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Classics

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Why study Classics at St Hilda’s?

Classics is for everyone!

Classics – the original interdisciplinary subject – has always fascinated people from a wide range of backgrounds. We welcome applications from anyone with the enthusiasm and commitment to undertake or improve their learning of Latin and/or Greek, to discover the literature, history and material culture of the ancient world, and to explore philosophy from both the ancient and modern worlds. St Hilda’s has a large and vibrant Classics community at the undergraduate, postgraduate and senior levels: ours is a friendly and academically challenging environment in which Classicists thrive and receive the support needed to realise their potential and achieve excellent results.

Our students’ prior experience of Classics varies hugely. Some have been able to study Latin and/or Greek to A-level or equivalent, while many have had no opportunity at all to study either the ancient languages or the ancient world more broadly, and others may have learned one of the languages in lunch-time clubs off-timetable. The tutors at St Hilda’s are very used to welcoming and guiding students with different levels of experience; at admissions, we look for evidence of interest, commitment, talent and potential, regardless of applicants’ school context.

A recent graduate, Charlie Hailes, offers his thoughts on coming from a ‘non-traditional’ background to study Classics at St Hilda’s.

Generous bequests mean that we are able to offer substantial financial help towards the cost of travel to classical sites around the Mediterranean world, and we encourage students to make the most of this opportunity. We have a stock of the large Latin and Greek dictionaries for students to keep on long-term loan for the duration of their course. These are expensive items which we recognise many students cannot afford to buy for themselves, but which are an essential aid for translating the considerable number of set texts in the course.

From the purely practical provision of travel grants and dictionaries, to a lively social calendar, we aim to make the study of Classics at this college as enjoyable as it is academically rigorous, for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Subject tutors

The core tutorial teaching team at St Hilda’s consists of two tutors in Classical Languages and Literature and one Ancient Historian. Their research interests range widely from Homer and Greek Religion, to Augustan Latin poetry, and Greek and Roman historiography.

- Dr Rebecca Armstrong
- Dr Katherine Clarke
- Dr Emily Kearns

Tutorial teaching in Philosophy is provided by two subject tutors. See the Philosophy page for more information.

We are also very pleased to have with us:

- Professor Fiona Macintosh 
Dr Andrew Sillett

After St Hilda's

Our Classics graduates move into a diverse set of careers. Many remain so enthusiastic about the subject that they choose to do further research or become school teachers. Others have gone on to work in such areas as law, business, the civil service, journalism and media. Among the more unusual career paths followed by St Hilda’s classicists are acting, stand-up comedy, nursing, psychotherapy, pub management, and air traffic control! 

Historian, author, and broadcaster Bettany Hughes (Ancient and Modern History, 1985) speaks about her time at St Hilda's and the tutorial system at Oxford in a video podcast.

Read author Dr Daisy Dunn (Classics, 2005)'s interview about her time at St Hilda's and how it influenced her future career. 

Further information

Further application information

There are courses in Classics to suit those with and without A-Levels in Latin and Greek. St Hilda’s welcomes applicants from all backgrounds, including those who have had very little opportunity to study either classical language.

Please visit the Classics course page on the University Web site for details on entrance requirements. We also recommend you visit the Classics Faculty website for more information.

The Joint Association of Classical Teachers offers excellent summer schools in both Latin and Greek at all levels which we strongly encourage Classics students to attend before they begin their studies in Oxford.

Dictionaries

We have a stock of the large Latin and Greek dictionaries for students to keep on long-term loan for the duration of their course. These are expensive items which we recognise many students cannot afford to buy for themselves, but which are an essential aid for translating the considerable number of set texts in the course.

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