Corpus Christi College Oxford

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We typically seek to admit 10 students a year across Classics and its joint schools, including Classical Archaeology and Ancient History.


1. What does the Classics course cover?

The main classics course can cover the whole of the Greek and Roman world from Minoan Crete to the reception of Greek and Roman themes in contemporary poetry. You can study ancient history, archaeology, art history, comparative philology and linguistics, philosophy (of many kinds) Byzantine poetry, gender, modern Greek as well as Latin and Greek language and literature. Oxford has the largest classics faculty in the world and specialists in almost every sub-discipline.

2. What do students typically find most rewarding about the course?

Four years of close encounter with a culture which is both alien from our own and curiously familiar. Regular contact in very small groups with tutors who are all experts and often leading world experts in their fields, and the range of subject choice available (students for finals choose eight units out of a possible 70 or more, and most subjects are available each year).

3. What do you see as the benefits of studying Classics at Corpus?

Corpus is fortunate in having four tutorial fellows in the main classical disciplines (Latin, Greek, ancient history, ancient philosophy) plus several more fellows in classics and a number of graduate students in the subject. Though the smallest of the older colleges, we are one of the largest takers of undergraduates in classics, so at Corpus (unusually) classics is the largest subject and students form part of a community of more than thirty.

4. Who teaches Classics at Corpus?

Latin literature and language: Stephen Harrison (on leave October 2017 - September 2020); Greek literature and language: Constanze Güthenke; Latin literature and language: Kalina Allendorf; Greek Language: Sophie Schoess; Greek History: Sam Gartland; Roman History: Anna Clark, Neil McLynn; Ancient Philosophy: David Lee.

5. What have students from the least few years gone on to do after their degree?

Some have gone on to further study or teaching in classics, but most go on to other graduate careers. Law is a particular favourite, but publishing, journalism, banking and accountancy are regular; two have become stage directors, one a stand-up comedian.  A good Oxford classics degree is well respected by most employers.

6. What do tutors look for in the Classics application process?

We look for students with intellectual  potential and enthusiasm rather than mere polish and competence, though the capacity to handle the language learning element on the course is important; our admissions process is of course part of a common process across all colleges, and we do our best to ensure that good candidates are taken somewhere even if we can't fit them in at Corpus.

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