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Assessing your current level

Assessing Your Current Level

As a university dedicated to lifelong learning, we are proud to offer the option of two flexible learning routes which provide you with the opportunity to gain qualifications, irrespective of your previous learning background:

1. Enrol in a class with no assessments


2.Enrol in a class and take the assessments which lead to a University qualification

Note: Students enrolling on either learning route will be taught together.

Students enrolling on either learning route will be taught together. If you opt for the second route, you will receive a University award after every two years successfully completed, or after one year if following the fast-track route. The awards available are dependent on the range of levels in your chosen language and include Certificates, Cert HEs, Diplomas, Dip HEs and BAs.

On the non-award bearing route, you can study more than one language or attend different classes of the same language, at a time and level that suits you best. You can also combine the two paths and do assessments only in one of the classes leading to a University qualification. Our only requirement is that you have the correct level of proficiency in the language you wish to study. Your first step is to assess your level.

These levels do not apply exactly to all languages, such as Chinese or Russian. Some languages have a different alphabet, which may take a little longer to learn; others have a different writing system which is built up gradually over time.  In selecting your class, please also bear in mind that the emphasis in class is on speaking and listening. If you have not practised the language for some time, you will understand much more than you can say.

Our class level guide, below, will show you the level of understanding and ability required before joining any of our classes.

Class Name Start at this level if... Leads to
(European Framework Level - A1)
You have never learnt the language before
(European Framework Level – A1+)
You can use and understand simple phrases and sentences on familiar topics for immediate needs to handle basic situations and simple interactions. Certificate in Foundation Language Studies
(not available on the fast-track route)
(European Framework Level – A2)
You can understand the main points in short, simple spoken and written communications on everyday matters and familiar topics, and speak and write about personal matters such as family, friends, education and work.
(European Framework Level – A2+)
You can understand the main points in spoken and written communications on familiar matters encountered in everyday contexts and handle most everyday situations with adequate confidence. You can read and understand the gist of easy newspaper articles and speak and write on matters of personal interest, but you lack fluency. Certificate in Language and Related Studies
Upper Intermediate
(European Framework Level –  B1)
You can understand people speaking clearly and slowly on matters of personal and general interest and use the language fairly independently and effectively in all familiar and moderately difficult situations.
Advanced 1
(European Framework Level – B1+)
You can understand the gist of some broadcast materials delivered clearly and slowly and use a wide range of vocabulary and structures with confidence in most situations of personal relevance. You can initiate and respond to arguments and can make suggestions. You may have studied to A level or equivalent recently. Cert HE in Language and Related Studies

Independent User 1*

Independent User 2*

(European Framework Level – B2)

You can understand the main points of written descriptions of events and programmes broadcast on radio and television delivered relatively slowly in the standard accent. You have extended your speaking and writing skills to give you more freedom of expression and fluency. Communication and comprehension are effective on most occasions Diploma/Dip HE in Language and Related Studies
(European Framework Level – C1)
You can use the language effectively and in most situations, understand much of the detail in news and current affairs programmes on radio and TV, read contemporary fiction and press articles and speak and write fluently. You can present information orally and in writing and discuss and debate at ease. BA/BA (Hons)** in Language and Related Studies

* On the award-bearing route, new students in Advanced 2, Independent User and Proficiency classes are registered for the Diploma award.  **BA (Hons) is only available on the fast-track route.