Classics - Oxford or Cambridge?

Watch
thelyphron
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
The age-old question.


Both courses offer a wide range of options. Both offer specialisation, and indeed a dissertation if you are so inclined, in areas of interest.


How did you decide?
0
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
Oxford is more renowned for Classics I believe, the faculty there is amazing and is the largest in the world.

Apart from course differences, you could consider whether you'd prefer living in a larger city or a more countryside feel. It's probably best to visit both and just see which one you feel more comfortable at


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Lindissa
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report 6 years ago
#3
Oxford is four years; Cambridge three. As far as I'm aware at Oxford you have to do philosophy, whereas at Cambridge you choose two from linguistics, philosophy, art & archaeology, and history (in addition to literature and language). As Oxford is more renowned, it is a slightly more competitive course than Cambridge's but the standard offer is AAA; at Cambridge you need an A*.
0
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
(Original post by Lindissa)
Oxford is four years; Cambridge three. As far as I'm aware at Oxford you have to do philosophy, whereas at Cambridge you choose two from linguistics, philosophy, art & archaeology, and history (in addition to literature and language). As Oxford is more renowned, it is a slightly more competitive course than Cambridge's but the standard offer is AAA; at Cambridge you need an A*.
Depending on whether you have Greek/Latin of course at Cambridge - they do a 4 year course also

You do have to do philosophy but only at mods, I don't think it's compulsory for finals


Edit - just checked and that is correct you don't have to do it for finals. Here is the exact set up (for finals - if you want mods let me know and I'll get it)

Candidates must offer eight subjects (and any associated papers of translation), which may include: up to five subjects in Greek and Roman History; up to five subjects in Philosophy; up to five subjects in Greek and Latin Literature; up to two subjects (or up to three, if one is a thesis [IV.6]) in Greek and Roman Archaeology; up to two subjects (or up to three, if one is a thesis [V. 5]) in Philology and Linguistics; two subjects in Second Classical Language; except that (i) candidates in Course I may not offer Second Classical Language and (ii) candidates in Course II who offer Second Classical Language may not offer more than four subjects in any one of Greek and Roman History, Philosophy, and Greek and Latin Literature.
0
reply
Lindissa
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 years ago
#5
(Original post by Lucilou101)
You do have to do philosophy but only at mods, I don't think it's compulsory for finals
Yes - from what I've read you seem to specialise earlier at Cambridge but obviously that's plenty of opportunity to study a range of classical topics at both.

The way the ab initio Latin courses work is different too - at Cambridge you would spend a year just doing Latin and then join the first year Latinists in your second year, whereas at Oxford both degrees are four years but I think the number of texts read in the original language is reduced if you just started either language.
0
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 years ago
#6
(Original post by Lindissa)
Yes - from what I've read you seem to specialise earlier at Cambridge but obviously that's plenty of opportunity to study a range of classical topics at both.

The way the ab initio Latin courses work is different too - at Cambridge you would spend a year just doing Latin and then join the first year Latinists in your second year, whereas at Oxford both degrees are four years but I think the number of texts read in the original language is reduced if you just started either language.
One of the main reasons I prefer Oxford, id hate to be awkwardly one year older than everyone else when I started the main part of the course.
I think it is reduced yes, purely because you have to spend that time learning the language.
That said though, if you don't choose to study a second language you probably could study the same amount of Greek/Latin as someone with the language would have


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
christudor
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 6 years ago
#7
There is no meaningful difference. Both universities have an unbelievable set of resources, which means you'll never be limited in your achievement by anything other than your own motivation/hard work/intelligence (which is the way it should be).
1
reply
Emmy94
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 years ago
#8
(Original post by christudor)
There is no meaningful difference. Both universities have an unbelievable set of resources, which means you'll never be limited in your achievement by anything other than your own motivation/hard work/intelligence (which is the way it should be).
Very true, both not only have an unbelievable set of resources, but incredible lecturers. Though there are some slight differences and things you need to take into account. For instance, if you've never done Latin before, only Cambridge offers the four year course with an extra latin year included. Cambridge also generally has a reputation for being more laid back than Oxford. But more importantly, the design of the courses is quite different and the way they are taught - you should probably compare the two and see which would suit you better; size of seminars/classes, topics..etc. And as mentioned above, also take into account things such as city vs town.

I wouldn't say Oxford is particularly more regarded for Classics than Cambridge, if anything Cam more than equals (if not succeeds) the Oxford rep. As of 2014, Cambridge is top of the league tables for Classics (but of course, that's constantly changing back and forth!):
http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ncient+History
0
reply
Emmy94
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 years ago
#9
(Original post by Lucilou101)
One of the main reasons I prefer Oxford, id hate to be awkwardly one year older than everyone else when I started the main part of the course.
I think it is reduced yes, purely because you have to spend that time learning the language.
That said though, if you don't choose to study a second language you probably could study the same amount of Greek/Latin as someone with the language would have


Posted from TSR Mobile

As a four year Classicist at Cambridge, with no prior knowledge of Latin, and knowing Classicists on the equivalent Oxford degree - I'd definitely say the Cambridge one is far superior.

You don't really consider age, it certainly shouldn't be a reason whether or not to take the course. Lots of people in the year above and below have taken gap years, meaning there's always a range of ages throughout the years. You wouldn't be 'awkwardly one year older than everyone else'.

Also, the prelim year gives the rare chance to adjust to Uni life and get a firm grounding before the really heavy work begins. When you have a surprising number of students drop out from Oxbridge each year from stress and inability to cope with work, I'd say the extra more relaxed (for Oxbridge!) pre-year is an incredible bonus.

And without being biased, the Classics faculty at Cambridge is really incredible! Oxford might be larger, but the selective few at Cam are able to have the best support from amazing lecturers and tutors - you really get to know everyone, its a fabulous community feel.

But of course, Oxford is amazing as well - and friends I have there are really enjoying their course. Which course and faculty will suit you more is entirely up to you, and at the end of the day, they're both world-class universities.
2
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#10
Report 6 years ago
#10
(Original post by Emmy94)
As a four year Classicist at Cambridge, with no prior knowledge of Latin, and knowing Classicists on the equivalent Oxford degree - I'd definitely say the Cambridge one is far superior.

You don't really consider age, it certainly shouldn't be a reason whether or not to take the course. Lots of people in the year above and below have taken gap years, meaning there's always a range of ages throughout the years. You wouldn't be 'awkwardly one year older than everyone else'.

Also, the prelim year gives the rare chance to adjust to Uni life and get a firm grounding before the really heavy work begins. When you have a surprising number of students drop out from Oxbridge each year from stress and inability to cope with work, I'd say the extra more relaxed (for Oxbridge!) pre-year is an incredible bonus.

And without being biased, the Classics faculty at Cambridge is really incredible! Oxford might be larger, but the selective few at Cam are able to have the best support from amazing lecturers and tutors - you really get to know everyone, its a fabulous community feel.

But of course, Oxford is amazing as well - and friends I have there are really enjoying their course. Which course and faculty will suit you more is entirely up to you, and at the end of the day, they're both world-class universities.
But you would say it's superior - because you go to Cambridge

I prefer the idea of getting in to study straight away, instead of having a whole year of pure language learning Oxford interlink it with history, philosophy etc - but everyone is different!
0
reply
Emmy94
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#11
Report 6 years ago
#11
(Original post by Lucilou101)
But you would say it's superior - because you go to Cambridge

I prefer the idea of getting in to study straight away, instead of having a whole year of pure language learning Oxford interlink it with history, philosophy etc - but everyone is different!
True, but I did have the opportunity to apply to either Cambridge or Oxford in the first place... and chose Cambridge :P

Understandable, but that's actually not true. Cambridge also interlink other caucuses, it's not just pure language - you have introductions to history, philosophy, linguistics and archaeology in the first two terms, and Greek in the third term. True, emphasis is on the language and literature, but it means students aren't overloaded by too much at once. And I think it's generally believed that prelim students have a far stronger grasp of Latin when they go into the three year course due to their intense Latin year, than incoming A Level Latin students. Which means you can then focus on delving into the caucuses that interest you most, rather than exerting energy on the nitty-gritty of necessary grammar.

But of course! Each to their own I assume you have an offer from Oxford? Congrats, it's an amazing university.
0
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#12
Report 6 years ago
#12
(Original post by Emmy94)
True, but I did have the opportunity to apply to either Cambridge or Oxford in the first place... and chose Cambridge :P

Understandable, but that's actually not true. Cambridge also interlink other caucuses, it's not just pure language - you have introductions to history, philosophy, linguistics and archaeology in the first two terms, and Greek in the third term. True, emphasis is on the language and literature, but it means students aren't overloaded by too much at once. And I think it's generally believed that prelim students have a far stronger grasp of Latin when they go into the three year course due to their intense Latin year, than incoming A Level Latin students. Which means you can then focus on delving into the caucuses that interest you most, rather than exerting energy on the nitty-gritty of necessary grammar.

But of course! Each to their own I assume you have an offer from Oxford? Congrats, it's an amazing university.
Then it's not that different to oxford who have the first year learning Greek/Latin for those without it?

Indeed I do - they're both amazing, if I decide to do a masters I might consider Cambridge
0
reply
Emmy94
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 6 years ago
#13
(Original post by Lucilou101)
Then it's not that different to oxford who have the first year learning Greek/Latin for those without it?

Indeed I do - they're both amazing, if I decide to do a masters I might consider Cambridge
Essentially, I don't think so - except perhaps that Oxford spends more time on history, philosophy, etc, whereas for Cambridge it's just an introduction to them. Sounds like the Oxford system suits you more

haha indeed you should! Why not experience both, eh?
0
reply
christudor
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#14
Report 6 years ago
#14
(Original post by Emmy94)
As a four year Classicist at Cambridge, with no prior knowledge of Latin, and knowing Classicists on the equivalent Oxford degree - I'd definitely say the Cambridge one is far superior.

You don't really consider age, it certainly shouldn't be a reason whether or not to take the course. Lots of people in the year above and below have taken gap years, meaning there's always a range of ages throughout the years. You wouldn't be 'awkwardly one year older than everyone else'.

Also, the prelim year gives the rare chance to adjust to Uni life and get a firm grounding before the really heavy work begins. When you have a surprising number of students drop out from Oxbridge each year from stress and inability to cope with work, I'd say the extra more relaxed (for Oxbridge!) pre-year is an incredible bonus.

And without being biased, the Classics faculty at Cambridge is really incredible! Oxford might be larger, but the selective few at Cam are able to have the best support from amazing lecturers and tutors - you really get to know everyone, its a fabulous community feel.

But of course, Oxford is amazing as well - and friends I have there are really enjoying their course. Which course and faculty will suit you more is entirely up to you, and at the end of the day, they're both world-class universities.
They're both amazing courses, as I said. People will not be limited by the resources they have around them - whether that's libraries or tutors or colleagues, or whatever. The only limitation will be one's own motivation/curiosity/intelligence.

The drop-out rate for both Oxford and Cambridge is among the lowest in the country.
0
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#15
Report 6 years ago
#15
Just saw that at Cambridge if you have neither language you have to do Latin before picking up Greek later on - thank god I chose Oxford!
0
reply
Lindissa
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#16
Report 6 years ago
#16
(Original post by Lucilou101)
Just saw that at Cambridge if you have neither language you have to do Latin before picking up Greek later on - thank god I chose Oxford!
don't you like Latin?
0
reply
Lucilou101
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#17
Report 6 years ago
#17
(Original post by Lindissa)
don't you like Latin?
Never studied it! I just prefer the sound of Greek - and would rather start with that and be able to pick Latin up later if I decided to
0
reply
Edminzodo
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#18
Report 6 years ago
#18
(Original post by thelyphron)
The age-old question.


Both courses offer a wide range of options. Both offer specialisation, and indeed a dissertation if you are so inclined, in areas of interest.


How did you decide?
A bit off-topic but I love the name . . . 'Are the dead accustomed to running away here?'

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Lindissa
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#19
Report 6 years ago
#19
(Original post by Lucilou101)
Never studied it! I just prefer the sound of Greek - and would rather start with that and be able to pick Latin up later if I decided to
Fair enough! I secretly prefer Greek too, I just think it's the more beautiful of the two - Latin seems more pragmatic to me.
0
reply
thelyphron
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#20
(Original post by Edminzodo)
A bit off-topic but I love the name . . . 'Are the dead accustomed to running away here?'

Posted from TSR Mobile
Cheers

The Golden Ass is brilliant.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should there be a new university admissions system that ditches predicted grades?

No, I think predicted grades should still be used to make offers (693)
33.8%
Yes, I like the idea of applying to uni after I received my grades (PQA) (874)
42.63%
Yes, I like the idea of receiving offers only after I receive my grades (PQO) (391)
19.07%
I think there is a better option than the ones suggested (let us know in the thread!) (92)
4.49%

Watched Threads

View All