skip to content

Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication


The Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication (CLIC) offers taught courses in Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish at all levels.

Students from the following departments can register for a course:

  • Engineering
  • Materials Science (3rd year undergraduates)
  • Chemistry (3rd year undergraduates)
  • Chemical Engineering (4th Year undergraduates)
  • Computer Laboratory (PhD).

Course details

  • Courses run for 15 weeks over Michaelmas and Lent terms
  • One two hour lesson per week with recommendation of 2 hours private study per week.
  • Assessed through continuous assessment throughout the year and a final oral exam at the end of Lent term.
  • Digital badge (or an equivalent paper certificate) at the end of the course, indicating the CEFR level achieved if appropriate.
  • 2nd year Engineering undergraduates can use their Language Exam for the IB elective (see below).

First Year (Part IA)

Language courses taken during Part IA of the course do not count towards Part I of the tripos examination and classification.  Students who reach a satisfactory standard in the language programme during their Part IA year will be awarded a digital badge (paper certificate available on request).  The digital badge will record the level of their course (i.e. beginners', intermediate or advanced) and/or the level achieved.


Second Year Elective (Part IB)

Students who take the language programme for engineers in Part IB may offer this course as one of their two options in Paper 8.  They will also be eligible to receive a Digital Badge that will record the level of the course (i.e. beginners', intermediate or advanced) and/or the standard achieved.  The Digital Badge has replaced the paper certificate which is now only available on request.

NB. Signing up for a language course in October does not commit you to taking it for credit (you make that decision in Lent term).


Third Year Project (Part IIA)

To take a Language Project, you should be at Intermediate level or above.  Each project involves an oral presentation and a written report.

More information on Projects can be found here.

Third Year Extension Activity (Part IIA)

Third year students can also select a language course as their Extension Activity (ExA).  This can be useful in preparation for the Language Project in Easter Term.  For more details about Extension Activities, click here.

Please note that the only requirement to earn the full 20 marks for your ExA is that you attend 80% of the classes for your course (12 out of 15 classes in total).  You will not need to submit a portfolio or homework unless you wish to compete the course for a digital badge or certificate.


Fourth Year Module (Part IIB)


Modules can be chosen by students with at least a B1/B2 (CEFR) level in the respective language (i.e. equivalent to AS or A-level).  In any case, students wishing to take a language module must contact the relevant language coordinator in order to ensure they hold the necessary qualifications.
The seminars, although part of the teaching programme, are open to everyone with intermediate or advanced level.

Course Structure

7 seminars normally consisting of a talk (around 45 minutes) by a guest speaker followed by a discussion (60-75 minutes where students work in groups to prepare questions to ask the guest speaker and the guest speaker answers these questions) but some sessions might vary in format.
The final seminar is used for individual presentations.
The exact course content will be announced at the start of the term the module takes place in.


The assignments will be marked for both language and content (50% language, 50% content).
The course work consists of 2 written reports and 1 oral presentation. Each will be on a different topic.

For more information see here.