandarin stage one.

    Course specification for Certificate of Language Learning

  • Diploma of Language Learning

    this is awarded to students who have successfully completed three stages with at least two stages at stage six and / or seven. This can be progression in the same language or a combination of different languages. For example, German stages five, six and seven, or Spanish stage five and six and French stage six.

    Course specification for Diploma of Language Learning

  • UNILANG Certificate (CEFR)

    The UNILANG scheme provides you with a recognised certificate which maps your language learning achievements against the descriptors of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages or the CEFR. The CEFR descriptors are recognised indicators of language proficiency throughout Europe, and they are increasingly gaining currency in many countries outside Europe. Within Europe, CEFR descriptors are frequently used to indicate language competency for work or study. Employers will require you to indicate your CEFR grade for languages in your CV when considering you for work placements.

    The ULP has joined the UNILANG recognition scheme.  Currently we can issue UNILANG Certificates for levels A1, A2, B1 and B2 in French. We will expand the number of participating languages in the coming years.

    Click here for an overview of how the ULP stages relate to CEFR levels.

Jessica Riley-Heenan

I managed to take a Spanish course alongside my degree through the University Language Programme (ULP) and through this I won a scholarship to visit a Honduras! Because I want to work globally, speaking different languages puts me at a huge advantage.”

Jessica Riley-Heenan, BA (Hons) Global Studies and TESOL

If you're studying an undergraduate or postgraduate course at NTU, the course fee will be refunded upon successful completion of the course.

Gida Malafronte

In the future, I would like to work for the United Nations as well as taking the time to aid and volunteer at refugee camps. By learning Arabic with the ULP, I feel more confident in being able to achieve my career goals.

Gida Malafronte, BA (Hons) Global Studies and International Relations

The 2019/20 Clear Thinking Languages Scholarship includes a £1,000 travel grant and £425 towards study resources.

Scholarships 2019 entry

First or second year NTU undergraduates studying a language at ULP stage three or above can apply to our Clear Thinking Languages Scholarship.(Terms and conditions  apply.)

This scholarship is an annual grant which supports the scholarship holder for up to three years. For scholarships beginning in 2019/20 or later this includes:

  • a travel grant up to £1000, which can be used for trips to a country in which your studied language is spoken
  • an annual payment up to £425 so you have more money available for study resources.

To apply you'll need to submit an informal letter of application by the given deadline. Please see the terms and conditions for further details.

I used my scholarship to visit Spain for three weeks as research for my third year project. I even had the chance to visit the costume department at Valencia Opera House.

I was able to use my language knowledge and learn new technical vocabulary. I feel that I now have more confidence and this experience has opened up the possibility of a future living and working in Spain.

Hannah Varley, BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making

How to apply

Accredited Students

As an accredited student, you'll be eligible to take languages as an optional module as part of your studies. You must register for a language course through your Course Administrator. In this case it will already be on your timetable, or you will have been invited to attend an information session where you will be able to register.

Supplementary Students and External Students

You can register and pay for your language course online.  To do this you should check the entry requirements to determine which stage to join and then you can sign up via the online store. If you’re unsure about which stage to join, please come along to an information session where our language tutors will advise you.

Please note:

  • You must be 18 or over to register.
  • If you’re repeating a language course or have been referred in your language studies you must contact in order to be given access to a learning room and have a class added to your timetable.

Fees October 2019 (excluding accredited students)

  • £140 - Erasmus or exchange student (one semester of study)
  • £200 - NTU students (i.e. supplementary students. After successful completion of the module you'll receive a full refund)
  • £200 - Nottingham City Council (NCC) teachers on production of a NCC payslip from the previous three months
  • £250 - NTU staff and general public

Terms and conditions of our refund policy.

Contact us

If you'd like more information about our language courses, registration sessions or bespoke courses for groups please email, telephone: +44 (0)115 848 6156 or complete the online form.


Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418