English & Modern Languages

English and Modern Languages is a highly rewarding degree that is both intellectually stimulating and demanding.

EML students study two languages and their associated literatures: English, and a chosen foreign language from the MFL options offered.

You are encouraged to compare and find connections between these two cultures through their language and literature. Such links are a huge advantage and will contribute to your enjoyment of the course.

The English and Modern Languages degree will equip you with analytical and writing skills that are readily transferable into many other situations and many professions. It opens up the opportunity to go into a great variety of careers.

With a strong cohort of students on these joint courses, Pembroke is a great College to choose if you are considering this degree.

Course Details

The joint school in English and Modern Languages offers you a very wide choice of options. It is largely open to you to design the course of study which meets your own interests: tutors in your college will offer advice and help you to select the subjects best suited to your strengths. The course trains you to set different kinds of writing, in different languages, in their full social, historical, literary and linguistic contexts. You will read widely in poetry, fiction, drama and criticism and will learn to analyse and to write critically about what you have read.

The course also usually includes a year abroad, offering you the opportunity to practise your language skills on an everyday basis, as well as acquiring first-hand experience of the culture you have been studying. The Modern Languages Faculty offers help with finding placements in your chosen country.

In your first year you will study equal amounts of English and your chosen modern language. From the modern language side, you will combine learning the language (through comprehension and translation exercises) with literary studies (through critical commentaries and wider essays on a small range of set texts. From the English side, you will take an introduction to literary studies course, and then study one period of literature selected from Early Medieval, Victorian or Modern.

In your second and final years, from the modern language side, you will continue with language work and translations in your chosen language, in addition to choosing options from a wide range of period papers, linguistic, and other language topics. From the English side, you will choose three papers from a broad range of options including period papers running from medieval times to the present day, Shakespeare and special topics. You will also offer a dissertation in any area of English Language or Literature, or combining the two aspects of your study.