Classics and English appeals to those with a particular interest in literary and cultural interactions. English may be taken with Latin or Greek or both. For candidates with an A-level or equivalent in either Latin or Greek or both, this is a three-year course (Course I). For those who have not had the opportunity to study either language at school or college there is a preliminary year in which they learn either Latin or Greek, combined with some study of classical literature; for them the course lasts four years (Course II). Oxford has a long and distinguished tradition of research and teaching in both Classics and English; the Classics Faculty is the largest in the world, and the English Faculty the largest in this country. Oxford possesses remarkable library provision in both subjects, in the Bodleian Library, the Sackler Library, the English Faculty Library and the college libraries. The first year of the course (which follows the preliminary year of language learning for those taking Course II) is divided equally between the classical and English elements. The core of the Classics and English course at Oxford is formed by the link papers, which are studied over the second and third years of the course. These papers emphasise the interactions between Classics and English. They provide an opportunity to compare texts from both sides of the course, and to study classical influence. Further papers are also chosen from each of the ‘parent’ subjects.
Many graduates in Classics and English continue on to further study in their subject, or for other professional courses, such as teaching. Others have entered fields such as the media, management, advertising and librarianship. Recent Classics and English graduates include a freelance writer and a teacher. Philip, who graduated in 2000, is now a writer. He says: "Since graduating I have embarked on a career in writing and journalism. I have published two novels, and write for a wide range of magazines and papers, and am a Contributing Editor to Literary Review, the Periscope Post and Port. My degree helped me develop the analytical, presentational and linguistic skills that are paramount in the media world."