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Modern and Medieval Languages at Sidney

Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge

The Modern Languages Tripos is perhaps one of the most interdisciplinary and flexible courses offered at Cambridge, with the opportunity for students not just to acquire extremely high-level language skills, but also to broaden their knowledge in a range of other subjects such as art, literature, film, politics, and history. Sidney students in particular are encouraged to take advantage of such opportunities – alongside an in-depth study of two major foreign languages, recent students have studied options in Polish, Slavonic, Ukrainian, Catalan, and Latin American Politics, to name a few.

Modern and Medieval Languages at Sidney

Sidney linguists benefit from a particularly wide-ranging Fellowship. Staff-student relations are notably friendly, with a whole host of events and activities providing students and Fellows alike with opportunities to mix more informally.

Hear from a student... 

    If you’re reading this, then you’re well on your way to making two great choices; first of all studying MML at Cambridge, and second of all studying at Sidney, with arguably the best and most convenient location in Cambridge and a friendly vibe within a small yet beautiful 500 year old college.  

Before I arrived in Cambridge, I was excited to meet new people but also worried about being able
to keep up with the workload. But now, with my first year complete, I can assure you that the work is manageable, and I have enjoyed many aspects of the course. It was a challenging start, but one of the good things about Cambridge is that there’s always extra support should you need it. Your supervisors are there to make sure you do as well as you possibly can so are always haNicola Stebbing, MML undergraduate at Sidneyppy to answer any academic queries. 

Although life at Cambridge is fast-paced and intense, especially given the short 8 week terms, I can honestly say that I am loving my time at Sidney. If you do find yourself struggling at any point, the pastoral care system provided by the college is unrivalled, with numerous points of call for every aspect of university life (such as your college family, DoS, tutor, the chaplain or college nurse). The older year groups are very supportive and will be happy to help you, even if it’s just making sure you know they have your back.

Nicola Stebbing, Sidney MML undergraduate


Directors of Studies (DoS) and Fellows

Dr Stanley Bill is Lecturer in Polish Studies at the Department of Slavonic Studies. He works largely on twentieth-century Polish literature and culture, with particular interests in religion, secularization theory and postcolonial interpretations of Polish cultural history. He has written on Czesław Miłosz, Bruno Schulz, postcolonial theory in the Polish context, as well as on religious problems in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Mrs Natasha Franklin is Director of Studies for Part I (years 1 and 2). She is a Senior Language Teaching Officer in the Department of Slavonic Studies, and teaches Russian language. Her particular interests include Russian grammar, non-standard Russian, ab initio language teaching, and language acquisition through translation into the target language.

Dr Maria Noriega-Sanchez is a native speaker of Spanish and Director of Studies for the year abroad (year 3) and Part II (year 4). She is a Language Teaching Officer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and her research interests lie in language learning and teaching, comparative literature and literary translation.


Dr Peter Collier

Professor H B Nisbet

Bye Fellows

Dr Emma Gilby (University Lecturer in French) works on French thought and literature of the early modern period (especially the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

All of our undergraduate students are allocated a Director of Studies and learn from specialists in particular areas of their subject. From time to time, individual teaching staff may be away on leave.

Typical Intake

6 - 8

Standard Entry Requirements

A*AA at A Level

41-42 points in the IB, with 776-777 at Higher Level

Please see the University website for standard entry requirements in other qualifications.

Please note that offers are set on an individual basis using all of the information available to us in context of the entire field of applicants.

All Colleges require A Level/IB Higher Level in at least one of the languages you want to study. Students may choose to study two languages post-A Level, or one post-A Level and one from scratch (ab initio).

Admissions Process

Written work

Two essays, at least one to be written in the target language. We will send out more specific information about what is required after the UCAS deadline.

Admissions Assessments

At-interview assessment. Read more about the admissions assessment on the University website.


Two interviews.  These will each focus on one of your chosen languages, and there will be a short passage to read for 15 minutes before each interview. For languages studied at A-level, the passage will be in the target language, and you will be expected to speak in the language for part (but not all) of the interview. For ab initio languages, the passage will be in English.

Find out more

MML Faculty website

University website MML course page

The Faculty prospectus has information from the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages.

Skype interviews may be considered for international applicants on a case-by-case basis in certain subjects. If you wish to enquire further, please contact the Admissions Office (