Category Archives: Applying to study modern languages

Apply to Study Beginners’ German!

Here at Oxford, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages welcomes applications for German at all levels. This means that if you haven’t studied the language at A-level, you can still apply to study Beginners’ German as part of your degree.

Excitingly, 2023 marks the first year that prospective students can apply to study Beginners’ German as part of our Joint Schools degrees. This means that you can combine learning German from scratch with another of the following Humanities subjects:

  • Classics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy

So, if you’re hoping to study one of these subjects, but are interested in learning a new language, why not choose Beginners’ German?!

Take a look at our brand new video below to learn more about studying German for Beginners at Oxford, and to hear about the experiences of our current students who have chosen this excellent option!

If students apply via the Beginners’ German route, they will sit the Language Aptitude Test, which forms part of the Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT).

Students taking Beginners’ German will receive intensive language tuition during their first year and further targeted language support specific to their needs during their second year. From the start of their course they will have some teaching on narrative works together with the post A-level group, and they will be fully integrated from the start of the second year, with access to all the course options in linguistics, literature, film and culture.

During the course, Oxford’s tutorial system and small-group language teaching will enable students at all levels to receive the appropriate tuition for their needs, which will build on the knowledge they have already acquired.

You can learn more about German at Oxford here.

Some Reminders

Happy Wednesday all! After some technical difficulties last week (apologies if anyone had issues accessing the blog), we’re back with a couple of reminders about upcoming events for (prospective) Modern Languages students… have a read below!

N.B. The deadlines for applying/registering for these opportunities/events fall within the next week, so don’t hesitate to sign up now!

Wadham College’s Modern Languages Summer School

A Summer School class at Wadham College, 2022
  • When: Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2023 
  • Where: Wadham College, Oxford
  • What: Summer Schools are designed to give UK pupils studying in Year 12 a taste of what it’s like to be an undergraduate studying at the University of Oxford. Pupils will take part in an academic programme, live in College, meet student ambassadors studying at Oxford, and receive information, advice and guidance on applying to university.
  • Who: Year 12 French, German, and Spanish students from UK state schools
  • How to apply: Fill out this application form.
  • Deadline to apply: 5pm, Friday 5th May 2023
  • More information: You can find more information here and email the Wadham Access Team at access@wadham.ox.ac.uk with any questions.

Modern Languages Open Day

Modern Languages Open Day 2022
photo (c) John Cairns
  • When: Saturday 13th May 2023, 10.30am-4pm
  • Where: Examination Schools, 75-81 High Street, Oxford
  • What: Our Modern Languages Open Day will offer an overview of our Modern Languages courses and a general Q&A for prospective students in the morning, with individual language sessions and a parents’/guardians’/teachers’ Q&A session occurring in the afternoon. 
  • Who: The Open Day is aimed primarily at Year 12 students and their parents/guardians/teachers, but Year 11 students who are starting to think about university study are equally welcome to attend. 
  • How to register: Booking for this event is compulsory – you can register your attendance here.
  • Deadline to register: Bookings will close at midnight on Wednesday 10th May 2023.
  • More information: You can view the full event programme here and contact the Faculty at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with any questions.

We look forward to seeing you at these exciting events over the summer – don’t forget to apply/register ASAP!

Study Days for days!

Following our recent post about Modern Languages Study Days at St John’s College and Christ Church, we’re delighted to bring you news of another Study Day for budding Modern Languages students – this one is hosted by our lovely colleagues at St Catherine’s College AKA St Catz!

Academic Study Days are a great opportunity for students in Year 12 to spend a day exploring a specific academic area at St Catz, meet with some current students, experience a taste of academic teaching, and enjoy lunch in the dining hall.

St Catherine’s College (St Catz), Oxford

St Catz are running their Modern Languages Study Day on Wednesday 31st May, 10.30am-4.15pm.

Students attending this exciting Study Day will have the opportunity to sample a range of languages that are available at the University of Oxford. As part of this day, students will be able to choose two language sessions to participate in from a choice of:

  • Post A-Level Spanish,
  • Post A-Level French,
  • Beginners’ Czech, and
  • Beginners’ Italian.

    All students will also have the opportunity to participate in a Linguistics taster session.
You can apply to attend here!

St Catherine’s College’s Academic Taster Days are all free to attend and open to all Year 12 students (or equivalent), with places being allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please complete this form to register to attend one of the events.

Modern Languages Summer School Opportunity

Calling all Year 12 French, German, and Spanish students from UK state schools – an exciting opportunity awaits!

Wadham College are running their annual Modern Languages Summer School in Oxford from Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2023 . This is a wonderful opportunity for Year 12 students who are interested in pursuing a degree in languages to get a feel for life at university and at Oxford more specifically.

A Summer School class at Wadham College, 2022

Pupils will engage in a seminar series led by Wadham’s language tutors, including language classes in their selected language of study (French, German, or Spanish) with opportunities to try other languages as beginners (including German, Portuguese, and Russian). Students will complete an assignment on a main topic with feedback from tutors. Pupils will also be able to receive support from current undergraduates and from the College on making successful applications to top universities.

Why attend a summer school?

Summer Schools are designed to give UK pupils studying in Year 12 a taste of what it’s like to be an undergraduate studying at the University of Oxford. Pupils will take part in an academic programme, live in College, meet student ambassadors studying at Oxford, and receive information, advice and guidance on applying to university.

Students talking to a Wadham Student Ambassador, taken from Wadham College’s website

Summer Schools are completely free. Accommodation and meals are provided by the College. Wadham will also provide financial support to pupils to cover their travel costs.

Wadham College is delighted to be able to run these events in-person allowing participants the best experience of life at the university. The feedback from last year’s Summer Schools was hugely positive with over a third of participants subsequently securing offers to study at the university.

After the summer school I am much more confident that I would fit in at Oxford and feel like I am more ready to move away from home

– Summer School participant, 2022

If you are interested, please apply here by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 5th May 2023. You can email the Wadham Access Team at access@wadham.ox.ac.uk with any questions.

Modern Languages Study Days

On the blog this week, we pass over to our friends at St John’s College and Christ Church to promote their exciting upcoming Modern Languages Study Days!

St John’s College – Wednesday 10th May

St John’s College, Oxford is pleased to welcome applications for our Year 12 Modern Languages Study Day. The Study Day is open to all Year 12 students currently attending a non-selective state-school in the UK.

Inside St John’s College chapel

What does the day involve?

  • Academic taster sessions led by Oxford Modern Languages tutors
  • An introductory lecture on applying to, and studying at, Oxford University
  • An interview session with a practice interview demonstration
  • A Q&A session with current Modern Languages students and tutors
  • A tour of St John’s College

To sign up: Complete the application form on our website between 20th March and 8am Monday 17th April 2023. All events and resources are free to qualifying pupils. Travel awards and Digital Assistance Awards are also available for eligible participants. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do get in touch with us at access@sjc.ox.ac.uk.

Christ Church – Thursday 1 June

Christ Church is excited to be hosting a Modern Languages Study Day on Thursday 1 June 2023. This day is aimed both at students who are currently studying languages and those who are interested in picking up new languages at university. It will offer a taste of Modern Languages at university across both cases.

Christ Church War Memorial Gardens

You do not need to be studying a language already to do a Modern Language as part of your degree at Oxford. As well as degree courses in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Modern Greek, Oxford also offers joint-honours courses that can involve languages in different combinations, such as French and Beginners’ Russian, Spanish and Portuguese or Russian and Beginners’ Czech (with Slovak). Oxford also offers a range of joint-honours courses that combine languages with other subjects, such as English and French, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Philosophy and Beginners’ German. More detailed information about course combinations and content can be found on the Oxford courses webpage.

To find out more about the Modern Languages Study Day and apply to take part, please check the Christ Church Modern Languages Study Day webpage.

Make sure you apply to these exciting opportunities before the deadline(s)!

Modern Languages Open Day – Book Your Place now!

It has been wonderful to meet so many students at our language-specific open days over the past few weeks. Building on this, we are delighted to be able to welcome prospective students to Oxford for our Modern Languages Open Day on Saturday 13th May, 10.30am-4pm. The event will be held at the Examination Schools, located on the High Street.

Modern Languages Open Day 2022
photo (c) John Cairns

This event is a fantastic opportunity for students who are interested in learning more about our language courses, or who are still considering their options, as this Open Day will cover ALL of our languages: French, German*, Spanish, Italian*, Russian*, Portuguese*, Modern Greek*, Czech*, and Polish*. Most of our Joint School degree subjects will also be represented at the event.

*All of these languages can be studied here at Oxford from beginners’ level. From this year’s admissions cycle, students can also apply to study Beginners’ German with our Joint Schools subjects (e.g. English, History, Linguistics etc.) for the first time.

Modern Languages Open Day 2022
photo (c) John Cairns

Our Modern Languages Open Day is aimed primarily at Year 12 students and their parents/guardians/teachers, but Year 11 students who are starting to think about university study are equally welcome to attend. The Open Day will offer an overview of our Modern Languages courses and a general Q&A for prospective students in the morning, with individual language sessions and a parents’/guardians’/teachers’ Q&A session occurring in the afternoon. You can view the full event programme here.

Booking for this event is compulsory – you can register your attendance here. Bookings will close at midnight on 10th May 2023. Please note that, due to restricted places, only one parent/guardian/teacher may accompany each student for the morning session.

We look forward to seeing lots of you in May and welcoming you to Oxford!

Choosing Oxford 2023

Are you thinking of applying to Oxford? Come and join us at our online conference! This online event offers you an opportunity to find out more about applying to Oxford, our courses, and the support available for students whilst studying here.

Join the live sessions running in the evenings from Monday 20 March to Thursday 23 March to hear our academics talk about the courses they teach and from our current student ambassadors as they share their experiences of studying and living in Oxford.

Each session will last 50 minutes and will include a presentation and a live Q&A with a panel of University staff, academics, or current students.

Click on the image to access the booking form!

What’s on offer?

  • Live webinars on applying to Oxford and how we can support you to make the strongest possible application
  • Live sessions with our subject academics and current student ambassadors
  • Video content across a broad range of topics (including current undergraduate students from your region talking about their experiences of applying, course videos, advice on how to choose a college and information on support services available)
  • Information for teachers and HE advisors
  • A designated session for prospective international students
  • An opportunity to ask our academics, students, and admissions staff any questions you may have.

In terms of Modern Languages, we would recommend joining on Wednesday 22nd March for the following sessions:

  • Arts and Humanities information session and Q&A
  • Arts and Humanities student ambassador experiences

There are plenty of other subject-specific sessions as well as more general information sessions about how to apply and the support available to students – you can check out the full timetable here.

Russian & Slavonic Languages Open Day

Bookings for our Russian & Slavonic Languages Open Day are now open!

This year, our Russian & Slavonic Languages Open Day will be held on Saturday 4th March, 10.15am-12.30pm at University College, Oxford.

Like our other language-specific open days, this event is smaller and more focused in its scope compared to our wider open day later in the year, allowing more time to explore a subject.

Our Russian & Slavonic Languages Open Day is designed to provide greater insight into our undergraduate degree programmes in Russian and other Slavonic languages such as Czech, Polish and Ukrainian. These languages are all available to study at beginners’ level here at Oxford, so the open day presents a great opportunity to find out more about these options and what the courses entail. It’s also a lovely excuse to come and visit an Oxford college and the city for the day, meet our current students and academics, and experience a taste of student life.

Event programme for the 2023 Russian & Slavonic Open Day

If you are interested in coming along to this event, you can reserve your place on our open days webpage. Please note that bookings are mandatory for this open day and that the deadline for registering is 20th February 2023.

As a reminder, we’re running several language-specific open days over the next six weeks… take a look at the table below for further details and sign up to attend here!

*This open day has been designed to be accessible for students considering beginners’ German. From this year’s admissions cycle, applicants can mix Joint Schools subjects with beginners’ German, so please do encourage students considering degrees in English, History, Philosophy etc. to come along and try out some German!

We look forward to meeting you at these events soon!

BAME Humanities Study Day 2023 – Apply now!

Following a successful three-year run, University College, Magdalen College, and the Faculties of History and Modern Languages here at the University of Oxford are delighted to announce that the virtual BAME Humanities Study Day will return for 2023 on Tuesday 4th April!

This event offers UK state school students with Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage an exciting opportunity to engage with academic taster sessions from across the Humanities subjects, and also to access insight into Oxford student life and support with the admissions process.

Last year, students chose to attend academic taster lectures on fascinating topics such as:

  • There is no such thing as the perfect body… and other lessons we can learn from the ancient Greeks (Classics)
  • Sixteenth-century French Women’s Writing: Challenging Gender Expectations in selected works of the Dames des Roches (Medieval & Modern Languages)
  • Popular Music: History and Interpretation (Music)
  • The Shock of the Nude:  Art, Science, and the Racial Imaginary in Modern China (Art History)
  • The Grandfather of Islam in Buganda (History)
  • Medieval English and Arabic Religious Literature (English)

It was a fantastic insight into what university lectures will be like, and seeing so many passionate students pushed me to work harder to get in.

– 2021 Participant
Screenshot of the Q&A with undergraduates from the 2021 Humanities Study Day

This year, the day will open with an introduction to the University of Oxford followed by the opportunity to attend two humanities subject lectures. You will learn more about the Oxford application process with additional resources provided to help. The day will conclude with a live Q&A where you will have the opportunity to ask your questions to current Oxford students from BAME backgrounds.  

For the academic lectures , you will be able to choose from the following subjects: ClassicsEnglishHistoryHistory of ArtModern LanguagesMusicAsian and Middle Eastern StudiesMusicPhilosophy or Theology. You will be able to specify your preferred lectures on the application form.  All lectures will be recorded and available to watch after the event. If you are unable to attend live on the 4th April but would like access to the recordings and resources, then please still submit an application via the form below. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Currently in Year 12 (or equivalent)
  • Identifying as having Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME) Heritage 
  • Attending a UK state school (unless you have extenuating circumstances or meet several of the priority criteria listed below) 
  • If spaces are limited, priority will be given to students who meet one or more of the following: first generation in your family to attend university, have experience of being in care, are a young carer, are eligible for Free School Meals/Pupil Premium, are from an area of deprivation or area with a low rate of progression to university.

To sign up, complete this application form.

Applications will close at 23:59 on February 26th 2023. We cannot guarantee every applicant a place but are aiming to accommodate a large number of students. You will find out if your application was successful by 10th March. 

If you have any questions about this form please email one of the organisers, Nuala, at outreach@magd.ox.ac.uk

Learn more about languages at Oxford!

Here at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, we organise and run a range of open days for prospective applicants and their parents/guardians and teachers each year. Open days are one of the best ways for students to get a real feel for a University, helping them to make informed decisions about their futures.

The Taylor Institution Library, Oxford University’s centre for the study of Modern European languages and literatures.

Over the course of February and March, we will be holding our language-specific open days, designed to provide greater insight into our undergraduate degree programmes. In comparison to our wider open day later in the year, language-specific open days are smaller and more focused in their scope, allowing more time to explore a subject in depth.

For example, the German Open Day offers an introduction to German film, German linguistics, and different types of German literature. On the Spanish and Portuguese Open Day, our wonderful academics will provide an introduction to Transatlantic Iberian Culture and attendees will get the chance to learn Portuguese in 15 minutes.

So, if you’re thinking about applying to study languages at Oxford, or want to find out more about a particular course, these open days offer a wonderful opportunity to meet some of our tutors and current students, come along to academic taster sessions which will give you a flavour of what it’s like to study languages, and ask lots of questions.

Below are the details of our 2023 language-specific open days. You will need to book a place at these events, which you can do via our open day website, where you will also find the event programmes.

Language-specific open days 2023

*Our German Open Day has been designed to be accessible for students considering beginners’ German. From this year’s admissions cycle, applicants can mix Joint Schools subjects with beginners’ German, so if you’re considering a degree in English, History, Philosophy etc., why not come along and try out some German!

You may have noticed that there is no specific open day for French: students interested in French should attend the Faculty’s main open day later in the year or one of the University open days in June or September. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about those events in future blog posts.

We look forward to having you along to our language-specific open days – don’t forget to book your place!

While you’re here: a reminder that applications to our 2023 UNIQ programme are still open! You can read more about this fantastic opportunity for UK state school students in last week’s blog post, or head to the website for further information.

Apply by 23 January!