Make a Gift
Trinity welcomes applications from prospective undergraduates 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. 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.
Undergraduates benefit from a year group of six or seven students studying Classics. They get to know Trinity Classicists in other year groups through social events including the annual subject dinner, and through the activities of the Trinity Classics Society. The Classics Society invites speakers on a variety of topics, including recently Greek epic in late antiquity, new discoveries in the archaeology of Roman coins, and the role of Classics in a career in Strategy Consultancy. There are also termly read-throughs of classical plays (in translation!) ranging from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon to Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus.
We also welcome applications for Masters and DPhil courses in Classical Languages and Literature, and our graduate classicists play an important role in the Trinity Classics community.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Trinity is lucky to have a specific fund (the Lingen Fund) 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 Classical sites in Greece, Italy or elsewhere.
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.