General Student Handbook

General Student Handbook

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This online handbook provides general information for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Classics. For detailed information about the syllabus, teaching and assessment arrangements for particular degree courses, please refer to the course handbook applicable to your year of examination.

The Faculty: Oxford’s Classics Faculty is the largest of its kind in the world, with over 60 full-time post holders and a total of more than 160 members, including research staff and college post holders. Overall governance of the Faculty is provided by the Faculty Board. The Faculty comprises two Sub-Faculties: Ancient History & Classical Archaeology and Classical Languages & Literature.

Each undergraduate course is overseen by a Standing Committee, comprising representatives of each faculty or department involved in teaching the course. Graduate degrees are overseen by the Faculty’s two Graduate Studies Committees, each chaired by a Director of Graduate Studies.

The Classics Faculty’s central base is the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies at 66 St Giles’, but many tutors are based in over 30 colleges and Permanent Private Halls (PPHs) around Oxford.

Degree Programmes: The Classics Faculty has overall responsibility for two undergraduate courses:

  • BA in Literae Humaniores
  • BA in Classical Archaeology & Ancient History

The Faculty also contributes to four undergraduate degrees overseen by other Faculties:

  • BA in Ancient & Modern History
  • BA in Classics & English
  • BA in Classics & Modern Languages
  • BA in Classics & Oriental Studies

The Faculty is responsible for graduate degrees in Ancient History and Classical Languages & Literature, and Faculty members contribute to graduate degrees in several related subjects, including Classical Archaeology, Byzantine Studies, Linguistics & Philology, Ancient Philosophy and Women’s Studies.

If you are studying for an undergraduate degree, the teaching for your course will be provided jointly by your college and the Faculty (or more than one faculty in the case of joint courses). Teaching for graduate courses is provided primarily by the Faculty. Your course handbook provides more detailed information about the teaching provision for your degree.

Course Handbooks: A course handbook is available for each undergraduate and postgraduate degree. For most undergraduate degrees, separate handbooks are issued for the First Public Examination (Mods or Prelims) and the Final Honour School. A separate edition of each handbook is issued to each cohort of students (i.e. the students starting work towards the exam in a given academic year). Handbooks are circulated to the relevant students by email at the start of the course (or, for FHS students, at the start of the Hilary Term before they begin working towards finals). Please ensure that you refer to the correct edition of your handbook; the handbooks issued to the cohorts before and after you may contain different information. 

It is sometimes necessary to make changes and corrections to handbooks after they have been issued. These are summarised in a table on the back cover of the handbook. Major changes are also communicated to students and tutors via email.

Examination Regulations: It is important to note that the official syllabus for your course is the one published in the University’s Examination Regulations. Where a discrepancy occurs between your course handbook and the Examination Regulations, the Regulations should be regarded as authoritative. The online regulations are organised according to the year in which you started working towards the degree, not the year in which the exam takes place.

Lectures and Seminars: The Classics Faculty’s lecture list is published online. Lecture lists are available in two formats: (1) as printable lists and (2) as calendars for individual subject areas, which can be imported into Apple iCal, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar or any other third-party calendar program that supports iCalendar files.

Prospectus entries for lecture series and programmes for weekly seminar series can be found on the Prospectus Entries page of the website.

Your course handbook provides information about any lectures, seminars or classes which it is compulsory to attend. Your tutor or supervisor will also be able to offer advice on which lectures and seminars you should attend. It is vital that you attend any lecture series of interest to you at the first opportunity; the lectures may not be repeated the following year, or may be timetabled in a different slot when it is difficult for you to attend.

Requesting permission to record lectures: If you have a disability, you may request permission to record lectures as a reasonable adjustment on disability-related grounds; once you have been granted such permission, you do not need to ask individual members of academic staff for permission to record. In all other cases, students wishing to record lectures must apply in writing to the academic concerned on a case-by-case basis, and must only record lectures if the academic has given their consent in writing. Recordings may only be made for the personal and private use of the student. The University's full policy on recording of lectures can be found on the Education Committee website.

Lecture capture: Some lectures are recorded on the Panopto (Replay) lecture capture system. These can be accessed by loggin into the relevant Canvas course and clicking on the "Panopto Recordings" link in the left hand menu.

The Ioannou Centre: The Classics Faculty is based in the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies at 66 St Giles'. The Classics Office and several research projects are based in the building. There is also a lecture theatre, four seminar rooms and a common room. A study area, including workstations with PCs, and a reading room are available exclusively to graduate students and staff.

The entrance to the Centre is in St Giles', opposite St John’s College. You can operate the doors with your University card during opening hours (7 am – 11 pm daily). If you are enrolled on an undergraduate or graduate degree within Classics, your card should already be registered for entry to the Ioannou Centre. If you experience any difficulties please contact Reception on 288372 or email

The reception desk is located on the right-hand side of the Atrium as you enter the building. The reception is usually staffed from approximately 8.30 am – 5 pm on Mondays to Fridays.

If you need to hand in letters, forms or other mail to members of staff based in the Ioannou Centre, please use the pigeon holes by the reception desk.

The Ioannou Centre is the base for several research centres and projects, including the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, the Classical Art Research Centre (incorporating the Beazley Archive), the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, and the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama. A number of academic and research staff have offices on the first, second and third floors of the building.

Safety procedures: During reception hours (9 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday), please contact reception (tel. 01865 288391) in an emergency. When reception is closed, the University’s Security Services are the main point of contact for any issues including:

  • A fire. The alarm is linked directly to Security Services, so if it is sounding they will come. However if you are at all unsure or the alarm is not sounding please call them or dial 999 as you think appropriate.
  • Damage to the building, such as a broken window
  • A leak
  • An intruder in the building

In the event of any of the above happening, please call Security Services’ emergency phone number: 01865 289999 (24 hours, 7 days a week). You can also reach them by e-mail (, but it is advisable to telephone in the case of an emergency.

The Ioannou Centre has two emergency phones. One is located in the basement, and one on the first floor in the graduate study area. You can call Security Services directly from these phones.

If you or another person in the building sustains a serious injury outside of reception hours please dial 999 for an ambulance. Please also let Security Services know.

The Classics Administration Team: The Classics Faculty's administrative staff are located in various offices around the building, mainly on the first floor. For general enquiries, please contact Reception in the first instance (tel. 288372; email:

The main staff responsible for student administration are the Academic Administrative Officer, Mr Andrew Dixon, and the Academic Support Officers, Miss Erica Clarke and Ms Jo Armitage. Please direct email enquiries about academic matters to either or as appropriate.

Useful information and advice on arriving as a new student at Oxford can be found on the University website.

For information on teaching, lectures and seminars, please see your course handbook.

Induction sessions for new students: Each year the Classics Faculty organises induction sessions for undergraduate and graduate students, which take place in the Ioannou Centre in Week 0 of Michaelmas Term.

Please ensure that you attend the induction session, as important information will be communicated to you about the course and the general practicalities of studying at Oxford.

The induction also includes a session with the Classics Librarian. For undergraduates this takes the form of a presentation in the Ioannou Centre, while for graduates it comprises tours of both the Sackler Library and the Bodleian Library's Classics collections.

Timetables for this year's induction sessions will be published in Canvas as soon as they are available:

Registration and Student Self-Service: Before the start of your course, you will receive details of how to activate your Oxford Single Sign-on account. The Oxford Single Sign-on is used to access Student Self Service to register online, as well as to access other central IT services such as University email, Canvas and the Graduate Supervision System.

New students must complete their registration by the end of the first week of term in order to confirm their status as members of the University. Ideally you should do this before you arrive. Continuing students must register at the anniversary of the term in which they first started their programme of study. Once you have completed registration, an enrolment certificate is available from Student Self Service to download and print. This certificate may be used to obtain council tax exemption.

In addition to enabling you to register online, Student Self Service provides web access to important course and other information which you will need throughout your academic career. You can amend your address and contact details via Student Self Service, and use it to access your exam results.

Visas and immigration: If you hold a Student Visa it is essential that you read the University guidance regarding your obligations and what to do if there is a change in your student status.

The University has a number of legal responsibilities as the sponsor of your Student Visa, and it is vital that you:

  • keep your contact details up-to-date in Student Self-Service throughout your time as a student at Oxford.
  • attend all compulsory lectures, classes and seminars.
  • meet all key deadlines, especially those for examination entry and submission of essays/theses.
  • inform your college and/or the Faculty if you are ill or absent for any reason.
  • ensure your college and/or the Faculty is informed immediately of any change to your student status or your visa/immigration status.

Extending or renewing your visa: If you need to extend or renew your visa during the course of your studies, you will need to obtain a new confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) number. Graduate students should contact Undergraduate students should contact their college office in the first instance.

Data protection: You should have received from your College a statement regarding student personal data, including a declaration for you to sign indicating your acceptance of that statement. Please contact your College’s Data Protection Officer if you have not.

Computing facilities and training: The Ioannou Centre provides computing facilities for graduate students only. The Centre has PCs, Macs and laser printing and scanning facilities. A range of Greek fonts has been installed. All the machines are connected to the University network. To use the computers in the Graduate Study Area, you will need a log-in and a password; these will be set automatically and given to you upon your arrival. For any queries about Classics IT provision please contact the IT Officer at

IT Services is responsible for the core networks serving all departments and colleges. The Service Desk (tel. 01865 612345) is a single point of contact for all front-line user support. IT Services provide extensive opportunities for developing transferable skills in IT, offering free or inexpensive training courses both in basic software packages (word-processing, databases) and in more specialist research- and humanities-specific subjects (bibliography, text-analysis and mark-up). You can find out more about what is available on the IT Services website.

The University’s Virtual Private Network service (VPN) allows computers that are connected to the internet but not to the Oxford University network a virtual connection to the network so that you can use restricted web pages and services such as OxLIP and WebSPIRS. Many of the Classics-specific online journals are only accessible this way. Please note that if you wish to connect your own computer to the University network it must be properly maintained. You must ensure that all relevant patches and updates for your machine have been applied and that your virus protection is up-to-date.

Classical Greek and word processing: Word processing and handling electronic documents are essential skills for all classicists today. For years undergraduates were content to leave blanks in their work and write in by hand Greek characters with breathings and accents, because of the difficulty of including them electronically, but Greek is now easy to incorporate into essays and this is a skill which all students should acquire.

The precise method depends on what kind of computer you are using: Apple Macintosh computers function differently from PCs. Because of this the Faculty recommends that students use the international standard method of incorporating Greek into documents, namely Unicode, which is a cross-platform standard (making your documents equally readable on both PCs and Macs). This standard is supported by most modern word processing packages, including recent versions of MS Word, and most supported operating systems (ie. Windows, OS X, Linux).

In order to use Unicode Greek on your own computer, you need two things. The first is a font, so that you can actually view the Greek. Not many fonts include a complete set of Greek characters including accents and breathings, but some common fonts do (e.g. New Athena Unicode, Palatino Linotype, Arial Unicode). There are also freeware fonts you can find online that contain the necessary characters, one popular such font is Gentium (which has an alternative version GentiumAlt with ‘proper’ circumflex accents). Any of these fonts will be able to display Greek and you can change the format of text between these fonts and they remain the same. [This is the great advantage of the Unicode standard, since in older encodings, changing the font usually scrambled the text entirely and left it as unreadable nonsense.]

The second thing you need is some easy method to enter the Greek characters. You could of course use the character map or insert symbol commands of your word-processor to do it, but this is time-consuming and inefficient even for a single word. Instead, there are various keyboard utilities available which allow you to use your normal keyboard as if it were a Greek keyboard (e.g. so that you type [a] and you get an alpha). These also allow you to access the accents and breathings, usually by typing a key before the vowel in question (e.g. so that typing [2] then [i] gives an iota with a smooth breathing and acute accent). Some of these utilities work only in specific word-processing packages, while others will work with any. Two popular Greek input keyboards are Antioch (for Windows) by Ralph Hancock and GreekKeys (Mac & Windows) from the American Philological Association. There is a small cost involved in purchasing fully functional licensed versions of these applications. The Faculty currently holds licences for both applications which extend to graduate students and staff only (see WebLearn for further information).

Email: Once your registration details have been processed, you will be able to find your email address from IT Services’ Registration Service and will have access to email via either the Nexus 365 web mail service or an email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook. The email system is administered by IT Services and problems should be referred to them.

Mailing lists: At the beginning of your course, you will automatically be subscribed to a Faculty mailing list for students on your course. We expect you to use your University email account and to check it on a daily basis. Important notices are posted on our mailing lists.

Students are not generally able to post to the mailing lists. If you would like to circulate an announcement about a Classics-related event to the students on your course or the wider Faculty, please email your announcement to our Reception staff at Please note that we are unable to circulate announcements about matters unrelated to Classics. Organisers of regular seminar series (such as the graduate “Work in Progress” seminars) may request access to post seminar announcements to the mailing lists by contacting the Academic Administrative Officer (

Virtual learning environment: The University's virtual learning environment (VLE) is Canvas.

You will find a wide range of useful information in Canvas, including:

  • lecture handouts and Powerpoint presentations
  • bibliographies
  • dossiers of material for certain papers
  • examiners’ reports
  • specimen papers
  • examples of CAAH site/museum reports
  • circulars to candidates about exam arrangements
  • forms (e.g. for submitting thesis proposals)

If you are studying for a joint school, you should have been subscribed to your other faculty's  Canvas site. If not, please contact the IT officer in the relevant faculty to request access.


Libraries: Library provision at Oxford is generous. SOLO, the University’s online library information service, contains catalogues of many University and some college libraries. It is accessible from any workstation on the University network.

The most useful of Oxford's libraries to you will be the Sackler Library, which contains the Classics Lending Library, and the Bodleian Library. Your college library will probably have a wide range of borrowable books and a narrower range of periodicals. Find out how to suggest new purchases. You will normally have no access to college libraries other than your own.

Undergraduate freshers are invited to attend an induction session about the Sackler and Bodleian Libraries held in the Ioannou Centre on Friday of Week 0 of Michaelmas Term. Graduate students are given a tour of the libraries as part of their induction programme on Monday or Tuesday of Week 0 of Michaelmas Term.

The Sackler Library is located at 1 St John Street, close to the Ashmolean Museum: the entrance is through a doorway in a rotunda almost immediately on your right as you enter St John Street from Beaumont Street. It is an open shelf lending library indispensable to anyone studying Ancient History, Archaeology and Art; it is also extremely useful to those studying Literature or Philology. The Sackler Library also houses the Classics Lending Library, specifically intended to provide for the coursework needs of undergraduates in Classical Literature, Ancient History and Archaeology. Self-service photocopiers are available. For information on admission, borrowing and opening hours, please see the Sackler Library’s website

Admission to the Bodleian Library is arranged by your college office, normally when you first arrive. Much of what you want will be on the open shelves, primarily in the Lower Reading Room of the Old Bodleian. There are numerous other reading rooms, each with a selection of books and periodicals on open shelves. Most of the Bodleian’s holdings, however, are kept in stacks. Works may be ordered from stack to any reading room or to the Sackler Library, but delivery time is likely to be several hours and possibly the following day; so advance planning is recommended. You must show your University Card to gain access to any part of the Bodleian. The Bodleian is not a lending library.

Copyright Law: The copying of books and journals and the use of self-service photocopiers are subject to the provisions of the Copyright Licence issued to the University of Oxford by the Copyright Licensing Agency for such copying (from paper on to paper). For more information, please see the copyright FAQs on the Bodleian Libraries' website.

Electronic resources: The University subscribes to a substantial number of electronic datasets and periodicals, including the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, L’Année Philologique, the Gnomon bibliographische Datenbank and many others.

Access to electronic resources is provided via SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online). Solo is a search and discovery tool for the Oxford Libraries and the University’s collection of resources including ORA (Oxford University Research Archive), a title link to 1,000+ databases on OXLIP+  and access to OU E-Journals (over 28,000 e-journals). Note that not all databases can be cross-searched from SOLO, so you will need to consult OXLIP+ for a full listing of databases.

Many datasets are easily accessible through a web-browser on a computer connected to the University network and access is through single sign-on whether on or off campus. Some restricted resources will require a VPN (virtual private network) connection to the University network if attempting to access them from off campus.

Many of the Oxford Research Projects offer a wealth of digitised images and information. You are encouraged to investigate the sites listed on the right, some of which offer databases you may search or browse online.

Links to indices of Classics websites can be found on the Faculty website.

The Language Centre: The University Language Centre is based at 12 Woodstock Road. The Centre specialises in the teaching of a working knowledge of modern languages (including the improvement of English as an additional language), and provides classes designed to help graduate students acquire a reading knowledge of languages relevant to their research.

Modern language courses are available in three different pathways, open to all students: General, Fast-Track and Academic. Classes are provided for students at different levels of proficiency. For more information about the different courses, fees and financial support available, please see the Language Centre's website

There is also a programme in English for Academic Studies for students and staff who are non-native speakers of English and who require advanced English language support for their academic work.

In addition, the Language Centre runs special classes in German, French and Italian for Classicists, which are open to graduate students within the Classics Faculty. Information on how to register for these classes is circulated to graduate students by email at the beginning of each academic year.

The Language Centre also possesses a very wide range of learning resources, including recordings. Its facilities are available free of charge to any member of the University. 

Museums: The Ashmolean Museum in Beaumont Street is second in the UK only to the British Museum in its collections of vases, sculpture (including a famous Cast Gallery), coins and other objects: these are well worth getting to know whether or not you are doing one of the Special Subjects for which they are essential.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum, based in adjoining buildings in Parks Road, are of particular interest to archaeologists.

 Bookshops: The main bookshops for ancient history and classical archaeology are Blackwell's on Broad Street and Oxbow Books (10 Hythe Bridge St). Both have second-hand departments. 

Classics societies: The Oxford Classics Society organises many events ranging from talks and workshops to varying social events. Most information can be found via the Facebook group.

Other societies which may be of interest to Classics students include:

Undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Oxford are examined by a combination of timed written examinations and presubmitted work.

For each examination, a board of examiners is appointed. The examiners are assisted in setting and marking papers by a number of assessors, who are usually members of the Classics Faculty or other departments. All examination scripts are marked anonymously.

In each year of the course in which you sit written exams or submit work for assessment, you will be required to enter for the exams online via Student Self Service. It is essential that you complete this process by the required deadline; if you submit your entry late, or change your options after submitting your entry, you may have to pay an administrative charge. Exam entry deadlines vary from one course to another; your college will inform you of the deadline for submitting your exam entry. Detailed information about the process may be found on the University website.

A timetable for the written papers will be published at least five weeks before the exam. You will also be able to see a personalised timetable in Student Self-Service as soon as the general timetable for your exam has been finalised; please notify your college office immediately if any of the details in your timetable appear to be incorrect.

You will also receive a circular from the Chair of Examiners a few weeks before the start of the exam, explaining the arrangements in greater detail. If you have any queries about the examination process, these should be addressed to your tutor, supervisor, college office or the Classics Office; students are not allowed to communicate directly with examiners on matters relating to the examination.

At all University examinations you must wear academic dress with ‘sub-fusc’ clothing.

A great deal of useful information on preparing for examinations can be found in your course handbook, in Canvas and on the University website (see links on the right).

Submitting written work for examination: When submitting written work for examination as part of an undergraduate or Master’s degree, you will need to hand in two typed copies of your work to the Examination Schools by the submission deadline specified in the Examination Regulations.

There are late submission penalties in the form of a deduction of marks for handing in work late, even by a matter of minutes. If you are unable to hand in your work by the deadline because of illness or other unforeseen circumstances, you should contact your college office at the earliest opportunity. If you have a valid reason for missing the deadline, the Proctors may waive the late submission penalty (in the case of illness, a doctor’s note will be required).

Please ensure that you have read the general guidelines on the submission of written work and also the Faculty guidelines on referencing and avoidance of plagiarism.

In addition to following these general guidelines, you should ensure that you have read and followed any specific instructions given in the Circular to Candidates for your course.

Past papers: Copies of examination papers from recent years are available in OXAM. Note that prior to the 2015 year of examination, the University used a different paper numbering system, so it is advisable to search for older papers using keywords from the paper title.

If you are sitting a paper in the first year that it has been available for examination, a specimen paper will be published in the relevant folder within the Specimen Papers area of Canvas. Please contact the Classics Office ( if you are unable to find a specimen paper in Canvas.

Plagiarism: The University defines plagiarism as the copying or paraphrasing of other people’s work or ideas into your own work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Collusion is another form of plagiarism involving the unauthorised collaboration of students (or others) in a piece of work.

Examiners will normally penalise less serious instances of poor academic practice through a deduction of marks for the assessment(s) concerned. More serious cases of suspected plagiarism in assessed work are investigated under the disciplinary regulations concerning conduct in examinations. Intentional or reckless plagiarism may incur severe penalties, including failure of your degree or expulsion from the University.

All students should read the Faculty guidelines on referencing and avoidance of plagiarism.

Warning: We do not recommend that you use free "plagiarism detection" websites. They may steal your essay and use it for fraudulent purposes.

Examination conventions: Examination conventions are the formal record of the specific assessment standards for the course or courses to which they apply. They are designed to help you understand how your work will be marked and how those marks will be used to arrive at a final result and classification of your award and ensure that examiners carry out their task consistently. They include information on: marking scales, marking and classification criteria, scaling of marks, progression, resits, use of viva voce examinations, penalties for late submission, and penalties for over-length work.

Details of the examination conventions used for written examinations and presubmitted work can be found in your course handbook. You will also be sent a circular a few weeks before the start of the exam, containing an up-to-date copy of the examination conventions and an explanation of the way degree classifications are determined. Copies of examination circulars and examiners' reports may be found in Canvas.

Problems in examinations: This section provides brief advice on what to do if you encounter a problem during the examination process for undergraduate and MSt/MPhil degrees.

Alternative arrangements: If you have a disability or long-term health condition for which you believe you will require exam adjustments, you are strongly encouraged to register with the Disability Advisory Service if you have not already done so. They can produce a Student Support Plan for you, which may contain recommendations on exam adjustments to meet your needs. Whether you have a disability or a temporary illness/impairment (e.g. a hand injury), you will need to apply for alternative exam arrangements through your college office in good time before the exams. Your college will submit an application to the Proctors on your behalf. Further information on the types of adjustment that may be made and the evidence that you need to provide can be found on the University website.

Extensions: If you believe that you will be unable to meet a submission deadline because of illness, bereavement or other unforeseen circumstances, you should contact your college office as soon as possible to apply for an extension. If you feel unable to sit the entire examination in the current sitting, you may wish to consider suspending status and returning the following academic year to sit the exam; your college office will be able to advise on the options available to you.

If you miss a deadline, even by a matter of minutes, you may be required to pay a late submission fee and may have marks deducted (see the Examination Conventions for your degree for details). Retrospective applications for extensions are sometimes approved by the Proctors if a student has a good reason for late submission, but  this cannot be guaranteed. If you discover that you have missed a submission deadline, you should try to submit the work as soon as possible and should speak to your college office or Senior Tutor as a matter of urgency.

Resubmission of work: If you accidentally submit the wrong piece of work (either in hard copy or via upload to WebLearn), you will probably only be allowed to submit the correct piece of work if it is clear that there has been a straightforward error. You will not be allowed to resubmit a corrected/improved draft of a piece of work that you have previously submitted. For presubmitted assessments (e.g. dissertations), you must apply through your college office to the Proctors for permission to resubmit work. For errors with uploads of open book exams, please contact the helpdesk as described in the Guide to Open Book Exams.

Absence from a written exam: If you are unable to attend a written exam because of illness or other unforeseen circumstances, it is vital that you inform your college office as soon as possible. Failure to attend a written exam without a valid explanation could result in you being awarded a fail mark for the option, which may affect your degree classification. If the Proctors are satisfied that you had a reasonable excuse for missing a written exam, they will inform the examiners, who will either arrange for you to sit the paper at a later date or determine your degree classification on the basis of your remaining work.

Mitigating circumstances: If you have been affected by adverse circumstances either while preparing for the exams or during the exams themselves, you may wish to provide information to the examiners about the impact of these circumstances. Your college office will be able to advise on the process. You may wish to provide supporting documentation, e.g. a doctor's note, to support your case. You must not contact the examiners directly about matters relating to the exam. 

Health and welfare: The University website provides information on how to access medical care as well as advice on how to stay healthy during your studies at Oxford.

The Bodleian Libraries has compiled a collection of self-help books which may be useful for students who experience mental health or other difficulties during their time at Oxford. The books are available in e-book format on the Bodleian Libraries' website (single sign-on required).

Illness: If illness interferes seriously with your academic work, make sure that your tutors know of the fact. Even if you wish to be very discreet, choose a Fellow or Lecturer of your college in whom to confide; otherwise it will be difficult for the college to help. Help may involve excusing you from tutorials for a period, sending you home, or permitting you to go out of residence for a number of terms, with consequent negotiations with your funding body.

If illness has interfered with preparation for a University examination, or has affected you during the examination itself, your college must report the fact to the Proctors, who will pass the information to your examiners if, in their opinion, it is likely to assist the examiners in the performance of their duties. Your college also reports to the Proctors if illness has prevented you from attending part of a University examination, or makes it desirable that you should be examined in a special place or at a special time. The college officer whom you should contact is the Senior Tutor; you should never contact examiners directly. You will need to provide a medical certificate in case of illness; college doctors have the correct University forms.

Crises: You will often hear people talking jocularly about their “essay crisis”. But if you find yourself in real difficulties with your work, or any other difficulties, do not hesitate to contact your tutor or supervisor (or any other tutor, especially your College Advisor or “Moral Tutor”, if your College appoints one). It is always better to deal with any crisis sooner, while still manageable, than to keep it to yourself and let it build up. Tutors may look busy, but they will not be too busy to discuss your problems, many of which may get better just by being discussed with someone sympathetic. For details of help and advice available outside your College such as the University Counselling Service and the student-run Nightline service, consult the University's Student Handbook.

Personal problems: Personal problems where advice is needed, whether they arise from work or some other cause, should in most cases be brought in the first instance to the attention of Supervisors and/or College advisers and Tutors for Graduates. It is however worth being aware of the University Counselling Service at 11, Wellington Square (tel. (2)70300). The Service is confidential, and the counsellors are experienced in handling the sorts of problem that can arise in research and academic work.

Oxford Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run for students by students. It is situated at 16, Wellington Square (tel. (2)70270) and is open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., from 0th to 9th week each term. Students can phone free on internal phones (just take off the first 2), or visit in Wellington Square. Nightline can also be contacted by the University’s messenger postal service.

Harassment: Harassment is an unacceptable form of behaviour. The University is committed to protecting members, staff, and any other person for whom the University has a special responsibility from any form of harassment which might inhibit them from pursuing their work or studies, or from making proper use of university facilities. Complaints of harassment will be taken seriously and may lead to disciplinary proceedings.

Most Colleges have procedures relating to harassment. The Faculty Advisors on this matter are currently Prof. Rhiannon Ash, Merton College and Prof. Jonathan Prag, Merton College. The University Code of Practice relating to harassment is attached below.

Complaints and appeals: We hope that provision made for students at all stages of their programme of study will make the need for complaints or appeals infrequent. However, it is important for students to be clear about how to raise a concern or make a complaint, and how to appeal against the outcome of assessment.

An informal discussion with the person immediately responsible for the issue that you wish to complain about is often the simplest way to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

Many sources of advice are available within colleges, within faculties/departments and from bodies like OUSU or the Counselling Service, which have extensive experience in advising students. You may wish to take advice from one of these sources before pursuing your complaint.

General areas of concern about provision affecting students as a whole should, of course, continue to be raised through Joint Consultative Committees or via student representation on the Faculty’s committees.

For detailed guidance on making a complaint or an appeal, please see the attached document.

Overseas travel: A risk assessment should always be undertaken when planning an overseas trip on University business. You are advised to check the FCO website for up-to-date travel advice and to use this information as a basis for your risk assessment. We do not recommend that students travel to high risk areas, but if it is necessary for you to do so, you will be asked to submit a detailed written risk assessment before you travel. Please be aware that gaining University approval for travel to high risk areas may take several weeks, so you should submit your risk assessment and University travel insurance application at the earliest opportunity.

Safety in fieldwork: All students planning to take part in fieldwork should read the University guidance on safety in fieldwork.

All CAAH students undertaking fieldwork are required to complete a risk assessment form. This must be submitted to the Head of Administration in the Classics Office by Friday of Week 7 in the term preceding your fieldwork at the absolute latest. If you are going on fieldwork early in the summer vacation, and especially if you are travelling to a high risk area, you should submit your forms as early as possible (ideally at least six weeks before travel). For further information, see the CAAH Prelims course handbook.

University travel insurance: You should always apply online for University travel insurance before travelling overseas on University business. This insurance is free of charge to students. CAAH students taking part in fieldwork are required to take out University travel insurance even when the fieldwork placement is within the UK.

You are advised to submit your travel insurance application as far in advance of your departure date as possible. This will ensure that you are covered prior to travelling in the event of any cancellations, or if an illness or injury prevents you from travelling.

If there are any risks that could affect you during your travel (fieldwork/hazardous activities or recent security issues as detailed on the FCO website) then a detailed risk assessment will need to be completed, setting out the applicable risks and the measures you will take to avoid such risks.

Equality and diversity at Oxford: “The University of Oxford is committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.” Equality Policy (2013).

Oxford is a diverse community with staff and students from over 140 countries, all with different cultures, beliefs and backgrounds.  As a member of the University you contribute towards making it an inclusive environment and we ask that you treat other members of the University community with respect, courtesy and consideration.

The Equality and Diversity Unit works with all parts of the collegiate University to develop and promote an understanding of equality and diversity and ensure that this is reflected in all its processes. The Unit also supports the University in meeting the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010, including eliminating unlawful discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between people with and without the ‘protected characteristics’ of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and/or belief and sexual orientation. Visit our website for further details or contact us directly for advice: or

The Equality and Diversity Unit also supports a broad network of harassment advisors in departments/faculties and colleges and a central Harassment Advisory Service. For more information on the University’s Harassment and Bullying policy and the support available for students visit:

There is range of faith societies, belief groups, and religious centres within Oxford University that are open to students. For more information visit:

Student welfare and support services: The Disability Advisory Service (DAS) can provide information, advice and guidance on the way in which a particular disability may impact on your student experience at the University and assist with organising disability-related study support. For more information visit:

The Counselling Service is here to help you address personal or emotional problems that get in the way of having a good experience at Oxford and realising your full academic and personal potential. They offer a free and confidential service. For more information visit:

A range of services led by students are available to help provide support to other students, including the peer supporter network, the OUSU Student Advice Service and Nightline. For more information visit:

OUSU also runs a series of campaigns to raise awareness and promote causes that matter to students. For full details, visit:

There is a wide range of student clubs and societies to get involved in - for more details visit: 

Research involving human participants: The University is committed to ensuring that its research involving human participants is conducted in a way that respects the dignity, rights, and welfare of participants, and minimises risk to participants, researchers, third parties, and to the University itself. All such research needs to be subject to appropriate ethical review. More information can be found at the Research Ethics website and an online training course can be accessed on WebLearn.

Undergraduate student representation: The main forum for students to put forward ideas and suggestions about the Faculty's undergraduate degrees is the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) for Undergraduate Matters. Each year, the JCC appoints two co-presidents who attend meetings of the Sub-Faculties and Faculty Board, and a representative to serve on the Committee on Library Information Provision (CLIP). There are also student representatives on Standing Committees for undergraduate courses.

Graduate student representation: All graduate students in Ancient History and Classical Languages & Literature are invited to attend a termly meeting of the Graduate Forum. There are also graduate student representatives on the Graduate Studies Committees, Ioannou Centre Management Committee (ICMC), Committee on Library Information Provision (CLIP), Sub-Faculties and Faculty Board.

Feedback: A feedback questionnaire is available for download from the individual course pages in Canvas. Please hand in feedback forms to the lecturer concerned.

CAAH students are invited to attend a feedback meeting at the end of Trinity Term in their final year, while some courses make use of an end-of-course questionnaire. Feedback received via these means has resulted in real improvements to the content and delivery of our courses.

You are welcome to give feedback on any aspect of the Classics Faculty's provision for undergraduate or graduate students via your undergraduate JCC representative or graduate representative, or by contacting relevant academic or administrative staff.

The Faculty of Classics is committed to making reasonable adjustments in provision for students with disabilities to enable them to participate fully in student life.

The University’s Disability Advisory Service offers specialist support and advice to students with disabilities. General advice about provision for students with disabilities at the University and how best to ensure that all appropriate bodies are informed can be found on the University website.

Disability contacts for the Faculty of Classics:

Disability Officer: 

Disability Leads: 

The Ioannou Centre: The Ioannou Centre provides excellent facilities for users with disabilities. The main entrance is wheelchair accessible and provides level access from street level to the Atrium, Lecture Theatre, Outreach Room and Common Room. A lift provides access to all other floors. Disabled toilets are located on the ground and first floors. There are hearing loops in the Lecture Theatre and First Floor Seminar Room.

Limited on-street parking is available in St Giles’, a short distance from the entrance to the Centre. Blue badge holders can park free of charge without restriction.

Other venues in Oxford: Your studies in Oxford will require you to attend a wide range of buildings around the city. The University's Access Guide provides useful information on accessing a wide variety of University and college premises. If you have mobility difficulties, the Disability Advisory Service can offer assistance with planning your travel between the various locations which you will need to visit during your course.

Teaching provision: If you have declared a disability in your University application form, the Disability Advisory Service will make us aware of your needs before you arrive in Oxford, enabling us to anticipate any adjustments to provision that need to be made for you. If you believe that further adjustments in Faculty teaching, learning facilities or assessment may need to be made for you, please raise the matter first with your College tutor or with the Academic Administrative Officer, Mr Andrew Dixon, at the Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU (Tel: 288388 or email

Because of the flexible nature of our degree courses and the wide range of lectures on offer, tutors and administrative staff within the Faculty will not always know in advance which lectures and classes you are planning to attend. We would therefore encourage you to approach the relevant tutors and lecturers directly to make them aware of your needs; alternatively, you may wish to ask the Academic Administrative Officer ( to notify the tutors concerned.

Most Classics lectures take place in either the Ioannou Centre or the Examination Schools. Both venues offer good facilities for students with mobility difficulties. For information about access to other venues in Oxford, please consult the website of the relevant department or college or see the University's Access Guide.

Permission to record lectures may be sought by completing the Pro-forma for Recording of Lectures.

We encourage lecturers to place copies of their lecture handouts and PowerPoint presentations in Canvas, the University’s virtual learning environment, and where possible to make them available in advance of the lectures. Please contact if you have any comments on the provision of teaching materials and other information in Canvas. Course handbooks, lecture handouts and other teaching material can be produced in large print or other alternative formats on request.

Examinations: If you believe that you may need special provision in examinations (such as the use of a computer, enlarged papers, resting time or extra time to complete a paper), you should contact your college office, who will consult with the University Proctors about putting in place the necessary arrangements.

If you are requesting permission to use a computer in an examination, please remember to ask for any special software that you normally use to input Greek text (e.g. Antioch or GreekKeys) to be installed on the computer provided for you in the examination room, as it will not automatically be available.

Library provision: Information about access to the Bodleian Libraries and details of the range of services available to readers with disabilities may be found on the Bodleian Libraries' website.


The Careers Service: For undergraduate students, the summer of your penultimate year is probably a good time to start thinking about what you will do next after Finals.  One important source of information and advice is the University’s Careers Service at 56 Banbury Road, which is at the disposal of all students, while studying and for four years after they leave Oxford (resources may be used for life).

Paid work: The Faculty of Classics occasionally offers opportunities for paid casual work to graduate students (e.g. clerical work, covering reception or helping with events); these are advertised by email circulation to the Faculty's mailing lists. For further information on opportunities for paid work experience, please see the University website.

Undergraduate students are not normally allowed to undertake paid work during term time, other than in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of your tutor and the Senior Tutor of your college.

Applying for graduate study: If you are considering applying for postgraduate study after your current degree, it is advisable to start finding out about graduate courses, application procedures and possible sources of funding at an early stage. Application procedures and deadlines for postgraduate study vary widely from one University to another.

All universities require applicants for postgraduate study to supply official academic transcripts of their current and any previous degrees, as well as academic letters of reference. It is advisable to request these several weeks before the application deadline for your chosen programme of study. On-course (or “interim”) transcripts of undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Oxford may be ordered for a small charge from the University’s online shop. The content of your on-course transcript will reflect the information which you can see in the Examination and Assessments section of Student Self Service.

Information about graduate courses within the Faculty of Classics can be found both in the University’s online graduate studies prospectus and on the Faculty website. The deadline for applying to these courses is in late January each year.

For information on making an application for graduate study at Oxford, please see the University’s Application Guide.

Professional development and careers for graduates: For those intending to pursue academic careers, the Directors of Graduate Studies organise a meeting in which advice is given about the necessity for adequate preparation of a CV, presentation skills and interview technique. This normally takes place in Michaelmas Term; details will be announced by email.

Teaching appointments and Research Fellowships offered by Oxford Colleges and by some other universities are advertised in the Oxford University Gazette, published each Thursday in Full Term, and often in the national press (notably in the THES and Guardian Education).

Useful links:

Outreach opportunities: The Classics Faculty has a flourishing outreach programme. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to get involved. Further information can be found here.

Teaching opportunities for graduates: There are numerous opportunities for graduates to participate in undergraduate teaching.

Greek and Latin language teaching: The Mods Intercollegiate Language Classes (MILC) for undergraduates in Latin and Greek syntax and reading offer the most obvious teaching opportunity for graduates. Training sessions for teaching these classes are conducted in Trinity Term and so it is not possible to start the actual teaching until your second year as a graduate. Details of the programme can be obtained from the Grocyn Lecturer, Juliane Kerkhecker ( but graduates will be contacted in Hilary Term in any case.

The MILC training sessions have proved very helpful: the teaching is monitored by the Language Teaching Committee and student assessment leads to valuable feed-back. It is an excellent experience for those wishing to go on to academic careers. The Grocyn Lecturer can write references for graduates who have participated on their teaching skills, and these will be taken very seriously by potential academic employers.

Your top priority must of course be your academic work. You may not teach more than six hours a week in terms (not averaged out over the year) and these six hours must include preparation and marking. In fact, graduates are unlikely to be offered more than one hour's teaching per week in the MILC programme and it has almost always proved perfectly possible to undertake this teaching and at the same time make good progress with academic work.

Tutorial teaching: Offers of tutorial teaching emanate from colleges and are not guaranteed by the Sub-faculties. The Classics Office maintains an online register of graduate students wishing to be considered for tutorial teaching of undergraduates in all subject options in Classics. Attendance at a tutorial training day organised by the Faculty of Classics in Trinity Term is regarded as a prerequisite for inclusion on the tutorial teaching register.

The Faculty also runs a scheme which enables graduate students to observe experienced tutors and give a tutorial themselves under the supervision of the tutor; this usually takes place in Trinity Term.

Individual subject convenors for each of the undergraduate papers are responsible for giving advice on teaching materials and essay topics (a list of these convenors should be available from the Classics Office), and advice will certainly be available from the tutors for whom the teaching is being done; central reading lists for all undergraduate papers are to be found in WebLearn.

Lecturing: In Languages and Literature we have a course of undergraduate lectures called 'Fresh Voices in the Classics': these are given by up to eight graduate students nearing the end of their doctorates, with each offering a single lecture. This is run on a competitive basis, with graduates submitting a title and an abstract of the lecture they would like to give. A senior member of the faculty also attends and gives feedback afterwards A similar lecture scheme, 'New Ideas for Ancient History Finals', operates in Ancient History.


Prizes and scholarships: After your first year or after Mods, you may be eligible for a scholarship or exhibition from your college. Eligibility depends on academic criteria set by individual colleges.

A number of University prizes are open to undergraduate students in Classics. Further information about these prizes and how to apply for them will be circulated by email and published in WebLearn during the course of each academic year.

  • C. E. Stevens and Charles Oldham Scholarships in Classical Studies (1 Stevens Scholarship and around 14 Oldham Scholarships: about £300-£500): Application forms are available in Canvas or from the Academic Administrative Officer (email Completed forms should be returned to the Academic Administrative Officer not later than Friday of Week 5, Hilary Term. One referee should be asked to send a letter of reference directly to the Academic Administrative Officer not later than Friday of Week 7, Hilary Term.
  • Chancellor's Latin Prose and Verse Prizes (£250 each): The passages prescribed for the compositions will be available in Canvas or from the Academic Administrative Officer (email: Entries for the Prizes must be submitted not later than 5pm on Friday of Week 1, Trinity Term.
  • Gaisford Prizes for Greek Prose and Verse (£250 each): The prizes are awarded for translation from English into Greek Prose and Greek Verse. The passages set for translation will be available in Canvas or from the Academic Administrative Officer (email: Entries for the prizes should be submitted not later than 5 pm on Friday of Week 2, Trinity Term.
  • Greek and Latin Declamation Prizes (up to £50): Details of the competition for these prizes, which are awarded for the reading and recitation of Greek and Latin prose and verse, are circulated at the beginning of Trinity Term. The competition is normally held in Week 5 of Trinity Term.

Financial support: Grants for special purposes such as research travel, or for hardship, are available from many colleges to their members. There are also two more general schemes:

Access Funds are provided by the state to give financial help to full-time ‘home’ undergraduates and postgraduates where access to higher or further education might be inhibited by financial considerations, or where students, for whatever reasons, including disabilities, face financial difficulties. Application should be made to your College.

The University's Committee on Student Hardship makes grants and loans for the relief of financial hardship in cases where this was unforeseeable at the time of admission. The Committee meets once a term, and application forms, which are held in your College Office, must be completed and in the hands of a designated College officer, probably the Senior Tutor, before a designated time, probably in Fourth Week (First Week in Trinity Term).


Prizes and scholarships: The following University prizes are open to graduate students in Classics. Further information about these prizes and how to apply for them will be circulated by email and published in Canvas during the course of each academic year.

The following prizes are awarded for exceptional performance in graduate examinations:

  • Gaisford Graduate Dissertation Prize: best dissertation in the MSt or MPhil in Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature
  • Ancient History Prize: best dissertation in the MSt or MPhil in Greek and/or Roman History

Financial support: The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will consider applications from its awardholders for funding from the AHRC Research Training Support Grant to cover the costs (by the cheapest route) of essential travel. The criteria for this are stringent, but where an applicant holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council award the administrators of other funds, whether University or College, will expect that application for such assistance will have been made first. For further information on the AHRC’s Research Training Support Grant please contact

The Committee on Student Hardship makes awards on the grounds of unforeseeable hardship and may provide help in the form of a grant or loan, depending on the applicant's circumstances. Awards to successful applicants are made on the basis of a comparison of a student's finances for the current academic year with University estimates of finances required. The Committee meets on a termly basis but will not normally consider more than one application per student per year, unless there have been significant changes in that student's circumstances. Awards generally do not exceed £2,000. All students registered for a degree at the University are eligible to apply to the Committee.

You should collect a form from your College Secretary and visit the College Hardship Officer at your College before completing the application. Your application will need to be supported by both your college and your tutor/supervisor.

The application deadline is Monday of fourth week (Friday of second week in Trinity Term). All parts of the application form must have been received by these dates. Your college will send the form in on your behalf when all parts have been completed. Application forms are available from College Secretaries and College Hardship Officers

The Craven Committee considers applications from members of the University for grants for any purpose connected with the advancement of classical learning, including the study of classical art and archaeology. Grants are most commonly given to graduates who need to travel to sites or museums abroad and to graduates giving papers at conferences. Applications should be made on forms which are obtainable from the Secretary to the Craven Committee, Finance Office, Ioannou Centre. They should be returned to the Secretary to the Committee by the advertised deadline.

Graduate students can also apply to the Director of Graduate Studies for small sums from a Graduate Support Fund, for such purposes as to attend conferences outside Oxford.

Examination results: If you are reading for an undergraduate or a taught Master’s degree, your exam results will be made available a few days after the Examination Board has met to confirm the results. You will receive an email notification once the results are available, and will then be able to see your marks and overall classification in the Examination and Assessments section of Student Self Service.

Academic transcripts: Your academic transcript is the official record of your examination marks and overall degree classification. One copy of your final academic transcript will automatically be posted to your home address (as listed in Student Self Service) a few weeks after the examination results have been released. Additional copies of your transcript may be ordered for a small charge from the University’s online shop.

Degree confirmation letters: Transcripts are not available to DPhil students, as the DPhil degree does not comprise any constituent assessments. If you need official proof of your successful completion of the DPhil degree before formally graduating and receiving your degree certificate, you can request a degree confirmation letter free of charge from the University’s online shop.

Master’s and DPhil students may contact the Classics Office at any stage of their degree to request a signed, stamped letter confirming their student status and any other relevant details about their programme of study. Letters of this kind are often a requirement of external funding bodies.

Degree ceremonies: Once you have completed all of the academic requirements of your degree and have been granted “leave to supplicate”, you can graduate either by attending a degree ceremony in person or in absentia.

If you are reading for an undergraduate or master’s degree, you will receive an email in the Michaelmas Term of your final year with instructions on how to book your degree ceremony. DPhil students will receive instructions by email after being granted leave to supplicate.

Further information about degree ceremonies can be found on the University website. Your college office is the first point of contact for any queries about the arrangements for the day of the ceremony.

Your degree certificate will either be presented to you by your college on the day of the degree ceremony, or posted to you shortly afterwards.

IT and email access: You will continue to have access to Student Self Service for 11 months after finishing your studies. During that time, please update your contact details, in particular your email address, to ensure that we are able to contact you in the future.

For information on finishing computer use at Oxford, please see IT Services’ website.

Library access: All Oxford graduates are entitled to apply for free admission to the Bodleian libraries. As an external reader, you will only be able to use the libraries for reference – you will not be able to borrow items to take away.

Support for alumni: The University’s Alumni Office supports Oxford graduates in a number of ways, including careers support, networking, events, educational tours and access to online journals via JSTOR.

The Classics Faculty’s alumni programme encompasses lectures, events, an annual newsletter and networking opportunities.

All finishing students receive an Alumni Card, which entitles the holder to various benefits and offers; please see the Oxford Alumni website for further details.