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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

We are a vibrant, student-centred, and friendly department, incorporating a variety of languages and diverse cultures, including seven global languages (French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish), a distinct Language Centre, and Art History and Visual Culture. As large as we are, we retain a close-knit feel as students are welcomed within each subject community.

We particularly pride ourselves on the breadth and flexibility of our degree programmes. Our strong performance in the Research Excellence Framework also informs our teaching, which means that in many of the modules you study you will be working at the cutting edge of internationally excellent and world-leading research.

The student experience is especially important to us; we ensure that our students and friendly approachable staff work together, driven by curiosity and inspired by a shared passion for all things related to language, culture and the visual. In addition to this, there is a range of departmental activities and student events which we encourage our students to participate in to enhance their life and learning at the University of Exeter. Our performance in the NSS testifies to the strong support offered by staff and to the feeling of community within the Department.

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Top 10 in the UK for all languages at the University of Exeter

Complete University Guide 2025 (all ranked languages)

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Top 10 for History of Art, Architecture and Design

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

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Top 150 worldwide for Modern Languages and Cultures

QS World University Subject Rankings 2024

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1st in the UK for world-leading or internationally excellent research impact

Joint 1st, REF 2021

All our Modern Languages and Cultures can be studied from beginner level, while many of them can be taken up from advanced post-A-level, with all students coming together during the final year. Our students have the choice of a wide range of optional modules covering areas as diverse as linguistics, intercultural communication, translation studies, cultural studies, politics, film, literature, and much more.

For our students of Art History and Visual Culture, we consider the visual in the broadest possible sense, from art and architecture through to moving image and social media, and we’ve developed an approach that will appeal to students with a range of backgrounds and interests in the history of art, creative practice, cinema, history, philosophy, sociology, and other cultural studies.

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