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Welcome to the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures submitted fifty-five members of staff, comprising 54.3 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff, to the REF Modern Languages and Linguistics UoA.  The submission included seven Early Career Researchers. 

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3rd Middle East/Asian Studies The Complete University Guide 2022
5th for German/Italian The Complete University Guide 2022
8th in the UK for research power REF 2021
Durham 6th in UK The Complete University Guide 2022

About the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Interdisciplinary research beyond the European focus

The School includes eight language areas – Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian, Japanese and Russian – as well as Translation Studies. With Arabic, Chinese and Japanese we move beyond modern languages departments’ conventional concentration on Europe toward a global, transhistorical and interdisciplinary research community 

Research-led teaching

Our current and diverse research directly informs our teaching. Experts in the field help our students to reach their full academic potential.  

Postgraduate students

Postgraduates join a lively, welcoming and supportive student community. We have nearly 100 postgraduates working on a vast range of topics and participating in a variety of school and university activities. 

Connecting beyond academia

Our interdisciplinary approach links us to partners beyond academia.

Modern Languages and Cultures REF Impact Case Studies

Case studies submitted by the department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Click below to read more about our case studies

Spanish Art in County Durham

Professor Andrew Beresford's research on the prominence of Spanish art in County Durham.
Spanish Art - Bartholomew the Apostle

Rome in the World

Professor Stefano Cracolici's project, Rome in the World.
Rome in the World

Securing the Legacy of the Late Spanish Filmmaker Bigas Luna

Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández, in collaboration with art curator Betty Bigas, organised an international series of events about Bigas Luna.
21st Spanish Film Festival

Performing Arab Cancer

Professor Abir Hamdar's expertise in Arab medical humanities and, in particular, her research on female illness, disability and cancer in Arab culture.
Performing Arab Cancer

Lorca and Theatre Censorship

Dr Michael Thompson's case study focuses on La casa de Bernarda Alba and the Spanish play most frequently performed in the UK.
Lorca and Theatre Censorship



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Research Themes

Four areas of particular strength characterise the School’s research activities: Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Visual Culture, Sciences and the Humanities, and Translation. The School also hosts six interdisciplinary research groups.

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Like to Know More?

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures works with Research Centres and Institutes across the Faculty and University. 

Please click the links below to find out more about our Research Centres and study opportunities.

Centre for Culture and Ecology

The Centre for Culture and Ecology consists of a group of scholars and researchers who work on environmental issues from a range of different disciplines.
Shale Gas Digging Rig in field

Centre for Intercultural Mediation

The Centre for Intercultural Mediation is a research centre focusing on translation and interpreting studies.
A group of people around a desk discussing various books