University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 entry

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Classics and English

A BA in 3 or 4 years

UCAS codes: QQ38 (Course I) or QQH8 (Course II)

Course statistics for 2013 entry

Interviewed: 93%

Successful: 27%

Intake: 8

Entrance requirements

A-levels: AAA with As in Latin and Greek, if taken

Advanced Highers: AA/AAB, with As in Latin and Greek, if taken

IB: 39 (including core points) with 666 at HL and an aggregate of 13 in Latin and Greek, if taken

Or any other equivalent

Candidates are expected to have English Literature, or English Language and Literature, to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent. Applicants for Course I would be expected to have Latin and/or Greek to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent. Candidates with no experience of studying these classical languages should apply for Course II.

How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Tests: CAT and ELAT on 5 November 2014

Written Work: Two pieces

Tuition Fees for 2014

Home/EU: £9,000/year

No upfront costs: you can get a loan for the full amount

Grants, bursaries and scholarships available

More on student finance: p 120 [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

More Information


+44 (0) 1865 288372


+44 (0) 1865 271055

Oxford Open days

2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014

2 May 2014: Joint Classics open day in Cambridge

What is Classics and English?

Classics and English appeals to those with a particular interest in literary and cultural interactions. English may be taken with Latin or Greek or both. For candidates with an A-level or equivalent in either Latin or Greek or both, this is a three-year course (Course I). For those who have not had the opportunity to study either language at school or college there is a preliminary year in which they learn either Latin or Greek, combined with some study of classical literature; for them the course lasts four years (Course II).

Oxford has a long and distinguished tradition of research and teaching in both Classics and English; the Classics Faculty is the largest in the world, and the English Faculty the largest in this country. Oxford possesses remarkable library provision in both subjects in the Bodleian Library, the Sackler Library, the English Faculty Library and the college libraries.

The first year of the course (which follows the preliminary year of language learning for those taking Course II) is divided equally between the classical and English elements. The core of the Classics and English course at Oxford is formed by the link papers, which are studied over the second and third years of the course. These papers emphasise the interactions between Classics and English. They provide an opportunity to compare texts from both sides of the course, and to study classical influence. Further papers are also chosen from each of the ‘parent’ subjects.

A typical weekly timetable

Students usually have two tutorials a week, plus language classes, and they are often (but not always) working on two papers simultaneously. Most students attend three to four lectures a week and students will be expected to produce around twelve pieces of written work during a term. Up to three papers available in the list of options on each side are examined by an extended essay of 6–8,000 words, written over three weeks of term.

What are tutors looking for?

Successful candidates will be expected to display competence in Latin or Greek (or general language aptitude if they are applying for Course II). They will have read widely in English and classical literature (in the original or in translation). They will also enjoy talking and writing about literature and approaches to it. If you are shortlisted for interview tutors may ask you to talk about a piece of prose or verse, supplied before or in the interview.

For further information about the selection criteria see:

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider other Classics courses or other English courses.


Many graduates in Classics and English continue on to further study in their subject, or for other professional courses such as teaching. Others have entered fields such as the media, management, advertising and librarianship.

Recent Classics and English graduates include a freelance writer and a teacher.

For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber’s Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].


Philip, who graduated in 2000, is now a writer. He says: Since graduating I have embarked on a career in writing and journalism. I have published two novels, and write for a wide range of magazines and papers, and am a Contributing Editor to Literary Review, the Periscope Post and Port. My degree helped me develop the analytical, presentational and linguistic skills that are paramount in the media world.

1st year


Five papers are taken:

  • Literature in English 1550–1660

  • Unseen translation for Classics

  • Greek and Latin literature (two papers, offering a choice of Greek or Latin authors)


Four written papers form the First University Examination, together with a submitted portfolio of two essays for ‘Introduction to English Language and Literature’.

All exams must be passed, but marks do not count towards the final degree.

2nd and 3rd years


Seven papers are taken:

  • Two link papers, one compulsory (Epic), and a choice from Comedy, Tragedy, Reception

  • One of Papers 2–5 from the English single honours course not taken in the first year

  • One of Papers 1–6 from the English single honours course not taken in the first year

  • Classics Greek or Latin core paper

  • One Classics option

  • Dissertation of 8,000 words, either interdisciplinary or focused on English or Classics


Up to three papers examined as coursework extended essays and dissertation). The remaining papers will then be examined by final written examinations at the end of the third year.

Student statement

I find the lectures really helpful... sometimes professors will have just written a book, so you’re getting to hear brand new research. Francesca

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