Can I get in for Classics with just Latin at A-level?

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aNyeilator
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I am thinking about doing Classics at Oxford. I go to a school which offers both Latin and Greek, and I'm doing both of them for GCSE. I would do Greek A-level but there are other options beside Classics which I would like to keep open, so I am thinking about doing Latin on its own. Would this make it considerably more difficult to be accepted, and should I be doing both Latin and Greek to stand a chance of getting in? Or would it make little difference? Thanks very much to anyone who replies
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by aNyeilator)
I am thinking about doing Classics at Oxford. I go to a school which offers both Latin and Greek, and I'm doing both of them for GCSE. I would do Greek A-level but there are other options beside Classics which I would like to keep open, so I am thinking about doing Latin on its own. Would this make it considerably more difficult to be accepted, and should I be doing both Latin and Greek to stand a chance of getting in? Or would it make little difference? Thanks very much to anyone who replies
Difficult one.

Many people get into Oxford with just Latin and indeed you can get in with no classical language. However I think your problem is this. Oxford wants to see a commitment to and interest in the subject. Greats, the straight classics course, has no Latin only option. You have to do Greek. Indeed, if you come without Greek A level, you do a lot of Greek to get you up to speed. You are going to have to explain why you dropped Greek at A level. "I was more interested in chemistry", or whatever, doesn't quite cut the mustard here.

Undoubtedly there are people who do what you are thinking of doing, but you may have made life harder for yourself. Indeed you may have been better not to do GCSE Greek. A choice made at 14 is less likely to be held against you than one made at 16.
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StarlightSmiles
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(Original post by aNyeilator)
I am thinking about doing Classics at Oxford. I go to a school which offers both Latin and Greek, and I'm doing both of them for GCSE. I would do Greek A-level but there are other options beside Classics which I would like to keep open, so I am thinking about doing Latin on its own. Would this make it considerably more difficult to be accepted, and should I be doing both Latin and Greek to stand a chance of getting in? Or would it make little difference? Thanks very much to anyone who replies
It shouldn't affect your chances too much. One of the Classics branches is for students who have Latin to A-Level but not Greek. You will learn Greek from scratch in your first year, regardless of whether you have the GCSE or not. (It's similar for people applying for IIA and IIB - they start the language from scratch regardless of whether they did a GCSE or not.)

People who have never done Greek before manage the intense language learning okay so you should be fine as you have the added bonus of the GCSE.

The university will (most likely) not know whether your school does Greek to A-Level anyway so they won't question why you didn't take it to A-Level. Also, if you feel like you need to justify why you didn't take it as an A-level just show your enthusiasm for the subject you did take; but that shouldn't be necessary.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by StarlightSmiles)
It shouldn't affect your chances too much. One of the Classics branches is for students who have Latin to A-Level but not Greek. You will learn Greek from scratch in your first year, regardless of whether you have the GCSE or not. (It's similar for people applying for IIA and IIB - they start the language from scratch regardless of whether they did a GCSE or not.)

People who have never done Greek before manage the intense language learning okay so you should be fine as you have the added bonus of the GCSE.

The university will (most likely) not know whether your school does Greek to A-Level anyway so they won't question why you didn't take it to A-Level. Also, if you feel like you need to justify why you didn't take it as an A-level just show your enthusiasm for the subject you did take; but that shouldn't be necessary.
Come off it. So few schools teach A level Greek that every Oxford tutor is likely to know the classic masters at all of them personally.
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astro67
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(Original post by aNyeilator)
I am thinking about doing Classics at Oxford. I go to a school which offers both Latin and Greek, and I'm doing both of them for GCSE. I would do Greek A-level but there are other options beside Classics which I would like to keep open, so I am thinking about doing Latin on its own. Would this make it considerably more difficult to be accepted, and should I be doing both Latin and Greek to stand a chance of getting in? Or would it make little difference? Thanks very much to anyone who replies
You would need to explain why you chose not to continue with Greek at A-level but I think it's likely that wanting to keep your options open, especially if you are only taking three subjects to A2, would be seen as reasonable. Ultimately, if you're good enough, you should be able to persuade them about your motivation. The key criterion is your level of motivation at the point of application - it isn't necessary to have always wanted to do something to the exclusion of all else to sincerely want to do it at the time you apply.
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