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Modern & Medieval Languages

  • Director of Studies Dr Emanuela Davey
  • Faculty Website

If you like learning languages but also want to learn more than just the words, then the Modern & Medieval Languages course at Cambridge University may well be for you.

Exterior view of Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages

Modern & Medieval Languages at ҹѰ

Alongside intensive language study, the MML degree gives you a wide range of opportunities to learn about the culture, literature, cinema, history, philosophy, art and ideas of other countries, or about the nature of language itself (linguistics).

The MML course at Cambridge lasts four years, with the third year spent abroad. The main languages available for study are: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. It is also perfectly possible to combine a European language with a classical language (e.g. classical Greek or classical Latin) or with a language from Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (such as Arabic). Studying MML will give you the opportunity to become fluent in at least two languages.

All the languages on offer in the Faculty, except for French, may be started ab initio, and a substantial proportion of students each year choose to do this. Beginners follow a different course from post A-level students in their first year and, where language papers only are concerned, in their second. The third and fourth year of the course is identical for ex-beginners and post A-level students. Starting a new language is hard work, but most students who choose this option find it very rewarding.

You can find further information about studying Modern & Medieval Languages on the University's course . Detailed information is also available on the Faculty's Prospective Undergraduates .

The Year Abroad

The third year is spent abroad, in a country in which one of your languages is spoken as a first or second language. Many students enrol in a university course given in the target language (the course may be in any subject, provided that instruction is in the language you have been studying). Others teach English as a Language Assistant at a school through the British Council. Others again opt to work abroad, as interns or in paying positions. 

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Entry Requirements

Applicants to all Colleges for the Modern & Medieval Languages course should be studying at A level (or equivalent) at least one of the two languages to be studied at Cambridge. Beyond that there are no required subjects. Whilst it is always helpful to be able to demonstrate linguistic aptitude at the same, or lower, level, many combinations of subjects provide a strong basis for the study of modern languages. It is also helpful to be able to demonstrate critical engagement with the literature and culture of the societies where the languages to be studied are spoken. This may emerge from curricular studies in History, Media, Literature or society of the country; or it may come from extra-curricular study. 

Please consult the University's for further information.


Applications to study MML at ҹѰ are submitted through UCAS. The College additionally requires the submission of written work, a separate written assessment and an online interview, as detailed below.

Written Work

Applicants are required to submit two pieces of written work by 2 November. One piece should be in one of the languages you intend to study at University. For the March round, all applicants must submit their written work by 8 March.


Those interviewed will also sit a written assessment around the time of the interview. Further information about the written assessment can be found on our applying page.


Shortlisted candidates will be invited to be interviewed in December (or late March for those who apply in the March round). There will be one or two interviews (in total lasting 40-50 minutes) which will be conducted online via Zoom.

For more information about making an application, please visit our application webpages

You can also find useful information on our Application FAQs page.