Master of Studies in Modern Languages

  • 1. Candidates must follow a Programme chosen from those listed in the ‘Handbook for Taught-Course Graduate Students’.

    In order to gain admission to the course, applicants must show evidence of linguistic ability compatible with advanced literary study in the language(s) chosen to study. Comparative Literature candidates shall not be required to have reading fluency in more than two languages other than English. Unless otherwise stated, candidates will be expected to write in English unless explicit permission is obtained to write in the language (or one of the languages) studied. In the case of Comparative Literature candidates, writing in more than one language in addition to English will not be authorised.

    All candidates must follow a course of instruction in Modern Languages at Oxford for a period of three terms, unless the Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages in exceptional circumstances shall permit an extension of time, and candidates shall, when entering their name for the examination, be required to produce from their society a certificate stating that they are following the course of instruction for the period prescribed.

  • 2. All candidates shall be required:

    • (a) To offer A, B, C, and D as defined in 3 below.

    • (b) To present themselves for viva voce examination at the time appointed by the examiners.

  • 3. The examination shall consist of the following:

  • (A) One of the following options:

    • (i) Key Questions in Critical Thought

    • (ii) Spaces of Comparison

    • (iii) History of Ideas in Germany from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century

    • (iv) Palaeography, History of the Book and Digital Humanities

    Candidates are required to submit an essay on one of the options above of between 5,000 and 7,000 words in total.

  • [For students starting before MT 2018: Candidates must submit three typed copies to the Head of Examinations and Assessments, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by noon on Thursday of the tenth week of Hilary Term].

  • [For students starting from MT 2018: The essays should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook, by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Hilary Term.]

  • Each copy must have a cover sheet giving the candidate's name, college, the title of the essay, the name of the candidate's supervisor, and the title of the 'method' option submitted.

  • The work submitted under (i), (ii) or (iv) must be written in English; the work submitted under (iii) may be written in English or German.

    Approval must be sought for the choice of options in (A) by the end of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term.

  • (B) A dissertation of between 10,000 and 12,000 words written in English, or, with the approval of the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty Board, in the language appropriate to the literature concerned, on a topic connected with those offered in (A) (i), (ii), or (iii) above or (C) below, but distinct from those covered by the essays submitted under (A) or (C), and approved by the Modern Languages Board. Candidates are required to register the subject area or title of their dissertation with the Modern Languages Graduate Office by the end of the fourth week of Hilary Term.

    [For students starting before MT 2018: The dissertation must be presented in proper scholarly form. Three copies typed in double-spacing on one side only of quarto or A4 paper, each copy bound or held firmly in a cover, must be delivered to the Head of Examinations and Assessments, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by noon on Thursday of the sixth week of Trinity Term.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2018: The dissertation should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook, by noon on Thursday of Week 7 of Trinity Term.]

  • (C and D) Two Special Subjects

    Candidates may select two Special Subjects from those listed in the 'Graduate Studies in Modern Languages' handbook as associated with the programme which they are following; candidates may select a special subject from a different programme with the approval of their supervisor; or candidates may propose Special Subjects of their own devising, provided that each subject has the written support of the candidate's supervisor and is approved by or on behalf of the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty Board. A proposal for a Special Subject of the candidate's own devising shall be accompanied by a statement (of approximately 100 words) of the character and scope of the subject proposed. Approval of all Special Subjects must be sought, by application to the Modern Languages Graduate Office, 41 Wellington Square, Oxford by end of the fourth week of Michaelmas Term. Approval of Special Subjects proposed will be dependent on the availability of teaching and examining resources at the relevant time.

    Candidates will normally offer two Special Subjects from the same language and area or from different areas in the same language. The Comparative Literature Programme will contain Special Subjects from two different languages.

    Candidates will be examined on an essay, or two essays (which may be written in English, or, with the approval of the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty Board, in the language appropriate to the literature concerned), on the topics they have agreed with the supervisor of each Special Subject. The length of the work submitted for each Special Subject should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words in total.

  • 4. Candidates for Comparative Literature should ensure that either at least one of the special subjects (C and D) is comparative in scope or the two special subjects are concerned with different languages. The dissertation must deal explicitly with comparative issues.

  • 5. In addition to submitting the dissertation (B), students are required to submit work for assessment on all three of the non-dissertation components (A, C, and D). Of these three, the lowest passing mark will be discounted in the final assessment. A fail mark must always be included in the final assessment.

    [For students starting before MT 2018: The Special Subject essays for Michaelmas Term shall be submitted to the Head of Examinations and Assessments, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by noon on Thursday of the tenth week of Michaelmas Term. The Special Subject essays for Hilary Term shall be submitted to the Head of Examinations and Assessments, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, by noon on Thursday of the tenth week of Hilary Term.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2018: The Special Subject essays for Michaelmas Term should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook, by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Michaelmas Term.  The Special Subject essays for Hilary Term should be formatted and submitted electronically as specified in the course handbook, by noon on Thursday of Week 10 of Hilary Term.]

    In the case of resubmission, candidates shall be required to resubmit all the material by noon on Thursday of the [For students starting before MT 2018: sixth week ][For students starting from MT 2018: Week 6 ]of the first Trinity Term following their first examination. Candidates may resubmit on one occasion only.

  • [For students starting before MT 2018: 6. The examiners may award a Distinction for excellence in the whole examination.]