Hebrew and Jewish Studies | University of Oxford

Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Hebrew was the language of ancient Israel and Judah, and has remained one of the chief literary languages of the Jewish people. It is now the official language of the State of Israel. The syllabuses in Hebrew and Jewish Studies span the period from biblical times to the present, taking in biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies alongside rabbinic, medieval, and modern Jewish studies. The Hebrew course deals primarily with language and literature, with study of Jewish culture and history as the necessary background. The course in Jewish Studies also gives students skills in understanding Hebrew, but here the history, religion, and culture of the Jews are the main focus.

BA in Oriental Studies (Hebrew Studies)

The BA in Oriental Studies (Hebrew) deals primarily with languages and literature, with study of Jewish culture and history as the necessary background. The course lasts for three or four years, depending on whether you choose to spend a year abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The primary aim of the course is to give all students a working knowledge of the main phases of the Hebrew language (classical, rabbinic and medieval, and modern), together with an introduction to the historical background and the most important literature of each period. The wide range of options available enables students to devote particular attention to any one of these areas if they so choose.

BA in Oriental Studies (Jewish Studies)

The BA in Oriental Studies (Jewish Studies) includes an element of language study, but its primary focus is on the history, religion and culture of the Jewish people from biblical to modern times. The course lasts for three years.

Hebrew with an additional Middle Eastern language

After completing the first year of the courses, you must decide whether you want to study Hebrew on its own, or whether you wish to combine it with another related language as a subsidiary language. The subsidiary can be Arabic, Egyptology, Aramaic and Syriac, or Akkadian.

BA in European and Middle Eastern Languages - Hebrew with an additional European language

This is a four-year joint degree combining Hebrew with one of the following European languages: French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Czech (with Slovak). You will spend around half your time studying Hebrew 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.

BA in Classics and Oriental Studies

Hebrew can also be studied as a main or second subject in the joint degree of Classics and Oriental Studies. This course allows you to combine the study of an Oriental language and culture with Latin and/or Greek and the study of the ancient world.

BA in Theology and Oriental Studies

This three-year course gives you the opportunity to combine the study of Hebrew and Judaism with a range of options offered as by the Theology Faculty.