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Classics and Modern Languages Handbook 2008


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									  Classics and
Modern Languages

            Board of the Faculty of Classics
Board of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages

                University of Oxford

Welcome to Oxford! We hope you will find this a satisfying and enjoyable course.

You may like to know that there is a Joint Standing Committee of Senior Members responsible
for supervising the course, with the following confirmed membership. The committee is
composed of six members (3 from Modern Languages and 3 from Classics). The following are
confirmed, other members were yet to be appointed at the time of printing this Handbook

               Dr M.N. Hawcroft, Keble (French)
               Dr A.S. Kahn, St Edmund Hall (Russian)
               Prof. Richard Cooper (French)
               Prof. Matthew Leigh (Classics)
               Dr Rhiannon Ash (Classics
               Dr J. Lightfoot (Classics)

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of us at any stage if there are aspects of the course
that you wish to discuss or that you feel ought to be drawn to our attention.

This Handbook is revised annually and issued on arrival to all first year undergraduates registered
for Classics and Modern Languages. Comments and corrections should be addressed to Helen
McGregor, The Classics Centre, 66 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU (e-mail address:

For more detail about the two faculties, including lists of their teaching staff, consult the faculty
websites (http://www.classics.ox.ac.uk, and http://www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk). You are strongly
recommended to subscribe to a Classics undergraduate mailing list (if you have not automatically
been subscribed to it), which sends out information about lectures and other items of interest to
Classicists; for instructions about how to do this, follow the links for ‘students’ and ‘our mailing
lists’ on the Classics website.

You should also consult the booklet Essential Information for Students (Proctors’ and Assessor’s
Memorandum), which covers a number of more general matters of student life, including details
of the University’s policies relating to equal opportunities, harassment, and disability (which are
also available on the Oxford University website at http://www.ox.ac.uk).

Introduction . ......................................................................................................................................1
Aims and Objectives of Classics & Modern Languages .................................................................2
Examination Structure for first year examinations
   1. Preliminary Examination for Modern Languages Course I…… ........................................3
   2. Classics Mods (Course II) …………. ......................................................................................4
Examination Structure for the Final Honour School of Classics and Modern Languages ........4
Language Work. ...............................................................................................................................12
Feedback . .........................................................................................................................................13
Tutors ................................................................................................................................................13
Tutorials, Lectures, Classes.............................................................................................................14
Lectures.. ...........................................................................................................................................15
Vacations. ..........................................................................................................................................15
Changing your Course .....................................................................................................................15
The Classics Centre and Office .......................................................................................................16
The Modern Languages Faculty .....................................................................................................16
The Taylor Institution......................................................................................................................16
The Language Centre.......................................................................................................................18
Joint Consultative Committee for Undergraduates......................................................................19
Copyright Law..................................................................................................................................20
Information Technology ..................................................................................................................21
The Data Protection Act ..................................................................................................................21
Classical Greek and wordprocessing..............................................................................................22
Scholarships, prizes and grants.......................................................................................................23
Theses and Extended Essays ...........................................................................................................25
Plagiarism .........................................................................................................................................27
The Year Abroad..............................................................................................................................29
Examinations ....................................................................................................................................30
Students with Disabilities.................................................................................................................32
Illness .................................................................................................................................................32
Crises .................................................................................................................................................33
Taking your Degree..........................................................................................................................33
Afterwards ........................................................................................................................................34
Complaints ........................................................................................................................................34

         This handbook gives an outline of your course, together with some further information
that we hope you will find helpful. Full details of the course are contained in the Examination
Regulations, of which you will be given a copy on arrival in Oxford. (In the Finals syllabus,
it is possible that some changes of detail will be introduced that will apply to you. You will
be examined on the syllabus in force at the time you take Finals, and that is normally (subject
to possible minor modifications) the syllabus in force at the time you embark on your Finals
work, i.e. after taking Prelims or Mods. You should check with your tutors in due course.)
The Finals syllabus in particular offers you a very wide range of choice and thus looks rather
complex; if anything is unclear to you, be sure to discuss it with your tutors.

         There are two versions of this course, one in which the first exam is the Modern
Languages Preliminary (taken after three terms), the other in which it is Classics Mods (taken
after five terms); there are then either six or seven further terms of study at Oxford before
Finals (plus a year abroad). All candidates are normally expected to have taken a modern
language at A level (or equivalent), and most to have taken either Latin or Ancient Greek (or
both). Those who have not studied a classical language for A level would normally learn
either Latin or Greek in a preparatory year and then continue with the course leading up to the
Modern Languages Preliminary; an alternative is to take Classics Mods II in one language,
though this is not normally the recommended route.

        If you take the Modern Languages Preliminary you will do papers on the language and
literature of either Latin or Greek (or both), and on one modern language and its literature.
Classics Mods involves only Latin and/or Greek; after Mods you take up your modern
language again, adding it to your continuing work in Classics. (If you are taking Classics
Mods, the tutor in your modern language may wish you to keep up your study of that
language during the first five terms, in addition to your study of Latin and/or Greek; but this
will not form any part of your syllabus for Mods, which is exclusively in Classics - see the
separate Mods Handbook for details. Likewise, if you learn Latin or Greek in a preparatory
year with a view to sitting the Modern Languages Preliminary at the end of the second year,
the tutor in your modern language may wish you to keep up your study of that language
during the first three terms.)

      For Finals essentially the same syllabus is available for all candidates, whichever first
exam you have taken.

You will receive a separate Modern Languages Finals Handbook in Trinity Term. All
handbooks are on the Faculty web site.

Aims and Objectives of Classics & Modern Languages


(i)    To build and encourage intellectual confidence in students, enabling them to work
independently but in a well-guided framework.
(ii)   To provide for students a sustained, carefully-designed and progressively-structured
course which requires effort and rigour from them and which yields consistent intellectual
reward and satisfaction.
(iii) To train and encourage students in appropriate linguistic, analytical, research and
presentational skills to the highest possible standards.
(iv)   To equip students to approach major issues in their own as well as other cultures with
a thoughtful and critical attitude.
(v)    To produce graduates who are able to deal with challenging intellectual problems
systematically, analytically, and efficiently, and who are suitable for a wide range of
demanding occupations and professions, including teaching our subject in schools and higher


(i)     To provide expert guidance over a very wide range of options in challenging fields of
study within the Greco-Roman world and in the modern European languages and literatures.
(ii)    To help students to acquire the ability to read accurately and critically texts and
documents in Latin and/or Greek, and in a modern European language.
(iii) To help students to acquire the ability to write and speak a modern European language
with a high degree of accuracy and fluency.
(iv)    To help students to acquire the skills to assess considerable amounts of material of
diverse types, and to select, summarise and evaluate key aspects.
(v)     To foster in students both the skills of clear and effective communication in written
and oral discourse, and the organisational skills needed to plan work and meet demanding
(vi)    To provide a teaching environment in which the key features are close and regular
personal attention to students, constructive criticism and evaluation (whether written or oral)
of their work, and continuous monitoring of their academic progress.
(vii) To maintain and enhance the broadest possible base for student recruitment, and to
maintain the highest intellectual standards at admission.
(viii) To provide effective mechanisms through which able students of different levels of
experience can rapidly acquire the linguistic and other skills needed to achieve their potential
in the subject.
(ix)    To make full and effective use of the very wide range of research expertise in our
faculties and the excellent specialist resources and collections available in the University.
(x)To offer courses which are kept under continuous review and scrutiny.

Examination Structure for First Year Examinations

      In summary, the examination structure for the Preliminary Examination for Modern
Languages is as follows:

1. Preliminary Examination for Modern Languages Course I
One modern language plus Latin and/or Greek.

I.     Language paper I in the modern language (three hours).
II.    Language paper II in the modern language (in two parts of 90 minutes each).
III.   Literature paper I in the modern language (three hours).
IV.    Literature paper II in the modern language (three hours).
V.     Unseen translation from Latin and/or Greek (three hours).
VI.    Latin and/or Greek prescribed books: translation and comment (three hours).
VII.   Latin and/or Greek prescribed books: essay questions (three hours).

       For details of the syllabus in Modern Languages, see the Handbook for your chosen

        The Greek and Latin texts in the Prelim have been chosen to introduce you to some
major authors writing in both prose and verse. In Greek, there is a selection of books from
Homer’s Iliad, a tragedy by Sophocles, a comedy by Aristophanes, and the first half of the
first book of Herodotus’ Histories. In Latin, there is a selection of books from Virgil’s
Aeneid, a selection of Catullus’ poetry (most of his ‘short’ poems), a book of Ovid’s
Metamorphoses, and (in prose) a defence speech by Cicero.

These texts are divided into groups as follows:

(a) Homer, Iliad I, VI, IX, XVI, XVIII, XXII – XXIV;
(b) Sophocles, Antigone 1-1114;1 Aristophanes, Frogs 1-268, 830-1533;1 Herodotus I. 1-95;
(c) Virgil, Aeneid I, II, IV, VI;1
(d) Cicero, Pro Caelio; Catullus 2, 3, 5-8, 11, 15-17, 43, 48, 51, 58, 69-70, 72, 75-6, 83, 85-7;
Propertius I. 1, 3, 6, 12, 16, 19; Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.

Candidates must choose two of the above four groups of texts (a) – (d), and state on their
examination entry form which two groups they propose to offer. They may not offer both (a)
and (c). They must offer the same two groups for both papers VI and VII.
  For the purposes of the essay paper (VII), candidates who offer these texts will be expected
to have knowledge of the whole work and not merely the prescribed portions.

In addition to the two papers VI and VII on the prescribed texts, you take a three-hour paper
of unseen translation (V) for which you may offer either Latin or Ancient Greek or both. One
prose passage and one verse passage will be set in each language, and you must translate any
two of these four passages.

2. Classics Mods Course II
Candidates for Course II shall be required:
(a) during their first year of study to have passed an examination under the auspices of the
Faculty of Classics during the Trinity Term. Candidates who fail to satisfy the examiners
shall be permitted to offer themselves for re-examination during the following September.
Each candidate shall offer two papers, each of three hours’ duration, as follows:
        (1) Greek or Latin texts. Candidates must offer either (a) or (b):
        (a) Homer, Iliad 1. 1-336: Sophocles, Antigone 1023-1114, 1155-1260; Lysias 1.
        (b) Virgil, Aeneid 1. 1-368; Horace, Odes III.5, 7, 9, 13, 14, 18, 21, 26, 30; Seneca,
            Epistles 47, 77.
The paper will comprise passages from these texts for translation and comment.
        (2) Greek or Latin Language. The paper will consist of passages for unseen
            translation out of Greek or Latin and sentences for translation from English into
            Latin or Greek.
(b) during their second year of study, to offer papers as for Course I.

Examination Structure for the Final Honour School of Classics and Modern Languages

      The examination structure for the Final Honour School of Classics and Modern
Languages is as follows:

Eight compulsory subjects, one optional extra.

1.     Honour School of Modern Languages, paper I.
2.     Honour School of Modern Languages, papers II A (i) and II B (i).
3.     Honour School of Modern Languages, one paper chosen from Papers VI, VII or VIII.
4.     Honour School of Modern Languages, one paper chosen from Papers IV, V, IX, X,
       XI or XII.
5.     Greek Literature of the fifth century BC OR Latin Literature of the first century BC
       [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.1 or III.2 (one three-hour paper
       plus one 90-minute translation paper)].
*6.    A subject in Classics (chosen from options (i)-(xxv) below).
*7.    A subject in Classics (chosen from options (i)-(xxv) below).
**8.   A subject in Classics OR in Modern Languages OR Ancient and French Classical
       Tragedy OR The Creative Reception of Greek Tragedy in German.
**9.   Optional extra: a subject in Classics OR in Modern Languages, OR an extended essay
       in Classics or Modern Languages or both combined.

In addition, all candidates take an oral examination in their modern language.

* All candidates not offering a Second Classical Language must offer a text-based classical
literature or philology paper as at least one of these two papers (see the Examination
Regulations for full details).

** All candidates offering a Second Classical Language must offer as one of these two papers
one of (i) – (xxi) below.

       Again, for details of the syllabus in Modern Languages see the Handbook for your
chosen language.

        Towards the end of your first year (or during your Mods term if you are taking
Classics Mods) you will be sent a copy of the Greats Handbook, which includes an account of
the syllabus for Finals in Literae Humaniores (colloquially known as ‘Greats’). There is
considerable overlap between the syllabus for Greats and that for the Classics side of Classics
and Modern Languages, in the sense that a large number of the available papers are identical
(though the structure of the two courses is rather different). The main exception is that Greats
includes a wide range of Philosophy papers, whereas the only ones available in Classics and
Modern Languages are those in Ancient Greek or Latin. Otherwise, almost all the subjects
available in Greats are also available in Classics and Modern Languages, and there are some
subjects specially devised for the Joint School that do not come in the Greats syllabus.

         The Greats Handbook includes descriptions of all the subjects available in Greats; the
list below simply gives their titles.

       In addition to the core subject in either Greek or Latin Literature (subject 5 in the list
above), you take at least two further subjects in Classics (subjects 6 and 7) selected from a
very wide range. (Subjects available in Classics and Modern Languages and not in Greats are
marked with an asterisk).

        (i)    Either (a) Greek Literature of the 5th Century BC or (b) Latin Literature of the
               1st Century BC (whichever is not offered as your compulsory core subject).

     (ii)–(iv) Either (ii) Historiography [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject
               III.3]or (iii) Lyric Poetry [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject
               III.4] or (iv) Comedy [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.7]

       (v)     Early Greek Hexameter Poetry [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject

       (vi)    Greek Tragedy [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.6] (not to be
               offered in combination with subject 8 (iii), Ancient and French Classical
               Tragedy or 8 (iv), The Creative Reception of Greek Tragedy in German).

       (vii)   Hellenistic Poetry [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.8].

       (viii) Cicero [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.9].

       (ix)    Ovid [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.10]

       (x)     Latin Didactic [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.11].

       (xi)    Neronian Literature [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.12].

(xii)   Euripides, Orestes: papyri, manuscripts, text [Honour School of Literae
        Humaniores, subject III.13].

(xiii) [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.14].
       Either (a) Seneca, Agamemnon: manuscripts, texts, interpretation.*
       Or      (b) Ovid, Heroides 3, 5, 9, 16: manuscripts, texts, interpretation. [with
       effect from 1 October 2008: Catullus: manuscripts, text, interpretation]*

* University classes will be given for only one of these options each year.

(xiv)          Either (a) The Conversion of Augustine [Honour School of Literae
               Humaniores, subject III.15 (a)].
               Or      (b) Medieval and Renaissance Latin Hexameter Poetry
               [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject III.15 (b)].
               Or      (c) Byzantine Literature [Honour School of Literae
               Humaniores, subject III.15 (c)]. (This subject is not available to
               candidates offering Medieval and Modern Greek as their modern
               Or      (d) The Latin Works of Petrarch, with special study of Africa
               (ed. N. Festa, Florence, 1926), Books I, II, V, VII, IX. Candidates will
               also be expected to have read Vita Scipionis (in La vita di Scipione
               L’Africano, ed. G. Martellotti, Milano-Napoli, 1954), and to show
               acquaintance with Petrarch’s major Latin works (e.g. Rerum
               memorandarum libri (ed. G. Billanovich, Florence, 1945), De Secreto
               conflictu curarum mearum, De Vita solitaria, Epistolae familiars (in F.
               Petrarca, Prose, ed. G. Martellotti, P.G. Ricci, E. Carrara, E. Bianchi,
               Milano-Napoli, 1955)).

               Petrarch was the major cultural and intellectual figure in mid-fourteenth
               century Italy, and his pioneering role in ushering in the new age of
               Humanism and the Renaissance made him famous throughout Europe.
               The works which articulated his new ideas and established his
               reputation were mostly in Latin (the vernacular poems of the
               Canzoniere and Trionfi represent only a small part of his output).
               Sensing more accurately than his predecessors the distance that
               separated his time from the classical past, he was the first writer to
               revive major classical genres such as epic (Africa), biography (Vita
               Scipionis), the dialogue (Secretum) and letter-writing (Epistulae
               Familiares). Petrarch’s Latin works shed invaluable light on his views
               on history, morality, the role of the intellectual, literary creativity and
               imitation, as well as helping to understand more fully his vernacular
                       In the examination candidates will be required to comment,
               without translating, on one passage (from a choice of three, each of
               around 35 lines) from the prescribed books of the Africa, and to answer
               two essay questions (from a choice of about ten; the essay questions
               will cover all the prescribed works, including the Africa).

NOTE: Each of the subjects (ii) Historiography, (iii) Lyric Poetry, (iv) Comedy and (xiv) (b)
Medieval and Renaissance Latin Hexameter Poetry (of which candidates may offer only one)
will be examined by an extended essay of 5,000-6,000 words and a one-and-a-half-hour
translation paper, as specified in the Regulations for the Honour School of Literae
Humaniores. For each of the subjects (ii), (iii), and (iv), version (i) (as specified for the
Honour School of Literae Humaniores) is the only version available to candidates who have
satisfied the Moderators in Course 1A, 1B, or 1C of Honour Moderations in Classics or of the
Preliminary Examination in Classics, or who offered both Ancient Greek and Latin in the
Preliminary Examination for Modern Languages.

       (xv)    Greek Historical Linguistics [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject
               V.1]. (This subject may be combined with one but not more than one of (xvi),
               (xvii) and (xviii).

       (xvi)   Latin Historical Linguistics [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject
               V.2]. (This subject may be combined with one but not more than one of (xv),
               (xvii) and (xviii).

       (xvii) Comparative Philology: Indo-European, Greek and Latin [Honour School of
              Literae Humaniores, subject V.4]. This subject may not be offered by
              candidates who offered the paper V1 F(1) Historical Linguistics and
              Comparative Philology in Honour Moderations in Classics or in the
              Preliminary Examination in Classics. It may be combined with one but not
              more than one of (xv), (xvi) and (xviii).

       (xviii) General Linguistics and Comparative Philology [Honour School of Literae
               Humaniores, subject V.3]. (This subject may be combined with one but not
               more than one of (xv), (xvi) and (xvii). Candidates offering section (a),
               General Linguistics, may not also offer the Modern Languages Special Subject
               General Linguistics.)

       (xix)          Either (a) The Early Greek World and Herodotus’ Histories: 650 to
                      479 BC [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.1]
               or     (b) Thucydides and the Greek World: 479 to 403 BC [Honour School
                      of Literae Humaniores, subject I.2]
               or     (c) The End of the Peloponnesian War to the Death of Philip II of
                      Macedon: 403 to 336 BC [Honour School of Literae Humaniores,
                      subject I.3]
               or     (d) Rome and the Mediterranean and the Histories of Polybius: Rome
                      [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.4]
               or     (e) The End of the Roman Republic: Cicero and Sallust: [Honour
                      School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.5]
               or     (f) Rome, Italy and Empire under Caesar , the Triumvirate and Early
                      Principate: [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.6]
               or     (g) The World of Tacitus and Pliny: Politics and Culture: [Honour
                      School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.7]

               or     (h) Athenian Democracy in the Classical Age: [Honour School of
                      Literae Humaniores, subject I.8]
               or     (i) Alexander the Great and his Early Successors (336 BC-302 BC)
                      [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.9]
               or     (j) Cicero: Politics and Thought in the Late Republic [Honour School
                      of Literae Humaniores, subject I.10]
               or     (k) Civic Life of the Roman Empire from the Flavian to the Severan
                      Period [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.11]
               or     (l) Religions in the Greek and Roman World c. 30 BC - AD 312
                      [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject I.12]
               or     (m) Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome [Honour School of
                      Literae Humaniores, subject I.13].]

NOTE: Candidates offering any of subjects (xix) (a)-(f) must also offer the associated
translation paper set in the Honour School of Literae Humaniores.

       (xx)    Either (a) The Greeks and the Mediterranean World c. 950-500 BC [Honour
               School of Literae Humaniores, subject IV.1].
               Or       (b) Greek Art and Archaeology c.500-300 BC [Honour School of
               Literae Humaniores, subject IV. 2].
               Or      (c) Art under the Roman Empire, AD 14-337 [Honour School of
               Literae Humaniores, subject IV.3]
               Or      (d) Roman Archaeology: Cities and Settlement under the Empire
               [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject IV.4].

       (xxi)   Any one of subjects 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, as specified in Regulations
               for Philosophy in all Honour Schools including Philosophy.

       (xxii) Modern Greek Poetry [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject
              III.15(d)] (this subject is available only to candidates offering Greek Literature
              of the Fifth Century BC under 5 above who are neither offering Medieval and
              Modern Greek as their modern language nor offering (xiv) (c) Byzantine
              Literature or (xxiv), (xxiv, (xxv), Second Classical Language.)

        (xxiii) Thesis. Any candidate may offer a thesis in Classics, or in a subject linking
                Classics and Modern Languages, in accordance with the Regulation on Theses
                in the regulations for the Honour School of Literae Humaniores, save that
                references there to the Honour School of Literae Humaniores shall be deemed
                to be references to the Honour School of Classics and Modern Languages, the
                competent authority for dealing with proposals shall be the standing joint
                committee for Classics and Modern Languages, and proposals should be
                submitted to the chairman of that committee.
(xxiv), (xxv) (a) Second Classical Language [Honour School of Literae Humaniores,
                subject VI.1 and VI.2]. (Candidates who offer Second Classical Language
                must offer either both subjects in Greek or both subjects in Latin and may not
                offer either subject in the same language as they offered in Course IIA or IIB
                of Honour Moderations or the Preliminary Examination in Classics or in the
                Preliminary Examination for Modern Languages).
For your eighth subject you may offer:

       either (a) a further subject in Modern Languages
       or (b) a further subject in Classics, chosen from those listed above
       or *(c) Ancient and French Classical Tragedy (not to be offered in combination with
       Greek tragedy (subject 6, 7(v)). Racine [Honour School of Modern Languages, paper
       X (5); Dramatic Theory and Practice in France 1605-60 with special reference to
       Corneille [Honour School of Modern Languages, paper XII Special Subject]
       * The dramatists of Greece and Rome had an enormous influence on the development
       of drama in Europe from the Renaissance onwards. In the middle of the sixteenth
       century, French writers strove consciously to imitate the dramatic works of the
       ancients, and their efforts led eventually to the kind of tragedy practised in the
       seventeenth century by Corneille and Racine. Both these dramatists negotiate ancient
       models in different ways from play to play. This paper allows candidates to study
       individual dramatists in their own right but also to compare the ancient and French
               The examination paper has three sections, and candidates must answer one
       question from each. The first contains a compulsory comparative commentary; the
       second has questions on individual dramatists; the third has questions relating to
       stagecraft, genre, technique or theme, requiring a comparative approach.
       The prescribed texts are:

       (a) for the compulsory commentary question, either (i) Seneca, Phaedra and Racine,
       Phèdre, or (ii) Euripides, Medea and Corneille, Médée;
       (b) for essay questions:

       Aeschylus, Agamemnon
       Sophocles, Oedipus the King
       Euripides, Hippolytus, Andromache, The Phoenician Women, Iphigenia at Aulis
       Seneca, Medea
       Corneille, Discours, Horace, Oedipe, Suréna
       Racine, La Thébaïde, Andromaque, Iphigénie.

       Those offering Latin would read the Greek texts in translation, and vice versa.
       There is a bibliography available for those taking this option, which gives details of
       prescribed and recommended editions as well as critical reading. Pupils will typically
       have four tutorials with a classicist followed by four with a French tutor. In addition,
       there are regular lecture courses on the prescribed authors, though not necessarily on
       all the texts specified; it is likely that lectures on Seneca will take place in alternate
       years only.

       or *(d) The Creative Reception of Greek Tragedy in German.
       * Germany, perhaps more than any other country in Europe, has had a lively and often
       rather tormented relationship with Ancient Greece. Candidates will be able to study
       those dealings in an area of particular importance: tragedy. The German texts, from
       Goethe to Christa Wolf, show an extraordinary and discordant variety of responses to
       both the theory and the practice of tragedy in Greece. Antigone is chosen for special
       study, Hölderlin’s radical treatment of Sophocles’ play being the best possible
       illustration of the vitality and modernity of classical tragedy. In the examination
       paper, a compulsory commentary question will be set from each of these two
       Antigones. In addition, candidates will be required to answer two essay questions, one
       from a choice of questions specifically on the authors and texts listed below, the other
       from a choice of questions requiring a comparative or generic approach.

       The prescribed texts for essay questions are:

       Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus
       Euripides, Medea, Iphigenia in Tauris
       Plato, Republic II, III, X
       Aristotle, Poetics
       Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris
       Kleist, Penthesilea
       Nietzsche, Die Geburt der Tragödie
       Brecht, Antigone
       Christa Wolf, Medea: Stimmen.

       There is a bibliography available for those taking this option, which gives details of
       prescribed and recommended editions as well as critical reading. Pupils will typically
       have four tutorials with a classicist followed by four with a German tutor. In addition,
       there are regular lecture courses on the prescribed authors, though not necessarily on
       all the texts specified.

       If you wish to offer an additional subject as an optional extra, you may offer any one
       of the following:

(i) A further subject in Modern Languages.

(ii) A further subject in Classics, chosen from nos (i) – (xxii) listed above.

(iii) An essay in the modern language, on one of a choice of literary and other subjects
[Honour School of Modern Languages, paper III, all languages except French].

(iv) *Greek Prose Composition. (*One passage of continuous English prose will be set for
translation into Greek. This subject may not be offered by candidates who have satisfied the
Moderators in Course IA or IC of Honour Moderations in Classics.)

(v) *Latin Prose Composition. (*One passage of continuous English prose will be set for
translation into Latin. This subject may not be offered by candidates who have satisfied the
Moderators in Course IA or IB of Honour Moderations in Classics).

(vi) An extended essay on a topic in the modern language or combining the modern language
and Classics (to be examined under the regulations for the Honour School of Modern

(vii) A Special Thesis on a topic in Classics (to be examined under the regulations for the
Honour School of Literae Humaniores).

Language Work

In your Modern Language you will have a regular schedule of language classes to attend each
week. In French and German most of these classes will be organised within your college. In
the other languages they will mainly be organised centrally by the sub-faculty. It is very
important to attend all your language classes and to complete the written exercises set.
Language skills cannot be crammed for in the week before the exam but depend on regular
practice. You will find it helpful to establish a weekly routine with regular slots set aside for
completing each piece of language work – each piece is likely to require a slot of up to three
hours. Make sure that you settle down to do your language work with the dictionaries and
grammar books you will need to hand. Your language tutors will advise you on which
dictionaries and grammar books you need to buy but you may well also need to consult other
dictionaries in your college library or in the Faculty library. The use of dictionaries is of
course an art in itself which you will already have begun to develop. Remember that if you
begin your search in a bilingual dictionary it is always best to double check in a monolingual
dictionary that you have selected the word or phrase you need.

When your written exercises are returned to you, take the time to go carefully through all the
corrections your tutor has made. If you dismiss your errors as mere slips you will probably
repeat the same mistakes another time. It can be helpful to compare your written pieces over a
period of time – do you make the same mistake or type of mistake regularly? Are there points
which you need to ask your tutor for help with? The first year is the year in which to really get
to grips with those grammar points which you have never been quite sure of. Sorting them out
now will leave you free to concentrate later on finer points of your writing and speaking
skills. It is perfectly possible to order a drink in a foreign language or get the gist of a simple
conversation without much command of grammar. But to take part in more sophisticated
communication and to be taken seriously by native speakers you need to use correct
grammatical structures and to have developed an extensive vocabulary. You may be reluctant
to speak up in class and ask questions if there is something you don’t understand. However,
you can be sure that you are not the only one who hasn’t understood and you will do everyone
a favour by speaking up.

       Classes with native speakers will also be organised for you. Here again, it is essential
to conquer nerves and speak up. Speaking skills cannot be improved if you remain silent! Try
not to compare your own performance all the time with what appears to be the superior
performance of other people. It is your own performance you need to try to work on.

Outside classes and set exercises you should make use of the facilities of the Language
Centre, described later on. You can make a real difference to your listening skills by regularly
watching recorded news programmes and videos, and you can keep your vocabulary up to the
minute by reading newspapers. (How exactly is a phrase of the moment, like ‘greenhouse
effect’ rendered in the language(s) you are studying?) Reading your literature texts will of
course help you with vocabulary acquisition and with your intuition and feel for the language.
However, it is probably best not to start by looking up every word you don’t know when
reading your texts – look up the ones that are impeding your understanding or which recur
frequently. (For set texts you will have to go back later and make sure you understand every

You will be asked to fill in questionnaires about each course of Modern Languages Lectures
you attend. They will be available either in the lecture room or on a desk near the entrance to
the Taylorian. Please complete them and return them to the Modern Languages Faculty
Office at 41 Wellington Square.
        They are also available for submission online on the Modern Languages website at
        The feedback questionnaires are read first by the Director of Undergraduate Studies,
then passed to the Chairman of the Faculty Board and to the lecturers concerned. Any major
issues raised in the questionnaires are discussed by the Chairman with the lecturer; this may
lead to changes in emphasis or in how lectures are delivered. Positive comments may be used
to support Faculty or University schemes for rewarding outstanding teaching.

For Classics lectures you attend, a lecture questionnaire will be handed out by lecturers for
you to return to them. Please do so, as lecturers find such feedback on lecturers very helpful.
In addition, each year the Joint Consultative Committee circulates a general questionnaire for
you to fill in with your general comments on the course and on the lectures you have attended.
It is important to fill this in because the Faculty as a whole likes to know whether they are
providing what people need, and also because it strengthens the power of the JCC in seeking
changes and innovations. The comments made will remain totally anonymous, and only the
Lectures Secretary and the undergraduate compilers of the yearly report will see the actual


        Anybody to whom you go for tutorials or college classes counts as one of your tutors.
Some will be tutorial Fellows or Lecturers of your own college; some may be Fellows or
Lecturers of other colleges, or Research Fellows, or graduate students. The overall
responsibility for giving or arranging your tuition will lie with tutorial Fellows or Lecturers of
your own college, probably one in each of Classics and your modern language. Behind them
stands the Senior Tutor, who must see that proper arrangements are made if one of these
people is absent through illness or on leave.
        It will probably be a rule of your college that you call on these in-college tutors at the
beginning of term to arrange tuition, and at the end of term to arrange vacation reading and
next term's subjects. In any case it is a very good idea to pay such calls, if necessary on your
own initiative. Colleges have different rules about when term 'begins'. The official start is
Sunday of First Week of Full Term, but you will certainly be expected back before then, and
you should try to ensure that by the Sunday you know who your tutors for the term will be,
have met or corresponded with them, and have been set work and assigned tutorial times by
        If you would like to receive tuition from a particular person in Oxford, ask the
in-college tutor concerned; do not approach the person yourself, who cannot take you on
without a request from your college. If you feel that you need a change of tutor, don’t just do
nothing, but take the problem to someone else in your college - your College Adviser, the
Senior Tutor, the Women's Adviser, the Chaplain, or even the Head of College, if necessary.
Most such problems arise from a personality-clash that has proved intractable; but since in a
university of Oxford's size there are almost certain to be alternative tutors for all your
subjects, there's no point in putting up with a relationship which is impeding your academic
In these circumstances you can usually expect a change, but not necessarily to the particular
tutor you would prefer.

Tutorials, Classes, and Collections

         What you are expected to bring to a tutorial is an intelligent understanding of the
reading which was set for it (or a variant on your own initiative if some book or article proves
really inaccessible) and any written work demanded. What you have a right to expect is your
tutor's presence and scholarly attention throughout the hour agreed, plus guidance (e.g. a
reading list) for next time. Beyond that styles differ, depending on how many students are
sharing the tutorial, the nature of the topic, and the habits and personality of your tutor. You
must not expect uniformity, and you will gain most if you succeed in adapting to differences.
It is reasonable to expect your tutor to comment on your essays (whether orally or in writing)
and to warn you if they fall below an acceptable standard. Most tutors prefer not to assign
marks to essays week by week, but if you feel uncertain about the quality of your work you
should not hesitate to ask.

You will often have more than one tutorial a week, and may sometimes have two a week
throughout the term. It does not follow, however, that you should be expected regularly to
write two tutorial essays a week; if you are asked to do that and find it a strain, do tell your
tutors and discuss it with them.
         The more you bring to a tutorial, the more you will gain from it. Work on an essay
involves reading, thinking, and writing. Read attentively and thoughtfully, skipping bits that
obviously do not bear on your topic: one hour of that is worth many hours of 'summarising'
paragraph by paragraph with the music on. As your reading progresses, think up a structure
for your essay (but do not write an elaborate plan which you won't have time to execute).
Expect to have to worry out your thoughts, both during and after reading. Use essays to
develop an argument, not as places to store information. You will learn best if you share
ideas with fellow students, and contribute to tutorial discussion. Remember that tutorials are
not designed as a substitute for lectures, or for accumulating information, but to develop
articulateness and the capacity to think on one's feet, and to tackle specific difficulties and
misunderstandings. This means that note-taking, if it occurs in a tutorial at all, should be very
much incidental to the dialogue.
         Be careful not to let the reading of modern scholars’ works detract from your reading
of the texts on the syllabus. The examination is on the prescribed subjects and works, and the
purpose of recommending secondary literature (as tutors will often do) is to help you to form
your own thoughts about the primary material. Note also the section on ‘Plagiarism’ below.
         Missing a tutorial is a very serious matter. If you cannot attend for a good reason
(e.g. illness), you should let your tutor know in advance and make arrangements to catch up
on any work missed. If circumstances force you to miss a tutorial without advance notice,
explain and apologise as soon as possible.
         Some tuition is by means of college or University classes, a system specially suited to
subjects in which your written work consists in exercises rather than essays - especially your
language work. You have a right to expect that written work for a class will be returned to
you with written or oral comments.
        Most colleges will require you to sit college examinations, 'collections', before the
start of each term. The objects are to test your comprehension of work already covered, and
to give you practice in writing timed papers. Make sure at the end of each term that you know
the times and subjects of next term's collections.

       Oxford trains you as a writer to deadlines; so equip yourself with a writer's tools: an
English dictionary and, unless you are very confident, a thesaurus and Fowler’s Modern
English Usage.


        Lecture lists are published each term. The lists are also published on the web at
http://www.classics.ox.ac.uk/lectures/ (click on the lecture title to see short descriptions of
the lecture series) and http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/pubs/lectures/modernlanguages.pdf. Your
tutors will have advice on which lectures to attend.
        The importance of lectures varies from subject to subject. Some lectures give a
personal version of what could be got, in other personal versions, from books. Others provide
the last word on a developing subject, or the only satisfactory conspectus on a subject whose
boundaries are not well recognised in the literature. It is somewhat perilous to cut the 'core'
lectures on your chosen options: although in Oxford's system lecturers do not necessarily set
the University examinations, they may be consulted by those who do, and the lecture
descriptions inform examiners as well as students about the content of lectures.


         British degree courses are among the shortest in the world. They hold their own in
international competition only because they are full-time courses, covering vacation as well as
term. This is perhaps particularly true of Oxford, where the official terms occupy less than
half the year. Vacations have to include holiday time too; and everyone recognises that for
very many students they also have to include earning money. Nevertheless vacation study is
         You are said to 'read' for an Oxford degree, and CML is certainly a reading course: its
'study' is to a great extent the study of books. In term you will mostly rush from one article or
chapter to another, pick their bones, and write out your reactions. Vacations are the time for
less hectic attention to complete books. Tutorials break a subject up; vacations allow
consolidation. They give depth and time for serious thought, and they are particularly
important for reading set texts.

Changing your Course

        Don't seek to change course at the first sign of difficulty. All courses that are worth
anything bring the student up against obstacles, and your tutors will guide you past them.
Seek the advice of your tutors at all times when in difficulty. Discuss problems also with
your contemporaries; you are not in competition with them, and you should get into the habit
of helping and being helped.
        If you decide you really do want to change, the first rule is, 'Don't delay' you could be
losing vital learning time.
        Your college has admitted you to read for a particular Honour School, or a particular
combination of First Public Examination plus Honour School. You cannot change without its
permission, which is liable to be refused if the 'receiving' tutors think you unsuited to their
course, or don't have room (in some courses, e.g. Law and English, the teaching resources are
often very strained).
        If you are allowed to change, your Senior Tutor or Tutor for Undergraduates will help
with any necessary formalities.

The Classics Centre and Classics Office

      The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies is at 66 St Giles, Oxford OX1
2LU. The Classics Office and some Research Projects are based in the building. There is also
a common room, lecture theatre and seminar rooms.

        The Classics Office, on the ground floor of the Classics Centre is the administrative
section of the Classics Faculty. Office hours are 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to
5.00 p.m., Monday to Friday (Tel: 288391 or email enquiries@classics.ox.ac.uk). The
Classics Office holds copies of dossiers of epigraphical material, texts and translations for
Ancient History and other topics. It can also provide information about scholarships, grants,
prizes, study tours, summer schools, conferences and seminars in and outside Oxford.

       Entry to the Classics Centre

       The entrance to the Classics Centre is on St Giles. You can operate the door with your
University card. Before you use it, you will need to have your University card registered at
the Classics Centre. Please contact Paul Sawyer on 288372 or email
paul.sawyer@classics.ox.ac.uk to register your card.

The Modern Languages Faculty Office

       The Modern Languages Faculty Office at 41 Wellington Square is open Monday to
Friday 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (closed 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm) all year except for short closed
periods at Christmas and Easter. It provides information on the Extended Essay, Paper XII
subjects, and other aspects of the Modern Languages part of the course and examinations.

The Taylorian Institution

The Taylor Institution (or, more colloquially, ‘the Taylorian’) as a prominent inscription
inside tells you, was founded to promote the study of Modern Languages by the architect Sir
Robert Taylor (1714-88), though not built until many years later (his will was challenged by
his disappointed heir). It was designed, together with the adjoining Ashmolean Museum, by
Charles Cockerell (1788-1863), and built between 1841 and 1844. The style is neo-classical;
the large Ionic columns on the St Giles side carry female statues which represent France,
Italy, Germany and Spain, thus symbolizing the purpose for which the Taylorian was

         From St Giles, you go up a few steps and find yourself facing towards the Ashmolean
shop and café. The locked double doors on your left lead to the Voltaire Room (normally
accessed from inside the Taylorian) and the main entrance to the Taylorian is on your right.
Go in through the narrow door. Immediately to your left is the porter’s lodge, to your right is
the large Lecture Room 2, and immediately in front of you to the right is a broad staircase.
Staying on the ground floor, walk straight on (to the left past the foot of the staircase), and
you will pass Lecture Room 3. On the walls are noticeboards holding all kinds of useful
information, including lecture lists. Continuing straight ahead, you go down a few steps and
find, on your left, first, a staircase that winds up to the Faculty Library on the first floor, then
a few steps and a short flight of stairs leading down to the toilets. On your right is the original
main entrance, which is normally kept shut, and in front of you, through double fire-doors, is
a corridor. The Hall, which is used for all lectures, as well as for certain public occasions, is
on the left . Continue straight ahead, through another set of fire doors, and on the right you
will find a door with steps behind it leading down to the Common Room (this Common Room
is open to any member of the University and you can make coffee and tea there). At the end
of the corridor to the right is firstly another ladies’ toilet, then a long narrow teaching room
known as Room 10b. (Disabled access to the ground floor of the building (there is no lift) is
from Beaumont Street. The archway on the right at the entrance to the Ashmolean forecourt
marked ‘Taylor Institution’ leads to a slope, which goes up to steps just outside the building.
Phone porters in advance (on [2]78142) to arrange for a ramp to be in place.)

        If you now return to the Taylorian entrance and go up the main staircase, you will find
that on the landing you have a choice. Ahead of you is the way to the Modern Languages
Faculty Library, which contains materials for undergraduate and taught graduate courses, as
well as reference books and current newspapers and magazines, and a very interesting
collection of DVDs and videos. On entering, you come first to Italian and Spanish books;
beyond is a reference room; through a glass door and down a staircase are books on cinema
and French and German literature. (At the time of writing, a security system is being installed
for the books in this library.)

        From the landing, the flight of stairs which is straight ahead leads back down to the
ground floor; another winds up to the right and leads eventually to a small teaching room
known as Room 16; and a third to the left leads upwards to the Main Taylorian Library.
Before you enter the Library’s Main Reading Room, you will see on your right the Periodicals
Reading Room, which contains some of the most frequently used journals in Modern
Languages. Outside the entrance is a photocopier which you can use with a card obtainable
from the Library staff. The Main Taylor Institution Library itself is one of the most beautiful
and user-friendly libraries in Oxford, admired and envied by visitors from other Faculties.
The magnificent double height Main Reading Room is a perfect cube in shape and is lined
with oak shelves (mostly containing reference books) and panelling. In the centre there is a
round table with recent issues of literary magazines (including the Times Literary
Supplement) and there are also two computers for consulting the on-line catalogue, and two
more for readers’ general use. On your left as you enter is the issue desk and the shelves used
for books kept on reserve, and also for those volumes that are so much in demand that they
cannot be removed from the building. Behind the issue desk is the entrance to the book-
stacks. Graduates and senior members may fetch their own books from the stacks, but
undergraduates must fill in order slips and wait for the books to be fetched for them. Beyond

the issue desk a narrow spiral staircase leads up to the gallery, which contains several desks
for readers’ use and also gives access to the room containing books on Linguistics.

        Three further doors lead off the Main Reading Room. One takes you to a reading
room for Italian, Spanish and Portuguese; another, opposite the first (and diagonally opposite
the door by which you entered), leads to a larger reading room for French and German. These
rooms contain the appropriate dictionaries, reference works, and bibliographies. The third
door, directly opposite the entrance, leads to the office of the Librarian, and then to a staircase
that goes down to the ground floor and the entrance (via a small vestibule) to the Voltaire
Room. This splendid reading room holds an invaluable collection of texts and materials on
Voltaire and the French Enlightenment. The chairs and large table are for readers’ use, as is
the computer (on which you can check the online catalogue). (A book security system
operates in this room.)

         Back to the staircase, continuing downwards, you arrive at the basement. First you
will see some movable shelving, containing all but the most popular periodicals; if you go in,
be sure to announce your presence when other readers appear, to avoid getting crushed
between the shelves! Then, on your left, you come to another photocopier, then some more
computers for readers’ use, and, further along, shelves containing outsize books and books on
Celtic, Scandinavian, Dutch, Yiddish, and other ‘minor’ languages. Further ahead is the Latin
American and Portuguese section.

         Other sections of the Taylor Institution may be found a short distance away, in
Wellington Square. When you come out of the main building, turn left, and go north along St
Giles. Continue until you get to Pusey House Chapel on the corner (and the Oxfam bookshop
on the next corner) and turn left into what is Pusey Street (there is no visible street name sign
at time of writing), then, at the end, turn right and go along St John Street. As you emerge into
Wellington Square, numbers 47 and (in the Square itself) 41 will be on your left. No. 41 has
on the ground floor, on the left hand side of the corridor, the room of the Chairman of the
Faculty Board, the room of the Examinations Secretary, and the Faculty Office. On the right
are the rooms of the Graduate Assistant, the Faculty Administrator, and other offices. Upstairs
are the rooms of various professors and other Faculty teaching staff, and, on the first floor, the
Committee Room. The basement contains the Phonetics Laboratory. No. 47 houses the
Slavonic and Modern Greek Faculty Library, as well as other teaching rooms and offices.
Access to both the building and (separately) to the Library at no. 47 is via swipe card.
(Practical details about using libraries are given later in this Handbook.) There is a lift for
wheelchair access which is accessible from the car parking area next to the Clarendon
Institute (Institute for Chinese Studies and Centre for Linguistics) on the Walton Street side of
the building. It is advisable to telephone the library in advance if planning to use this

The Language Centre

       The Language Centre at 12 Woodstock Road is open to all members and staff of the
University and its colleges. It provides facilities (audio, video, and computer-assisted
language-learning) for private study in many languages. There are also classes in all the CML
languages except Czech with Slovak. Tapes of passages that have been used for the
comprehension test in the oral examination can be run, or bought. During Full Term and one
week either side of Full Term the Centre is open Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.
(Tuesday and Wednesday till 9.00 p.m. except in Trinity Term), and also during Full Term on
Saturday 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. In vacation the hours are Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. -
1.00 p.m., 2.00 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Joint Consultative Committees

        Linked to each faculty is an Undergraduate Joint Consultative Committee on Faculty
Matters (JCC). The JCC for Classics and Ancient History contains six Senior Members, and
an undergraduate representative from every college whose students care to appoint one. The
undergraduates must be reading for a relevant Honour School, but they are not necessarily
reading CML. The JCC also contains a Junior Member representing CML. The committee
meets once a term, and may make recommendations to the Classics Sub-faculty, or through it
to the Classics Board. It appoints two of its undergraduate members to attend sub-faculty
meetings as observers.         The Modern Languages JCC has seven Junior Member
representatives. They are elected by and from the members of the Modern Languages
Consultative Committee, which is composed of two members from each college elected by
the undergraduates reading any school including Modern Languages at that College. There is
also provision, via the Modern Languages JCC, for undergraduate representation on the
Taylorian Library Committee and the Modern Languages Faculty Library Committee. Many
sub-faculties make provision for undergraduate representation. Undergraduate representation
on these committees is often patchy, and it is to be hoped that circulation of this handbook
will help to advertise the existence of the JCCs. If you are interested in the JCC please contact
Helen McGregor (helen.mcgregor@classics.oxford.ac.uk).


        In comparison with most universities library provision at Oxford is generous. OLIS,
the University's on-line library information service, contains catalogues of many University
libraries (including the Bodleian) and some college libraries, and is accessible from any
workstation on the University network. Information about OLIS can be found on-line at:
        Your college library will probably have a wide range of borrowable books and a
narrow range of unborrowable periodicals. Finding out how to suggest new purchases is
especially important if you are studying a subject not taught by the in-college tutors. You
have no access to other college libraries than your own.
        There are many different University libraries. The most useful to you will be the
Sackler Library, the Modern Languages Faculty Library, the Taylor Institution Library, and
the Bodleian.
        The Sackler Library is located at 1 St John Street, close to the Ashmolean Museum:
the entrance is through a doorway in a rotunda almost immediately on your right as you enter
St John Street from Beaumont Street. Within its walls is a massive collection of books
originally housed separately in several different libraries. It is an open-shelf lending library
indispensable to anyone studying Ancient History, Art and Archaeology; it is also extremely
useful to those studying Classical Literature or Philology. The Library also houses the
Classics Lending Library.
        The Sackler Library hours are 9.00 a.m. - 10.00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays,
10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. on Saturdays. To be admitted to the Sackler Library you must register
by producing your University Card. Self-service photocopiers are available. You may
borrow up to nine items at a time from the combined collections but no more than six from
each category/collection. The loan period for books and articles is one week and for
periodicals is two days. From the Thursday of Eighth Week, books and articles from the
Classics Lending Library may be borrowed for the following vacation.
        The Modern Languages Faculty Library is housed in the Taylorian building but is
separate from the Taylor Institution Library. It is the first port of call for undergraduates and
is open Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. and Saturday 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. during
term and during the first week of each vacation. In vacations it is open on Monday to Friday
9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. – 5.30 p.m., except that it closes at 5.00 p.m. from 1 July
to 30 September.
        The Taylor Institution Library may be used by undergraduates if the books they
need are not available in the Faculty Library. It is open Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m.- 7.00
p.m. and Saturday 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. from 1 October to 30 June; Monday to Friday 10.00
a.m. - 5.00 p.m. and Saturday 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. from 1 July to 30 September. There are
certain closures during the summer vacation. The Slavonic and Greek Section at 47
Wellington Square is open to undergraduates. During term, it is open Monday to Friday 9.00
a.m.                                                                                            -
6.00 p.m. and Saturday 9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. Outside term, it is open Monday to Friday
9.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. and Saturday 9.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
        In order to use the Bodleian Library (whose holdings in all subjects are among the best
in the world), you must be admitted: admission is through your college office, normally on
your first arrival. Most of what you want for Classics will be on the open shelves in the
Lower Reading Room of the Old Bodleian. Opening hours: in term, Monday to Friday
9:00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m., Saturday 9.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.; in vacation, Monday to Friday
9:00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. (see http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk for any
alterations to these core hours and for holiday closures).
        There are numerous other reading rooms, each with a selection of books and
periodicals on open shelves. Most of Bodley's holdings, however, are kept in stacks. Works
may be ordered from stack to any reading room, but delivery time is likely to be two to three
hours; so advance planning is recommended. You must show your University Card to gain
access to any part of the Bodleian. No material may be borrowed from the Bodleian.
        University-wide library information is at: http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/libraries/.

Copyright Law

        The copying of books and journals and the use of self-service photocopiers are subject
to the provisions of the Copyright Licence issued to the University of Oxford by the
Copyright Licensing Agency for the copying (from paper on to paper) of: up to 5% or one
complete chapter (whichever is the greater) from a book; up to 5% or one whole article
(whichever is the greater) from a single issue of a journal; up to 5% or one paper (whichever
is the greater) from a set of conference proceedings.

Electronic Resources

      Oxford subscribes to a substantial number of electronic datasets and periodicals. The
gateway to this is known as OxLip (http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/oxlip/index.html). The
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG, http://www.tlg.uci.edu/) enables you to read and search all
the Greek texts you are likely to want. Perseus (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu) provides you
with Greek and Latin texts and on-line reading tools (the texts are not necessarily the
prescribed editions).

Information Technology

Computing Facilities and Training
        Most Colleges have a computer room, with software for word-processing and other
applications, connections to the central University machines and the Internet, and printers.
Many also have network connections in College accommodation. Most libraries have power-
points for laptop computers.
        If you wish to connect your own computer to the University network using a network
point in your college room or office, you should consult your College IT Officer who will be
able to advise you. You may also connect via a phone-line from outside the University by
registering with the University Computing Services for a dial-up account. This will give you
internet access without the need for registering with an internet service provider, however
access to the university’s online resources will be limited. The University’s Virtual Private
Network service (VPN) allows computers that are connected to the internet but not to the
Oxford University network a virtual connection to the network so that you can use restricted
web pages and services such as OxLIP, WebSPIRS and Oxam. Many of the classics specific
online journals are only accessible this way. Oxford University Computing Services is
located at 13 Banbury Road and offers facilities, training and advice to members of the
University in all aspects of academic computing. For up-to-date information on opening
times, check their website at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ Please note that if you wish to
connect your own computer to the University network it must be properly maintained.
You must ensure that all relevant patches and updates for your machine have been
applied and that your virus protection is up-to-date.
        If you have a computing problem, the Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS)
Help Centre, located at 13 Banbury Road, provides a single point of contact for all-front line
user support (Tel: 273200 or email help@oucs.ox.ac.uk). You may also wish to brush up your
computing skills on some of the free training courses OUCS offers. For current information,
check the website at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/

Electronic Communication

       We expect you to use your University email account and to check it on a regular basis.

        Important notices are posted on our mailing lists, and you should find a welcome
message from this list in your inbox when you open your account for the first time.
        Contact     details      for      academic     staff    can      be      found  at
http://www.classics.ox.ac.uk/faculty/directory/. Email addresses and telephone numbers for
the whole University are available at http://www.ox.ac.uk/contact/

The Data Protection Act

        You should have received from your College a statement regarding personal student
data, including a declaration for you to sign indicating your acceptance of that statement:
please contact your College's Data Protection Officer if you have not. Further information
about     Data     Protection    within     the    University    can    be     found     at

Classical Greek and wordprocessing

Word-processing and handling electronic documents are essential skills for all classicists
today. However, classicists face a particular challenge when it comes to keying in Classical
Greek. While for years undergraduates have been content to leave blanks in their work and
write in by hand Greek characters with breathings and accents, because of the difficulty of
including them, this is no longer an acceptable excuse — Greek is now easy to incorporate
into essays and this is a skill which all students should acquire.

The precise method depends on what kind of computer you are using: Apple Macintosh
computers function very differently from PCs. Because of this the faculty recommends that
students use the international standard method of incorporating Greek into documents, namely
Unicode, which is a cross-platform standard (making your documents equally readable on
both PCs and Macs). This standard is supported by most modern word-processing packages,
including recent versions of MS Word, and operating systems (for PCs from Windows 98
onwards, and now at last for Macs too, from OS X onwards).

In order to use unicode Greek on your own computer, you need two things. The first is a font,
so that you can actually view the Greek. Not many fonts include a complete set of Greek
characters including accents and breathings, but some common fonts do (e.g. Palatino
Linotype, Arial Unicode and Lucida Grande). There are also freeware fonts you can find
online that contain the necessary characters, one popular such font is Gentium (which has an
alternative version GentiumAlt with ‘proper’ circumflex accents). Any of these fonts will be
able to display Greek and you can change the format of text between these fonts and they
remain the same. [This is the great advantage of the Unicode standard, since in older
encodings, changing the font usually scrambled the text entirely and left it as unreadable

The second thing you need is some easy method to enter the Greek characters. You could of
course use the character map or insert symbol commands of your word-processor to do it, but
this is time-consuming and inefficient even for a single word. Instead, there are various
keyboard utilities available which allow you to use your normal keyboard as if it were a
Greek keyboard (e.g. so that you type [a] and you get an alpha). These also allow you access
the accents and breathings, usually by typing a key before the vowel in question (e.g. so that
typing [2] then [i] gives an iota with a smooth breathing and acute accent). Some of these
utilities work only in specific word-processing packages, while others will work with any.
One which works with any Windows program (provided that you are using Windows 2000 or
later) is provided free of charge on Weblearn.

You can also find there a link to the site from which Gentium(Alt) can be downloaded. There
are full instructions for installing this driver and for how to use it. Once installed, you can set
your system up so that by simply pressing [alt] + right [shift] the keyboard is switched and
you can type Greek as quickly as English and then use the same combination to switch back.

Further information on IT in Classics including questions of fonts etc. can be found on
Weblearn at:


Antioch for Windows and GreekKeys for Apple Macintosh

The link above will take you to a room in Weblearn which has information on the above free
greek keyboard. At the same location there is information on Antioch for Windows and
GreekKeys for Apple Mac. These are two well known Greek input keyboard utilities which
are supplied with a unicode greek font. These utilities allow you to type in greek through MS
Word (any many other applications) using any installed greek font. They support greek
accents and breathings and have built in conversion utilities to allow you to replace a
document formatted with one particular greek font with another. The ability to assign your
own key mappings for the display of accents and breathings is also supported.

A downloadable trial version of Antioch (for windows) is available from here:


If you are a graduate then you can email itsupport@classics.ox.ac.uk to obtain a registration
key for Antioch. If you are an undergraduate then unfortuanately at present you will have to
pay for the non-trial version by contacting the suppliers directly at :


A downloadable full version of GreekKeys for Apple Mac is available from here:


Scholarships, Prizes, and Grants

        After your first year (or after Classics Mods) you will be eligible for a scholarship or
exhibition from your college, on academic criteria which the college decides and applies. The
Modern Languages Faculty administers the Heath Harrison Travelling Scholarships. All
scholarships are listed in the University’s Statutes and Regulations and in a supplement to the
University Gazette (http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/), which is published at the beginning of
Michaelmas Term. You can consult these in your college office or a library.

       Those which particularly concern CML are as follows.

Chancellor's Latin Prose and Verse prizes (£250 each). Details of the passages to be
translated into Latin may be obtained from the Classics Office. The closing date for entries is
30 April each year.

Gaisford Prizes for Greek Prose and Verse (£250 each). Details of the passages to be
translated into Greek may be obtained from the Classics Office. The closing date for entries
is 30 April each year.

Gaisford Undergraduate Essay Prize for Greek Language and Literature: a prize of
£300 will be awarded for a thesis in the field of Greek Language and/or Literature submitted
within the Honour Schools of Literae Humaniores, Classics and English, Classics and Modern
Languages, or Oriental Studies (with Classics as an additional language). No special
application is required.

Ireland and Craven Scholarships (Dean Ireland's Scholarship: £500; three Craven
Scholarships: £250). An examination consisting of four papers, taken in the week before
Michaelmas Full Term. Entry forms available from Mrs Anne Smith, Classics Centre, St
Giles, Oxford OX1 2LU (anne.smith@classics.ox.ac.uk). Candidates must send their names
on an entry form to the Mrs Smith by 1 September each year.

C. E. Stevens and Charles Oldham Scholarships in Classical Studies (C. E. Stevens
Scholarship: about £400; about 14 Charles Oldham Scholarships: about £300). Application
forms available from Mrs Anne Smith Classics Centre, St Giles, Oxford OX1 2LU

Declamation Prizes (up to £50) Details of the competition for these prizes are sent to Tutors
at the beginning of Trinity Term.
There are several prizes for performance in Modern Languages Public Examinations, both for
Prelims and for the FHS, in French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, and a Gibbs Prize,
value £500, for outstanding performance in the joint schools involving Modern Languages.
        Grants for special purposes such as research travel, or for hardship, are available from
many colleges to their members. There are also two more general schemes.
        (1) Access Funds are provided by the state to give financial help to full-time 'home'
undergraduates and postgraduates where access to higher or further education might be
inhibited by financial considerations, or where students, for whatever reasons, including
disabilities, face financial difficulties. Application should be made to your college.
        (2) The University's Committee on Student Hardship makes grants and loans for the
relief of financial hardship, which must have been unforeseeable at the time of admission.
It meets once a term, and application forms, which are held in your college office, must be
completed and in the hands of a designated college officer, probably the Senior Tutor, before
a designated time, probably in Fourth Week (First Week in Trinity Term).
        Colleges receive funds in respect of students on their Year Abroad and make grants to
assist with travel, etc., though details vary from college to college. Those reading Italian,
Russian, Portuguese or Modern Greek may also be eligible for travel grants from the
respective sub-faculty.

Theses and Extended Essays

         You may offer a Thesis as one of your compulsory subjects (Subject (xxi) above);
whether or not you do that, you may offer an Extended Essay or Thesis as an optional extra
(Additional Subject (vi) and (vii) above). The word limit in all cases is 10,000 words, and
there is little difference in practice between the writing of a thesis and of an extended essay;
the difference in their names stems from the fact that classicists use the one term, modern
linguists the other. There are also minor differences in the procedures for obtaining approval
of a title, and in the deadlines for submission. So be sure to observe the regulations that apply
to your case.
         The attraction of a thesis or extended essay is that it gives you the opportunity to study
a specialist area for which you have developed or would like to develop a particular expertise,
allowing you to produce a fully fledged piece of scholarly research or analysis that you might
well regard as the culmination of your studies here. It is potentially a most exciting option,
but it is important to get the choice of topic right and to present your work in a scholarly
manner. Accordingly, we reproduce below some advice (a) on Theses, based on the Greats
Handbook, (b) on Extended Essays, based on the Modern Languages Handbook.
         In the Finals examination, remember that you should avoid repetition in your written
papers of material used in your thesis or essay. If you offer both a thesis as a compulsory
subject and an optional thesis or essay, you must of course also avoid repeating material from
one to the other. The mark assigned to an optional thesis or essay will simply be ignored if it
falls below your average mark across all the compulsory papers; in other words, it can help to
improve your overall performance (if it is better than your average mark), but it cannot harm
it. (The mark for a thesis offered as a compulsory subject will count in the same way as that
for any other compulsory subject.)
         See also below on ‘Plagiarism’.

        If you propose to offer a thesis in Finals, the latest date for seeking approval of its
topic is Wednesday of First Week of the Michaelmas Term preceding the examination. But
obviously the right time to seek approval is before you start work on it, which may be much
earlier. In most cases it is a good idea to begin planning no later than the Easter Vacation of
your penultimate year of study at Oxford (i.e. the year before your year abroad), and to have a
talk with a tutor early in Trinity Term. If your tutor thinks that the subject is manageable, get
some initial suggestions for reading and follow them up. Remember that tutors can only
advise: the decision to offer a thesis is your own, and so is the choice of topic.
        If you decide to go ahead at this stage, submit your title and 100-word outline, in
accordance with the regulations for theses in Examination Regulations, for approval during
Trinity Term of your penultimate year, so that you can start work on the thesis during the
following Long Vacation (before your year abroad). Don't worry if your outline is not in the
end very closely adhered to: the point of it is to make clear the general subject of the thesis
and to show that you have some idea how to go about tackling it.
        Don't let your topic expand, or your reading range too widely; 10,000 words is the
length of one or two articles, not a book. Your tutor is allowed to give you assistance
‘equivalent to the teaching of a normal paper'; so during term-time (probably in the term
following your year abroad) tutorial sessions can be used for trying out first drafts of parts of
the thesis. However, you have to write the finished version on your own; make sure you
allow plenty of time - almost certainly, it will take longer than you expect.
         Some general advice: (i) the examiners cannot read your mind; explain in your
introduction just what you are going to do, and in what follows present the argument, step by
step, in as sharp a focus as you can achieve: (ii) examiners will notice if you try to fudge
issues or sweep difficulties aside; it is much better to be candid about them, and to show that
you appreciate the force of counter-arguments; (iii) bad spelling and bad grammar do not help
to convey an overall impression of clarity and competence; (iv) word-processing carries
dangers of its own, such as half-revised sentences leaving gibberish, sections continually re-
edited when they really ought to be rewritten, and spell-checks failing to detect errors which
have not resulted in a non-existent word.
         Your bibliography should list all works to which you refer, plus any others you have
used that are relevant to the final version. The rules for format and submission are in the
Examination Regulations. You will find some guidelines for the presentation of theses in the
Greats Handbook; the main thing to aim for is clarity and consistency.
         If for any reason you expect to submit your thesis late, consult your Senior Tutor in
good time. The Vice-Chancellor and Proctors may grant permission on payment of a
late-presentation fee which they determine, but they may at the same time give permission to
the examiners to reduce the mark on the thesis by up to one class. If permission is not sought,
or is refused, the thesis may be rejected, or its mark may be reduced by up to one class.

Extended Essays
        The Extended Essay is an essay of up to 10,000 words, which must be presented in a
scholarly form, to be submitted at the end of the second term of your final year. It is your
opportunity to explore in detail and in a personal way a question in literature, linguistics, or
film that you find particularly fascinating. You must first discuss your ideas for a title and a
way to approach it with your tutor. Then, either in the Trinity Term of your penultimate year
of study at Oxford (i.e. the year before your year abroad), or at the very beginning of the
Michaelmas Term of your final year, you will need to submit your title and a brief summary
to the Modern Languages Faculty Board for approval (forms obtainable from the Faculty
Office at 41 Wellington Square). Once the title has been approved, you will be offered initial
bibliographical advice by your tutor and help with the form and presentation of the essay,
outlines of which are contained in a Modern Languages Faculty leaflet The Presentation of
the Extended Essay; a supervisor appointed by your tutor will also comment on the first draft,
but the essay must be entirely your own independent work. If you have settled on a topic by
the end of your penultimate year, it is possible to start preparing your essay while you are

         The topic of an extended essay is yours to shape. It must fall within the ambit of the
Honour School and be of a suitable scope to be treatable within the word limit. Beyond this,
it is difficult to generalise; some essays are detailed critical studies of one or two texts, others
look at cultural-historical angles or theoretical issues related to literature in depth. All should
be clearly structured and focused projects with a wide range of reading and thought behind
them. The essay will be read by examiners with expertise in the relevant field and will be
assessed for ‘scholarly presentation’ as well as for content and argument.



Cf. http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/epsc/plagiarism

Plagiarism is the copying or paraphrasing of other people’s work or ideas into your own work
without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in
manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.
Collusion is another form of plagiarism involving the unauthorised collaboration of students
(or others) in a piece of work.
Cases of suspected plagiarism in assessed work are investigated under the disciplinary
regulations concerning conduct in examinations. Intentional or reckless plagiarism may incur
severe penalties, including failure of your degree or expulsion from the university.

        These guidelines (which are adapted from those adopted by the English faculty) are
particularly directed towards Finalists writing theses or extended essays, but many of them
have relevance to the writing of essays throughout your undergraduate career.

        1. Plagiarism is the use of material appropriated from another source or from other
sources with the intention of passing it off as one’s own work. Plagiarism may take the form
of unacknowledged quotation or substantial paraphrase. Sources of material include all
printed and electronically available publications in English or other languages, or unpublished
materials, including theses, written by others. The Proctors regard plagiarism as a serious
form of cheating for which offenders can expect to receive severe penalties, possibly
including disqualification from the examination process. You should be aware that there are
now sophisticated electronic mechanisms for identifying plagiarised passages.
        2. Your work will inevitably sometimes involve the use and discussion of critical
material written by others with due acknowledgement and with references given. This is
standard critical practice and can be clearly distinguished from appropriating without
acknowledgement material produced by others and presenting it as your own, which is what
constitutes plagiarism.
        3. A thesis is essentially your view of the subject. While you will be expected to be
familiar with critical views and debates in relation to the subject on which you are writing,
and to discuss them as necessary, it is your particular response to the theme or question at
issue that is required.
        4. When you read the primary texts that you will be discussing, it is a good idea to
find your own examples of episodes, themes, arguments, etc in them that you wish to
discuss. If you work from your own examples, you will be much less likely to appropriate
other people’s materials.
        5. When you are taking notes for your thesis from secondary sources,
a) Always note author, title (of book or journal, and essay or article title as appropriate), place
of publication (for books), and page numbers.
b) If you copy out material word for word from secondary sources, make sure that you
identify it as quotation (by putting inverted commas round it) in your notes. This will ensure
that you recognise it as such when you are reading it through in preparing your thesis.

c) At the same time always note down page numbers of quoted material. This will make it
easier for you to check back if you are in doubt about any aspect of a reference. It will also be
a necessary part of citation (see 6 below).
         6. When you are writing your thesis, make sure that you identify material quoted from
critics or ideas and arguments that are particularly influenced by them. There are various ways
of doing this, in your text and in footnotes: see p. 21 of the Handbook. If you are substantially
indebted to a particular critic’s arguments in the formulation of your materials, it may not be
enough to cite his or her work once in a footnote at the start or the end of the essay. Make
clear, if necessary in the body of your text, the extent of your dependence on these arguments
in the generation of your own – and, ideally, how your views develop or diverge from this
         7. Example:
         This is a passage from A. Barchiesi, Speaking Volumes: Narrative and Intertext in
Ovid and Other Latin Poets (London, 2001), 54:
         ‘Something similar might be observed in a “pure” elegiac text, antipodal to epic, such
as Amores 3.6. This elegy is a long appeal addressed to an obstinate little stream obstructing
Ovid’s path to his love. The erotic situation lies completely in the background, abstract and
vague; Ovid turns his whole attention to the obstacle and to the strategies aimed at
overcoming it. The river is described in essentially “anti-Callimachean” terms: it has muddy
banks (3.6.1), abundant and even filthy waters (v. 8: et turpi crassas gurgite volvis aquas).
These features accord well with the narrative function of the stream that obstructs the
amorous quest of the elegiac poet. But what is intriguing are the arguments Ovid uses to
appease the flood. To honour the unnamed stream, the poet lists lofty examples of great rivers
which have felt the power of love . . . He then goes on to develop a long narrative example,
the story of a river in love, but, significantly, the story is of epic provenance: Mars’ rape of
Ilia, who afterward was offered consolation by the Anio. The entire story . . . appeared in a
prominent position at the beginning of Ennius’ Annales. This episode, though transcribed by
Ovid in his own manner and in the style of elegy, is indeed an unforeseen guest in a poem of
the Amores.’

        ‘Amores 3.6 is addressed to a river which is stopping Ovid from getting to his love.
Ovid leaves the love-situation in the background, and turns his whole attention to the river,
and strategies for overcoming this obstacle. The description of the river makes it essentially
“anti-Callimachean”: it has muddy banks and dirty waters. These features fit the narrative
function of the stream that obstruct the elegiac love-poet’s quest. Ovid’s arguments to the
river are very interesting. He lists lots of lofty examples of rivers in love, and then develops a
long narrative of a story about a river in love from epic. This story concerns the river Anio,
which offered his love to Ilia after Mars’ rape of her. The whole story had a prominent
position at the beginning of Ennius’ epic poem the Annales. Ovid treats it in his own manner
and in elegiac style; but it still comes as a surprise in the Amores.’
        This version adds almost nothing to the original; it mixes direct appropriation with
close paraphrase. There is no acknowledgement of the source; the writer suggests that the
argument and the development of it is his or her own.

Legitimate use of the passage:
        ‘Amores 3.6 forms part of the intensified conflict between genres which marks Book 3
of the Amores. In the first poem of Book 3, Tragedy and Elegy vie for Ovid’s soul; in the last,
he wistfully abandons elegy for tragedy. In this poem, addressed to a river that prevents the
speaker from reaching his beloved, Ovid moves into the prolonged narration of a story that
comes in epic: the river Anio’s winning and wooing of Ilia after Mars has raped her. This
story came in the first book of Ennius’ Annales. Barchiesi has pointed out that the river seems
“anti-Callimachean” in its size and dirtiness.1 The relation with epic may, however, be more
elaborate and complicated. Within the Iliad, Achilles’ heroic advance is halted by a river; he
fears an ignominious and rustic death (21.279-83). The situation of Am. 3.6 as a whole could
be seen to mimic, on a lower level, an episode already generically disruptive. And the Anio’s
speech to Ilia (53-66) sounds very like a love-poem—which naturally does not work as
persuasion. Epic, then, does not simply interrupt elegy in Amores 3.6; and the poem is part of
a larger design, not just a curious surprise.
  A. Barchiesi, Speaking Volumes: Narrative and Intertext in Ovid and Other Latin Poets
(London, 2001), 54.’

         This version uses an acknowledged paraphrase of part of the passage in forming a
wider argument, with some fresh points. (The footnote is sound scholarly practice, but its
omission would not be a matter of plagiarism.) The reference to the Annales, though
originally derived from Barchiesi, does not require acknowledgement, since the writer can
reasonably suppose it to be common scholarly knowledge. The final phrase echoes
Barchiesi’s, while disagreeing with it; but no explicit acknowledgement is required, least of
all after the earlier mention.

The Year Abroad

All students are required to spend a year of residence in an appropriate country or countries
during their time in Oxford. The year abroad is considered by the Modern Languages Faculty
Board to be both academically desirable and integral to the course. The year abroad is
normally spent in the third year, although students taking the Joint School of European and
Middle Eastern Languages go in their second year. You are required to spend a period of not
less than 24 weeks abroad.

The objectives of the Year Abroad are for students to:

    -      Improve their language skills in a variety of practical contexts
    -      Acquire first-hand knowledge of the culture of the target language(s)
    -      Develop the ability to cope independently in the target language(s)

You will be required to agree with your tutor, before your year abroad, on an appropriate
course of study to be followed during that period. This will be designed according to your
own particular needs and interests and may consist, for example, in the preparation of an
extended essay, in the completion of further work relating to a paper already begun, or in the
preparation of work for a paper to be taken on your return. You will be required to complete
a ‘Year Abroad Agreement form’ in the Trinity Term of your second year in order to confirm
that your college tutor approves of your plans, and that you have agreed a suitable course of
work to be undertaken during the year.

You should discuss options for your year abroad with your College Tutor and also, should
you wish, with the relevant Sub-faculty Year Abroad Officer. Some Sub-faculties will
arrange information sessions on appropriate opportunities and you can obtain further
information about these from your College Tutor.

You may also contact your College Tutor for advice or help with any difficulties arising
during your Year Abroad, and College Tutors will refer to the appropriate Sub-faculty or
Faculty Year Abroad Officer. During the Michaelmas Term of your final year, you will be
asked to complete a ‘Year Abroad Report Form’, which will be held in the Modern
Languages Faculty Office and made available to future students when making arrangements
for their year abroad.

If you choose to go to France, Austria, Germany or Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal or
Latin America, it is recommended that you should apply to be an English-language assistant
in a local school: you make the application to the British Council under your tutor's guidance
in the first term of your second year. Alternatively, you can apply to follow a course at a
university or organise employment in the country concerned, as long as it has the approval of
your college. The Italian sub-faculty has SOCRATES links with Siena University who take
up to three Oxford students each year, and other links with Pisa, Pavia and Bologna. The
German sub-faculty has links with Bonn University. The Modern Greek sub-faculty has
Erasmus/Socrates links with the University of Thessaloniki. The French Sub-Faculty has an
arrangement with the English department at Jussieu (Paris) which enables students to gain a
“licence” in English. For ways of spending the year abroad in Russia, the Czech Republic or
Poland, see the language-specific section of the Modern Languages Handbook.

You are also encouraged to spend as much time as possible in a country in which your `other’
language is spoken (e.g. a good part of a long vacation), and it is possible to attend summer
schools in the relevant countries: your tutors will be able to give guidance.

Funds may be available from your college to help you finance such a course.

You are strongly advised to consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website
(www.fco.gov.uk) for information should you decide that you would like to spend your year
abroad in a country outside the European Union.

The Faculty has a Code of Practice on exemption from the Year Abroad where applicable.
This may be consulted on the Modern Languages website, where you will also find details of
the year abroad grant : www.mod-langs.ox.ac.uk


(a) General
        It is your personal responsibility to enter for University examinations, and if you enter,
or change your options, after the due date, you must pay a late fee and gain the examiners'
consent. Entry is through colleges. The forms are kept in college offices, which may
advertise times for applying. The University deadlines are listed each year in Examination
        The Preliminary examination begins in the 8th week of Trinity Term.
        The Finals examination begins with orals in the week preceding Trinity Term. These
involve a written comprehension test and a spoken examination. The written part begins
towards the middle of Trinity Term and continues towards the end.
        At University examinations you must wear academic dress with 'sub-fusc' clothing.
Academic dress is a gown, and a regulation cap or mortar board (must be mortar board for
men). Sub-fusc clothing is: for women, a dark skirt or trousers, a white shirt or blouse, black
tie, black stockings and shoes, and, if desired, a dark coat; for men, a dark suit and socks,
black shoes, a white bow tie, and plain white shirt and collar.
        There are special University regulations on the typing of illegible scripts (NB: 'the cost
of typing and invigilation shall not be a charge on university funds'), on the use of typewriters
in examinations, on dyslexic candidates, on visually-impaired candidates, on candidates
unable to take papers on certain days for religious reasons, and on the use (where permitted)
of computers in examinations; see the Examination Regulations. If your native language is not
English, you may request permission to use your own bilingual dictionary during Classics
(but not modern languages) examinations. The request must go to the Proctors through your
college, usually your Senior Tutor.

       The examiners report your marks to your college, which will normally pass them on to
         If you have any problems connected with University examinations which you want to
take further, never approach the examiners directly: always communicate through your Senior
Tutor. This applies to complaints too; but every student has a statutory right to consult the
Proctors directly on any matter at any time in their Oxford career.
         When planning your strategy for your exams, it is sensible to keep before your mind
the nature of the examination method which the University uses (the conventional method in
British higher education over the past two centuries). If the examiners allowed you to set the
questions, you could prepare good answers in a short time; by setting the questions
themselves, they ensure that a candidate cannot be adequately prepared without study over the
whole course. In the essay and comment papers they will therefore not be interested in
answers which in any way are off the point, and they will severely penalise 'short weight', i.e.
too few properly written out answers. The examiners are looking for your own ideas and
convictions. When you have selected a question, work out what it means and decide what
you think is the answer to it; always answer the question that has been set, not the question
you would like to have been set. Then, putting pen to paper, state the answer and defend it;
or, if you think there is no answer, explain why not. Don't write too much: most of those who
run out of time have themselves to blame for being distracted into irrelevance. Bear in mind
that an examination answer cannot hope to include as much detail as a tutorial essay; part of
what is being tested is your ability to select what is relevant and to present it in a clear and
well-structured argument. Good examinees emerge from the examination room with most of
their knowledge undisplayed.
         In writing commentaries, bear in mind that a literary commentary is not the same thing
as an essay. It is largely concerned with the explication of a single passage of text, and you
should not use it as a springboard for general discussion of related issues. If the passage is
from a larger work, start by identifying its context (briefly but precisely), paying attention if
appropriate to what follows as well as what precedes; if it is in direct speech, identify the
speaker or speakers. Say what you feel should be said about the passage as a whole (e.g. what
it contributes to the larger work from which it comes, what literary conventions it displays,
and how it is structured), and then discuss its most striking stylistic details and other points of
interest. Points to look out for include (depending on the type of work) narratorial voice,
dramatic technique, and versification. Explain allusions and references where appropriate
(some may be so obvious that they do not need to be explained). Make it clear precisely what
you are referring to, perhaps by giving a line-reference. You may like to go through the text
in order when making your detailed comments, or you may prefer to organise the material in
some other way; the important thing is to present it clearly. As in essays, do not be afraid to
express ideas of your own; the purpose of the exercise is partly to test whether you have
prepared your texts but also to invite you to think about and react to them.

(b) Examining conventions

Prelims         All papers in the Preliminary Examination are marked on a numerical scale
from 0 to 100, 40 being the pass mark and 70 a distinction mark. (If you offer both Latin and
Ancient Greek, that counts as one language!) In each language, the examination has two
parts: (a) language (papers I and II in your modern language, paper V in Latin and/or Greek),
(b) literature (papers III and IV in your modern language, papers VI and VII in Latin and/or
Greek). You are required to pass each part separately in each language by obtaining an
average mark of 40 on the papers in that part; to obtain a distinction, you must achieve an
average of 70 on all the papers (both language and literature) in a language. Candidates taking
Paper VI in Latin or Ancient Greek who fail to translate adequately from the prescribed
material may be marked NS on that paper and consequently fail in the Literature subject
A letter from the Chairman of the Preliminary Examination in Modern Languages to all
candidates may, if necessary, give more detailed account of the conventions

Finals          You will find summaries of the marking criteria to be used by the examiners in
the Handbook for your modern language and (in due course) in the Greats Handbook. The
papers in your modern language will be marked according to the former set of criteria, those
in Classics according to the latter. Although the precise formulations differ, you will see that
essentially the same criteria are being applied on both sides of the School. Your tutors will be
able to advise you on the rules for classification nearer the time you come to take Finals.

Students with Disabilities

        The Faculties of Classics and Modern Languages are committed to ensuring that
disabled students are not treated less favourably than other students, and to providing
reasonable adjustment to provision where disabled students might otherwise be at a
substantial disadvantage.
        For students who have declared a disability on entry to the University, the Faculties
will have been informed if any special arrangements have to be made. Students who think
that adjustments in Faculty teaching, learning facilities or assessment may need to be made
should raise the matter first with their college tutor, who will ensure that the appropriate
people in the Faculties are informed. The Disabilities Officer for the Classics Faculty is
Helen McGregor (tel: 88388, Helen.mcgregor@classics.ox.ac.uk.)
        General advice about provision for students with disabilities at Oxford University, and
how best to ensure that all appropriate bodies are informed, can be found on the University's
Disability Services website at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop.

        If illness interferes seriously with your academic work, make sure that your tutors are
aware of the fact. If at all possible choose a Fellow of your college in whom to confide -
otherwise it will be difficult for the college to help. Help may involve: excusing you tutorials
for a bit; sending you home; asking the University to grant you dispensation from that term's
residence (to qualify for the BA you must reside and study in Oxford for nine terms [or six if
you have Senior Status], and a term for that purpose means forty-two nights); or permitting
you to go out of residence for a number of terms, with consequent negotiations with your
funding body (if applicable).

If illness has interfered with preparation for a University examination, or has affected you
during the exam itself, your college must report the fact to the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors,
who will pass the information to your examiners 'if, in their opinion, it is likely to assist the
examiners in the performance of their duties.' Your college also reports to the Proctors if
illness or disability has prevented you from attending part of a University examination, or
makes it desirable that you should be examined in a special place or at a special time. The
college officer concerned is the Senior Tutor. You, therefore, must deal with your Senior
Tutor, never with the examiners. Give the Senior Tutor as much notice as possible; in
particular, examinations specially invigilated in a separate place (usually your college) take a
lot of organising. Probably you will need a medical certificate; college doctors have the right
University forms.


        You will often hear people talking jocularly about their ‘essay crisis’; you may even
hear your tutor talking about his or her ‘lecture crisis’. But if you find yourself in real
difficulties with your work, or any other difficulties, do not hesitate to contact your tutor (or
any other tutor, especially your Moral Tutor if your college appoints one). They may look
busy, but they will not be too busy to discuss your problems, many of which may get
miraculously better just by being discussed with someone sympathetic. You may be worrying
about money, you may be stressed out at the prospect of formal examinations, or you may
have other personal or academic difficulties. Don’t suffer in silence!
        For details of help available outside your college, such as the University Counselling
Service and the student-run Nightline service, consult the booklet Essential Information for
Students (Proctors’ and Assessor’s Memorandum).

Taking your Degree

        Once your name has appeared on the CML Class List or Pass List, you may
'supplicate' for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, that is, ask to be presented to the Vice-
Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor's deputy, either in person at a degree ceremony or in
absentia as you choose. Your college presents you, and you must apply through it.


         The summer of your second year (your third year, if you are taking Classics Mods) is
probably a good time to start thinking about what you will do next after Finals. One
important source of information and advice is the university’s Careers Service at 56 Banbury
Road, which is at the disposal of all students, while studying and for four years after they
leave Oxford.         Information about the Careers Service is available on-line at
         If you are thinking of further study, mention it to your tutors by the beginning of your
final year at the latest. Most postgraduate applications (to the northern hemisphere) have to
be submitted by December or January. Overseas fellowships and scholarships may have
closing dates as early as November. Applications for Postgraduate Awards from the
Humanities Research Board of the British Academy must be delivered by 1 May, complete
with evidence of at least provisional acceptance on to a named course at a named UK
university; you must therefore apply to the university concerned early in the New Year even
in the case of Oxford, where faculties, not colleges, control graduate admission. Your
initiatives are the beginning of an elaborate process which fails if not completed by 1 May.


1.          The University, the Humanities Division and the Classics Faculty all hope that
provision made for students at all stages of their programme of study will make the need for
complaints (about that provision) or appeals (against the outcomes of any form of assessment)
2. However, all those concerned believe that it is important for students to be clear about
how to raise a concern or make a complaint, and how to appeal against the outcome of
assessment. The following guidance attempts to provide such information.
3. Nothing in this guidance precludes an informal discussion with the person immediately
responsible for the issue that you wish to complain about (and who may not be one of the
individuals identified below). This is often the simplest way to achieve a satisfactory
4. Many sources of advice are available within colleges, within faculties/departments and
from bodies like OUSU or the Counselling Service, which have extensive experience in
advising students. You may wish to take advice from one of these sources before pursuing
your complaint.
5. General areas of concern about provision affecting students as a whole should, of course,
continue to be raised through Joint Consultative Committees or via student representation on
the faculty’s committees.
6.1 If your concern or complaint relates to teaching or other provision made by the faculty,
then you should raise it either with the JCC or the Chair of the Standing Committee for the
degree course you are on. Within the faculty the officer concerned will attempt to resolve
your concern/complaint informally.

6.2 If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, then you may take your concern further by
making a formal complaint to the University Proctors. A complaint may cover aspects of
teaching and learning (e.g. teaching facilities, supervision arrangements, etc.), and non-
academic issues (e.g. support services, library services, university accommodation, university
clubs and societies, etc.). A complaint to the Proctors should be made only if attempts at
informal resolution have been unsuccessful. The procedures adopted by the Proctors for the
consideration of complaints and appeals are described in the Proctors and Assessor’s
Memorandum [http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/proctors/pam/] and the relevant Council
regulations [http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/statutes/regulations/]
[7. If your concern or complaint relates to teaching or other provision made by your
college, then you should raise it either with your tutor or with one of the college officers,
Senior Tutor, Tutor for Graduates (as appropriate). Your college will also be able to explain
how to take your complaint further if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of its
Academic appeals
8.    An appeal is defined as a formal questioning of a decision on an academic matter made
by the responsible academic body.
9.     For undergraduate courses, a concern which might lead to an appeal should be raised
with your college authorities and the individual responsible for overseeing your work. It must
not be raised directly with examiners or assessors. If it is not possible to clear up your
concern in this way, you may put your concern in writing and submit it to the Proctors via the
Senior Tutor of your college. As noted above, the procedures adopted by the Proctors in
relation to complaints and appeals are on the web
10.   Please remember in connection with all the cases in paragraphs 8-9 that:
(a)   The Proctors are not empowered to challenge the academic judgement of examiners or
      academic bodies.
(b)   The Proctors can consider whether the procedures for reaching an academic decision
      were properly followed; i.e. whether there was a significant procedural administrative
      error; whether there is evidence of bias or inadequate assessment; whether the examiners
      failed to take into account special factors affecting a candidate’s performance.
(c)   On no account should you contact your examiners or assessors directly.
        11.     The Proctors will indicate what further action you can take if you are
dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint or appeal considered by them.


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