Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) at Cambridge
The Cambridge course is uniquely flexible and interdisciplinary. You can pursue your interests in many areas – from Italian Renaissance art to contemporary Brazilian cinema, medieval German folk tales to socialist realism in Stalin’s Russia. MML also includes options in linguistics, such as the historical and cognitive dimensions of the languages you’re studying.
All our students study two languages, one of which can be learnt from scratch (the exceptions being French and Latin, for which A Level/IB Higher Level standard is required). No matter what your proficiency when you arrive, you’ll leave with near native-speaker competence in at least one of your languages. Most of our language classes are run by native speakers.
Our Faculty is one of the largest in the country. It consists of six departments, whose members are internationally renowned experts in their fields. In the Guardian University Guide 2015, Cambridge MML came top for modern languages and linguistics.
You study two languages for at least the first two years of the course. You can choose from:
Alternatively, you can combine any of these with either Classical Latin (if you’re taking it at A Level/IB Higher Level) or Classical Greek (which can be studied post-A Level or from scratch).
If you wish to combine one of these modern European languages with Arabic, Hebrew or Persian, you can do so by applying for the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies degree course.
See also ‘Want to study more than two languages?’ below.
Facilities and resources
Our students make use of the very well-stocked MML Faculty library, the Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Facility, and the Media Centre (which has all the equipment for film studies), as well as bespoke language teaching and learning materials at the Language Centre.
A year in...
MML students spend their year abroad in one of three ways: they attend a foreign university, become an English-speaking assistant at a school, or do an internship with a firm. In the past, some have:
- worked at a law firm in Zurich
- studied art history in Rome
- volunteered with the International Baby Food Action Network in Brazil
- conducted an orchestra in St Petersburg
You can tailor your year abroad to suit your own interests and later career goals, providing you spend at least eight months abroad and are constantly immersed in one of the foreign languages you’re studying.
You can choose to split the year between two countries, spending at least three months in each. Some financial support is available, see the Faculty website for information.
Fluency in a foreign language, an understanding of foreign cultures, analytical and research skills are all in great demand on the job market. Employers – even those who aren’t primarily interested in languages – particularly value the experience, independence and cross-cultural awareness our graduates have gained during their year abroad.
Most graduates use their languages in their work, and all build on the many skills developed during their degree. Our graduates find an array of different jobs are open to them. Recent destinations include the BBC World Service, international law firms, UNICEF in Islamabad, and KPMG.
For a small number, the degree is more directly vocational: they become professional linguists (translators or interpreters), usually after further specialised training. Further information on what our graduates go on to do is available on the Faculty website.
Want to study more than two languages?
In the second and fourth years, you can choose to take an introductory course in a language and culture you haven’t studied before. The languages currently on offer are Catalan, Dutch, Neo-Latin, Polish, Portuguese and Ukrainian.
Another possibility (open to any member of the University) is to take a one-year course at the University’s Language Centre to obtain a further language qualification. Courses are available in basic Arabic and Mandarin; and in basic, intermediate and advanced French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.
Diploma and certificate courses may be available through the Faculty. Please visit our website or contact the Faculty Office for more information.