classics students in a tutorial consulting texts.
Exploring Cicero

Location

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 available in the excellent College library.

Teaching Structure

College tutors play a key role in your undergraduate 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. 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.

Classics freshers stand in Trinity's front quad.
Our third-year Classics students
A black painted urn from ancient Greece.
What makes Classics at Trinity so wonderful are our incredibly supportive tutors and our close-knit community - the older years are always happy to help! The Trinity Classics Society provides great opportunities to hear speakers you wouldn't otherwise get to listen to and our termly play readings are highly entertaining.
Alannah

Admissions

Our tutors are looking for enthusiastic students who are 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, and tutors aim to make sure that students achieve the best that they are capable of 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).

The Oxford admissions process gathers information about you from a number of sources, including your UCAS form and subject-specific tests. All short-listed candidates are invited to interview. At Trinity, candidates for Classics will normally 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 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.)

Course Details

Full details of all Classics courses are available on the Classics Faculty website. Classics at undergraduate level (Literae Humaniores) gives you the opportunity to study the ancient Greek and Roman world using both written texts and material sources such as buildings, sculpture and pottery. It includes papers on literature, philosophy (including modern philosophy), ancient history, archaeology and (optionally) philology and linguistics, as well as a strong focus on language learning in Latin and/or Greek – whatever level you have studied them at before, and  including if you have not studied classical languages at all. In the later years of the course, you will be able to specialise further in the areas that particularly interest you, and you can offer an extended essay and/or a research-based thesis alongside written examination papers.

Ancient and Modern History combines the historical study of both the ancient and modern worlds, and also includes the option to learn or continue with Greek or Latin, while in Classics and English and Classics and Modern Languages, the Classics side of the degree focuses on language(s) and literature. In Classics with Oriental Studies, you follow the first part of the course for Literae Humaniores (for five terms), and then divide the second part of the course (for seven terms) between Classics papers and papers in an Oriental language such as Arabic, Persian or Sanskrit.

A cgroup of bicycles parked in Trinity college.
Google Map
Trinity and the Sackler Library

Career Prospects

The Classics courses at Oxford are characterised by their combination of rigour and breadth, and the skills learned as part of a degree in Classics are highly valued by employers. Graduates take up careers including law, consultancy, publishing, the media and the civil service, and a substantial number also go on to further study, research or teaching in Classics and related subjects.

Three students wearing Oxford University T-shirts pose in front of a large sculptural wall.
In recent years, a good number of Trinity's Classicists have graduated with First Class Honours. This has included students who came top of the whole University in Literae Humaniores, and who were awarded University prizes for their Finals performances in Philosophy and in Latin literature.