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Unlock Your Potential

Translate your skills

‘Different employers need graduates who have different capabilities. All value the analytical and reflective qualities that lie at the heart of a quality learning experience. But there is a growing emphasis by employers on the need for graduates to demonstrate a range of competences which will equip them to work in a global environment, in different countries, in multi-cultural teams, be innovative and enterprising and have strong language skills.’

(Council for Industry and Higher Education)

As a degree course, Modern Languages provides significant opportunities for the development of academic and other “transferable” skills that can be applied in a wide range of professional contexts.  By studying for a degree in Modern Languages at Queen’s, you will develop valuable critical and analytical skills, and an ability to communicate arguments in a range of formats for different audiences. You will of course graduate with advanced oral and written language skills in your chosen language(s), but just as attractive to employers will be your ability to demonstrate high levels of cultural awareness and sensitivity as a result of your experience of living in countries where these languages are spoken and from interacting with native speakers in a range of formal and informal situations. Major transferable skills that Languages graduates from Queen’s possess include the ability to:

  • formulate clear and convincing arguments;
  • apply problem solving skills to a variety of situations;
  • undertake independent research;
  • synthesize complex material from a wide variety of sources;
  • learn independently;
  • implement effective time-management strategies;
  • work as part of a team and demonstrate leadership skills.

In the School of Modern Languages at Queen’s we take the career prospects of all our students very seriously. We work very closely with the Careers Guidance Service to deliver a range of workshops targeted at Languages students, and make employability a central part of our curriculum. Your language modules in first year all include classes focused on language for business during which you will gain insights into the professional application of the language(s) you are studying, and get opportunities to write a detailed CV, draw up a covering letter and even practice interview skills in the target language.

Running parallel to your academic modules is a Personal Development Programme which you follow under the guidance of your personal tutor: this is focused on the development of academic and transferable skills, and includes specialist careers workshops which we organise jointly with the Careers Service. We also encourage our students to take up the opportunities offered by the Degree Plus programme to record and accredit skills acquired in extra-curricular and professional activities. Click here for more information.

One of our most recent activities focused on Languages students was the Brussels Study Tour during which 18 students (including 11 studying Languages) and staff from Modern Languages and the Careers Service visited the EU institutions in Brussels for 4 days to find out about career opportunities in the EU Commission, Interpreting and Translating, Business and Trade, and Journalism, and to meet with Queen’s alumni living and working there. Below are some pictures of the Study Tour and comments from the students who participated:

 

The Queen’s student delegation at the European Parliament with Dr Nigel Harkness from the School of Modern Languages

‘The study tour was so helpful to me as the talk from EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office) made the application process for jobs in the EU seems much less intimidating and helped me understand what exactly the procedure was. As a Languages student, it was very relevant.' 

Queen’s Students meet alumni at a reception hosted by the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.
Queen’s Students meet alumni at a reception hosted by the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.
      

 

 

Queen’s Students meet alumni at a reception hosted by the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.

‘Meeting alumni really showed us that there is a place for Queen’s graduates in Brussels and that working in the EU is a really attainable goal’