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Business Courses Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose Durham University to Learn a Language?
Durham University offers short foreign language courses designed specifically to support regional export and inward investment initiatives. This programme supports SME's and larger businesses. We can also offer similar courses for the public sector and other organisations according to need.

This programme is supported alongside other language courses for students and staff of the University and the general public and can offer certification where necessary. All our courses are based on a University curriculum well-developed over several years and delivered by professional, experienced and well-qualified language instructors.

Which types of courses are available?
Our standard courses are short and semi-intensive to meet the needs of people in work. Courses are typically run over 6 weeks, with two 2-hour classes per week, and are delivered on-line, led by a professional language instructor. Contact time is supported by independent learning to take the most advantage of the course. Registrations are open to individuals who need to learn a language for work, with class sizes typically 6-10 learners.

Courses are run 3-4 times per year according to demand. Courses are available for entry-level beginners, and at higher levels.

We offer courses in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish for companies working with customers and partners in Europe, Russia, the Far East, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America.

We can offer tailored language training for specific purposes and can offer courses in a range of other languages as required. Please contact for further details.

Are there any examinations?
These courses are not examined, although progress can be assessed through coursework. Certification can be provided on an optional basis and some courses may lead to internationally recognised certificates through the Institut Fran├žais (French), the Goethe Institut (German), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CILS), Confucius Institute (Mandarin), or the Instituto Cervantes (Spanish). Please contact for more information.

In which languages can I take a course?
We offer language courses in the following: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We can offer language training in other languages, in particular Dutch, Greek, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Swedish and Turkish. If these languages, or others, are of particular interest to you or your organisation then please contact and we may be able to help further.

Although we are able to offer a selection of our language courses at a level from beginners through to advanced, we do not always run all courses at all levels, subject to demand. Again, if we are not currently running the level of course that you require then please do get in contact with us and we will see if we can be of assistance.

Where and when are our courses delivered?
Typically, courses are delivered on-line to offer maximum flexibility in terms of your geographic location and timing. Subject to demand we offer courses 3-4 times per year to maximise flexibility and learning options, with start dates usually in September, January, April and June.

Since courses are offered to those in work, for professional purposes, we offer the courses during daytime, or in the evening, twice per week. The timing is usually determined by the availability of both tutors and learners.

We also offer bespoke courses for individual organisations and can offer one-to-one intensive tuition. Such tuition can be delivered either on-line or at your business premises.

How long does it take to complete our courses?
Work courses are typically run over a 6-week duration, two classes per week of 2 hours each. We then assume up to 7 hours of individual independent study.

The courses start at different times of the year depending on what language/level you decide to take.

It is possible for new learners to eventually progress through 6 stages to reach a level equivalent to B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference (with a reasonable degree of conversational and business fluency).

Can we have a course in our own workplace?
If you are interested in learning in your own workplace whether it be on a one-to-one individual training session or a group training session, we offer bespoke courses for individual corporate partners upon request. Contact for further details.