Modern and Medieval Languages

University of Cambridge
In Cambridge

Price on request
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Important information

Typology Bachelor's degree
Location Cambridge
Start Different dates available
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Cambridge
  • Start:
    Different dates available

Overview Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) at Cambridge The Cambridge course is uniquely flexible and interdisciplinary. You can pursue your interests in many areas – from Italian Renaissance art to contemporary Brazilian cinema, medieval German folk tales to socialist realism in Stalin’s Russia. MML also includes options in linguistics, such as the historical and cognitive dimensions of the languages you’re studying. All our students study two languages, one of which can be learnt from scratch (the exceptions being French and Latin, for which A Level/IB Higher Level standard is required). No matter what your proficiency when you arrive, you leave with near native-speaker competence in at least one of your languages. Most of our language classes are run by native speakers. Our Faculty is one of the largest in the country. It consists of six departments, whose members are internationally renowned experts in their fields. In the Guardian University Guide 2016, Cambridge came top for modern languages and linguistics.  Languages available You study two languages for at least the first two years of the course. You can choose from: French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish Alternatively, you can combine any of these with either Classical Latin (if you’re taking it at A Level/IB Higher Level) or Classical Greek (which can be studied post-A Level or from scratch). If you wish to combine one of these modern European languages with Arabic, Hebrew or Persian, you can do so by applying for the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies degree course. It is also possible to combine French, German, Russian or Spanish with History in the History and Modern Languages course. See also ‘Want to study more than two languages?’ below. Facilities and resources Our students make use of the very well-stocked Faculty library, the Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Facility, and the Media Centre (which has all the equipment for film...


Where and when

Starts Location
Different dates available
1 Trumpington Street, CB2 1QA, Cambridgeshire , England
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Starts Different dates available
1 Trumpington Street, CB2 1QA, Cambridgeshire , England
See map

Frequent Asked Questions

· Requirements

Entry Requirements

Typical offers require

A Level: A*AA
IB: 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level

For other qualifications, see our main Entrance requirements pages.

Course requirements

Required by all Colleges: A Level/IB Higher Level in at least one of the languages you want to study

All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges so check College websites for...

What you'll learn on the course


Course programme

Course Outline Modern and Medieval Languages Course Outline

Teaching is made up of lectures, seminars, language classes, intensive oral work in small groups, and supervisions. For your supervisions, you prepare written work which you then discuss with a specialist in the field. In your first year, you can generally expect around 12-14 hours of teaching each week.

You’re assessed at the end of each year, primarily through written and oral examinations, and the submission of an extended research project (usually a dissertation) at the end of Year 3. You may also offer a second dissertation instead of one of the Part II written examination papers.

Year 1 (Part IA) Developing your language skills

You study two languages, at least one at post-A Level/IB Higher Level standard. You should indicate which languages you’re interested in studying in your Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). The choice isn’t final, and many students change their mind before (or after) they start.

The main emphasis in Year 1 is on developing your language skills, taught by a range of methods including Faculty classes of up to 15 students, and supervisions in groups of two or three. You also take an introductory paper in which you explore three or more of the following topics:

  • literature
  • linguistics
  • history
  • thought
  • film
  • art
Year 2 (Part IB) Acquiring native or near-native fluency

In your second year, you take five papers in total. You continue intensive language study with the aim of acquiring native or near-native fluency in both languages, and choose from a wide range of papers covering topics such as:

  • literature
  • history
  • linguistics
  • film
  • thought
  • art
  • an introduction to a language and culture you haven’t studied before

You have the option to replace one exam with coursework in the second year.

Years 3 and 4 (Part II) Specialisation and options

Year 3

In the third year, you spend at least eight months abroad, during which time you prepare a project that counts as one sixth of your final mark. This can be a dissertation, a translation project or a linguistics project.

Just before the fourth year starts, you take an oral examination back in Cambridge.

Year 4

You take six papers and are free to specialise in one language, to combine options from two or more languages, to take comparative options and/or to take up to two options from certain other courses (eg English, History).

You do advanced language work and focus on topics such as literature, linguistics, thought, history, film etc in one or two of your languages.

There are also a number of comparative papers on offer which allow you to combine the study of both of your languages. These currently include papers on European film, the body, and the linguistics of the Germanic, Romance, and Slavonic language families. Many students replace one of their written papers with a further dissertation (currently 8,000-10,000 words).

For further information about studying Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge see the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages website.

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