2 and 3 July and 19 September 2014 ox.ac.uk/opendays
What is Philosophy and Modern Languages?
Philosophy and Modern Languages brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding language, literature and ideas.
The study of philosophy develops analytical rigour and the ability to criticise and reason logically. It allows you to apply these skills to questions ranging from how we acquire knowledge and form moral judgements to the nature of language, art and literature. Since many works of literature are shaped by the dominant philosophical ideas of their epoch, study of philosophy can illuminate that intellectual background.
The study of a modern European language develops analytical and critical abilities as well as a high level of linguistic skills; the study of the literature written in that language contributes to an understanding of many aspects of European culture. It develops attention to stylistic and terminological detail and rhetorical strategies, and sensitivity to cultural and historical context, which are also of great value for the study of philosophy.
Studying these two disciplines in parallel has numerous advantages and affords students greater insights into each.
The Philosophy Faculty is the largest philosophy department in the UK, and one of the largest in the world, admitting more than 500 undergraduates annually to read the various degrees involving Philosophy. Many faculty members have a worldwide reputation, and our library and other facilities are acknowledged as among the best in the country.
Oxford’s Modern Languages Faculty is one of the largest in the country, with a total intake of more than 250 students a year, including those reading joint degrees. The Taylor Institution is the biggest modern languages research library in the UK. The Modern
Languages Faculty also has an undergraduate lending library and a modern and excellently equipped Language Centre (see p 176 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]).
Your work is divided between tutorials (one or two weekly), lectures (typically about six hours weekly) and classes (first-year logic, language classes throughout the course, typically about two to three hours weekly). The rest of your week will be spent in private study to prepare essays for tutorials.
What are tutors looking for?
For information about the selection criteria please see: ox.ac.uk/criteria.
At interview, tutors will be looking for interest in the proposed fields of study, relevant linguistic ability, a critical and analytical response to questions and/or texts and the ability to defend a viewpoint by reasoned argument.
Course combinations You can either study Philosophy with a Modern Language you already speak, or with a Modern Language you’d like to learn from scratch.
The following course combinations allow you to begin studying a Modern Language from scratch, although those with experience in Celtic are also very welcome to apply.
Beginners’ Czech VR5R
Beginners’ Modern Greek VR59
Beginners’ Italian RV35
Beginners’ Portuguese VR5M
Students interested in this course might also like to consider other language courses, or Philosophy and Linguistics (part of PPL).
Philosophy and Modern Languages graduates enter careers including academic teaching and research, teaching, commerce, banking and financial services, journalism and communications. An Oxford degree in a modern language opens up opportunities for internationally focused careers or careers with international companies or organisations. The Languages Work website has further information about careers using languages at: www.languageswork.org.uk.
Recent Philosophy and Modern Languages graduates include an economic consultant, a management consultant, and a bilingual editor for a publishing company.
Samuel, who graduated in 2000, is now Africa Divisional Manager for Programme Development at Christian Aid. He says: My one-to-one tutorials gave me the tools and confidence to analyse and question accepted knowledge, perspectives and structures. These skills have transferred to a variety of roles since graduating, enabling me to challenge and improve my performance and that of others. The reflex of continuous learning that my degree instilled has helped me adapt to different sectors – from oil and gas to international development – and navigate across diverse cultures on the four continents where I’ve worked.
For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Please see ox.ac.uk/erasmus for details of Erasmus opportunities for this course.
Either four further papers in Philosophy (many options, including thesis)
or three further papers in Philosophy and one in Modern Languages (which may be an extended essay)
or two further papers in Philosophy and two in Modern Languages
Final University examinations: Nine papers (with a minimum of three in Philosophy and four in Modern Languages). One Philosophy paper maybe replaced by a thesis. Some Modern Languages papers may be replaced by a thesis or a portfolio of essays. Modern Languages oral
The year abroad is very helpful with improving your language levels. Laura