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Classics and Modern Languages

Classics and Modern Languages enables you to combine study of either one or both of Latin and Ancient Greek with one modern language (French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Czech).

NB. Beginners’ Russian is not available.

The course involves extensive study of major literary texts, alongside training in linguistic skills. There are several options available, which you must choose between at the time of application.

Option 1:

First examinations taken in Modern Languages after 3 terms

  • Course I = 4 years (3rd year abroad)
  • Course II = 5 years (1st year learning Latin or Greek, 4th year abroad)

Option 2:

First examinations in Classics after 5 terms

Course I is for students who have prior knowledge of the Classical language to A2 level; Course II is for those without such knowledge. Oxford has the largest Classics department in the world, with unparalleled teaching, library and museum resources and a range of extracurricular activities, including performances of Greek plays and various societies.

The Modern Languages Faculty is one of the largest in the UK, with a major research library (the Taylorian) and a modern, well-equipped Language Centre fitted with satellite and computer-assisted language learning facilities. Undergraduates will also have the opportunity to develop oral proficiency in the modern language by regular contact with native speakers.

Students take a year abroad in a foreign country before their final year. Most undergraduates spend their year abroad as a paid language assistant in a foreign school. Colleges assist in arranging these placements, and colleges or the Modern Languages Faculty may also provide financial support. College support may also be available to help undergraduates with academic-related travel to Italy or Greece.

Your time is divided between lectures, language classes, tutorials and private study. Most of your work will be in preparation of essays for your tutorials, although the systematic reading of literary texts, not necessarily aimed at any particular tutorial, also requires a considerable input of time and effort.

If you have any questions about our entrance requirements, or about applying to study at Jesus College, please contact the Admissions Officer:
Tel: 01865 279721


Professor Armand D’Angour

Professor Armand D’Angour is Fellow and Tutor in Classics, and author of The Greeks and the New: Novelty in ancient Greek imagination and experience (2011) and Socrates in Love: The Making of a Philosopher (2019). He has also co-edited (with Tom Phillips) Music, Text, and Culture in Ancient Greece (2018) and presented an online film ‘Rediscovering ancient Greek music’ (Youtube).

Dr Joe Cunningham

Dr Joe Cunningham is a Career Development Lecturer in Philosophy. He works in and teaches Logic, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Language, Ethics, Early Modern Philosophy, and Philosophy of Cognitive Science.

Dr Aneurin Ellis-Evans

Dr Aneurin Ellis-Evans, Lecturer in Ancient History (based at Oriel), is author of The Kingdom of Priam: Lesbos and the Troad between Anatolia and the Aegean (2019), and is researching the history of literary production in the Greek city-states of the Hellenistic period.

Dr Melinda Letts

Dr Melinda Letts, College Tutor in Latin and Greek Languages, undertakes the language teaching required for students; both reinforcing their A-level classical languages and those starting from scratch.

Modern Languages

Professor Katrin Kohl

Professor Katrin Kohl is a Fellow and Tutor in German. She teaches German literature from 1750. Her research focuses on poetry and poetics, and on the theory and practice of metaphor. Currently she is on research leave, leading an interdisciplinary research project on Creative Multilingualism for the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages.

Professor Caroline Warman

Professor Caroline Warman, Fellow and Tutor in French. She teaches and researches eighteenth and nineteenth-century French literature and thought, and has translated novels and essays from French. She has just finished a book about Enlightenment philosopher Diderot and co-organised a congress on the Enlightenment for 1500 people from all over the world. She teaches French literature and thought and also translation to all years.

Dr Kirstin Gwyer

Dr Kirstin Gwyer is a Departmental Lecturer in German at Jesus. She teaches German literature from the eighteenth century to the present, with a special interest in twentieth- and twenty-first-century prose fiction, and translation into and out of German. Her research interests are in the first-generation Holocaust novel, contemporary German-Jewish and American-Jewish literature, German memory writing since 1945, and postmodernism and post-postmodernism.

Dr Elena Lombardi

Dr Elena Lombardi, a Fellow of Balliol College, is a Lecturer in Italian for Jesus College. Her teaching interests focus on Dante, early Italian poetry, and Medieval Studies.

Dr Julie Curtis

Dr Julie Curtis, a Fellow of Wolfson College, is a Lecturer in Russian for Jesus College. Her research interests lie in twentieth-century Russian literature, especially Mikhail Bulgakov and Evgenii Zamiatin. She has also published on the literature of the Gorbachev era.

Dr Daniela Omlor

Dr Daniela Omlor, Fellow in Spanish at Lincoln College, also looks after Jesus students. Her research focuses on contemporary Spanish literature, with a particular emphasis on memory, trauma and exile. Her first book examined the role of memory and self-representation in the works of Jorge Semprún. Currently, she is exploring the interaction between memory and fiction in recent novels by Javier Cercas, Javier Marías and Antonio Muñoz Molina and others, in order to investigate how the recovery of historical memory in Spanish novels increasingly extends beyond the Spanish Civil War.

Candidates are selected on the basis of academic record (e.g. GCSEs) and potential, as shown by their UCAS reference, submitted written work, performance in written tests and in interviews if shortlisted.

In a total College entry of about 100 undergraduates, 4 or 5 are offered places in a typical year to read Classics and joint schools.

Academic requirements:

Offers made to candidates will be conditional upon A-level results (AAA grades at A-level, including grade A in the Modern and/or Classical Language(s) to be taken at degree level if currently studied) or equivalent qualifications. Applications from students taking equivalent examinations such as the International Baccalaureate are welcome. Applicants studying both classical languages to A-level, or only one, are equally welcome, as are those who may have only studied to GCSE level (who follow the Course II option).

Written tests:

Candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) and the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) on 3 November 2021. These tests are administered by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing and separate registration is required for each of these two tests by 15 October 2021. Further details of these tests can be found here:

Written work:

For Classics, candidates are required to submit two essays or commentaries. For Modern Languages, two pieces of written work must be submitted, at least one of which should be written in the language you are applying to study (if currently studied). The deadline to submit all written work is 10 November 2021.  Further information can be viewed here.

Deferred Entry:

Applications for deferred entry to Jesus College are accepted. You must apply for deferred entry at the time of application to Oxford: you cannot change your mind after an offer has been made. Please refer to departmental web sites for subject-specific advice. You should be aware that applicants who are offered places for deferred entry will generally be among the strongest of the cohort for their subject. We would not usually offer more than one deferred place per subject in order not to disadvantage the following year’s candidates. In some cases, an applicant for deferred entry may be offered a place for non-deferred entry instead. If you require any further advice, please contact the Admissions Officer via

In Oxford there is a larger concentration of teachers of classical subjects, and of graduate students, than anywhere else in the world. The following degrees are offered at postgraduate level:

  • MSt (1 year) or MPhil (2 years) Greek and/or Latin Language and Literature
  • MSt or MPhil Greek and/or Roman History
  • DPhil Classics

Oxford has a large, varied, and active teaching and research community in Modern Languages. There are over ninety members of the Faculty, with research interests spread across the full chronological range of the languages and into most areas of linguistics and literary study. The College welcomes applicants for the following degrees in Medieval and Modern Languages:

  • MSt or MPhil Modern Languages
  • DPhil Medieval and Modern Languages
  • MSt Women’s Studies

Graduates in Classics and Modern Languages go on to a wide variety of careers, including the media, teaching, acting, management, advertising and librarianship, as well as working with international companies or organisations. Recent Classics and Modern Languages graduates include an investment manager and a trainee solicitor.

Further information about Classics and Modern Languages at Oxford can be found on the faculty websites:


Modern Languages

Information about Admissions is available here.