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Theology and Oriental Studies at Oxford

About the Course

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in Theology and Oriental Studies. This joint course is well-constructed and designed with the intention of providing high standard education. The undergraduate course in Theology and Oriental Studies enables students to learn comprehensively about a number of the world's great religious traditions comprising Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism (taught chiefly in the Oriental Studies faculty) and Christianity (taught largely in the Theology Faculty).

In order to engage with all the different aspects of the course, students have to be something of a literary critic, a textual critic, a historian, a linguist and a philosopher. All these disciplines together enable students to appreciate the qualities of religions. They also help students to take interest in other arts subjects and equip them to embark on a broad range of careers.

Theology and Oriental Studies at Oxford

The Theology and Oriental Studies Faculties have over 270 members ranging from experts in the literature and languages of the world's religions to systematic theologians and church historians. The university has excellent library facilities. Besides the Theology Faculty library and Bodleian Library, some of the college libraries have a theology section. The Sackler Library and Oriental Institute Library offer loan collections in areas important for the study of oriental religions.

The Oriental Institute and the Theology Faculty Centre provide access to a wide spectrum of networked resources in Humanities comprising library catalogues, electronic journals, language learning programmes and digitized texts for different sections of the course.

Career Opportunities

Oxford graduates in Theology and Oriental Studies may expect to get into careers such as the media, social work, law, publishing, journalism, banking, management consultancy, personnel management, accountancy, the arts, the police force and teaching. Employers look very favourably on candidates who have learned oriental languages and Oxford graduates with these language skills. Upon completing this degree, students get into various career options. For further information about careers for theologians, students are advised to refer the university website.

Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedure as shown in the how to apply page of the university website. The information given below provides specific details to students applying for Theology course.

Written Work

Candidates need to submit two pieces of written work, one for Oriental Studies and one for Theology on the date prescribed by Oxford. The work must be marked in the normal process of college or school work. All written work should be in English. The written work for Theology must be in Religious Studies. If students cannot submit samples of work in Religious Studies, then they need to submit work in a related area. In case students do not have any such written work available, they may contact the Tutor for Admissions at their first choice or allocated college. Students may submit the written work for Oriental Studies, which may be on any of the subjects.

Written Test

Candidates will need to take the Oriental Studies Language Test during the university interview period in December. For further information such as specimens of written tests and guidance, please visit the university website.

What Tutors Look for?

Tutors are keen to know about students' linguistic ability and their commitment to a broad-ranging course. Students are expected to have the ability to sustain an argument. Applicants shall usually be interviewed by representatives of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Theology Tutors.


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