English and Modern Languages

Last updated: 1Β year ago

A flexible course combining your preferred elements of the English and Languages courses, offering the chance to study language and literature ranging from Medieval to present day!

Course Resources

Here are some general resources related to English and Modern Languages.


Overview πŸ”— A good overview of the course, with an outline of its structure, entry requirements, and more.

Course Structure πŸ”— 🌟 More information from the faculty websites on the structure of this joint honours course.

Alternative Prospectus πŸ”— Written by students, this offers a useful simple overview of the course, alongside students’ own experiences.

English course structure πŸ”— Remember that in first year you only take two of the papers listed here, the β€˜Intro to English Lang and Lit’ one and whichever you choose out of the other three. Across your second year, year abroad and final year, you’ll only be working on three papers from the list given by English here, which again you choose.

Modern Languages course structure πŸ”— Find useful links here to information about languages teaching at Oxford, the different languages on offer, the year abroad, and the Modern Languages Prospectus πŸ”— 🌟.

More things to explore

A typical week:
It’s tricky to get a grip on what your timetable will look and feel like just from information on websites. This is especially true when EML is such a flexible course. It truly is YOUR degree: the number of options and amount of choice open to you mean that you really do cater your course to your interests. You might even end up being the only student in your year who does a certain combination of options, especially if you study a less mainstream language! So, the bottom line is that finding what working schedule works for you personally is even more important for an EML student.

However, as a basic and general picture, EML works by structuring your time around your necessary contact hours, and your written work. Language classes (similar to A Level - reading, writing, listening, speaking) take up between 2-3 hours and 4-5 hours per week. You’ll be in the 4-5 hour bracket if you choose a beginners’ language, and will have fewer language classes in the later years of the degree as you make rapid progress in the language! You’ll then have 1 or 2 tutorials a week (1 hour each); sometimes a seminar (typically 2 hours); and then a couple of compulsory lectures.

The bulk of your remaining time is reading, planning and writing essays for the literature side of the course (1 per week, typically); completing written translation work (weekly or fortnightly); some language exercise homework (similar to but less demanding than A Level); and going to any supplementary lectures that you fancy. Lectures have less emphasis as a core teaching method at Oxford than in many other unis, as the focus at Oxford is really on the tutorial system.

Modern Languages Student Q&A πŸ”— 🌟 Current Modern Languages students (from different degree combinations!) answer questions about their courses, including the balance of the course, teaching and exams, the year abroad, and their favourite parts of their degree.

Application Resources

English admissions process πŸ”— An outline of requirements and the admissions procedure on the English side.

English selection criteria πŸ”— An explanation of the different elements of your application for English, and the selection criteria.

Modern Languages admissions process πŸ”— An outline of requirements and the procedure on the Modern Languages side.

Modern Languages FAQ πŸ”— Some common questions about the Modern Languages application process, including how to prepare πŸ”— 🌟.

English and Modern Languages application advice πŸ”— 🌟 Good tips for your personal statement, admissions tests, and interviews, written by a student.

ELAT information πŸ”— Details about the admissions test for English.

MLAT information πŸ”— Details about the admissions test for Modern Languages.

English Reading List πŸ”— 🌟 This reading list, compiled by Balliol College, is for the papers that first-years take. Don’t be intimidated by how long it is; the texts are intended to be worked through over the course of a full academic year, and honestly no one reads everything anyway.

Languages Reading List πŸ”— A list of suggested texts created by the Modern Languages faculty.

Alternative Prospectus interview page πŸ”— Three students share their interview experiences.

Sample Interview questions πŸ”— Find the relevant subjects on the list for examples of the kind of questions you could be asked. These are written by Oxford tutors who carry out interviews every year!

Modern Languages Mock Interview πŸ”—

English Mock Interview πŸ”—

InsideUni English and Modern Languages interview experiences πŸ”— 🌟 Current students talk about their interview experience, as well as sharing some tips. We’re biased, but we think they’re useful!