• UCAS Code: Q800 BA/CGL (3 yrs) or Q801 BA/CGL4 (4 yrs)
  • Campus Code: 4
  • Duration: 3-4 Years
  • Places per year: 2-4

Classics studies two of the most interesting cultures in world history – those of ancient Greece and Rome – and of those they came into contact with. In Classics, you will: study Ancient Greek, Latin and general linguistics; discover ways of appreciating and critiquing the great imaginative achievements of Greek and Latin literature and art; sharpen your argumentative toolkit by studying philosophy, and learn to interpret the historical and archaeological sources for almost 2000 fascinating years of Mediterranean history.


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Course Overview

Classics is the study of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures in their broadest sense: Greek and Latin language, literature, philosophy, ancient history, art and archaeology.

The Faculty offers two undergraduate courses — a three-year one for those with an A-level or equivalent in Latin, and a four-year one for those without. The two courses are equally rich and stimulating, reflecting the wide-ranging nature of the subject. Study of Latin and Greek language and literature is central to each, but on top of that you can choose from a range of aspects including ancient history, art and archaeology, linguistics, ancient philosophy, and modern responses to classical antiquity, to tailor your own curriculum. There are also a number of opportunities to travel for study trips or archaeological digs.

How You Learn

During the first and second year (or second and third year, if you are taking the 4-year course), you usually have 8 to 10 lectures and at least 2 small-group supervisions in which you discuss your work, each week. You will also have language classes as needed.

In the third or fourth year you may have Faculty seminars, as well as lectures. Your College supervisions give you the opportunity to research essay topics of your choice, in depth.

Assessments take place through end of year exams and submitted essays. In your third year you can substitute an exam for a dissertation.

Throughout your degree course supervisions will give you the chance to study the ancient world in depth, often emphasising a different angle from the lectures. Often you will write an essay in advance and then discuss it with your supervisor and one or two other students. Supervisions encourage you to think critically and independently, giving you a real opportunity to work on your intellectual development.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Offer Level

A-Level: A*AA

IB Diploma: 41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Other: See the University’s Entry Requirements page

Subject Requirements

For the 3-year course, you will need A level/IB Higher Level (or the equivalent) in:

  • Latin

If you do not study Latin, but instead study Classical Greek, please contact us for advice.

For the 4-year course, we don’t ask for any specific subjects. However, we would recommend any of the following subjects for a strong application:

  • Classical Civilisation
  • English (language or literature)
  • History
  • Languages (ancient or modern)

Admissions Process

Written Work

Two school essays on any subject. You do not have to send this work before applying, we will write to you after you have applied and let you know exactly what you need to send and when.

Admissions Assessment

If shortlisted for interview, this will include an admissions assessment. The assessment will be part of the interview process. If you have applied for the three-year course, it will be a Latin or Greek skills assessment. If you have applied for the four-year course, it will be a language aptitude assessment. Each of these will be around 20 minutes in length. The College will register you for this – you do not need to register yourself. See also the University website’s page on College Admission Assessments.


Two interviews, around 25 minutes each.

Video Resource

Going beyond what you learn at school and engaging with super-curricular resources is a great way to develop your knowledge of your subject and demonstrate your passion at interview.

Watch this video of Professor Mary Beard and Stephen Cox RA discussing art in antiquity to learn more about Classics.

Last updated: April 2024 for 2025 entry