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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSt - Master of Studies

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    9 months

Course summary

About the course

The MSt 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 for candidates wishing to proceed to a research degree and for those who wish to spend only one year at Oxford.

The MSt 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 comprises three components.

  • two special subject options
  • a theoretical or methodological component
  • a dissertation

If you wish to proceed to a research degree, the MSt 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 enables 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.


The theoretical/methodological course runs across during Michaelmas and Hilary terms, and involves a series of hour-long lectures and, depending on student numbers, either seminars or tutorials, lasting up to two hours, in which students give presentations to their tutor/s and peers. At the end of Hilary term, students must submit a 5,000-7,000 word paper.

Each special subject runs across one of either Michaelmas or Hilary terms, and normally involves four meetings, which, depending on student numbers, may take the form of classes or tutorials. These meetings are normally fortnightly.


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.

You will also submit a dissertation of no more than 12,000 words.

Graduate destinations

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

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460overall cost

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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