Classics is a lively and varied course, which incorporates the study of the full range of sources for life in the ancient Greek and Roman world.
Number of students
We typically admit four or five undergraduates per year.
During the course students are given the opportunity to study not only Latin and Greek language and literature, but also options of philosophy, history, art, archaeology and linguistics. The three year course involves two years (Part IA and IB) of broad study of language, literature and these options. Part II affords the opportunity to specialize in a single area or to take a broad range of options. You can also opt to do a thesis at Part II which can be on whatever you like as long as it is linked in some way to Classics. The four year course adds a year to the beginning of the degree in order to get you up to A level standard in Latin ready to start IA. The year also involves introduction to the key options and a portfolio of essays.
The benefits of Classics at Fitzwilliam College
Classics is very well supported at Fitzwilliam. In addition to the usual supervisions in language and essay subjects, Fitzwilliam offers a weekly one to one language supervision so that students can get personal support with any difficulties they have with language and / or specific problems they have had reading their set texts. The Director of Studies also meets the students in the cafe every week for 'Sources' supervisions, in which various types of sources for a particular period are discussed in a group setting with coffee and cake. Students describe the atmosphere of the subject here as warm and supportive. The Director of Studies feels that it is vital that all her students feel that they can come to her with any concerns so that she can support them fully in their studies here
Fitzwilliam student Daniella Briscoe-Peaple tells us what it is like to study Classics at Cambridge.
Our standard conditional offer for this subject is usually A*AA at A-level or 40-42 points overall and 7, 7, 6 at Higher Level in IB. We may modify offers to take account of individual circumstances.
There are a variety of routes into the study of Classics at Cambridge University in general and Fitzwilliam College in particular. For the standard Classics three year BA course, some will have both Latin and Greek A level, and Latin A level is a requirement. More than half of the current undergraduates in Classics are learning one of the languages at Cambridge, either from scratch or from a higher level (eg GCSE).
You can also apply for Classics if you have little or no Latin or Greek. The four-year course has been specifically designed for this purpose, and this College very much welcomes applications from those who have a real interest in Classics but have not yet had the opportunity to study the languages. We also welcome applications from those who wish to combine either Latin or Greek with the study of a modern language. For those who have a specific interest in Classical archaeology, it is possible to combine the study of Classics with Archaeology and therefore focus entirely on the archaeological aspects of Classical civilization, by applying to do Archaeology Part I and a two year Part II in Classics. Fitzwilliam very much welcomes such candidates.
The admissions process
Classics has an at-interview assessment, which all colleges use. For three year candidates, the one hour assessment involves a Latin passage for translation. For four year candidates, there is no written test, but there is an extra interview in the Faculty in which language aptitude is assessed. Applicants are also required to submit two pieces of recent written work that have been marked by a teacher as part of their application.