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Course options

  • Qualification

    MPhil - Master of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    21 months

Course summary

About the course

The MPhil in Modern Languages is designed to allow those who have a high level of attainment in a foreign language, and have studied literature to a degree level, to undertake more advanced work. The course is suitable both if you wish to proceed to a research degree or if you wish to spend only two years at Oxford.

The MPhil in Modern Languages allows you to undertake advanced work in one or two literatures, working in medieval studies, Renaissance studies or modern literary studies. The degree has three components.

  • three special subject options
  • a theoretical or methodological component
  • a dissertation of not more than 25,000 words

If you wish to proceed to a research degree, the MPhil will allow you to work towards the identification of a precise thesis subject and to gather research materials. This degree is also suitable if you do not wish to proceed to a research degree, as it will enable you to build upon your undergraduate studies and to reflect on the methods of literary and cultural analysis.

You may choose to pursue a single language or study two literatures (including English) comparatively. You may also follow programmes in European Enlightenment, cultural studies, or medieval literatures.


You study three special subjects, one of which should be self-devised.

With your supervisor(s), you will select your best essay(s) to be submitted for examination. Special subject submissions may comprise one or two essays to a total maximum word length of between 5,000-7,000 words.

The portfolio will be jointly marked by an examiner and your special subject tutor. Should there be any substantial disagreement between the two markers, an external examiner will adjudicate. The assessor(s) will take account of the fact that the essays were written in the first two terms of your course.

You will choose one of our Methods of Criticism or Scholarship seminars

  • Key Questions in Critical Thought?—?submission of an essay of 5,000-7,000 words for examination at the end of the second term;
  • Spaces of Comparison?—?submission of an essay of 5,000-7,000 words for examination at the end of the second term on a topic relating to the issues covered in the lectures and seminars;
  • History of Ideas in Germany from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries?—?submission of an essay of 5,000-7,000 words for examination at the end of the second term, which may be written in English or German;
  • Palaeography and Textual Criticism?—?submission of an essay of 5,000-7,000 words; or
  • History of the Book?—?submission of an essay of 5,000-7,000 words.

Graduate destinations

Many MPhil students proceed to doctoral degrees at Oxford or at other universities. Other graduate destinations include teaching, journalism, law, publishing and the civil service.

You will submit a dissertation of 20,000?-25,000 words in the sixth week of the last term of study.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 29

  • Entry standards

    / Max 222
    194 94%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    80 80%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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