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Modern Languages and Linguistics at Oxford

About the Course

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in Modern Languages and Linguistics. The course encourages students to study one modern language along with linguistics. The degree course equips students with practical linguistics training and an extensive introduction to the literature and thought of the European language students have chosen. The course also focuses on linguistics where students will be introduced to the analysis of the structure and nature of human language.

The course has various topics including the history and structure of languages, how sentences are constructed, how words are formed, how we make and hear sounds, how social status, sex and age affect language use, how languages change, how the same language may vary where it is spoken, how children learn to speak, how sentences and words mean what they mean, how language is used in literature, media and various social groups and what happens to language abilities when the brain is damaged by injury or stroke.

The University of Oxford offers facilities for the philological and linguistics study of European languages. Oxford has specific expertise in general linguistics, syntax and semantics, phonetics and the structure and history of many individual European languages and families of associated languages.

This degree course combines different element of the language and reinforce theoretical study of what human language is and how it works. The course lays emphasis upon a detailed study of scientific issues of language structure. Even if students wish to make linguistics a small part of their overall degree, they will still find a broad range of options available allowing students to focus on areas they find most exciting.

Career Opportunities

The combination of a modern language with the ability for precise analysis will be popular with a broad range of employers. Students are advised to visit the Language Work website for further information about careers using languages. Recent Modern Languages and Linguistics graduates comprise a brand marketing manager, a management consultant, a teacher and a market researcher for a company in the chemical industry.

Entrance Requirements

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

Candidates do not need to have experience of studying linguistics; however, knowledge of the relevant modern language can be expected as mentioned below.

For German, French, Russian or Spanish

Candidates would be expected to have this language to A-level, Higher Level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any academic equivalent.

For Modern Greek

For Modern Greek language, candidates are expected either to have studied Modern Greek to A-level, Higher Level, Advanced Higher in the IB or any academic equivalent or to have a fluency in the language. For instance, if a candidate speaks Modern Greek at school or home.

For Italian

Candidates can apply without any formal qualifications in this language. However, successful candidates are expected to work on their skills in Italian language before starting the course at Oxford. Beginners are not expected to reach A-level standard by the time they begin the course but they should aim to acquire sufficient vocabulary and grammar to study given course materials.

For Portuguese

Some of the candidates apply as complete beginners. Non-beginners can apply without any formal qualifications in Portuguese. Successful candidates are expected to work on this language before beginning the course at the university.

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