Modern Languages & Joint Schools

The languages and literature of a wide range of modern countries

Average intake: 11

  • Modern Languages are taught in St John's through a combination of seminars and tutorials for the courses on literature, film, thought or linguistics, as chosen by students.  Our tutors are experts who work with you closely throughout your undergraduate career.
  • Our students are also part of top-quality departments, led by scholars of international standing. In the most recent QS World University Rankings (2020), Oxford came first for Modern Languages.
  • All modern languages students have access to the University's excellently equipped Language Centre.
  • All of the Modern Languages courses allow for study of the culture of the nation(s) in which your language is spoken, through options on literature, thought or film. Options in advanced translation or linguistics allow you to devote up to three-quarters of your course to study of the language itself, if you wish.
  • Because of the college and tutorial system, a large proportion of your course will be taught through individual or small-group teaching. The tutorial system also offers you huge flexibility to follow your own interests in the subject as your course progresses.
  • St John's is the best-situated college in Oxford for Modern Languages students, being just opposite the Modern Languages Faculty (known as the Taylor Institution), where lectures are held and the libraries are found. We are just a couple of minutes' walk from the Language Centre.
  • For students of French, the Maison Française, a unique cultural institute offering film-screenings, visiting speakers and other events, is also nearby.
  • Our own College Library also offers excellent resources in modern languages.
  • Both written and spoken language is taught in small-group classes involving native-speaker instructors.
  • We offer book grants to help students with their studies, and award travel grants to enable projects likely to help you with fluency in your chosen language.
  • The Moore Society is a thriving student-led Modern Languages society, offering film screenings, social events and an annual dinner.
  • All courses include a year abroad, usually in the third year. Your tutor will help you arrange your placement, which may be as an exchange student at a foreign university, as a teaching assistant in a school, or a work-experience internship.
  • In recent years, Modern Languages graduates from St John's have gone on to work in translation and interpreting, the media, law, finance, the civil service and the armed forces, as well as post-graduate study.
  • For the current range of language combinations available please check the University Website.

Read the department's newsletter, Spotlight on Modern Languages at St John's.

Read a profile of a St John's student studying German here.
Read a profile of a St John's student studying Spanish and Linguistics here.
Read a profile of a St John's student studying German & Arabic here.

Watch five St John's students talking about studying French & Philosophy, French & Linguistics, French & History, French, and German:

Philosophy and French - Danielle Green

Related information

Selection criteria

Modern Languages & Joint Schools tutors