Modern Languages



We admit seven students each year to study Modern Languages courses. This can include studying a Modern Language on its own, two Modern Languages, or one Modern Language with one of English, Classics, History or Philosophy (the Joint Schools). Brasenose also admits candidates for the Modern Languages & Linguistics course and for European & Middle Eastern Languages (in combination with French or German). The College accepts applicants for all languages offered at the University except Celtic, Portuguese and Modern Greek. It particularly welcomes applicants who wish to read French and/or German.

The Course

All students follow the same course in the first three terms up to the First Examination. After that there is considerable choice in literature papers and authors, between medieval, early modern and modern studies, and of options specializing in linguistic, philosophical, and historical subjects, as well as in film, art, and literary theory.

University lectures cover most central topics, and there are weekly tutorials, language classes and also occasional seminars organised in the College. The College has native speakers (lectors) in French and German, who assist in language teaching.

Undergraduates wishing to pursue an interest not covered in the College may be taught for certain papers by tutors in other colleges. Tutors based in other colleges organise the teaching of those we accept to read Italian, Spanish, Russian, Czech.

Brasenose has two tutorial Fellows in Modern Languages. Professor Groiser works on German writing since the Enlightenment, modern German thought, German-Jewish culture, and critical theory. Professor Bourne-Taylor works on modern French (18th-21st Century), comparative literature, and critical theory. 

See the Classics, English, History and PPE subject descriptions to read about College tutors involved in teaching languages Joint Schools.

Read more about Modern Languages at Oxford

Read more about English and Modern Languages at Oxford.

Read more about Classics and Modern Languages at Oxford

Read more about Philosophy and Modern Languages at Oxford.

Read more about History and Modern Languages at Oxford

Read more about Modern Languages and Linguistics at Oxford.

European and Middle Eastern Languages

This new Joint School enables students to combine papers in one language from the Honour School of Modern Languages with papers in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. You need have no previous knowledge of the Middle Eastern language, but you would normally have studied the European language to A-level standard. The Preliminary Examination takes place in the third term and consists of translation into and out of the European language and two language papers for the Middle Eastern language. Your oral proficiency will be tested in both the languages which you have studied.

Read more about European and Middle Eastern Languages at Oxford.


Those who have read Modern Languages and its associated schools have entered a large range of careers, including the Foreign Office, education, the arts, journalism, the law, interpreting, management consultancy, banking, accountancy and business. Our French tutor, Dr Carole Bourne-Taylor has written a piece on reasons to study modern languages.