Modern Languages Tailored courses


Would you like to offer your students in your department, faculty or college a language component as part of their Oxford experience? Do your students frequently ask you for priority status to attend one of our language classes?

If so, a tailor-made course is a cost-effective way to offer quality language teaching to your students. Our language tutors will work with you to create a course for you, which can be held on your own premises for maximum convenience. Students will benefit from studying with their peers, and our tutors can provide material directly relevant to their course of study as appropriate.

We can discuss offering courses of any length, both term-time and out of term, intensive or easy-paced, with or without an examined component. Our clients, past and present, include the Faculties of History, History of Art and Classics, the Departments of Chemistry, Education, Engineering, Mathematics, Material Sciences and Physics.

To enquire about commissioning a Tailored Course, please email

Key Facts

What: These are college, department or faculty-funded classes which the Language Centre organises and runs for students of particular disciplines.
When: Courses typically take place once a week, in one- to two-hour sessions, complemented by weekly learning pathways on Canvas and delivered over two or three academic terms. This can be altered to suit the needs of the department, faculty or college.
Assessments:  These courses can either be formally assessed or include an optional assessment component, provide a certificate of course completion or offer no assessment at all.  Each department, faculty or college may request options to suit their programme.
Course fees:  Students do not pay a fee for Tailored Courses. Costs of courses are agreed with the department, faculty or college before the course commences.

Information for Students

Please click on the name of your faulty/department to read more about course availability and enrolment.


Course Availability

The Language Centre currently offers the following courses for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students from the History Faculty.

  French German Italian Spanish

Stage 1

UG/PG students of History with no
or very little prior knowledge of the language


Stage 2

UG/PG students of History with GCSE
or equivalent knowledge of the language

  Apply for Academic: Stage 2    

Stage 3

UG/PG students of History with an A Level
or equivalent knowledge of the language



Timetable in 2023-24

Language Stage Day & time of classes Duration Date of first class Date of final class Venue
French 1 Tuesday 15:00-16:30 15 weeks (MT Weeks 2-8, HT Weeks 1-8) 17 October 2023 5 March 2024 Language Centre
French 2 Tuesday 15:00-16:30 15 weeks (MT Weeks 2-8, HT Weeks 1-8) 17 October 2023 5 March 2024 Language Centre
French 3 Tuesday 15:00-16:30 15 weeks (MT Weeks 2-8, HT Weeks 1-8) 17 October 2023 5 March 2024 Language Centre
German 1 Tuesday 14:30-16:00 15 weeks (MT Weeks 2-8, HT Weeks 1-8) 17 October 2023 5 March 2024 Language Centre
Italian 1 Tuesday 14:00 -15:30 15 weeks (MT Weeks 2-8, HT Weeks 1-8) 17 October 2023 5 March 2024 Language Centre
Spanish 1 (tbc) Tuesday 14:00 -15:30 15 weeks (MT Weeks 2-8, HT Weeks 1-8) 17 October 2023 5 March 2024 Online



Enrolment for these courses is via a bespoke language level evaluation test and application form. The form will be available from Monday of 0th Week. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Monday of Week 1.

To apply, please click on the button below. This will take you to a dedicated Canvas container, where the application test is hosted.  Please ensure that you take the test for Historians.


The application test will take you at most 1h 10 mins to complete – make sure that you read the instructions before you start.

Language Centre tutors will review your application on Monday of Week 1. Places will be allocated based on a combination of motivation and need, language level and by order of receipt of applications. Places are limited, so it is best to apply as soon as you can.

Should your application be unsuccessful, we will suggest an alternative language course for you to enrol on.


Expand All

These courses aim to equip Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of the History Faculty with the necessary language skills to be able to study and research using the target language.  

The primary focus of the courses will be to develop the students’ core knowledge of lexis, morphology, grammar and syntax in order to acquire academic reading skills and sound language-learning strategies.  

Courses will also equip students with relevant listening skills in order to work from aural sources where required. Furthermore, the courses will also provide training in spoken production and interaction to support the students in developing their communication skills.

At the end of each stage, students should have reached the following thresholds:

Stage 1 aims to develop reading ability to CEFR level B1 – Listening at level A1 speaking at level Pre-A1.  It is expected that by the end of this course, students will be able to:

  •     read straightforward factual texts on subjects related to their field of study with a satisfactory level of comprehension;
  •     assess whether an article, report or review is on the required topic;
  •     scan longer texts in order to locate desired information, and gather information from different parts of a text, or from different texts in order to fulfil a specific task.
  •     understand in outline very simple information being explained in a predictable situation like a guided tour, provided the delivery is very slow and clear  
  •     Introduce themselves, describe what they do, their field of study and personal interests as well as take part in very basic social interaction


Stage 2 aims to develop reading ability to CEFR level B2 – Listening at level B1 speaking at level B1.  It is expected that by the end of this course, students will be able to:

  •     read with a large degree of independence with a broad active reading vocabulary, but may experience some difficulty with low-frequency idioms.
  •     scan quickly through long and complex texts, locating relevant details.
  •     understand articles and reports concerned with their topics of study and note particular stances or viewpoints adopted.
  •     produce translations that closely follow the sentence and paragraph structure of the original text conveying the main points of the source text accurately
  •     take notes as a list of key points during a straightforward lecture, provided the topic is familiar, and the lecture is both formulated in simple language and articulated clearly.
  •     sustain a reasonably fluent straightforward description of subjects within their field of study, presenting it as a linear sequence of points.


Stage 3 aims to develop reading ability to CEFR level C1 – Listening at level B2 speaking at level B2.  It is expected that by the end of this course, students will be able to:

  •     understand in detail lengthy, complex texts and a wide range of primary sources in non-standard / contemporary language, whether or not these relate to their own area of speciality, provided they can reread difficult sections and they have access to reference tools.
  •     translate abstract texts in their field successfully conveying evaluative aspects and arguments, including many of the implications associated with them.
  •     take accurate notes in meetings, seminars, documentaries on most matters likely to arise within their field of study.
  •     interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction, and sustained relationships with users of the target language, quite possible and account for and sustain views clearly by providing relevant explanations and arguments.

Arabic for Historians Stage 1 is available in 2023/24.

This course supports the acquisition of Arabic reading skills for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Historians focusing on the history of the Arab world.
The course includes two hours per week of contact time with an Arabic language tutor at the Language Centre. An additional hour of reading practice is provided by Dr Fanny Bessard.
The Language Centre classes run on Tuesdays from 14:00 to 16:00.

Priority for this year is given to BA History Year 1 students. To enrol please contact Dr Fanny Bessard
Postgraduate students interested in this course should also contact Dr Fanny Bessard

What is the difference between a Historians' language course and an Academic course?

The Historians courses have been designed in partnership with the History faculty and seek to equip you with both academic literacy in the target language and oral communication skills. These courses are designed to help you in your need to work with target language primary or secondary sources, these could be written or spoken. Our academic courses focus exclusively on reading for academic purposes, and they welcome students of a wide range of disciplines.


What is the difference between a historians' course and a general / Fast Track course?

General and Fast Track courses are non-specialist language courses offering a strong focus on communication skills and with a lesser emphasis on academic purposes. If you are very keen to develop or maintain your spoken communication skills, these courses may be closer to your needs.  The Fast Track course may be particularly useful if you are at a lower level and need to spend a period researching in a country where the target language is spoken.


Details coming soon


Details coming soon

Contact us

The Language Centre
12 Woodstock Road
 01865 283360

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