Students are not expected to have studied any Oriental language before. A language to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent can be helpful to students in completing this course, although they are not required for admission.
How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]
Tests: For Arabic/Hebrew/Persian/ Turkish options only: OLAT on 5 November 2014
Written Work: Two pieces
Tuition Fees for 2014
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]
2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014 ox.ac.uk/opendays
What is Oriental Studies?
Among subjects in the humanities, Oriental Studies is unique in introducing students to civilisations that are radically different from the Western ones that form the basis of the curriculum in most British schools and colleges. The courses present both the major traditions of the regions studied and, in most cases, their modern developments. All courses include language, literature, history and culture, and there is a wide range of options in such fields as art and archaeology, history, literature, philosophy, religion and modern social studies.
Oriental Studies at Oxford
Oriental Studies has a long history in Oxford. The Bodleian and other libraries have acquired magnificent collections. The Oriental Institute, Institute for Chinese Studies, Bodleian Japanese and Indian Institute Libraries offer loan collections in their respective fields. Adjacent to the Oriental Institute is the Ashmolean Museum, which houses superb collections. The Sackler Library includes the principal library for Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
Work placements/international opportunities
Most courses offer the opportunity to spend time in the region being studied. The Arabic course includes a year in the Middle East, the Persian and Turkish courses a year in Iran or Turkey respectively, and the Hebrew course an optional year in Israel. The Chinese and Japanese courses also include a year in China and Japan respectively.
What are tutors looking for?
For information about the selection criteria please see: ox.ac.uk/criteria.
Students interested in this course might also like to consider Classics, Modern Languages, Theology and Religion or History of Art.
A degree in Oriental Studies is not a vocational degree, but a wide range of employers appreciate the skills our graduates gain from their studies. Career options exist in finance, the media, commerce, the Civil Service, law, accountancy and the arts. Around 30% of Oriental Studies graduates go on to further study.
Recent Oriental Studies graduates include Alex and Emma who both graduated with a BA (OS) Chinese. Alex has taken up a job with The Swire Group, whose core businesses are located in the Asia Pacific Region, and Emma is working as International Data and Support Assistant at the International Dunhuang Project, based at the British Library.
Andi, who graduated in 1996 with a BA (OS) in Japanese, is now Director, International Business Development at Ping Identity. He says: ‘My first job after graduating was with a small software company in Cambridge. I’ve since worked for two software start-ups, as well as much larger companies (through acquisition). My time at Oxford gave me a good foundation for the varied demands of both small and large companies, and the skills required to handle the constant change and learning required in the software industry. I’ve also had the opportunity to do business in Japan on several occasions through my career.’
Iason, who graduated in 2001 with a BA (OS) Arabic, is a photojournalist, film-maker and lecturer currently working for the UN in Libya. He says: I have lived in Cairo, Damascus, Sanaa and Tehran, and covered events like the 2011 Arab revolts and the Greek economic crisis. After studying for a Masters in Persian and Contemporary Iranian Studies, I was a Nieman fellow at Harvard.
For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].
Beijing, Kobe & Oxford
Peking University hosts the year abroad for students of Chinese. The University of Kobe is our partner in the Kobe-Oxford Japanese Studies Programme.
Arabic and Islamic Studies (T601); Arabic with subsidiary language (T6T9); Persian with Islamic Art and Archaeology (QT46); Persian with Islamic Studies/History (QT96); Persian with subsidiary language (T6TX); Turkish (T600); Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology (TQP9); Turkish with subsidiary language (T6TY)
Options (five subjects to be chosen): Classical Literature; Modern Literature; Linguistics; History; Politics; Economics; additional language (counts as three subjects): either Chinese, Korean or Tibetan
Final University examinations: Oral examination; eight written papers; dissertation.
Jewish Studies: (primarily focused on the history, religion and culture of the Jews from biblical to modern times) (QV91)
Intensive study in Hebrew language in all periods
Introduction to ancient and modern Jewish history
First University examinations: Four papers
Options (three subjects to be chosen)
One tutorial a week, with essay
Options (two subjects to be chosen)
One tutorial a week, with essay
Final University examinations: Six written papers; dissertation
Intensive language teaching
First University examinations
Preparation for Final University examinations in final year
Study of Sanskrit grammar
Subsidiary language options: Hindi, Old Iranian, Pali, Prakrit and Tibetan
Final University examinations:
Nine papers: seven in Sanskrit and two in subsidiary languages
When I come out of Oxford I’ll have a pretty good hold on Persian, and three ancient languages that I didn’t know at all before I came here. Fuchsia