Modern languages

Modern languages at the University of St Andrews is one of the largest and most diverse subjects of its kind in the UK.

The School offers the opportunity to study Arabic, Persian, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish in depth, alongside Middle East studies and cross-disciplinary programmes in Comparative Literature, Global Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Global Digital Humanities. 

At St Andrews, we believe that high-level language skills go hand-in-hand with studying culture, and that living, studying and working abroad is an integral part of language study.

Part of a page from a foriegn dictionary


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of Modern Languages offers PhD, MPhil, and MSt (Res) research programmes. Research interests in the School cover many aspects of language studies, including: 

  • literature 
  • linguistics 
  • cinema 
  • history 
  • gender 
  • identity issues. 

To apply, you should first identify and contact a potential supervisor you would like to work with in your intended research area. Find out how to contact a research supervisor.

“It is amazing to have the opportunity to put your language skills to use within a real-life context and rewarding to be able to read a piece of literature or watch a film and understand what is happening. It makes all the hours of studying worth it.”

- New York, USA


First in Scotland and second in the UK for languages and linguistics

Guardian University Guide 2023

83% of research activity rated 3* or 4*

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)