skip to content

Frequently asked questions

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Frequently asked questions about teaching

Students enjoying a discussion

Will I be taught in the Faculty or in my College?

Lectures and language classes are organised by the Faculty and take place there, while supervisions are provided by the Colleges, but in practice supervisions can physically take place in the Faculty or in different Colleges - not just your own College - depending on where the supervisor is based during the working day. Supervisions for Linguistics papers are normally arranged by the paper (module) coordinator in the Linguistics section of the faculty.

How will I be taught?

In MML and HML, teaching is a combination of the following: 

  • lectures, which are usually 50 minutes long, typically with large groups of students
  • language classes, which are usually 50 minutes long, in groups of 10-16 students
  • supervisions, which are usually an hour long, usually with two students.

In Linguistics teaching is a combination of:

  • 50-minute lectures, with an average of 15-20 students
  • 50-minute supervisions, with six students in Part I and two students in Parts IIA and IIB

Does teaching usually take place in English or in the foreign language?

Language classes and language supervisions usually take place in the target language and are often taught by native speakers. Lectures, some translation classes and supervisions on literature/film/history etc, are usually taught in English, to ensure that key ideas are understood correctly.

How many hours of teaching and independent study can I expect each week?

It can vary depending on factors such as studying a language from scratch, but in the first year most MML students have around 4 lectures, 4 language classes and 2 or 3 supervisions each week. HML students have fewer language classes as they are studying only one language, but usually have more lectures to attend.

Linguistics students have 4 hours of lecture and 3 hours of supervision per week in Part I, 4 hours of lecture and 2 hours of supervision per week in Part IIA, and 3 hours of lecture and 1.5 hours of supervision per week in Part IIB. Studying for a degree involves a considerable amount of independent study too; you should expect degree-level study to be like having a full-time job, so 35-40 hours a week during term time.

How far away is the Faculty from the centre of Cambridge?

The Sidgwick site is just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Cambridge. Cambridge is a small city - even the furthest away Colleges are only a 10-15 minutes bike ride. Not all teaching takes place in the Faculty and you will attend supervisions at different Colleges around the city.

What is access like in MMLL for students with disabilities / special access needs?

The Raised Faculty Building and Lecture Block on the Sidgwick Site are fully accessible for students with disabilities or other needs. 

Back to Frequently Asked Questions