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Welcome to the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures consists of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and the Centre for Foreign Language Study. The School also hosts the BA in Visual Arts and Film. Our community of academics, teachers and support staff aim to foster a world-class student experience in all our disciplines. 

Sections within our School feature regularly in the top five in national league tables such as the Good University Guide and the Complete University Guide. In the Complete University Guide 2022, our School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is ranked 3rd in Arabic (Middle Eastern & African Studies) and Chinese and Japanese Studies (in the East & South Asian Studies), 4th in Russian, 5th in Italian, German and Hispanic Studies and 6th in French. 


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3rd Middle East/Asian Studies The Complete University Guide 2022
5th for German/Italian The Complete University Guide 2022
6th for French The Complete University Guide 2022
Durham 6th in UK The Complete University Guide 2022
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The Helen Sharp Undergraduate Scholarship in Modern Languages

Thanks to a generous gift from our alumna Helen Potts, we have a new scholarship to offer to a talented student from a low-income background

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Study with us

Some 80 full-time members of staff are engaged in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, offering expertise in a wide range of subjects, including language, literature, cultural history, cinema and visual culture, and translation; this is reflected also in an exciting range of taught degrees at postgraduate level. The Centre for Foreign Language Study offers learners not taking a specialist degree in Modern Languages, including students, staff and members of the public, the opportunity to learn a range of languages from beginners to more advanced levels.

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What's new?


French Slogan Writing Competition

We are delighted to launch a slogan competition in French on the themes of ‘le français et moi’ and ‘apprendre le français’
Information on writing French Slogan

Ruth Clarke appointed as New Writing North and Durham University Translator in Residence

New Writing North and Durham University are delighted to announce that Ruth Clarke has been appointed as the inaugural Translator in Residence.

Upcoming events

Leslie Brooks Lecture 2022 with Rolena Adorno, Sterling Professor Emerita of Spanish

Monday 20 June 2022 - Monday 20 June 2022
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Guaman Poma's Mappa mundi, in Nueva corónica y buen gobierno, GKS 2232 4o, The Royal Library of Denmark.

Touching the Unreachable: Writing and Skinship in Modern Japanese Literature

Monday 20 June 2022 - Monday 20 June 2022
6:45 PM to 9:00 PM
The Swedenborg Society 20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Hall entrance on Barter St) London WC1A 2TH
A photo of a Japanese Theatre performance with actors in traditional Japanese costumes

Our research

The School's research community is organised through a number of interdisciplinary Research Groups and is home to some 60 postgraduate students pursuing research degrees.
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Cable car station, Innsbruck, Austria

Student updates

Hear from our students at The School of Modern Languages and Cultures.


My year abroad experience

Combined Honours 4th year student, Marina tells about her exciting trips abroad during her degree.

A Day in the Life of a Languages, Literature and Cultures MA student

MA Languages, Literature and Cultures student, Rebecca takes us through her day-to-day experience at Durham.
Students walking down the staircase into the library

Get in touch

Find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities at The School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Durham University
Elvet Riverside
New Elvet
Durham DH1 3JT


+44 (0) 191 334 3420

Questions about studying here?

Check out our list of FAQs or submit an enquiry form.

Your Durham prospectus

Order your personalised prospectus and College guide here.