We are keen to support the development of students' language learning. Language tuition is encouraged and we sponsor language acquisition, as far as feasible, so that students are given the chance to improve existing foreign language skills or to learn a new language in order to extend the scope of their research.
The History Faculty organises courses in French, German, Spanish and Italian for postgraduate students; there are facilities for independent study, and it is sometimes possible to organise or fund additional provision. Please note that in general, teaching is envisaged as accompanying and supporting students' independent study - the aim is not to coach, but to support students' learning.
Language as a subject of study
Attendance to either the pre-term or term-time course is considered compulsory for those arriving without evidence of proficiency in the language to read for the MSt in Medieval History or the MSt in Medieval Studies (unless they opt for another medieval language), and for research students in medieval history. Proof of enrolment in a similar Latin course outside Oxford would be an acceptable alternative.
If you are enrolling in the MSt/MPhil in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies you should carefully consider, in consultation with your supervisor, how much additional commitment to language learning you can realistically undertake as the programme was conceived with comprehensive language modules included.
Studying European Languages
The University's Language Centre provides courses in major languages at every level, including reading courses, and the Faculty co-organises with the Language Centre reading classes in French, German, Spanish and Italian. In the case of continental European topics, students will need to satisfy their supervisor and the course convenor that they have, or are acquiring, adequate (reading) knowledge of the relevant language(s) to pursue their dissertation work.