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Classics and Oriental Studies

About the Course

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in Classics and Oriental Studies. The course incorporates a fine combination of theories and practical exercises. It allows students to combine the study of an Oriental language and culture with Greek or Latin and the study of the ancient world. Students have two options Oriental Studies with Classics (T9Q8) and Classics with Oriental Studies (Q8T9). In every case, the subject that mentioned first is the major subject (about two thirds of the degree) and the second subject is an additional subject (about one third of the degree).

Classics and Oriental Studies at Oxford

Oxford is certainly one of the best places for the combined study of Classics and Oriental Studies. The university has Ashmolean Museum, which houses an ample array of ancient artefacts comprising vases, manuscripts and coins. The department has Sackler Library, which brings together books on the ancient Egypt and classical world and the near east with a special emphasis upon art and history.

Career Opportunities

Students who are following this course shall develop very good analytical and linguistic abilities. The course incorporates a breadth of knowledge and various approaches to the cultures they study. The degree course attracts employers from a broad variety of sectors. The knowledge of a modern language offers students many opportunities for internationally focused careers with national and international organizations and companies. Students are advised to refer university website for more information about careers using languages. Upon completing the course, students get into various career options.

Entrance Requirement

  • A-levels: AAA
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • IB: 38-40 comprising core points
  • Or any other equivalent

It is recommended for candidates to have Greek or Latin to A-level, Higher Level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any equivalent. Nevertheless, candidates who do not have any experience of studying these languages may still apply. For more information, students are advised to refer the course details on the university website.

Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedure as mentioned in how to apply page on the university website. The following information helps students apply for this course.

Written Work

Applicants are expected to submit two pieces of written work by the prescribed date. Candidates who are taking one or more classical subjects already, minimum one of these ought to be on a classical topic. For more information, refer the separate entries for Classics and for Oriental Studies.

Written Tests

Classics with Oriental Studies (Q8T9)

Candidates studying neither Greek nor Latin to A-level or any equivalent should take the Language Aptitude Test for Classics on the prescribed date. Candidates may get the more information by visiting how to register for this test page. Candidates who are studying either Greek or Latin both to A-level or any equivalent need to take a test in the relevant language during the Oxford interview period in December.

Oriental Studies with Classics (T9Q8)

Candidates are required taking a Language Aptitude Test for Oriental Studies in December during the Oxford interview period if candidates intend to study Hebrew, Turkish, Persian or Arabic as their major language in the first year. Candidates may refer university website for more information.

Tutors seek for students with linguistic ability and their commitment to a broad-ranging course. Students who have the ability to sustain an argument may help them. Generally, candidates shall be interviewed by representatives of the Faculty of Oriental Studies by Classics tutors.

Course Outline

Classics with Oriental Studies

First Year and Second Year (Term 1 & 2)


First university exams (Moderations) in Classics

Second Year (Term 3), Third and Fourth Year

Continues with Classics options and choose Oriental language: Arabic, Akkadian, Syriac, Aramaic, Egyptian, Coptic, Old Iranian, Hebrew, Persian, Pali, Turkish or Sanskrit.


Final University examinations

Eight written papers (three in Oriental Studies, five in Classics); one paper can be substituted by a thesis

Oriental Studies with Classics

First Year

Choose main language: Arabic, Akkadian, Hebrew, Egyptian, Sanskrit, Persian or Turkish


First University exams in Oriental Studies

Second to Third or Fourth Year

Continue with Oriental Studies options and select classical language: Latin or Greek


Final University examinations

Eight to ten written papers (three in Classics, five to seven in Oriental Studies)

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