Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages. We are a large and friendly department that offers excellent teaching across our wide range of languages, and across disciplinary areas that include Literary Studies, Film Studies, Translation Studies and Visual Culture. We teach and research languages and cultures from across the globe, including those of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. For us, language and culture are intertwined. We work with our students to develop both their language skills and their knowledge and understanding of the societies, cultures and networks where those languages are spoken.

Professor Sally Faulkner - Head of Modern Languages

About us

One of the UK’s leading centres for research and teaching in French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian, and Russian, with new pathways in Chinese and Portuguese, we produce research of international standard and have high rates of student satisfaction.

Undergraduate study

For the the BA Modern Languages you can study French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish, and you can also study Chinese or Portuguese as a Combined Honours option. Specialise in up to three languages or choose from a wide range of combined honours. Add to your CV with a year abroad teaching, studying or working. You can also take extra credits at our Foreign Language Centre OLD.

Postgraduate study

We have a very successful MA in Translation which offers both theoretical and practical preparation for entering the translation profession; go to our postgraduate study pages to see our innovative MA, MPhil and PhD programmes in a range of disciplines, including European and other global languages and cultures (French, German, Hispanic, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian), film, medieval studies and gender studies.


Our academic staff produce excellent research across a wide variety of disciplines including European and other global literature and culture, Film, Linguistics, Medieval studies, Gender studies, and Translation. 

Modern Languages is one of the most dynamic and forward-looking language departments in the UK (and indeed is ranked in the top 150 in the world1). Committed to providing outstanding, research-led teaching, the department maintained its momentum in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) with nearly a third of its research classified as ‘world-leading’2– more than double that of the previous assessment.

The REF also underlined what a great place Exeter is to pursue research in languages and culture: the department was rated 100% for providing ‘an environment that is conducive to producing research of world-leading or internationally excellent quality’3.

Read more about our research centres, projects and groups.


1 QS World University Subject Rankings 2013-14
2 Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4*.
3 Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research ‘Environment’ categorised as 4* or 3*.