eleanor.anderton
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Hi,
I was just wondering which uni is best for Classics; Oxford or Cambridge, and some reasons why.
Thanks!
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ParentSaraG
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Hi Eleanor!

I work with schools and a we support a few Classicists from time to time.

The second biggest difference is the obvious one: Oxford is 4 years whereas Cambridge is 3 if you have at least one of full A Level Latin or Ancient Greek (or equivalent).

The biggest difference is Cambridge course is, accordingly, both extensive and intensive in the extreme: the first two years are very tough especially if, say, a student is doing Ancient Greek from scratch. They will need to reach post-A Level standard in Greek in two terms,whilst grappling with significant texts pretty much from day one!
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eleanor.anderton
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(Original post by ParentSaraG)
Hi Eleanor!

I work with schools and a we support a few Classicists from time to time.

The second biggest difference is the obvious one: Oxford is 4 years whereas Cambridge is 3 if you have at least one of full A Level Latin or Ancient Greek (or equivalent).

The biggest difference is Cambridge course is, accordingly, both extensive and intensive in the extreme: the first two years are very tough especially if, say, a student is doing Ancient Greek from scratch. They will need to reach post-A Level standard in Greek in two terms,whilst grappling with significant texts pretty much from day one!
Hi thank you for your info!
I’d be doing the 4 year course at Cambridge - how is the intensity any different to that at Oxford with regards to learning languages from scratch?
Thanks again I really appreciate your help!
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ParentSaraG
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(Original post by eleanor.anderton)
Hi thank you for your info!
I’d be doing the 4 year course at Cambridge - how is the intensity any different to that at Oxford with regards to learning languages from scratch?
Thanks again I really appreciate your help!
Regarding the 3 year Cambridge course, I should have added that Oxford bashes away at languages for longer than Cambridge does; this ramps up the pressure significantly at Cambridge, as the language knowledge and skills needed are the same for a given ancient text.

[Edit] In addition, I am now told that there is one major difference. At Cambridge,you have to do both Latin Language & Literatures and Ancient Greek Language and Literatures for two years, in both the 3 year and the 4 year courses. At Oxford, however, you can choose just one language and its literatures.

Turning now to your additional question about the respective 4 year courses, my intuition is that there may be little difference overall. After 4 years, the Finals Papers at each place seem comparable to me, albeit as a complete non-Classicist myself, and each offers one long Dissertaion. But you should ask any Classics Teachers you know, perhaps even, with the help of your school,writing to Classics Teachers at other schools. There will be quite a few at selective State and Private schools, in good numbers, from each university.

Have you looked at 'Taster' courses at each university? Each is desperately keen to keep the Classics going and each is mad keen to have potential applicants with them for a day or two. ... And the Open days at Cambridge and Oxford are coming up in early July - worth going along if you possibly can.

Finally, please let me know by Private Message if you wish to be put in touch with some current undergrads. I'll be happy to see what we can do. This will be need to be done through your school for propriety and to safeguard you.

Could I ask you: what A Levels are you doing and what sort of school are you at?

Good luck!
Last edited by ParentSaraG; 2 years ago
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Lucilou101
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I'd say a big difference as well is that at Oxford you can choose to either learn Ancient Greek and/or Latin over the 4 years, whereas at Cambridge you have to learn Latin first on the 4 year course and then have to learn Ancient Greek. Oxford is a lot more flexible in the choice regard!

The other point, is that everyone at Oxford studies Classics for 4 years, so you will be doing all of your exams at the same time as your original cohort that started with you. In this regard, everyone learns different stages of the languages but you all share the literature side of the papers. Whereas, at Cambridge if you are on the 4 year course, you study a different course for the 1st year and then join people starting in the year below you for the 3 years.

Happy to answer any questions you have about the Oxford course in particular
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