How to apply

how to apply

Online application

Your online application must be submitted to UCAS by 6 pm (UK time) on 15 October. You can express a preference for a particular college or submit an open application. If you make an open application, you will be assigned to a college which has had relatively fewer applications for your course in the current admissions round. Tutors do not distinguish in any way between those candidates who have chosen a college and those who have submitted an open application. We try to make sure that the deserving candidates find a place. Do not agonise over which colleges are going to have big entries and which small - this is unpredictable from year to year.

Colleges offering Classics courses

For up-to-date information on which colleges admit students to our courses, please consult the Undergraduate Admissions website.

Admissions criteria

The Faculty has published its criteria for admissions:

Admissions criteria for Classics and Classics with joint schools

Admissions criteria for Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

Written work

You will be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English, marked by your teachers, by mid-November, usually normal school work done as part of your course. Please keep a copy of the work you submit, since you may well be asked about it in the course of the interview procedure. If you foresee any problems with the written work, please get in touch with a Classics tutor at your first choice college or, if you are making an open application, with the Faculty’s Admissions Co-ordinator.

You should normally submit two pieces of work, each of up to 2,000 words in length. Where there is no suitable alternative, pieces of work longer than 2,000 words will be acceptable, providing that a selection of c. 2,000 words is clearly indicated as the part on which you wish to be judged. You should, however, consult a Classics tutor at your first choice college or, if you are making an open application, the Faculty’s Admissions Co-ordinator before submitting a piece of written work in excess of 2,000 words.

The pieces of work should preferably not be short, timed essays, translations, or exercises answering questions on a short passage of text.

You are requested to scan all of your written work (including the official coversheet, signed by the teacher) into a multi-page pdf file (one pdf for each piece of written work submitted) and send it by email to colleges’ admissions offices, as well as sending the (original) hard copies of the work. 


Written tests

Applicants for Classics, Classics & English, Classics & Modern Languages and Classics & Oriental Studies will be required to sit the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). The CAT is divided into three 1-hour tests, all in the same booklet: Latin Unseen Translation, Greek Unseen Translation and the Classics Language Aptitude Test (CLAT). You may be required to take one, two or three of these tests.

Latin Unseen Translation (1 hour)

You should take this test if you are studying Latin to A-level or equivalent.

Greek Unseen Translation (1 hour)

You should take this test if you are studying Ancient Greek to A-level or equivalent.

Classics Language Aptitude Test (1 hour)

You should take this test if you are studying neither Latin nor Ancient Greek to A-level or equivalent  (i.e. if you are applying for Course II).

All applicants for Classics & Oriental Studies who are intending to study Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, or Persian should also take this test, even if they are required to take the Latin and/or Greek Unseen Translation test(s) in addition.


The papers which make up the CAT are designed to assess linguistic ability. You are reminded that this is a closed-book test. That is, you will not be permitted to take dictionaries, grammar books or notes into the test. If you are not used to translating without these aids, then we suggest that you practise doing so, and try to learn vocabulary, before sitting the test. The results of the test will, however, be contextualised by the admitting tutors, and not simply taken as a raw datum.

Applicants for Classics and English must also take the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT), and applicants for Classics and Modern Languages must also take the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) in the relevant language.

All candidates will need to register for the CAT, which is administered by the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. The deadline for registration is 6 pm (UK time) on 15 October. The tests will be sat in schools, colleges and designated test centres. Dates for future years are published on the University website.

Specimen tests

You can find some specimen tests with answers


Ten Top Tips for Classics Admissions Tests



If you are invited for interview, you will come to Oxford for a few days in early December and stay in your first-choice college. Because we try to find places for as many good candidates as possible, you may well find that you are called for interview by several colleges while in Oxford in December. In the interviews tutors will be trying to bring out your merits, not to trip you up. They are, above all, looking for potential and an enquiring mind.


If you are successful at this stage, you will receive an offer of a place. This will be conditional on your achieving specified grades in your school-leaving exams, unless you have already left school. The standard offer is, for candidates taking A level, AAA; for Advanced Highers AA/AAB; for the IB 38-40, including core points; or an equivalent level in other qualifications. An A may be asked for in a specific subject or subjects.

International students

We welcome applicants from outside the United Kingdom. There are students from all over the world studying Classics at Oxford. Information about applying from outside the UK is available on the Undergraduate Admissions website. We are used to dealing with applications from a wide range of educational systems and make offers which are appropriate in each case. For further advice on these and other qualifications, please consult the Schools Liaison Officer, the Undergraduate Admissions Office, or a Classics tutor at one of the colleges.