St Edmund Hall Admissions Essay

Modern Languages at Oxford

The Oxford degree in Modern Languages aims to secure an excellent command of the spoken and written language, building on an accurate knowledge of grammar as the basis of successful self-expression and spoken fluency in the language. The third year of the four-year course provides students with an excellent opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture of a foreign country.

Modern Languages students at Oxford acquire in equal measure skills of logical presentation and argument in English through the study of literature in tutorials and seminars. The humane value of literary study lies not only in the perspective it gives on a particular culture, but also in the way in which it teaches us to read, to think, and to write with understanding and perception. Even if your A-level syllabus has little or no literature, you will probably know from your English reading whether you are likely to enjoy the Oxford undergraduate degree programme.

Student profile: read what some of our students think about studying Modern Languages at Teddy Hall.

Modern Languages at St Edmund Hall

Modern Languages is a long established field of study at St Edmund Hall: at present there are around 700 old members who read Modern Languages at the Hall and lived to tell the tale.

We have a vibrant and diverse community of Modern Linguists and we are able to offer an impressive range of degree programmes. We have our own tutors and teaching staff in French, German and Russian, as well as a French lecteur/lectrice and a German Lektor/Lektorin who teach conversation. Russian thrives at St Edmund Hall, which is one of the largest colleges for the subject. We also also have a strong research profile across the suite of Modern Languages subjects. The Professor of Medieval German is a Fellow of the College and we have a Junior Research Fellow in Spanish.

Modern Languages students at St Edmund Hall are eligible to apply for the College's Richard Fargher Bursary for travel abroad to pursue linguistic study. The award(s), worth up to £5000, is made annually to the undergraduate(s) who present the most imaginative and best planned proposal.

Dr Alex Lloyd, a Lecturer in German Language and Literature, is one of our College tutors. Watch her entertaining short talk 'How to spot a liar in literature' (given at the 2015 St Edmund Hall Research Expo) to find out more about the concept of unreliable narrators:

PPE is the classic Oxford degree. It develops a wide and in-depth understanding of society and its problems. PPE students graduate with a degree which opens doors in all walks of life and careers. 

PPE at St Edmund Hall

With excellent facilities and a large and dedicated team of tutors, St Edmund Hall provides an exceptional experience for PPE students.

PPE students at St Edmund Hall form an intellectually active and closely knit community. The student-run PPE Society organises termly speaker events and guest lectures on global events, as well as an annual dinner with tutors. Our College Library is well stocked with a huge range of texts that a PPE student may typically require, with multiple copies of the main texts and online resources also available.

The location of St Edmund Hall is also ideal for students wishing to study PPE. The College is just metres from the Examination Schools, the venue for many of the lectures and exams. The University’s world class Social Sciences Library is also just 5 minutes away by bike. 

The Tutors

St Edmund Hall has a large and enthusiastic team of PPE tutors, larger in number than our typical yearly intake of six students! Between them the tutors have a very wide range of research interests but they share a strong commitment to teaching and dedication to helping our students reach their full potential.


Professor Karma Nabulsi – Tutor in Politics. Karma’s teaching and research include politics and international political thought and relations. She teaches Prelims Politics, and the International Relations papers for PPE and History and Politics students. She also is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Sabrina Martin is a tutor in politics. Her interests include international trade, ethics and global institutions, and feminism. She teaches Prelims (both practice and theory) for PPE and History and Politics, Theory of Politics, and British Politics and Government.


Dr Stephen Blamey – Emeritus Fellow and Lecturer in Philosophy. Stephen's research interests are primarily in logic, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mathematics. He teaches specialist papers in these areas, as well as some more general core options.

James Openshaw – Lecturer in Philosophy. James teaches the first-year General Philosophy and Logic papers, along with Knowledge & Reality and Philosophy of Logic and Language.

Dr James Wilk – Lecturer in Philosophy. James teaches a number of topics for finals papers: philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of neuroscience, ethics, meta-ethics, philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of Wittgenstein.


Dr Outi Aarnio – Fellow in Economics. Outi teaches all aspects of first year courses in Economics, and various finals courses, including Economics of Industry. In 2008 Outi was awarded a University of Oxford Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning at Oxford.  

Dr Climent Quintana-Domeque - Fellow in Economics. Climent's research focuses on economic development, health economics and family economics.

Dr Sareh Vosooghi - Career Developmet Fellow in Economics. Sareh teaches core Microeconomics in the second year of the PPE course. She also teaches Game Theory to second and third-year economics students. Her research interests are in the field of applied Microeconomics and in particular environmental and resource economics. 


The careers most commonly chosen by PPE graduates are in politics, banking and finance, journalism and broadcasting, law, industry, teaching, social work, accountancy, business management, management consultancy, advertising, and the many branches of the public services, including the civil and diplomatic services and the local government.

Recent PPE graduates from St Edmund Hall included an analyst at the Bank of England and a ministerial adviser, as well as students on postgraduate courses at John Hopkins University and the University of Colombia. 

Course Requirements

St Edmund Hall has no specific entry requirements beyond those outlined in the University prospectus. Candidates should consult the PPE course pages of the University website or the PPE website for full details. All candidates for PPE are expected to sit the TSA Thinking Skills Assessment admissions test. More information on this is available from the Admissions Testing Service. 

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