Philosophy and Modern Languages: Overview and Entrance Requirements

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The “Philosophy and Modern Languages course is a unique interdisciplinary programme that merges the fields of philosophy and modern European languages. The study of philosophy hones analytical skills, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. Thus, it allows students to explore topics ranging from knowledge acquisition to moral judgments and the nature of language, art, and literature. Given that literature often reflects the prevailing philosophical ideas of its time, a background in philosophy enhances the understanding of literary works.

Concurrently, learning a modern European language equips students with linguistic proficiency and critical abilities. Studying literature in the chosen language deepens insight into European culture. This in turn fosters attention to stylistic nuances, rhetorical strategies, and historical contexts. These skills synergise effectively with philosophy studies. 

The Oxford Philosophy Faculty, renowned globally, also offers excellent resources and faculty members. The Modern Languages Faculty, one of the UK’s largest, provides access to the expansive Taylor Institution research library and a Language Centre.

Integral to the course is a year-long international experience, during which Modern Languages students engage in various activities abroad. This includes working as language assistants, doing internships, or studying at a university. 

The University also aims to sustain such opportunities despite challenges posed by Brexit, ensuring language competency improvement and fostering global perspectives.

The programme thus seamlessly integrates philosophy and language studies, offering comprehensive insights and practical skills for a diverse range of future pursuits.

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UCAS CodeSee course combinations
Minimum Entrance Requirements A-levels – AAA
Advanced Highers – AA/AAB
IB – 39 (including core points) with 666 at HL        
Admission Test for Philosophy and Modern Languages at OxfordMLAT (Modern Languages Admissions Test)
Test date: 20 October 2023
Registration deadline: 29 September 2023   
Subject RequirementsOne or more Modern Languages (depending on course choice) subjects are Essential. Some background in Philosophy is also recommended. 
Extras things admission tutors look forWritten work: One/two pieces
Candidates must also submit the same written work as required for Modern Languages.
The piece of written work submitted in English may also be seen by philosophy tutors. Therefore, it should show your capacity for reasoned argument and clear writing. A good length would be between 1000 and 2000 words.
Submission deadline: 10 November 2023
Duration4 years with year abroad (BA)
Admissions StatisticsInterviewed 83%
Successful: 28%
What is Philosophy and Modern Languages at Oxford?Philosophy and Modern Languages at Oxford is an interdisciplinary programme that combines philosophy and proficiency in a modern European language. 
It equips students with analytical rigour, critical thinking, and linguistic skills. The course also enhances their ability to analyse literature, explore philosophical ideas, and understand cultural contexts. 
Additionally, it offers international opportunities to develop language competence and global perspectives, preparing students for diverse career paths.”
Oxford Colleges that offer this courseVisit Modern Languages for full details of the different language courses available at different colleges.
Structure of the CourseYear 1 
Six Courses (two in Philosophy, four in Modern Languages) – Six written papers.
Year 2 & 4 (Year 3 spent abroad)
Nine written papers (with a minimum of three in Philosophy and four in Modern Languages
One Philosophy paper may be replaced by a thesis
Some Modern Languages papers may be replaced by a thesis or a portfolio of essays)
Modern Languages oral examination.
Common Careers after Philosophy and Modern Languages at OxfordGraduates secure opportunities in 
Academic Teaching And Research, Teaching, Commerce, Banking and Financial Services, Journalism and Communications.
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