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Classics and English - Course Outline

Generally, students have two tutorials per week and language classes. Students are often, however, not always working on two papers simultaneously. Some of the students attend three or four lecture courses per week. Students are expected to generate around twelve pieces of written work during a term. Students have two papers available to them in the list of options on each side. These are evaluated by an extended essay of about six thousand words written more than three weeks of term.

The give below is a summary of Course I. Students have a preliminary year in Course II where they study Greek or Latin and subsequently follow the structure outlined below.

First Year


Students need to take six papers mentioned below.

  • Critical commentary on passages from the period 1509-1660
  • English Literature, 1509-1600
  • English Literature, 1600-1660
  • Greek and Latin Literature (two papers, providing a choice of Latin or Greek authors)
  • Unseen translation


  • Six written papers. All exams should be passed; however, marks do not count towards the final degree
  • First University examinations

Second and Third Years


  • Epic link paper
  • Either Latin Literature of the 1st Century BC or Greek Literature of the 5th Century BC
  • Two papers from a list derived from the English course
  • One link paper from Comedy, Tragedy, Satire, Pastoral
  • One paper from a list derived from the Classics course
  • Either another link paper or The Reception of Classical Literature in Poetry in English since 1900 or Medieval and Renaissance Latin Hexameter Poetry


  • Final University examinations
  • Seven papers of which up to two can be an extended essay based upon English options chosen; either a further paper in Classics or a thesis (optional) or English (optional)

Application Procedure

Candidates ought to follow the application procedure properly to apply for the course. The information given below helps students to apply for this course.

Written Work

Generally, candidates are expected to submit two pieces of written work related to English or Classics by the prescribed date. Candidates should not submit timed, short exercises or essays answering questions on a short passage of text. Students are advised to refer the university website.

Written Tests

Candidates who wish to apply for this course need to take two tests.

English Literature Admission Test (ELAT)

Candidates are needed to take the ELAT on the prescribed date. Applicants are advised to see the English page for further information.

Classics Test

Candidates for English (QQH8) and Classics II ought to take the Classics Language Aptitude Test on the prescribed date. For more information, students may see the details on how to register for this test page of the university website. Candidates for English (QQ38) and Classics I who have already been studying Greek or Latin to A-level or any equivalent shall be expected to take a test in one or both languages in December during oxford interview period.

The eligible candidates are expected to show their competency in Greek or Latin. They are expected to have read broadly in English and classical literature. They must enjoy writing and talking about literature and approaches to it. If candidates are shortlisted for interview, then tutors may ask them to talk about a piece of prose or verse supplied in or before the interview.

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