Classics at Somerville is a large and flourishing subject, with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and schools reading for all the different degrees involving Classics.
Somerville is fortunate in having tutors in Ancient History and Philosophy (ancient and modern). Through these, Somerville offers a wide choice of expertise 'in house', and arranges outside teaching for those wishing to study some archaeology options. For language work, Somerville students participate in the university language classes as well as receiving more individual help in College.
Six to eight undergraduates are admitted each year, studying classics (five to seven a year) or one of the joint degrees in classics and modern languages or Classics and English; in addition there are students studying the joint courses of Ancient and Modern History, and Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (CAAH); see separate entries for these.
The College library has an outstanding collection of books and journals in all classical subjects; there are several travel funds (many donated by or in memory of classicists formerly at Somerville) dedicated to providing travel grants to students visiting Greece, Italy and other centres of Greek and Roman civilisation. The Ashmolean Museum, a few minutes' walk from Somerville, contains an invaluable collection for archaeologists. Nearby is the Sackler Library, a specialist classics library housed in a magnificent new building in St John Street.
Somerville welcomes applicants for all the classics courses, including course II. The new courses offer much variety and flexibility in choice of areas of study, as well as the chance to learn one or both of the classical languages when at Oxford. All candidates called for interview are set a language test or (in the case of those who have neither Greek nor Latin A-level or equivalent) a language-aptitude test. The same tests will be used by all colleges.
Many noted classical scholars have been graduates of Somerville, and a considerable number of Somervillians are to be found teaching Classics in universities and schools today. Recent Classics graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers, including banking, the law, accountancy, management consultancy, television and journalism.
The classics tutors will be very glad to answer any questions if you are thinking of studying one or other of the Classics courses at Oxford.