How to Apply

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How to Apply

Applications should be made through the Graduate Admissions Office. Full details of how to apply can be found on the main University website Graduate Admissions pages.

Candidates for all degrees must be accepted by both the Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and by a College or Permanent Private Hall. Candidates may indicate their preference in the their application for a particular College or Permanent Private Hall, but this does not guarantee acceptance by that College or Hall. However, the Faculty will undertake to find a place for any candidate it accepts at one of the institutes that offers postgraduate studies in Languages.

Entry Requirements

The normal qualification for admission to study for a higher degree is a first or good upper second-class honours degree, or the equivalent, in the relevant language, or proof of linguistic ability commensurate with advanced literary study.

Applicants for the MSt in Slavonic Studies must have taken either Russian (as a sole language or as one of two languages) or Czech (with Slovak) in the Oxford Honour School of Modern Languages, or hold a comparable degree in a Slavonic language from another university, or must satisfy the Committee that they possess the necessary qualifications in a Slavonic language to profit from the course.

If English is not your first language, you are required to submit English language test results at the higher level.

Specific admissions criteria for each course can be found on the respective course page on the University’s central admissions website.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for all degrees are in November, January and March. Deadlines will be published on the Graduate Admissions website. Applications for funding (for all funding schemes) must be received by the January deadline. 

Applications are assessed in batches and all complete applications for a particular programme of study will be assessed and compared against each other after the applicable closing date. This system ensures that applications are assessed in a manner that complies with the current Equal Opportunities legislation in the United Kingdom.

All applications will be academically assessed firstly against the admissions criteria for that programme and then relatively in terms of the quality of previous academic excellence and future potential in comparison with the applications also received from other candidates for that programme.

In order for your application to be considered you must submit in good time to ensure that it reaches us in full on or before the relevant application deadline (closing date).

Application Process


We do not routinely interview applicants for Masters’ programmes. Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process for the DPhil. If we do talk to you, face-to-face or on the telephone, the object of the discussion will normally be to clarify certain aspects of your application.

Result of the Application

Once your complete application has been academically assessed, you will be notified of the result. If you are successful and are offered a place, your offer letter will make clear any conditions (for example, achieving a particular degree result or providing an original language test result).

If your application is accepted by the Faculty, it will be passed to the college you have placed first on your list. You do not need to be in your supervisor’s college, but it might be sensible to choose a college that has a Fellow in the language you want to study.  If your first-choice college accepts you, you will receive an offer of a place subject to the fulfilment of financial conditions. Should your first-choice college be unable to offer you a place, you will still definitely have a place but it may be at your second-choice college or at a college that is allocated on your behalf.

Your application is processed by the Graduate Admissions Office and they can discuss the progress of your application with you. More information about the application process can be found on the main University website Graduate Admissions pages.

Please note that if a candidate’s final results are not available by the end of August, we reserve the right to defer an offered place until the following year, or until such time as the results can be provided.

Readmission applicants

Readmission applicants are treated in the same way as any other applicants, with the exception that they are not charged the application fee. They will need to provide all mandatory documents for the course, and be in receipt of at least two references for their application to be deemed ready for assessment. One of their references should be from their Oxford course supervisor. More information can be found on the University’s Graduate Admissions website.

Supporting Documents

Application Fee

There is an application fee (currently £75) to pay for each programme application that you make. The fee is non-refundable and is payable whether your application is ultimately successful or not. We cannot process your application unless we receive payment in full at the same time. You must pay in GBP (£) via credit or debit card and your card will be charged as you submit your application. 

The online application process allows you to apply for more than one course using the same registered user name and other information. You must provide separate supporting materials for each programme.

Submitted Work

You should submit two pieces of written work of approx. 2000 words each. Longer pieces should have a section of 2000 words clearly highlighted. Where necessary, a cover note may be attached, placing the extract in a larger context.

One of these pieces of work should be in English, the other may be in the language(s) relevant to the proposed course of study. Alternatively, both pieces of work may be written in English.

Proposal or Statement of Purpose

All applications will be read and carefully evaluated by specialists. You do not need to catch our attention. What you do need to do is to convince us that you have the right intellectual qualities, academic knowledge and skills (this should not take more than between 500 and 1,000 words).

A successful proposal/statement of purpose will explain how you see the programme you are applying for building upon your previous study and what you hope to do with the qualification you gain from us. Applicants for the M.St and M.Phil programmes might include details of the Special Subject options that most interest them. You should also explore the kinds of problems and issues you hope to engage with during the programme, while also demonstrating your knowledge of the subject and your understanding of how your proposed research relates to the wider discipline.


All applicants should provide three letters from academic persons closely acquainted with their work. The referees should express an opinion on the candidate’s aptitude for research.


Fees and funding

As a condition of your offer, your college will require proof that you can pay the necessary fees and support yourself for the duration of the course. For full details of fees please click here.

Funding available

The Faculty has one of the largest number of studentships/funding opportunities available of any Modern Languages Department in the country.  Over half of our students receive funding from one source or another.  All applications received by the January deadline are automatically considered for a number of funding opportunities.

In 2016-17 the Faculty was able to offer 23 new awards (14 for doctoral studies and 9 for taught courses) for the academic year 2017-18 and anticipates being able to offer a similar number of awards for 2018-19 entrants.

The AHRC grant application process (open to UK/ EU students only) is managed by the University, so there is no need for a separate application to the AHRC. The Humanities Division has a block grant allocation of 40 doctoral and 10 master’s awards from the AHRC. Modern Languages also nominates candidates each year for Clarendon Scholarships (open to UK/ EU and Overseas students). The Humanities Division offers around 35 Clarendon Scholarships a year. Smaller numbers of other scholarships are also offered, and in the 2018 competition one Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship (open to UK residents) will be available to Modern Languages candidates. All eligible candidates are automatically considered for these scholarships.  Further information about these funds are available here

Modern Languages applicants can apply for the Ertegun Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities.  These are available to UK, EU and overseas students applying for entry to master’s and doctoral programmes. Applicants need to submit a supporting statement in addition to indicating that they wish to be considered for this particular scholarship on their University application.  Further information about this funding is available here.  

The Faculty also offers studentships in partnership with some colleges. All eligible candidates are automatically considered for these studentships, which are open to UK/ EU students only.

For 2018-19, these include: 

Katritzky Foundation-Heath Harrison Scholarship (to be held at St Catherine’s College) available to an MSt student in German Studies (literary history, art history, history of ideas, history of aesthetics) who will address one of the following possible topics: Anglo-German cultural transfer in the late-Enlightenment and/or Romantic periods (e.g. transfer and productive reception of literary and scientific culture); Literature and Science (e.g. electricity, chemistry and literary innovation); Romanticism and its reception of Enlightenment ideas; Writers and scholars (e.g. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg) as scientific and cultural intermediaries.  The possibility of continued funding for progression to the DPhil might be available.

Jeanette Beer Prize–Zaharoff Graduate Studentship in Medieval French (to be held at St Hilda’s College) available to a DPhil student intending to undertake research in the area of Medieval French.

Thatcher Scholarship (to be held at Somerville College) available to one Masters or DPhil student. Information on the Thatcher Scholarship is available here






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