Classics (Literae Humaniores)

Roman ruins in the port of Ostia

To study the Greek and Roman world is to study one of the greatest civilizations that has existed. The world’s first democracy - the conquests of Alexander the Great - the dazzling achievements of the Roman empire, are only some of its highlights.

Classicists read an incomparable literature, from epic to love poetry, high tragedy to knockabout comedy, history to political satire. We study philosophy from Plato and Aristotle to modern ethics, metaphysics and philosophy of mind, and art and archaeology from the Parthenon to Hadrian’s Wall and from marble statues to village rubbish-heaps.

If you are interested in all or most of the above, Classics is the subject for you. You do not have to know any Greek or Latin to apply. If your interest is in history and material culture, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History is likely to suit you best. If you are particularly interested in the relationship between the ancient and modern world, or Greek and Latin and English or other European literatures, you are likely to enjoy one of the other joint schools.

Oriel is excellently equipped for students studying Classical subjects. The library meets most student needs, and the University and Faculty libraries are only a few minutes’ walk away. The tutorial fellows are experienced teachers who have international reputations in areas of research ranging from early Greek poetry to the philosophy of physics via Aristotle and the early Church. Generous travel grants and academic prizes enable students to explore the Mediterranean world in the vacations.

Degrees in Classical Subjects are valued highly by employers, and unemployment among Classics graduates is almost non-existent. Classicists go into every walk of life: notably the law, the civil service, banking and commerce, the media, the heritage industry, the voluntary sector and education.

Admissions criteria

All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). This test is in three parts: the Latin test, the Greek test and the Classics Language Aptitude Test. For all the classical degrees, candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. More information is available on the Classics Department website.

The standard offer is, for candidates taking A level, AAA; for Advanced Highers AA/AAB; for the IB 38-40, including core points; or an equivalent level in other qualifications. An A may be asked for in a specific subject or subjects.

Oxford University Department Website
Classics DepartmentUniversity Admissions Criteria
4 or 5 for Classics, 1 for each of the other courses

For more information contact the admissions office:

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 276522