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Oriental Studies at Oxford

About the Course

Among the subjects in the humanities, Oriental Studies is unique that introduces students to civilizations that are completely different from the Western. It forms the basis of the curriculum in most British colleges and schools. The courses present the major traditions of the regions studies and their modern developments. All courses consist of literature, language, history and culture and there is broad range of options in fields such as history, art and archaeology, literature, religion, philosophy and modern social studies.

Oriental Studies has a rich history in Oxford. The Bodleian and other libraries have obtained magnificent collections. The Institute for Chinese Studies, The Oriental Institute, Indian Institute and Bodleian Japanese Libraries provide loan collections in their respective fields. The Ashmolean Museum is in close proximity with the Oriental Institute that houses superb collections. The Sackler Library comprises the principal library for Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Egyptology.

Career Opportunities

The undergraduate degree in Oriental Studies is not a vocational degree but a broad range of employers value the skills of Oxford graduates. Career options exist in media, finance, commerce, law, the Civil Service, arts and the accountancy. Approximately thirty percent of Oriental Studies graduates go on to further study. Recent Oriental Studies graduates comprise a marketing executive in the motor industry and a management consultant. Triska Hamid, graduated in 2008. After finishing graduation, she completed the management scheme at Lush. Presently, she is working as an Editor in Chief of Technology World, a Middle Eastern IT magazine.

Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedure as mentioned in how to apply page of the university website. The following information provides specific details for students applying for Oriental Studies.

Written Work

Candidates need to submit two pieces of written work, if possible of two different kinds, on the prescribed date by the university.

Written Test

Candidates who wish to apply for this course need to take a Language Aptitude Test during the Oxford interview period in December. This aptitude test lasts half an hour.

  • Turkish
  • Jewish Studies
  • Arabic with subsidiary language
  • Arabic and Islamic Studies
  • Persian with Islamic Studies/History
  • Persian with Islamic Art and Archaeology
  • Persian with subsidiary language
  • Turkish with subsidiary language
  • Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology
  • Hebrew Studies

Entrance Requirements

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

Students will not be expected to have studied any Oriental Language before. A language to A-level, Higher Level or Advanced Higher in the IB or another equivalent may be helpful to students who are pursuing this course. However, they are not required for admission.


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