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History and Modern Languages at Oxford - Course Outline

First Year


In this year, six courses are taken.

Modern Language:

  • Two literature papers
  • Two language papers: comprehension and translation


Either a historical methods paper or a British history period or an optional subject or a foreign text General history (four options: 370 - 900, 1000 - 1300, 1400 - 1650 and 1815 - 1914)


First University exams Six written papers

Second and Fourth Years


  • A period of literature
  • Two language papers
  • A paper on prescribed authors or medieval texts or linguistics
  • A bridge essay on the association between literature and history
  • A period of general history
  • Either a special subject in History (two papers) along with one additional history or literature option or three papers selected from history (British history, thesis, further subject,) or literature (prescribed authors, period papers and extended essay)


Final University exams Nine written papers (consisting of minimum one extended essay), Oral exam in the modern language

International Opportunities

Students study History and Modern Languages as a four-year course. The course provides students a compulsory year abroad in their third year. If students need more information, they may contact their college of preference. Students are encouraged to spend their time in the countries whose language they are studying. Students may receive financial support comprising traveling scholarship.

A week work for students may include tutorials in the literature, culture and history of the language they study. The language classes involve various skills and approximately four lectures. Students will prepare essays for their weekly tutorials.

Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedure as mentioned in how to apply page. The following information provides specific details for students wishing to apply for History and Modern Languages course.

Written Work

All candidates are required to submit written work for the subject by the prescribed date. Candidates are advised to refer the university website for more information about the written work.

Written Test

Candidates should take the History Aptitude test at their own college or school on the prescribed date. Candidates ensure that they are available to appear for the test at the time during the Oxford interview period in December. Candidates also need take a thirty-minute test for the language they wish to study, although not in languages they wish to study more or less from scratch. The specimen paper and further details can be found on the History Faculty website.

During the interview, students' submitted work is to be starting point for discussion. Many colleges ask students to read and discuss a short text. Tutors desire to test students' capacity for flexibility, independent thought, relating ideas, skills in conceptualization, linguistic accuracy and the precision of their thinking.

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