Skip Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

English and Modern Languages

We look for students who are passionate about literature, curious about other cultures, who will relish the challenges of becoming fluent in another language, and who enjoy cross-cultural comparison.

Students in their first year typically take courses on the modern languages side designed to consolidate their language skills and to introduce them to the study of literature in that language. They take two papers for English: an introduction to literary criticism and theory, and a choice between Old English, Middle English, Victorian, or Modern Literature. After the first-year exams (Prelims), students choose options for the rest of their degree from among a wide variety of papers in English and the modern language, ranging from the medieval to the contemporary.

The third year is usually spent abroad in a country where that language is spoken; students undertake a variety of projects on this year, some studying at university, some teaching English as a foreign language, and some working on a placement. This year can be tremendously rewarding both personally and academically: students typically come back fluent in the language, wider in their reading and perspectives, and excited by their new experiences. In their final year, students complete papers on each side of the course, and can also write a comparative dissertation which unites themes from the literature of both languages. Equal weight may be placed on each side of the degree throughout, although it is also possible to study one of the two subjects in greater depth; in either case, students are encouraged at every stage to bring what they have learnt in English to bear on their modern language, and vice versa.

Oriel has a strong tradition in English and Modern Languages. We have Fellows in French (Cécile Bishop), German (Annette Volfing), and English (Kathryn Murphy), and lecturers in Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

Admission Criteria

All candidates are required to sit a test or tests in November (find out more on the University website). Conditional offers are usually AAA at A-level (or equivalent), with A grades required for any language to be studied (except ab initio languages). Candidates have two interviews in the college. As part of the process, candidates are given a short text to read and then discuss with interviewers; they are also expected to discuss their recent reading, both in and out of school.

Departments

Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages

Faculty of English

Teaching Staff

Organising Tutor
Dr Kathryn Murphy

Fellow & Tutor in English Literature | Fellow Librarian

Organising Tutor
Professor Annette Volfing

Knight Fellow & Tutor in Modern Languages

Dr Víctor Acedo-Matellán

Fellow & Tutor in Linguistics & Spanish

Dr Alessandra Aloisi

College Lecturer in French

Dr Cécile Bishop

Kelleher Fellow in French | Associate Professor of Post-Colonial Francophone Literatures & Cultures

Mrs Stefanie Burkert-Burrows

College Lecturer in German

Dr Marie Kawthar Daouda

College Lecturer in French | Visiting Students Coordinator

Dr Nicholas Gaskill

Fellow & Tutor in American Literature

Dr Guadalupe Gerardi

College Lecturer in Spanish

Dr Ole Hinz

German Lektor

Dr Amanda Holton

College Lecturer in English Literature

Professor Katrin Kohl

College Lecturer in German

Dr Ayoush Lazikani

College Lecturer in English

Dr Katherine New

College Lecturer in Russian Literature & Language

Ms Cécile Varry

College Lecturer in French

OTHER COURSES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

Classics and English
Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). Candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information can be found on the Classics Faculty website.

Classics and Modern Languages
Number of places Usually 1 Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) and the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). Written work is also required. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information about admission requirements for the course can be found on the University website.

English Language and Literature
Number of places 5 or 6 (including joint schools) Admission Criteria One piece of recent written work is required. There is no written test at interview, but all applicants will be expected to have taken the ELAT. Candidates have two interviews in the college. As part of the process, candidates are given a short text to read and then discuss with interviewers; they are also expected to discuss their recent reading, both in and out of school.

Modern Languages (and Linguistics)
Number of places Usually 9 Admission Criteria One piece of marked written work is required for each language you plan to study and in which you will have A2 (or equivalent) before university. In addition, all candidates must submit one piece of marked writing in English. If you are applying for a language which you have not taken at A2 (or equivalent) then you do not need to submit anything in that language. All candidates are required to sit a test or tests in November. Conditional offers: AAA at A-level (or equivalent), with A grades required for any language to be studied (except ab initio languages).

Philosophy and Modern Languages
Number of places 1 or 2, taken from the Modern Languages quota of 9 Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Modern Languages Admissions Tests (MLAT), normally at their own school or college, in November, in addition to the written work specified on the university's website. Separate registration for this test is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for this test. Candidates will need to take two sections of the MLAT: one for their chosen language, and one for Philosophy. Conditional offers: AAA at A-level (or equivalent), with A grades required for any language to be studied (except ab initio languages).

What next?