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European and Middle Eastern Languages at Oxford

About the Course

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in European and Middle Eastern Languages (EMEL). The course enables students to combine papers in any of the languages taught in the Faculty of Modern Languages with papers in Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish or Persian. Therefore, offering opportunities to take advantage of the cultural linkages that exist between various Middle Eastern and European languages. For example, the right combination may be Arabic, French, Turkish, German, Russian or Hebrew.

Some of the less apparent pairings would provide similar historical and cultural linkage. Therefore, Turkish and Spanish would be an interesting grouping for the history of Sephardi Judaism whilst Portuguese and Persian are necessary for the study of early imperialism.

EMEL at Oxford

The University of Oxford has unique resources to study Middle Eastern and Modern European languages. The Taylor Institution Library and Bodleian Library have ample array of manuscripts and books. The Taylor Institution Library is one of the largest research and prominent libraries associated to modern European languages in the world. It is the centre for Jewish and Hebrew Studies that the houses the Leopold Muller Library with over 35, 000 volumes in Hebrew and over 7, 000 volumes in Western languages.

Careers Opportunities

Students who have completed their graduation in European and Middle Eastern Languages go into highly competitive areas such as finance, law, management consultancy, commerce, the media, accountancy, the arts, foreign office and advertising. Students get into diverse field to carve their career. Students are advised to see the Language Work website for more information about career using languages. Recent European and Middle Eastern Languages graduates comprise a teacher within the higher education sector, a promotion and public relations worker and a clergyman.

Entrance Requirement

  • A-levels: AAA
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • IB: 38-40 comprising core points
  • Or any other equivalent

For the Middle Eastern language, Czech, Celtic or Modern Greek

Candidates do not require having any experience of studying these languages and can study one of them from scratch. Nevertheless, it is not customarily possible to start studying two languages from scratch. Students are expected to have experience of studying minimum one of their chosen languages to A-level or any equivalent or to speak minimum one of them at school or home.

For Portuguese

Some of the candidates apply as complete beginners. However, non-beginners can apply without any formal qualifications in Portuguese. Successful candidates are expected to work on their Portuguese before commencing the course at the university to obtain fundamental knowledge of Portuguese grammar along with vocabulary.

For German, French, Spanish or Russian

Normally, candidates would be expected to have the language to A-level, Higher level or Advanced Higher in the IB or another equivalent.

For Italian

Candidates can apply without any formal qualifications in Italian; however, successful candidates may be expected to work on their Italian before starting the course at the university. It should be noted that beginners are not expected to reach A-level standard by the time they begin the course. Nevertheless, they are expected to obtain sufficient vocabulary and grammar so that they will be able to read modern literary Italian texts.


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