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University of Oxford Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Oct 
International :15 Oct 
EU :15 Oct 

BA Classics and English

Catalog id : QQ38
 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

15295 GBP
9000 GBP
9000 GBP

Application fee

International 75 GBP
National 75 GBP
Faculty of English
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)110
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
SAT (avg)1470
ACT (avg)32

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About this course

Classics and English appeals to those interested in the interactions of historically diverse literary cultures. English may be taken with Latin or Greek or both.

  • This is for candidates with an A-level or equivalent in either Latin or Greek or both.
  • Oxford has a long and distinguished tradition of research and teaching in both Classics and English, and possesses remarkable library provision in both subjects.
  • The highlight of the Classics and English course is the link papers, which are studied over the second and third years.
  • They provide an opportunity to compare texts from both sides of the course and to study classical influence. Further papers are also chosen from each of the ‘parent’ subjects.

C&E Careers:

Many graduates in Classics and English have entered fields such as teaching, the media, management, advertising and librarianship, or have continued to further study in their subject.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria


  • A-levels: AAA (with As in Latin and Greek, if taken)
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB (with As in Latin and Greek, if taken)
  • IB: 39 (including core points) with 666 at HL (with an aggregate of 12 in Latin and Greek, if taken)
  • Or any other equivalent

English Language Requirements:

  • IELTS: overall score of 7.0 (with at least 7.0 in each of the four components)
  • TOEFL (paper-based): overall score of 600 with a Test of Written English score of 5.5
  • TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 110 with component scores of at least: Listening 22, Reading 24, Speaking 25, and Writing 24.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced, also known as the Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A if taken before January 2015, or a score of at least 185.
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency, also known as the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B if taken before January 2015, or a score of at least 185.
  • English Language GCSE, or O-level: grade B (for IGCSE, please see below)
  • International Baccalaureate Standard Level (SL): score of 5 in English (as Language A or B)
  • European Baccalaureate: score of 70% in English.

Exemptions from this requirement will be considered for applicants who have

  • studied the International Baccalaureate programme, if it is taught in English
  • studied the Singapore Integrated Programme (SIPCAL) 
  • been educated full-time in the medium of the English language throughout the two most recent years before the 15 October application deadline, and who remain in full-time education conducted in the English language until the end of the school year in their home country. 

Other qualifications:

International Baccalaureate

A total score of 38, 39 or 40 points (depending on the course) including core points. Specific scores may be required in subjects taken at the Higher level. Please see the individual course pages for details.

American education system

SAT Reasoning Test with at least 1,400 in Critical Reading and Mathematics and also 700 or more in Writing, giving a combined score of at least 2,100 (or equivalent)
ACT with a score of at least 32 out of 36.


Grade 5 in three or more Advanced Placement Tests in appropriate subjects
SAT Subject Tests in three appropriate subjects at 700 or better.

A combination of APTs and SAT Subject Tests (or other equivalent qualifications) is also acceptable, if they are in different subjects.

We are aware that the SAT is undergoing major reform in 2016. As the old-system SAT is still being used up to and including the January 2016 test date, any candidates with a test date prior to or including January 2016 will be assessed according to the current offer wording above.

Oxford will accept both old and new-system SATs. The exact details of our requirements for the revised SATs will be published here following the release of the College Board concordance in May 2016. Further information on the redesigned SAT.


Candidates are asked to enter all their scores for any tests taken when they complete their UCAS application, showing the relevant dates for each. This gives tutors a complete picture of the candidates’ academic record, rather than just the ‘superscore’ of best results for the different sections of any test taken on multiple occasions.

Candidates are also asked to include any pending test scores on the UCAS application: that is, details of any test they intend to take up until the end of Senior Year. Again, this is to give tutors a complete picture of the candidates’ academic record, including studies which are still in progress.

European Baccalaureate

An average of 85% or above, with scores of between 8 and 9 in specified subjects.

For further details, go through https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/international-students/international-qualifications?wssl=1

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

1st year


Five papers are taken:

Introduction to English Language and Literature
Literature in English 1550–1660
Unseen translation for Classics
Greek and/or Latin literature (two papers)
Note: Course II students spend an additional preliminary year learning Latin or Greek, alongside some study of classical literature.

2nd and 3rd years


Seven papers are taken:

Two link papers, one compulsory (Epic), and a choice from Comedy, Tragedy, Reception
Two papers from the English single honours course, including one period paper not taken in the first year
One core paper in Latin or in Greek literature
One Classics option
Dissertation of 8,000 words, either interdisciplinary or focused on English or Classics

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

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.

Written work:

Candidates are normally expected to submit two pieces of written work, where possible one relevant to Classics and one to English, by 10 November 2016. Candidates will preferably not submit short, timed essays or exercises answering questions on a short passage of text.

Written test:

All candidates must take both the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) and the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT), normally at their own school or college, on 2 November 2016.

Separate registration for each test is required. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for these tests.

What are tutors looking for?

  • They will have read widely in English and classical literature (in the original or translation), and will enjoy talking and writing about literature and approaches to it.
  • Shortlisted candidates may be asked to discuss a piece of prose or verse, supplied before or in the interview.

Shortlisting criteria for Classics:

1. Criteria by which decisions not to invite candidates for interview are taken

Candidates will normally be invited for interview unless the first-choice college believes beyond reasonable doubt that they are 'disqualified'.

All applications are viewed sympathetically, but grounds for considering a candidate 'disqualified' may include:

  • poor results in GCSE and/or equivalent examinations,
  • poor results predicted for A Level and/or other impending examinations,
  • poor results at A Level and/or equivalent examinations (if an application is made after A-Level or equivalent examinations),
  • a negative school report,
  • submitted written work that shows a lack of intellectual coherence or power of analysis, or serious inaccuracy, or a poor command of expression in English,
  • an absence of any indication of interest in the subject in the candidate's application,
  • poor results in written tests (other than the Language Aptitude Test) sat in the course of the candidate's application,
  • failure to submit the required written work, or to sit the required written tests.

It should also be noted that the standard offer made to candidates is AAA at A Level: if a candidate is predicted, or has been awarded, grades lower than AAA, that will under normal circumstances constitute grounds for not inviting a candidate to interview in itself. The college of preference (or allocated college in the case of open applicants) will consult other colleges and will only take the decision not to interview an applicant if all colleges agree.

2. Criteria for written work submitted

  • Assessors shall take note of the declared circumstances under which the written work was done, and assess it accordingly.
  • A very different standard of content and presentation should be expected from a piece of highly prepared course work than from a piece written for homework with a short dead-line, or written under exam conditions.
  • Taking these differences into account, assessors will be looking for signs of good basic knowledge, powers of analysis, powers of expression, ability to construct a coherent train of thought, and to shape an argument.
  • The quality of English expression and of presentation may also be part of the assessment, according to the circumstances under which the work was done.

3. Criteria for assessing the written tests

a) Translation Tests of passages of Latin and/or Greek

  • These tests are being used as indicators of linguistic potential in Latin and/or Greek, rather than simply as assessments of the level already achieved.
  • This means that the ability to grapple with constructions, and to recognize the idiomatic characteristics of the languages are more important than knowledge of uncommon vocabulary.
  • Knowledge of relatively common vocabulary and idiom are also being tested (vocabulary and idiom that is judged to be relatively rare or difficult will be glossed on the question paper).
  • Errors and short-comings may be assessed very differently, depending on how far the candidate has made a commendable effort to grapple with the problems of the translation.
  • The tests are centrally marked, but individual tutors also have the opportunity to check them for themselves.

b) The Language Aptitude Test

  • This test has been specially devised to assess a candidate's aptitude for learning Greek and/or Latin.
  • Candidates are not expected to know any language other than English, nor are they expected to be familiar with any grammatical terminology.
  • The questions are designed to test the candidate's ability to observe regular patterns of variation in sets of words and sentences (some from real languages, others from an invented language, all with English translations) and to work out how these are correlated with differences of meaning; there are also questions that invite the candidate to recognise nuances of meaning in English sentences and to identify patterns within familiar English usage.
  • Candidates are supplied with a copy of the previous year's test so that they can see what sort of questions are asked and can have some practice in advance.

4. Criteria for interview

  • The interview is aimed primarily at assessing the candidate's potential for independent thinking, ability to follow an argument, skill in communication, and adaptability for tutorial teaching. It is not a test of knowledge in isolation from context; nor is it a test of verbal facility or social charm.
  • Interviewers will be looking for evidence of ability to respond in a thoughtful way to unpredictable questions and ideas.
  • They will also be looking for evidence that the candidate's interest goes beyond a mere formal submission to their academic training, and that they are able to deploy their knowledge in ways that show initiative.

Shortlisting criteria for English:

1. UCAS Form

  • The UCAS form will be assessed by tutors on the basis of previous examination results, qualifications predicted, the school or other institutional reference, and the candidate's personal statement.
  • Candidates are encouraged to give a detailed account of their academic interests and of the reading they may have undertaken independent of school or college work; the personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate enthusiasm for and commitment to the study of literature, and to nominate particular literary interests which may be discussed at interview.
  • Candidates should note that once the subject requirements for English have been met, any other subjects at A-level are acceptable for Admissions purposes, with the exception of General Studies.

2. Written Work

  • The written work will also be assessed by at least two English tutors.
  • In the case of pre-qualification applicants, this should ideally be a marked essay produced in the normal course of school or college work, and should not have been rewritten after marking.
  • For those applying post-qualification, or as mature students, it may well be preferable (but is not necessary) to produce a new piece of work - you may want to give a clearer reflection of your current abilities - and in these circumstances we understand that it may not be possible to have it marked. In any case, there is space on the form for you to describe the circumstances in which the work was produced.


  • The ELAT is a 90-minute test, in which candidates write an essay comparing either two or three unseen passages of literature.
  • It is designed to assess how far candidates have developed their ability in the key skill of close reading and, with this, the ability to shape and articulate an informed response to unfamiliar literary material.
  • The test is not marked by the University of Oxford, but by an external examining body, the Admissions Testing Service, who also administer arrangements for the test.
  • All candidates (except those for the History and English Joint School) are required to take the test, and this includes all international applicants. The ELAT is only one of the elements used to decide whether to invite candidates for interview.

4. Interviews

  • Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by at least two English tutors, and will usually have two interviews.
  • In order to make sure that candidates' chances of gaining a place are not affected by their initial choice of college, many candidates will be interviewed at more than one college. Some candidates will also be reallocated before interview from colleges that have a very high ratio of applicants to places, in order to ensure fairness across the University.
  • Interviews are tailored to individual candidates, and may engage with submitted written work and with wider reading interests.
  • They are likely to include an exercise in which candidates are invited to discuss a piece of previously unseen literature.

Check further details on University website

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