Oriental Studies

The Faculty of Oriental Studies is home to a diverse range of languages and subjects that cover an enormous geographical area, from Morocco in the west to Japan in the east, and a long time span from the earliest civilizations that emerged in the fourth millennium BCE, to the present day! Twenty-five languages, both modern and ancient, are taught in our Faculty where undergraduates also have the opportunity to study literature, history, religion, and other aspects of a diverse range of contemporary world cultures.

In real-world demographic terms, the areas taught and studied in this Faculty represent well over half of the world’s current population, as well as covering many of the major civilizations of Asia and Africa. The subjects taught in this Faculty are far from marginal; they are right at the centre of our modern world!

An undergraduate degree in Oriental Studies at Oxford can open many doors, and our students have gone on after graduation to pursue a variety of career paths: from journalism to the NGO and business sectors, to translation/interpreting, publishing, and academia. To find out more about Oriental Studies, watch the videos on these pages. 

Alternatively, please do not hesitate to email us on undergraduate.administrator@orinst.ox.ac.uk, and we will get back to you as soon as is possible.

Why Oriental Studies? | Research conversations

Why Oriental Studies?

Meet Jasmine

Classics with Egyptology

Meet Greta

Spanish & Arabic

Meet Imogen


Meet Tabby

Arabic & Islamic Studies

Meet Louise


Meet Sasha


Research conversations

Explore the subject you are interested in applying to study at Oxford with these Research Conversations, hosted by the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

Arabic, Persian and Turkish

Professor Nicolai Sinai in conversation with Professor Jim Benson

Arabic, Persian and Turkish

Professor Julia Bray in conversation with Professor Jennifer Guest

Arabic, Persian and Turkish

Dr Christian Sahner in conversation with Dr David Taylor

Arabic, Persian and Turkish

Professor Alain Fouad George in conversation with Professor Marilyn Booth

Arabic, Persian and Turkish

Dr Bradley Marsh in conversation with Professor Stefano Zacchetti

Arabic, Persian and Turkish

Professor Jeremy Johns in conversation with Dr Arezou Azad

Chinese Studies

Professor Shelagh Vainker in conversation with Professor Jeremy Johns

Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies

Professor Maren Schentuleit in conversation with Professor Martin Goodman

Inner and South Asia

Dr John Lowe in conversation with Professor Bjarke Frellesvig

Hebrew, Jewish and Eastern Christian Studies

Professor Judith Olszowy-Schlanger in conversation with Professor Chris Minkowski

Inner and South Asia

Professor Ulrike Roesler in conversation with Professor Alison Salvesen