Other Languages and Area Studies

Oxford offers a wide choice of degrees. This variety enables students to study one or two European languages and related literature, or a European Language in combination with another subject, such as Classics, a Middle Eastern Language, English, History or Philosophy.

We also have a number of degrees focusing on one or more Asian and Middle Eastern languages and related literature, history and culture. You can choose to study one of these languages alongside Classics, or you may choose a combination of Religion and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Beginners’ languages

European languages:

Students who do not have an A-level or equivalent in the relevant language may (in all cases, except French or Spanish) study a beginners’ version of the language. 

There are several combinations available that allow students to begin studying a language from scratch. However, please note that it is not usually possible for students to study two languages from scratch.

Candidates would be expected to have competence in at least one of the languages chosen.

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Modern Greek
  • Czech (with Slovak)

Asian and Middle Eastern languages:

A range of Asian and Middle Eastern languages can be studied at Oxford through several undergraduate degree options. They will be the principal subject of a degree in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, or may be studied in combination with other subjects taught in the wider University.

The following may be studied as beginners' languages as part of an Asian and Middle Eastern Studies course. 

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Egyptology/Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
    (includes Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic and Syriac, Coptic, Hebrew (Biblical and Mishnaic) or Old Iranian)
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Persian
  • Sanskrit
  • Turkish

If you are pursuing an Asian and Middle Eastern Studies degree you may also be able study the following languages as subsidiary (i.e. second) languages alongside your main subject:

  • Aramaic and Syriac
  • Armenian
  • Coptic
  • Demotic
  • Early Iranian (including Avestan, Old Persian and/or Middle Persian)
  • Biblical, Rabbinic, and/or Medieval Hebrew
  • Hindi and Urdu
  • Hittite
  • Korean
  • Pali
  • Prakrit
  • Sumerian
  • Tibetan

Not all combinations are permissible and not all languages are available in all years. For more information on allowed combinations, visit the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies course page.

Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish can also be studied jointly with a European language as part of a degree in European and Middle Eastern Languages. Half of the course will focus on the European language, and half on the Middle Eastern language.

You would usually be expected to have the European language to A-level, or another academic equivalent though we would not normally expect you to have any knowledge of the other language before starting the course.

You can also study select Asian or Middle Eastern language in combination with Classics or with Religion and Theology as part of degrees in Classics and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Religion and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies respectively.

Classical languages:

Latin and Greek may be studied as beginners' languages. 

View full list of courses.