Undergraduate courses are offered in Greek language and literature from the foundation of Constantinople (AD 330) to the present day. Oxford University is the only university in Britain where Medieval and Modern Greek can be studied as a major component of a BA degree, and one of the very few where it can be studied at graduate level.
If you do not have an A-level or equivalent knowledge of Modern Greek, it is possible to study Modern Greek from scratch.
Options for studying Modern Greek at Oxford
Modern Greek cannot be studied on its own as a single language, but it can be studied in combination with one of the following languages/subjects:
- A modern European language: French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, or Czech (with Slovak). Students who do not have an A-level or equivalent in the relevant language may (in all cases, except French or Spanish) combine Modern Greek with a Beginners’ version of the language. It is also possible to combine Modern Greek with Polish. We generally expect all students wishing to study Polish to be beginners, though those with experience are also very welcome to apply.
- A Middle Eastern Language offered by the Faculty of Oriental Studies: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish. These languages are all available to beginners with no prior knowledge of the language.
The study of European languages at Oxford provides both practical training in written and spoken language and an extensive introduction to the literature and thought of the language(s) you have chosen. You will learn to write and speak the language(s) fluently, and will be able to choose from a broad range of options including linguistics, film studies and advanced translation. You can study the literature of a language chronologically or focus on particular periods - the medieval, the early modern or the modern era.
A degree in Modern Greek combined with another language/subject is normally four years in length. Modern Language students usually spend the third year of their course abroad (except if they are taking Beginners’ Russian, in any available combination, in which case they spend the second year abroad). This is often as a paid language assistant in a foreign school, though you may work abroad or study at a foreign university.
Modern Greek with another European language
If you are studying for a joint degree combining Modern Greek with another language, you will spend around half your time studying Modern Greek language and literature, and around half studying the other language and related literature.
Modern Greek with a Middle Eastern language (BA in European and Middle Eastern Languages)
If you are studying for a joint degree combining Modern Greek with Arabic, Hebrew, Persian or Turkish, you will spend around half your time studying Modern Greek language and literature, and around half studying the other language and related literature. In the first year, there is less literature in the European language to allow for intensive focus on the Middle Eastern language. You will normally spend your second academic year at an approved course of study in the Middle East. You are strongly advised to spend the adjacent summers where the European language of your choice is spoken.
Modern Greek and another subject (English, Classics, History, Linguistics, Philosophy)
If you are studying for a joint degree combing Modern Greek with another subject, around half of the degree programme will consist of Modern Greek language and literature, and around half will be made up of courses related to the other subject.
For more information, please see Modern Greek on the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages website.