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Oriental Studies at Oxford - Course Outline

International Opportunities

Some of the courses offer an excellent opportunity to spend time in the region being studied. The course in Arabic comprises a year in Middle East, The Turkish and Persian courses include a year in Turkey or Iran respectively, the Chinese course consists of four months on a course of language study in East Asia and the Hebrew course an optional year in Israel. Students of Japanese course spend the third term of the first year in Japan and may also spend an optional further year there between third and fourth year of the course taking advantage of opportunities and placements for further study at Japanese universities.

Arabic with subsidiary language (T6T9)
Arabic and Islamic Studies (T601)
Persian with Islamic Studies/History (QT96)
Persian with Islamic Art and Archaeology (QT46)
Turkish (T600)
Persian with subsidiary language (T6TX)
Turkish with Ottoman History (T6V2)
Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology (TQP9)
Turkish with subsidiary language (T6TY)

First Year

Courses

  • Islamic history and culture
  • Elementary language

Assessment

First University exams (preliminary)
After term 3:
Three written papers and an oral exam in Arabic

Second Year

Courses

Year abroad: approved course of language instruction

Assessment

Qualifying an exam at the end of the course

Third and Fourth Years

Project

  • Core work on literature and language
  • Subsidiary or specialization language
  • History

Assessment

Final University exams
Oral exam and eight or nine written papers (of which one may be a thesis)

Chinese (T101)

First Year

Courses

Elementary language in modern and classical Chinese
History and culture

Assessment

First University examinations
or
First-year language test (Subject to confirmation)

Second Year

Courses

Year abroad at Perking University Or

  • Modern Chinese language, written and spoken
  • Classical Chinese texts
  • History and civilization of China
  • Four-month period abroad (third term)

Assessment

Qualifying exam at end of course
or
First University exams

Third and Fourth Year

Courses

  • Extended language classes and historical study
  • Options: Literature; Ancient history; Modern society and politics; or subsidiary languages: Japanese, Tibetan or Korean

Assessment

Final University exams
Oral examination, eight written papers and dissertation

Egyptology (Q400), Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Egyptology (Q401)

First Year

Courses

  • Broad survey of civilizations of Egypt and the Ancient Near East
  • Language teaching in Egyptian or Akkadian

Assessment

First University exams
Four written papers

Second Year

Courses

  • Addition of second language, or Anthropology and Archaeology
  • Options: Arabic, Akkadian, Aramaic and Syriac, Classical Greek, Archaeology, Old Iranian, Coptic, Hebrew (Biblical and Mishnaic), Sumerian or Hittite (if available)
  • Literary and historical topics through study of essay writing and texts writing
  • Intensive class work

Third Year

Courses

  • Artefact classes
  • Dissertation work and Essay writing
  • Intensive classes in the first and second terms
  • Field of concentration

Assessment

Final University exams
Ten units

Hebrew Studies: (primarily languages, culture, literature and history) (Q480)

First Year

Courses

  • Thorough study in Hebrew language in all periods
  • Introduction to modern and ancient Jewish history
Assessment

First University exams
Four written papers

Second Year

Courses

  • Handling Hebrew texts and developing knowledge of cultural and historical background
  • Choice of options from Jewish Studies

Third and Fourth Year

Students can optionally spend third year abroad

Courses

  • Historical and cultural background
  • Texts

Assessment

  • Final University exams
  • Seven written papers and a dissertation
  • A four-year course only: oral examination

Japanese (T201)

First Year

Courses

  • Modern language written and spoken

Study of per-modern texts (second year)

  • History and culture
  • Period of study abroad (term third)

Assessment

First Year: Two written test papers
Second Year: First University exams
Four written papers

Second Year

Courses

  • Language classes
  • Study of texts from Modern literature, classical literature, Linguistics, Social history and society, economics and Politics
  • Subsidiary language, if chosen (Korean, Chinese or Tibetan)

Third and Fourth Year

Courses

Special subject (for those who are not taking a subsidiary language): selected feature of Japanese culture, or Korean or Chinese, or continue with subsidiary language, if chosen
Dissertation

Assessment

Final University exams
Seven written papers, one oral paper and dissertation

Jewish Studies: (primarily focused on the religion, history and culture of the Jews from biblical to modern times) (QV91)

First Year

Courses

  • Thorough study in Hebrew language in all periods
  • Introduction to modern and ancient Jewish history

Assessment

First University exams
Four papers

Second Year

Courses

  • Options (three subjects to be chosen)
  • One tutorial a week along with essay

Third Year

Courses

  • Options (to subjects to be chosen)
  • One tutorial work a week along with essay

Assessment

Final University exams
Six written papers and dissertation

Sanskrit (Q450)

First Year

Courses

Intensive language teaching

Assessment

First University exams

Second Year

Courses

  • Study of Sanskrit grammar
  • Preparation for Final University exams in final year
  • Subsidiary language options: Old Iranian, Prakrit, Pali and Tibetan

Third and Fourth Year

Courses

  • Special subject
  • Sanskrit literature

Assessment

Final University exams
Nine papers: two in subsidiary languages and seven in Sanskrit


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