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The Classics College?

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Reply 40
hello my lovelies...

From what I've seen in my group of classics friends, Kings and Newnham seem to give their undergraduates more in terms of support and contact time. The guy at kings may be wierd but i've been told that once you get what he's all about, his work and ideas are so inspiring so it makes up for all the gobbledygook (i presume we're talking about a certain white-haired latin lit expert?). But i gave up on actually expecting to learn anything from his lectures after the 2nd week.

And to Laura:

In the first year, language (and in particular, your set texts) are worth the vast majority of your marks. There are 4 compulsory papers: latin translation, greek translation, greek and latin texts, and classical questions. greek and latin pose composition is option and the marks don't count unless they are good. Classical Questions has lots and lots (around 50) of essay questions on philosophy, history, archaeology etc and you choose 4 of those from 2 different disciplines to answer in 3 hours.

Lectures are technically optional. In the first year most of the lecture courses are geared towards the classical questions paper and also to give you a broad knowledge for your 2nd year options. As you only have to work on 2 disciplines for classical questions, you can choose to only go to those 2 sets of lectures if you want, though most people went to them all for the first few weeks until they were more able to make a decision. therefore, I started out with 4 hours of lectures pretty much every day and then pared it down to 2 hours. If you are Intensive Greek then you'll have 4 sessions a week on greek language and help translating the set texts. You may or may not also attend Latin Consolidation classes once a week, but that depends on whether your DoS thinks you need it.

And the number of supervisions is purely down to your DoS. In the first term had one classical questions supervision a week, 3 hours of latin supervision and one for greek. If you choose to do Philology and Linguistics your supervisions for that will be organised by the department and therefore will be on top of whatever your DoS decides for you. My boyfriend is studying History and he has one supervision a week and is expected to spend the rest of the time reading and writing so i suppose we do get a lot more contact time than other arts subjects, because of the extra language element mostly.

I think that's everything. Feel free to PM me with any questions about the first year...

Selena
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Reply 41
LauraEH
Hi..

I'll be doing the 3-yr course in Classics next year at Trinity. I was just wondering about these papers everybody seems to be talking of. What exactly are they like for us Classicists? How long and how linguistic/literary/historical are they supposed to be?
And one more question: how many hours a week are we having lectures/tutorials? I mean, is it plain self-reading most of the time like all other arts subjects?
Thanks in advance :smile:

Laura


Come to think of it, this all applies to me since I'll be on the same course as you next year! I'd kind of forgotten that I start the 3yr course next year. That'll be fun being 21 and being surrounded by 18 yr olds :rolleyes: , not to mention degrading having spent a year on the remedial course :frown:
Reply 42
Having just done the classics application course (like Laura I have a 3A offer from Trinity), here's what I found:

Trinity - for me, seemed a great college for classics. the Dos - hopkinson - is very committed, but a nice guy. very rich, they'll give travel bursaries and some book bursaries. hopkinson also does a reading tour to the lakes during the easter holidays. in terms of competition, they generally take 8-10 people, with approx. 12-14 applying. their subscription rate is no greater than the other colleges: the cambridge average for classics is 2:1 offers. the academic standard means that you'll only get 3A or - if very unlucky - 4A offers.

kings - a v liberal college as everyone knows. for classics, they won't discriminate against private schools, however simon goldhill - dos - seems to have a preference for (attractive) female undergraduates. i believe last year there were 7 girls and 1 boy. he also likes jewish people as i understand, so if you are and you're considering applying there mention it on your ucas.

pembroke - quite good for classics. dos is scary at first but, by all accounts, a 'sweetheart'. v good for linguistics/philology so if your interest lies here then this is a good college to go for.

downing - very academic college, lots of lawyers. the classics dos, paul millett, has hair down to his waist - it's better you know that before you meet him - he's very highly regarded, and expects a lot from his undergraduates. beware though, downing is tough to get into. this year in particular quite a few people applied - including a good friend of mine - who didn't get in. next year numbers may go down.

those are the ones i know something about. if you're looking to go to a less highly subscribed college i'd recommend robinson - it's good academically, has quite nice accomodation (inside) but is treated snobishly because of its situation, looks and youth.

in terms of general tips, as someone else pointed out classics tends to be self-selecting. certain dons - particularly at richer colleges - won't have to fill their quota, so don't think that just because the competition's less than other subjects you'll definitely get in. on the other hand, use it to your advantage, do lots of reading around and try and make sure they can't discount you. if you can try and meet one of your interviewers before, so you know what they'll be like, and it won't be so nerving. if you can go to bryanston (it may be too late to apply this year, but plan to apply next year), especially if you're taking a gap year. if you are doing a gap year, they like you to have some plan to keep up classical reading - for instance reading 30 minutes a day of latin or greek to keep yourself ticking over.
jd27

the classics dos, paul millett, has hair down to his waist - it's better you know that before you meet him - he's very highly regarded, and expects a lot from his undergraduates.


I applied for Land Economy and since Mr Millet used to teach economics and that he is an admission tutor, I got the pleasure to get an interview with him (he is apparently a legend in the college) :biggrin: Anyway it was so funny coz i had seen him riding his bike in the morning to get in college and had thought he was a bit "strange" coz he has long hair and weird glasses... :biggrin: Got such a chock when i realised he was interviewing me... He scared me but he was friendly... Didnt enjoy this interview as much as my first one though

EDIT: I like him though coz my admission letter was signed by his hand! :smile:
Reply 44
jd27
(like Laura I have a 3A offer from Trinity)


Hi, nice to meet someone like me.
Are you going to Bryanston this summer too? I will be at beginners' level as I'm not taking any Greek examinations.
Reply 45
I am indeed - got the letter today. i went last year too - it's actually (ignoring the work bit - and boy did i try) fun. well, from what i can remember of the evenings anyway...
Reply 46
jd27
Having just done the classics application course (like Laura I have a 3A offer from Trinity), here's what I found:

Trinity - for me, seemed a great college for classics. the Dos - hopkinson - is very committed, but a nice guy. very rich, they'll give travel bursaries and some book bursaries.

Simon Goldhill. he also likes jewish people as i understand, so if you are and you're considering applying there mention it on your ucas.

Pembroke - quite good for classics. dos is scary at first but, by all accounts, a 'sweetheart'. v good for linguistics/philology so if your interest lies here then this is a good college to go for.

they like you to have some plan to keep up classical reading - for instance reading 30 minutes a day of latin or greek to keep yourself ticking over.


Trinity: Hopkinson wasn't actually the DoS this term, but he will be next term. The travel grants are excellent, and they give undergraduates a copy of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (saving you some £230) and a Greek Lexicon for your three or four years there. Although some second year accommodation leaves something to be desired.

Goldhill: quite brilliant; I have to admit I'm a little sceptical of exploiting your Jewishness to gain admittance. From my experience of him, at various classics events in my college and so on, I found him to respond very well to anyone who seriously engages with the concepts he's discussing, and puts forward his own ideas with aplomb and lucidity. I know one could say this of almost any academic, but I think it's especially true in his case. The other King's fellows are excellent; one of them is my teacher at the moment, another is a very eminent professor of literature, who's also quite mad.

With gap years and the like, I think it's more the case that they don't want the sort of person who simply wastes a year having fun and doing little else. Presumably if you're the sort of person who'll benefit from a Cambridge education, you won't read constantly in your chosen subject because you feel you ought to, but because that's where your interests naturally lie. To be honest, I've never really understood, say, English undergraduates who find Shakespeare or Dryden an intolerable imposition, or 'school reading' rather than 'reading for pleasure'.

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