University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 entry



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Modern Languages


Celtic, Czech (with Slovak), French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish

A BA in 4 years with a year abroad

UCAS codes: see table below and ox.ac.uk/courses

Course statistics for 2013 entry


Interviewed: 88%

Successful: 35%

Intake: 189

Entrance requirements


A-levels: AAA

Advanced Highers: AA/AAB

IB: 38 (including core points) with 666 at HL

Or any other equivalent

There are several combinations available that allow students to begin studying a language from scratch. However, please note that it is not usually possible for students to study two languages from scratch. Candidates would be expected to have studied at least one of the languages chosen, or to speak at least one of the languages at home or school.

For French or Spanish


Candidates would usually be expected to have the language to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or another academic equivalent.

For Czech, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Russian


Please note there are different course codes for these languages, depending on whether or not you have studied them before. Beginners’ courses allow students to start studying one of these languages from scratch - otherwise they would be expected to have an A-level or equivalent (or, for German, an AS-level or equivalent). The “Beginners’ German” course also includes an ‘intermediate’ option for those who have studied some German. Find out more at www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

For Celtic and Polish


We generally expect all students applying for these courses to be beginners, though those with experience are also very welcome to apply.

How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]


Tests: MLAT on 5 November 2014

Written Work: Two to four pieces


Tuition Fees for 2014


Home/EU: £9,000/year

No upfront costs: you can get a loan for the full amount

Grants, bursaries and scholarships available

More on student finance: p 120 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

The year abroad has lower fees and extra funding - see ox.ac.uk/erasmus

More Information


www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

+44 (0) 1865 270750



reception@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Oxford Open days


2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014 ox.ac.uk/opendays

26 April 2014: Modern Languages and joint courses open day


Course options


Some Modern Languages may be studied on their own:

French R110

German R200

Modern Greek Q710

Italian R300

Portuguese R500

Russian R711

Spanish R400

Two modern languages may be studied together in combination: see ox.ac.uk/courses for course codes

What is Modern Languages?


Studying Modern Languages provides both practical training in written and spoken language and also an extensive introduction to European literature and thought. You will learn to write and speak the language(s) fluently, and will be able to choose from a broad range of options including linguistics, film studies and advanced translation.

Modern Languages at Oxford


Modern Languages have been taught in Oxford since 1724. The faculty is one of the largest in the country, with a total intake of more than 250 students a year (including joint courses). Undergraduate students can use the Taylor Institution Library, the biggest research library in Britain devoted to modern languages.

The University’s excellently equipped Language Centre (see p 176 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]) received special praise in the last Teaching Quality Assessment. Some of its resources are specifically tailored to the needs of Modern Languages students.

Language is at the centre of the Oxford course, making up around 50% of both first year and final examinations. The course aims to teach spoken fluency in colloquial and more formal situations, the ability to write essays in the foreign language, and the ability to translate into and out of the foreign language with accuracy and sensitivity to a range of vocabulary, styles and registers.

The course also focuses on studying literature, as this study is enjoyable, personally and linguistically enriching, and intellectually challenging. It gives you an understanding of other cultures that cannot be acquired solely through learning the language, and it leads you into areas such as gender issues, popular culture, theatre studies, aesthetics, anthropology, art history, ethics, history, philosophy, politics, psychology and theology. You can either study abroad, chronological range of literature or focus your studies on the medieval, the early modern, or the modern period right up to the present day.

The course also offers a wide range of options in non-literary subjects including linguistics, philology, advanced translation and film studies.

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Course structure


Your first year is closely structured. You will attend oral classes and courses on the grammatical structure of your language(s), translation into and out of the language(s) and, in some of the languages, comprehension. You will also attend introductory lecture courses and participate in seminars and/or tutorials on literature. If you study either French or German as a single language, you will take a range of additional options in that language in the first year, such as literary theory and film studies. If you study any other language by itself then you must take Linguistics as well in the first year.

Your other years of study give you more freedom to choose the areas you wish to focus on, from a range of options. You will have tutorials and language classes each week in each of the languages being studied. Students studying courses with Polish take this as a subsidiary language, beginning in the second year. Catalan, Galician, Provençal, Yiddish and most of the Slavonic languages may also be taken as additional options.


Year abroad


Modern Language students usually spend the third year of their course abroad. This is often as a paid language assistant in a foreign school, though you may also undertake other work abroad or study at a foreign university. (The exception to this is for those students taking Beginners’ Russian, who are required to spend the second year – as opposed to the third year – of their studies on a specially designed eight-month language course in the city of Yaroslavl.) We encourage you to spend as much as possible of your vacations in the countries whose languages you are studying. Financial support, including travel scholarships, may be available from your college and/or the faculty.

The Taylor Institution Library


Part of the world-famous Bodleian Libraries, the Taylor Institution Library is the biggest research library in Britain devoted to modern languages.

Love languages?


Language-based courses at Oxford are offered by several different departments, but there are lots of opportunities to mix-and-match, or to study a language alongside another subject. Almost all of these languages can be learnt from scratch.

Modern Languages p.88 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]


Celtic

Czech (with Slovak)

French

German


Greek (modern)

Italian


Polish

Portuguese

Russian

Spanish


Modern Languages and Linguistics p. 92 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

History and Modern Languages p 64 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

English and Modern Languages p 48 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Philosophy and Modern Languages p.100 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

European and Middle Eastern Languages p.50 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Classics and Modern Languages p 32 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]


Classics p.28 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]


Latin

Greek (ancient)

Classics and Modern Languages p 32 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Classics and English p. 30 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Classics and Oriental Studies p 34 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Oriental Studies p.96 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]


Arabic

Hebrew


Persian

Turkish


Akkadian

Chinese


Egyptian

Japanese


Sanskrit

plus subsidiary options in:

Aramaic

Coptic


Hindi

Hittite


Korean

Old Iranian

Pali

Prakrit


Sumerian

Syriac


Tibetan

Classics and Oriental Studies p 34 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

European and Middle Eastern Languages p.50 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Theology and Oriental Studies p.116 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Law with Law Studies in Europe (p 72 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]) gives you the chance to study French, German, Italian or Spanish law - in the relevant language and country. (You can also study European Law in the Netherlands, which is taught in English

Any Oxford student can learn a language at the University’s Language Centre - see p 176 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].

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A typical weekly timetable


Your week’s work will include a tutorial in, or organised by, your college, language classes on different skills relating to the language(s) you study, and probably three to four hours of lectures for each subject.

College choice


For guidance on making a college choice, please refer to our website for details of which language combinations are available at each college.

Deferred entry


Students are welcome to apply for deferred entry for any language courses except those including Beginners’ Russian.

What are tutors looking for?


Selection criteria for this course may be viewed at ox.ac.uk/criteria. Tutors will be looking for a good command of the grammar of any language you have already studied at school and want to continue studying at Oxford, as well as an interest in literature and culture.

Tutors want to find out as much as possible about your intellectual interests and academic potential, so you may be asked about your reading, your interest in the culture of the relevant country, or the work you have submitted. You may be asked questions about a short passage in English or the relevant foreign language(s). You will be given the opportunity to speak in the relevant foreign language(s) which you have studied to an advanced level. As far as possible, interviewers will try to let you show your strengths, interest in the subject(s) you intend to study, and reasons for applying to Oxford.


Related courses


Students interested in this course might also like to consider other language courses or Oriental Studies.

Careers


Employers value Modern Languages graduates because they are competent in one or two languages, have acquired a range of transferable skills and have first-hand experience of other cultures. The Languages Work website has further information about careers using languages: www.languageswork.org.uk. Modern Languages graduates from Oxford regularly go into highly competitive areas such as law, management consultancy, accountancy, international press agencies, the media, advertising, the Foreign Office and the performing arts. Recent Modern Languages graduates include a business development manager for a social enterprise company, a theatre director and a personal tax manager.

Jenny, who graduated in 2000, has been working as a translator for the Star Group in the UK since 2005. She says: ‘I spent three years in a multinational blue chip company in the fast-moving consumer goods sector using my languages daily in customer account management before studying for an MSc in Translation. The rigour and challenge of Oxford’s small-group tuition, plus the practical experience of working bilingually as a teaching assistant during my year abroad in Spain, provided useful foundations for my work as a professional linguist.’

Richard, who graduated in 1999, is now a content developer for Linguascope.com. He says: ‘Studying languages at Oxford gave me a real focus for the subject, which has remained a life-long obsession and opened up great career opportunities. I have combined the strong grounding my studies gave me with a passion for IT, and currently work as lead developer for the UK’s best-known language resources website for schools. Oxford set me up as a lifelong learner of languages, and the learning skills I picked up there continue to help me adapt and develop in the professional world.’

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Catherine, who graduated in 2004, is now Founder and Programmes Manager at the Refugee Support Network. She says: Since graduating from Oxford, I have worked in the field of refugee education and education in emergencies for various charities, including Save the Children and various United Nations agencies. The skills I gained at Oxford have helped me to analyse situations thoughtfully and critically, and gave me the confidence to establish the Refugee Support Network in 2009. I never thought I would use my language skills in situations as diverse as Sudanese refugee camps, with Haitian earthquake survivors and with young victims of trafficking in London.

For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].


Erasmus


Please see ox.ac.uk/erasmus for details of Erasmus opportunities for this course.

1st year

Courses


Two-language course

  • practical language work

  • study of important works and/or topics in the literature of each language

One-language course: as above, plus

  • for French or German, additional options: introduction to film studies; literary theory (French only); medieval studies (German only); key texts in French or German thought

  • for other sole languages, linguistics options (general linguistics; phonetics and phonology; grammatical analysis)

Assessment


First University examinations: Seven or eight written papers, including translation and literature (language only for Beginners’ Russian)

2nd year

Courses


Two-language course

  • Practical language work

  • a period of literature in each language

  • optional subjects, including linguistics; medieval literature; authors prescribed for detailed study

One-language course

3rd and 4th years

Year 3


Spent abroad

Beginners’ Russian: Year 3 as Year 2 for other courses


Year 4


Continues the course from year 2, plus special subjects across a wide range of options

Assessment


Final University examinations: Nine or ten written papers and an oral examination are taken, including unprepared translations, literature subjects, special subjects and linguistics. Some special subjects are examined by submitting a portfolio of essays

Student statement


After a tutorial, I have a much better understanding of the novel or the poem I’m studying. Giulia

listen to more at ox.ac.uk/courses

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