Oxford requirement to study Classics and Modern Languages; www.ox.ac.uk

mortar board UCAS code See course combinations calendar Duration 4 or 5 years with year abroad (BA)
pencil Entrance requirements AAA (in Latin and Greek if taken) Head Subject requirements   Latin and/or Greek (for Course I only), and a modern language (depending on course choice)
tick Admissions test(s) ox.ac.uk/cat
tick Written work Two/four pieces
bar chart Admissions statistics* Interviewed: 84%
Successful: 36%
Intake: 5
*3-year average 2019-21
phone Contact +44 (0) 1865 288391
Email Classics
+44 (0) 1865 270750
Email Modern Languages

Subject requirements:       Essential       Recommended       Helpful – may be useful on course

Please note that there may be no data available if the number of course participants is very small.

Classics and Modern Languages enables you to combine study of Latin and/or Ancient Greek with a modern language. The course involves extensive study of major literary texts, alongside training in linguistic skills. The Greeks and Romans were active in all the countries covered by the available languages. Not only does studying this course help to give students greater access to the ancient cultures, it is also a chance to examine how classical literature and culture have shaped their modern counterparts. Some options provide an opportunity to directly compare texts from both sides of the course, focusing on classical influence on modern European literature.

Oxford has the largest Classics Faculty in the world, and the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty is one of the largest in the country, with a major research library, the Taylor Institution, and a well-equipped Language Centre. Undergraduates have access to the Sackler and Bodleian Libraries, the Ashmolean Museum and a dedicated Classics Centre. Students develop oral proficiency in the modern language by regular contact with native speakers.

International opportunities

Classics and Modern Languages students spend a compulsory year abroad. Opportunities abroad include working as a paid language assistant in a school, undertaking an internship and/or studying at a University, all of which provide valuable experiences for improving language competence.

The University is working with European partners to maintain the opportunities available to its students post-Brexit. University exchanges, language assistantships and work placements will continue to be available as opportunities for your year abroad. You can find the latest information here.

Students are also encouraged to spend as much of their vacations as possible in the countries whose languages they are studying.

In certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to a course’s requirements for international study. Students who consider that they may be affected are asked to contact their department for advice.

Funding during the year abroad

Some year abroad activities provide a salary, and other year-abroad funding is available from a variety of sources. Actual costs (such as course fees) and living costs will vary depending on the destination and the activity undertaken. Some of the costs relating to year abroad activity may be subject to variation as arrangements relating to the UK’s departure from the EU are progressed. See the dedicated Oxford and the EU page for the latest information. You will need to pay for living costs during the year abroad, including accommodation and travel expenses, and there may be costs relating to visa or Covid-testing requirements for travel.

UK students from lower-income households with means-tested assessments will remain eligible for Oxford’s generous bursary provision. Travel grants may be available through your college and/or the Faculty. For students who experience particular difficulties related to their year abroad, some hardship funds are also available from the Faculty, and, for UK students with a shortfall in their finances, the University’s Student Support Fund can provide additional assistance.

A typical week

Your time is divided between lectures, tutorials and private study. The working week is typically structured around two tutorials in different subjects. Most of your independent work will be in preparation of essays for your tutorials, although systematic language-learning and reading of texts will also require considerable time and effort. Much of the teaching will take place in your college, but lectures are given in the Classics Faculty, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and the Examination Schools. For particular subjects you may also work with tutors from other colleges.

Tutorials are usually up to four students and a tutor. Seminar and language class sizes may vary depending on the options you choose or the language you are studying, but there would usually be no more than around 20 students and would often be much smaller. Most tutorials, classes, and lectures are delivered by staff who are tutors in their subject. Many are world-leading experts with years of experience in teaching and research. Some teaching may also be delivered by postgraduate students who are usually studying at doctorate level.

Course structure

Two routes through the course, called ‘options’, are available to CML students. This is separate from whether you will study Course I (if you have studied Latin and/or Greek to A-level standard or equivalent) or Course II (if you have not). You will be asked which route you wish to take only after you have applied to Oxford. The two routes are identical in their last two years, and lead to the same final exams; they differ only in their first one or two years.

Option A divides its time evenly between Classics (mostly language and literature) and Modern Languages. This option (also known as the ‘Prelims route’, because you will take a Preliminary Examination similar to that taken by Classics and English or Modern Languages students) lasts three years for Course I students, and four years for Course II students. (With the year abroad, this makes a total of four or five years.)

Option B begins with a focus on Classics. For the first five terms, students take all the same options in Greek and/or Latin language, literature, ancient history, archaeology, philology and ancient or modern philosophy as are available to students of Classics. This option (also known as the ‘Mods route’, because you will take Honour Moderations (first exams) in Classics identical to those taken by Classics students) lasts four years for students on both Course I and Course II. (With the year abroad, this makes a total of five years.)

To find out more about how our teaching year is structured, visit our Academic Year page.

Course II students spend a preliminary year studying Latin or Greek, then follow Course I


  • Translation from the ancient language(s) into English (one paper)
  • Literature in the ancient language or languages (two papers)
  • Practical language work for the modern language (two papers)
  • Literature in your modern language (two papers)

First University examinations: three papers in the ancient language; four papers in the modern language


As for Classics for the first five terms. Course II students follow Classics Course II. In addition, undergraduates normally maintain their modern language through language classes.


First University examinations in Classics: ten papers

OPTIONS A AND B (plus intercalated year abroad)

  • Classics (three/four papers): a core paper in Latin or in Greek literature, two or three Classics options
  • Modern Language (four/five papers)
  • Possibility of a paper or a long essay exploring the links between ancient and modern literatures

Final University examinations: nine papers in total (eight compulsory, one optional) plus oral exam in the modern language. A thesis may be offered in place of one of the compulsory papers in Classics.

The options listed above are illustrative and may change. More information about current options is available on the Classics and Modern Languages websites.

Academic requirements

A-levels: AAA (with As in Latin and Greek, if taken)
Advanced Highers:     AA/AAB (with A in Latin, if taken)
IB:  39 (including core points) with 666 at HL
Or any other equivalent (see other UK qualifications, and international qualifications)

Wherever possible, your grades are considered in the context in which they have been achieved.  (See further information on how we use contextual data.)

Subject requirements

Course I or II
Candidates are not required to have studied Greek or Latin at the point of application. Course I is designed for candidates with Greek and/or Latin to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or equivalent. Course II is tailored for candidates without an A-level or other qualifications in either Greek or Latin. Classics II candidates would usually be expected to have studied the modern language before, or to speak it at home or school.
For Classics and French, German, Russian and Spanish
 Essential:   Candidates would usually be expected to have the language to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or another academic equivalent.
For Classics and Czech/Beginners’ Czech, Italian/Beginners’ Italian, Modern Greek/Beginners’ Modern Greek and Portuguese/Beginners’ Portuguese
 Essential:   Candidates may apply with an A-level or equivalent in the relevant language or for a beginners’ course, which allows students to start studying one of these languages from scratch. Beginners’ courses are not available to Course II candidates, who will be taking a beginners’ course in Ancient Greek or Latin.

If a practical component forms part of any of your science A‐levels used to meet your offer, we expect you to pass it.

If English is not your first language you may also need to meet our English language requirements.


All candidates must follow the application procedure as shown in applying to Oxford. The information below gives specific details for students applying for this course.

Admissions test

Test:  CAT and MLAT
Test date: 2 November 2022
Registration deadline:                    30 September 2022

All candidates must take both the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) and the Modern Languages Admissions Tests (MLAT), as part of their application. Separate registration for each test is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for these tests. We strongly recommend making the arrangements in plenty of time before the deadline. Everything you need to know, including guidance on how to prepare, can be found on the CAT page and the MLAT page.

Written work

Description:  Please check the written work requirements for both Classics and for Modern Languages. You will see that candidates are required to submit a piece of written work in English for the Modern Languages part of the course (along with work in the chosen Modern Language). If you would like to use one of the same pieces that you submit for Classics, please send us two copies of this piece of work.
Submission deadline:   10 November 2022

For general guidance, see our further guidance on the submission of written work.

What are tutors looking for?

Successful candidates will be expected to display competence in Latin or Greek (or general language aptitude if applying for Course II). Tutors in both Classics and Modern Languages are also looking for potential and an enquiring mind, as well as real commitment to this wide-ranging subject.


Careers for CML graduates include the media, teaching, acting, management, the law, publishing, advertising and librarianship, as well as working with international companies or organisations. Liliana says: ‘I chose to do a Joint Schools degree in Classics and French as I was interested in Europe, its languages, and its classical heritage. Moreover, the breadth of the degree was very attractive, especially for interdisciplinary research … I often found myself drawing on my previous knowledge and skills, especially with regard to untranslated texts and reworkings of classical material. Plus, the range of subjects I’d studied earlier meant I was ever ready to explore new fields and languages.

I now work in China as a television presenter for programmes on Chinese society, politics and culture. The meticulous linguistic training from my degrees was first-rate preparation for tackling the puzzle of Chinese characters, while studying the classical and medieval worlds left me ready to take on the rich unfamiliarity of Chinese traditions. My earlier studies have led to all sorts of new intellectual adventures — whether reporting in Tiananmen Square on the history of the Silk Road, doing a live broadcast in Chinese while paragliding in Guizhou, interviewing world leaders at the Asian Davos, or presenting on endangered minority communities in Sichuan. Studying the European past gave me, paradoxically, the right tools for understanding the Chinese present.’

We don’t want anyone who has the academic ability to get a place to study here to be held back by their financial circumstances. To meet that aim, Oxford offers one of the most generous financial support packages available for UK students and this may be supplemented by support from your college.


These annual fees are for full-time students who begin this undergraduate course here in 2023.

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home £9,250
Overseas £35,080

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

For more information please refer to our course fees page. Fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Living costs

Living costs at Oxford might be less than you’d expect, as our world-class resources and college provision can help keep costs down.

Living costs for the academic year starting in 2023 are estimated to be between £1,290 and £1,840 for each month you are in Oxford. Our academic year is made up of three eight-week terms, so you would not usually need to be in Oxford for much more than six months of the year but may wish to budget over a nine-month period to ensure you also have sufficient funds during the holidays to meet essential costs. For further details please visit our living costs webpage.

Financial support

Home A tuition fee loan is available from the UK government to cover course fees in full for Home (UK, Irish nationals and other eligible students with UK citizens’ rights – see below*) students undertaking their first undergraduate degree**, so you don’t need to pay your course fees up front.

In 2023 Oxford is offering one of the most generous bursary packages of any UK university to Home students with a family income of around £42,875 or less, with additional opportunities available to UK students from households with incomes of £27,500 or less. The UK government also provides living costs support to Home students from the UK and those with settled status who meet the residence requirements.

*For courses starting on or after 1 August 2021, the UK government has confirmed that EU, other EEA, and Swiss Nationals will be eligible for student finance from the UK government if they have UK citizens’ rights (i.e. if they have pre-settled or settled status, or if they are an Irish citizen covered by the Common Travel Area arrangement). The support you can access from the government will depend on your residency status.

See further details.

(Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
Islands students are entitled to different support to that of students from the rest of the UK.

Please refer the links below for information on the support to you available from your funding agency:

States of Jersey
States of Guernsey
Isle of Man

Overseas Please refer to the “Other Scholarships” section of our Oxford Bursaries and Scholarships page.

**If you have studied at undergraduate level before and completed your course, you will be classed as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification student (ELQ) and won’t be eligible to receive government or Oxford funding


Additional Fees and Charges Information for Classics and Modern Languages

During the year abroad, students currently pay significantly reduced fees to the University. Fees for later years have not yet been confirmed but as an example, the course fees for a new-cohort undergraduate student on a Humanities course going on a year abroad in 2023 would equate to:

  • Home students: £1,385 for the year.
  • Overseas students: £11,925 for the year (please note this is an illustrative example for 23/24)

We recommend that students begin to research the costs associated with the various year abroad options as early as possible in the second year of the course. There is plenty of support, information and advice to help you.

Work placement costs, study costs and living costs (such as accommodation) and travel expenses will vary depending on the destination and the activity undertaken. Some of the costs relating to year abroad activity, such as visa costs, may be subject to variation following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Certain year abroad activities may provide a salary, depending on placement type and terms. Some funding towards year abroad placements is currently available through the Turing scheme, which provides living costs grants and enhanced support for disadvantaged students. The University plans to bid for Turing scheme funding to support year abroad activity in future academic years. In the event that the University is not successful in securing Turing scheme funding, it will provide grants towards living costs at a similar level to Turing grants to support undergraduates undertaking study exchanges or work placements required for their course.  UK students can continue to access government funding for living costs, and those from lower-income households who are means-tested will remain eligible for generous bursaries from Oxford. Travel grants and financial assistance for those with insufficient funds may also be available through your college, the faculty and the University.

At present, students taking part in approved study exchanges supported by the Turing scheme do not pay tuition fees to other institutions. However, for some destinations, additional charges, which apply to all students at that institution, may be payable.
If you study outside the Turing scheme framework, you will be liable to pay course fees and any other applicable charges to the relevant institution.

You can find the latest information about the Turing scheme at Oxford, on our dedicated webpage.

Please note, some costs related to year abroad activity may be subject to some variation as arrangements relating to the UK’s departure from the EU are progressed.

Contextual information

Course data from Discover Uni provides applicants with statistics about undergraduate life at Oxford. But there is so much more to an Oxford degree that the numbers can’t convey.

The Oxford tutorial

College tutorials are central to teaching at Oxford. Typically, they take place in your college and are led by your academic tutor(s) who teach as well as do their own research. Students will also receive teaching in a variety of other ways, depending on the course. This will include lectures and classes, and may include laboratory work and fieldwork. However, tutorials offer a level of personalised attention from academic experts unavailable at most universities.

During tutorials (normally lasting an hour), college subject tutors will give you and one or two tutorial partners feedback on prepared work and cover a topic in depth. The other student(s) in your college tutorials will be from your year group, doing the same course as you and will normally be at your college. Such regular and rigorous academic discussion develops and facilitates learning in a way that isn’t possible through lectures alone. Tutorials also allow for close progress monitoring so tutors can quickly provide additional support if necessary.

College life

Our colleges are at the heart of Oxford’s reputation as one of the best universities in the world.

  • At Oxford, everyone is a member of a college as well as their subject department(s) and the University. Students therefore have both the benefits of belonging to a large, renowned institution and to a small and friendly academic community. Each college or hall is made up of academic and support staff, and students. Colleges provide a safe, supportive environment leaving you free to focus on your studies, enjoy time with friends and make the most of the huge variety of opportunities.
  • Each college has a unique character, but generally their facilities are similar. Each one, large or small, will have the following essential facilities:
    • Porters’ lodge (a staffed entrance and reception)
    • Dining hall
    • Lending library (often open 24/7 in term time)
    • Student accommodation
    • Tutors’ teaching rooms
    • Chapel and/or music rooms
    • Laundry
    • Green spaces
    • Common room (known as the JCR).
  • All first year students are offered college accommodation either on the main site of their college or in a nearby college annexe. This means that your neighbours will also be ‘freshers’ and new to life at Oxford. This accommodation is guaranteed, so you don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to live after accepting a place here, all of this is organised for you before you arrive.
  • All colleges offer at least one further year of accommodation and some offer it for the entire duration of your degree. You may choose to take up the option to live in your college for the whole of your time at Oxford, or you might decide to arrange your own accommodation after your first year – perhaps because you want to live with friends from other colleges.
  • While college academic tutors primarily support your academic development, you can also ask their advice on other things. Lots of other college staff including welfare officers help students settle in and are available to offer guidance on practical or health matters. Current students also actively support students in earlier years, sometimes as part of a college ‘family’ or as peer supporters trained by the University’s Counselling Service.

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