We offer a three-week pre-sessional intensive introductory course in Latin in September before term begins, covering elementary morphology, syntax and vocabulary. It is specifically designed for incoming graduate medieval and early modern historians, and there may be places for some new graduate students from other faculties. The course was held for the first time in September 2001 and has been deemed a resounding success by all the students who have enrolled on it. Usually we have two groups (beginners and intermediate), but this depends on demand. You will very likely have two one-hour classes each day (weekdays only) and will be expected to undertake independent study on top of this.
Knowledge of Latin is fundamental for any work on primary sources of medieval Europe, and is often also of significant relevance during the early modern period, and this opportunity to acquire or develop that knowledge is offered without additional fee to candidates enrolled for a degree with the History Faculty. Attendance to either the pre-term or term-time course is considered compulsory for those arriving without evidence of proficiency in the language to read for the MSt in Medieval History or the MSt in Medieval Studies (unless they opt for another medieval language), and for research students in medieval history. Proof of enrolment in a similar Latin course outside Oxford would be an acceptable alternative. Students enrolling on the course would normally be expected also to join the Latin classes during term to build on the foundations laid in the three-week course. Please note that we cannot take complete beginners for the term-time Latin course, so if you need Latin and have none you should sign up for the pre-term classes.
Students will be expected to make their own arrangements for accommodation and pay for such accommodation. They should write in the first instance to the college to which they will be affiliated to see whether they can be accommodated there (not necessarily in the room to which they will be eventually assigned) and at what cost, indicating that they are attending a pre-term language course arranged by the Faculty of History.
All new medievalists under the auspices of the History Faculty are expected to take a Latin Assessment Test. Early modernists who are not sure how important Latin is likely to be for their research should seek advice from their prospective supervisors before missing this opportunity of skills development. These tests are not part of the assessment for the degree; they serve to indicate how far the student needs to make further progress in the study of the language in order to undertake competently research in the field of medieval history. Weekly classes for those who need to improve their Latin will be available throughout the three academic terms of the year. Teaching is also available for a wide variety of medieval and modern languages (including medieval Celtic and Germanic languages).
How to Apply
Please use this form to register for the Pre-sessional Latin Course in September 2020.
This course takes place at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies but is administered by the Faculty of History. If you have any questions, please email the Graduate Office.