Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Classics II

Freya Chambers


classics2.student@ccc.ox.ac.uk


Hi! I’m Freya and I’m a Classics IIB student from Devon.


Classics isn’t a subject that everyone gets the chance to study at school, particularly students like me from comprehensive schools — I didn’t really know what it was until Year 12 when I started looking into university courses. Thankfully Oxford offers a fantastic course for those who have no background in Classics. I’m studying course IIB which means I am learning Ancient Greek from scratch and can go on to learn Latin later if I want to. I would say absolutely don’t be put off applying for Classics by a lack of previous knowledge; Course II is designed so that no knowledge is assumed and, despite doing completely un-Classics-related A-levels, I never once felt out of my depth when I started.


The Classics course at Oxford is absolutely brilliant, especially at Corpus! I chose Classics because of the huge variety it offers: in my first year I’ve not only learnt how to read and write in ancient Greek but studied literature (the Aeneid, the Iliad and Greek comedy and tragedy), ancient and modern philosophy (including logic, which is surprisingly ‘mathsy’), ancient history, theatre, art history, archaeology and more. Only with Classics is it possible to go from a tutorial on sculpture to a class on grammar to a tutorial on logic, all in one day (admittedly an unusually busy day!).


I applied to Corpus after visiting on an open day — I loved the 16th century library, the location next to the High Street, the quirkily grassless quad, the cosy JCR, the college tortoise and the beautiful gardens. Visiting colleges on open days is really worthwhile when making up your mind, so I recommend it if you get the chance! Corpus is definitely one of the least daunting and friendliest colleges; it is also renowned for Classics, with world-class tutors and the largest number of classicists of any college.


Before I got here I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the infamous Oxford workload, miss all my deadlines and be kicked out within a week. I can categorically say that all these fears were unfounded — rather than struggling I’m having a brilliant time and the work I have to do is completely manageable (even for someone like me who has iffy time management skills!). Besides, on arriving here I found that there is a huge range of welfare resources and people to talk to for students who might be struggling, so don’t worry about being unable to cope. Corpus in particular is really focused on student welfare and has a great network of student welfare representatives. I’m currently the mental health rep for Corpus so feel free to ask me any questions about welfare provision at Corpus or across the university.


Of course uni isn’t all about work and there are so many exciting things going in Oxford (the uni and the city). In my first year I’ve been involved in student politics and societies like the LGBTQ+ soc, gone to debates at the Oxford Union, been to see some great student drama and started a bit of volunteering, including gardening on a local allotment. Oxford also has some great pubs, cafes, clubs and live music venues (as I write this in, I’m excited that I’m going to see one of my favourite bands at the O2 this weekend!). There’s always something exciting going on — I promise you’re not going to spend all your time in the library.


Drop me an email if you have any questions or just want a bit of reassurance about any aspect of the application process/Oxford life/the Classics course — I’d love to help in any way I can!


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