Undergraduate Courses

Modern Languages

Studying Modern Languages provides both practical training in written and spoken language and an extensive introduction to literature and thought written in European languages.

Alongside the practical language teaching, topics of study range from medieval poetry to contemporary novels and films, taking in the classics of European literature along the way. You can learn, too, about the history of European languages and their structure down to the present. Across a wide range of choices, our students become familiar with new ideas, with the history of European culture, and with language as a changing, living phenomenon. During their third year abroad, students build on and develop their language skills and immerse themselves in the life of other countries.

After four years of study, our students are well on their way to becoming citizens of the world: fluent in one or two foreign languages, informed about other cultures, and able to take part in life on an international level. After university, many of our students go on to careers involving work abroad or in international organizations.

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The course at St Peter's

St Peter’s admits students in almost all the European languages taught in Oxford. You can study one or two languages over a four-year period, choosing from French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, Modern Greek, and Czech, or one of these languages and Linguistics, or one of them in a Joint School together with English, History, or Philosophy.

St Peter’s prides itself on its commitment to the Joint Schools, and encourages applications in them. For more detail, please see the course pages for English and Modern Languages, History and Modern Languages or Philosophy and Modern Languages.

St Peter’s normally admits ten students to read Modern Languages (of whom up to four may be reading for Joint Schools). This is a larger intake in the subject than in most other colleges. Applications for beginners’ courses (in languages in which beginners' courses are offered) are welcome.

The College is situated close to the Taylorian Institution, where lectures are held and and where you will also find the University’s dedicated Modern Languages Library. The College’s own Library is well stocked in the subject. Its Fellows and Lecturers are experts in their fields and dedicated to their teaching in St Peter’s. A vitally important part of the degree are the language classes with native speakers, which are held both within the college and in the Faculty.

For admission, you must take language tests or aptitude tests as appropriate for the course you have applied for. At interview, the emphasis is on demonstrating your intellectual interest in the subject and your readiness to develop your ideas in discussion with a tutor. To this end, the interview will generally involve discussion of a short text you have been given beforehand.

Your spoken language will also be tested. Each candidate has two interviews, with two pairs of interviewers. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and try to make the admissions process as transparent as possible.

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