Oxford requirement to study Classics and Oriental Studies; www.ox.ac.uk

mortar board UCAS code Q8T9 (Classics with Oriental Studies)
T9Q8 (Oriental Studies with Classics)
calendar Duration 4 years (BA)
pencil Entrance requirements AAA (in Latin and Greek if taken) Head Subject requirements   Latin and/or Greek
tick Admissions test(s) ox.ac.uk/cat
tick Written work Two pieces
phone Contact Classics +44 (0) 1865 288391
Email Classics
phone Contact Oriental Studies +44 (0) 1865 278312
Email Oriental Studies

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

Unistats information for each course combination can be found at the bottom of the page

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

Please note that the Faculty of Oriental Studies has recently been renamed as the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

This course allows you to combine the study of an Oriental language and culture with Latin and/or Greek and the study of the ancient world. There are two options: Classics with Oriental Studies (Q8T9) and Oriental Studies with Classics (T9Q8). In each case the subject mentioned first is the main subject (about two-thirds of the degree) and the second is an additional subject (about one-third of the degree). This joint honours degree provides an exciting opportunity for students who want to focus on interdisciplinary studies. It enables students to explore the cultural development and crossover in places such as Iran, Egypt and India. You will study the relationship between the languages and cultures of the great monotheistic religions within their various Greek and Roman contexts.


Oxford is ideally placed for the combined study of Classics and Oriental Studies, not least due to the numerous and varied teaching staff in each faculty, and the resources of the Ashmolean Museum, the Sackler Library and the China Centre. The Bodleian Oriental Institute Library has core collections comprising Islamic, South Asian and Jewish Studies. Oxford has the largest Classics faculty and programme of courses in the world, with outstanding teaching, library and museum resources and a designated Classics Centre.

A typical week

Your time will be divided between lectures, tutorials (typically two a week, in different subjects) and private study. Most of your work will involve preparing essays for your tutorials, although systematic language-learning and reading of texts also require considerable time and effort. Much of the teaching will take place in your college, but lectures are given in the Classics Faculty, Oriental Institute and the Examination Schools, and for particular subjects you may work with tutors from other colleges.

Tutorials in colleges usually involve up to three students and a tutor. Class sizes will vary depending on the options you choose, and there are usually 5-20 students in a class. Most tutorials, classes, and lectures are delivered by academics who are specialists in their subject. Many are world-leading experts with years of experience in teaching and research. Some teaching may also be delivered by qualified postgraduate students studying at doctoral level.

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

Course structure (Classics with Oriental Studies)

YEARS 1-2 (TERMS 1–5) YEARS 2, 3 AND 4 (TERMS 6–12)

Follow the course for Classics (refer to Classics page)


Carry on with Classics options and start with chosen Oriental language from:

  • Akkadian
  • Arabic
  • Aramaic and Syriac
  • Armenian
  • Coptic
  • Egyptian
  • Hebrew
  • Early Iranian
  • Pali
  • Persian
  • Sanskrit
  • Turkish

The options listed here are illustrative and may change. More information about current options is available on the Classics and Oriental Studies websites.

First University examinations in Classics (refer to Classics page)
ASSESSMENTFinal University examinations: eight written papers (five in Classics, three in Oriental Studies); one paper may be substituted by a thesis.

Course structure (Oriental Studies with Classics)

YEAR 1 YEAR 2 (with year abroad) YEARS 2 AND 3 (without a year abroad) OR
YEARS 3 AND 4 (with a year abroad)

Select main language:

  • Akkadian
  • Arabic*
  • Egyptian
  • Hebrew
  • Persian*
  • Sanskrit
  • Turkish*

*These languages include a year abroad in Year 2.


Year abroad: approved course of language instruction


Carry on with Oriental Studies options and choose either Greek or Latin

A full list of current options is available on the Oriental Studies websites.

First University examinations in Oriental Studies (refer to Oriental Studies page)
Final University examinations: eight to ten written papers (five to seven in Oriental Studies, three in Classics)

The content and format of this course may change in some circumstances.

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 (and an aggregate of 12 in Latin and Greek, if taken)
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

Candidates for Classics with Oriental Studies without an A-level or similar qualification in either Greek or Latin will follow Classics Course II – please see Classics page for details.

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

Classics with Oriental Studies – Q8T9
Test:  CAT(candidates intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian must take Part 3 within the CAT in addition to other parts required)
Test date: 2 November 2022
Registration deadline:  30 September 2022
Oriental Studies with Classics – T9Q8 (Candidates intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian ONLY)
Test:  OLAT
Test date: 2 November 2022
Registration deadline: 30 September 2022

All candidates for Classics with Oriental Studies (Q8T9) must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) as part of their application. All candidates for Oriental Studies with Classics (T9Q8) intending to study Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish must take the Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT) as part of their application.

Separate registration for these tests is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered. 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 respective OLAT and CAT pages.

Written work

Description:  Two pieces of written work. For those taking one or more classical subjects already, at least one of these should be on a classical topic. For those who are not taking a classical subject at school, the written work can be drawn from any subject(s): it is intended to show how you construct an argument and express your ideas in English, so the particular topic of your essay and the A-level (or equivalent) subject from which it is drawn are not important. Please contact the admissions office at your chosen college if you have any further questions about the submission of written work. For further details, see the Classics and the Oriental Studies pages.
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 Oriental Studies are also looking for potential and an enquiring mind, and a real commitment to this wide-ranging subject. The ability to sustain an argument is also important.

For more detail on the selection criteria for this course, please see the Classics and Oriental Studies websites.


Students develop good linguistic and analytical abilities and will be very attractive to employers from a wide variety of sectors. Knowledge of a modern language opens up opportunities for careers with international companies and organisations.

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 Oriental Studies

There are no compulsory costs for this course beyond the fees shown above and your living costs.

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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