Classics

Trinity is lucky to have a fund (the Lingen Fund) specifically to support Classics students undertaking vacation travel linked to their studies. Many of our Classicists are able to benefit from an award towards travel to Greece, Italy or other Classical sites.

Which Classics / joint courses with Classics can I study at Trinity?

Trinity welcomes applications for all versions of the course in Classics (Literae Humaniores) and for the Joint Schools in Classics and English, Classics and Modern Languages (French or Spanish), Classics with Oriental Studies, and Ancient and Modern History. Full details of these courses are available at classics.ox.ac.uk. We are very keen to attract students who have little or no prior knowledge of Greek and/or Latin and who wish to learn either language (or both) from scratch, as well as applicants who have studied both languages previously.

What is distinctive about studying Classics at Trinity?

College tutors play a key role in your course, and at Trinity much of the tutorial teaching is provided by our own academics who have wide and varied interests. These range across Latin and Greek literature, ancient history, archaeology and philosophy, and we encourage students to select optional papers which reflect their own deepening interests in diverse aspects of the classical world. In addition to tutorials, the College organises reading and translation classes to supplement the language teaching provided by the Classics Faculty. On the Classics side, Trinity’s teaching team includes Fellows in Classics (Gail Trimble) and Philosophy (Anil Gomes), and an excellent team of Lecturers in other areas of Classics and Ancient History, Archaeology and Philosophy.

Gail Trimble

Undergraduates benefit from a year group of six or seven students studying Classics. Students get to know Trinity Classicists in other year groups through a programme of social events, including a number of informal parties and the annual subject dinner. In addition, the Classics tutors invite speakers on a variety of topics, including recently divine appearances in Homer, new discoveries in the archaeology of Rome, or the role of Classics in a career in Strategy Consultancy. There are also termly read-throughs of classical plays (in translation!) such as Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, Euripides’ Helen, Menander’s Dyskylos or Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus, and of other short works or extracts such as Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue or the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite.

The College is very conveniently located for Classics students: the Classics Faculty’s home at the Ioannou Centre on St Giles’ is only a few minutes’ walk away, as are the Bodleian and Sackler libraries (the main University libraries for Classics and Ancient History). Many of the books and journals needed for Classics courses are also in the excellent College library.

Admissions: what are we looking for at Trinity?

Our tutors are looking for students who are enthusiastic and committed to studying and reading extensively about the ancient world and responding to it with intelligence and imagination. Classics and the joint degrees are subjects that are traditionally strong at Trinity. Tutors aim to make sure that students fulfil their potential by performing to their highest academic potential and enjoying their course to the full, whatever their previous experience of classical languages, history and culture. Budding Classicists need to demonstrate clear ability in or strong potential to learn ancient languages, while those applying for Joint Schools will need to show equal aptitude and commitment to Classics and to the other half of the degree (English, Modern Languages, Oriental Studies, or History).

Our new Classics students in October 2017

What happens during admissions at Trinity?

The Oxford admissions process gathers information about you from a number of sources, including your UCAS form and subject-specific tests. See classics.ox.ac.uk/how-to-apply for more details. All short-listed candidates are invited to interview. At Trinity, candidates for Classics will have two interviews in the College. One is designed to find out about your aptitude for studying classical literature, and the other to find out about your aptitude for studying philosophy and ancient history. Both interviews look for potential; they are specifically not designed to test factual knowledge about subjects of which you have no previous experience. In particular, we realise that most of our candidates will not necessarily have studied much philosophy or ancient history before, and the interview testing aptitude for these subjects will take this into account. Candidates interviewed for Joint Schools will have one interview for Classics and one for the other subject. For Classics and English, Classics and Modern Languages (French or Spanish), and Classics with Oriental Studies the interview for Classics will focus on literature; for Ancient and Modern History the Classics interview side typically focuses on ancient history. (Like all Colleges, Trinity may also interview some applicants who have nominated another College as their first choice, and been interviewed there. In this case, candidates for Classics will normally have only one interview at Trinity, focusing on literature.)

Organising Tutor

Dr Gail Trimble is the Fellow in Classics at Trinity College, and the Organising Tutor for the undergraduate courses.

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Trinity and the Classics Faculty

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