The Faculty does not compel students to learn a foreign language; nor does it discriminate against those who do not wish to do so. It aims to allow those who want to continue studying languages some structure within which to do this. At present, colleges organise teaching for those who wish to take up or keep up a language for the purpose of sitting the optional examination paper and for enhancing new study of non-British history.
The Faculty offers a ‘languages’ stream of options within the Themes and Sources paper in Part I for students who arrive with at least an AS-level or equivalent in the relevant language. These involve online and personal language teaching to prepare students to study primary sources in the original and to use them in their examined work. French and German options are currently offered.
Undergraduates who wish to extend their linguistic expertise may also do so in various other ways, for instance by enrolling at the University Language Centre. If their aim is a formal university qualification in a foreign language, they should consider entering for the examinations offered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. These are the Diploma, offered in all the major European languages for those who have already attained a high standard at A-level in the relevant language, and the Certificate, intended for beginners and those with GCSE, and offered in the same languages but excluding French and German. Both are one-year courses involving about ten hours of work per week. Further information is available from the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. The university also runs classes for beginners in Latin, Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese.