How we teach

The two main components of the Modern Languages degree are language and literature.

Language work comprises 50% of the degree. Throughout the course, you will have weekly classes conducted by native speakers and classes on translation with your college tutor.

The majority of teaching on the literature side is delivered through lectures and tutorials. Lectures are run by the Faculty, given by experts in the relevant field, and open to students across the University. Most of your teaching, however, will be based on tutorials (many of them one-on-one). Much of this teaching is done in Hertford, especially in the first year. From the second year on, you have significant freedom when it comes to choosing what to study; we will arrange specialist teaching with experts at other colleges when necessary. 

Tutorials take the form of a conversation between tutor and student(s). The starting point for discussion will normally be a commentary passage or an essay question, which you will have worked on in the previous week. Each hour gives you a chance to discuss a particular topic with your tutor and fellow students, to develop and refine your reading of individual authors or works of literature, and to ask questions about what you have read and written in preparation for the tutorial. The more independent study you undertake, the better prepared you will be to get the most out of each tutorial.