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Modern & Medieval Languages

Director of Studies    Dr Emmanuela Davey (Murray Edwards College)
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Undergraduate Study

BA Modern and Medieval Languages


A number of Modern and Medieval Language Students are admitted per year. Students study two foreign languages, one of which can be learned from scratch (except French). Modern and Medieval Languages is a four year course with the third year of the course spent abroad. Other than ensuring you spend at least eight months of the year abroad, and whatever you are doing brings you into daily contact with the foreign language you are studying you are able to tailor the year to be of most use to you. As St Edmund's is an international College with students from around 80 different countries, it is usually possible to meet at least one person who will know the language that you wish to study!

Course Overview

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.

Year 2 (Part IB)

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 is further information about the course on the University and Faculty webpages.

Entry Requirements

Applications from mature students taking A levels or Access courses are welcome, however all applicants must hold an A Level/IB Higher Level in at least one of the languages they wish to study.

At-Interview Assessment

All applicants for the MML Tripos at St Edmund's will be required to take an at interview admissions test.  Further information about this will be provided.  
Please note that your performance in the assessment at interview will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.