Modern Languages

Courses offered

The College admits 9 students per year for degrees involving Modern Languages:

BA (Hons) Modern Languages BA (Hons) Modern Languages & Linguistics BA (Hons) Classics & Modern Languages BA (Hons) English & Modern Languages BA (Hons) History & Modern Languages BA (Hons) Philosophy & Modern Languages BA (Hons) European & Middle Eastern Languages


Dr Francesco Giusti (Italian)
Professor Philip Bullock (Russian)
Dr María del Pilar Blanco (Spanish)
Dr Louise Mycock (Linguistics)
Dr Birgit Mikus (German)
Dr Jennifer Oliver (French)

Course overview

The College currently admits 9 undergraduates a year to read Modern Languages and the associated Joint Schools with Classics, English, History, Philosophy, Linguistics and Middle Eastern Languages. Applicants are welcome in all languages, but for the Honour School of Modern Languages, one of the languages offered must be French or German; for European and Middle Eastern Languages, the European language must be French or German. For the other joint schools, any language may be offered. Beginners may be admitted to read Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Modern Greek, Czech or Russian.

Undergraduates reading French and/or German may expect to be taught for the greater part of their course by the College’s resident Fellows in those languages, but some options are taught by specialists outside the College. Language teaching in French and German is carried out within the College, in part by native speakers. The other languages are taught on an intercollegiate basis, but under the supervision of the College Lecturers. Dr Bullock’s (Russian) current research focuses on the relationship between words and music in Russian culture, with special reference to the song tradition.  He has also published on twentieth-century literature, particularly Soviet writer, Andrei Platonov. Dr Tandello’s (Italian) interests range from modern Italian poetry (Leopardi, Montale, Rosselli) to dialects in Italian literature, and modern drama (Pirandello in particular). Dr del Pilar Blanco (Spanish) is currently working on a project that explores the intersections of science and literature in the work of the Spanish American modernistas during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The facilities of the Taylor Institution, the centre for Modern Languages studies in Oxford and one of the major research centres for the subject in Britain, are very near to the College, as is the University Language Centre, which provides audio-visual language teaching.

The year abroad (between the second and final year of study in Oxford) is a key part of the course, and Worcester undergraduates have in the past spent their year in places as diverse as Martinique, French Guiana, Moscow and Mexico City, as well as in Western European countries.


Applicants are naturally required to have a good standard of linguistic competence, and since the Oxford course also has a very substantial literary content, we expect candidates to show evidence of a commitment to, and aptitude for, literary study. The course offers a very wide range of options from the Middle Ages to the present day, from poetry to drama to film, together with linguistic studies.

More information is available on the university website at and on the department website at

Further advice on A-levels and equivalent qualifications for students interested in applying to Oxford is available at

For information about international qualifications please go to

Applications for deferred entry: our tutors firmly believe that a year abroad can be useful, especially if the year is spent where the language to be studied is spoken.  This is particularly true for candidates taking up a new language. However, you should set against this the difficulty of gaining a place for deferred entry, as our tutors would need to be convinced that you would be among the best of the following year's applicants. Of course, the gain in linguistic skills during the year abroad would be beneficial.