Welcome to the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. Among subjects in the humanities, Oriental Studies is unique in introducing students to civilisations that are radically different from the Western ones that form the basis of the curriculum in most British schools and colleges. The courses present both the major traditions of the regions studied and, in most cases, their modern developments. All courses include language, literature, history and culture, and there are a wide range of options in such fields as art and archaeology, history, literature, philosophy, religion and modern social studies.The following are the principal areas of study:
In additon to the above subject areas, a major benefaction from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai has fully endowed a new Chair of Buddhist Studies at Oxford. For more information please see the Buddhist Studies section of this website.
Oriental Studies has a long history in Oxford. The Bodleian and other libraries have acquired magnificent collections. The Oriental Institute, Institute for Chinese Studies, Bodleian Japanese and Indian Institute Libraries offer loan collections in their respective fields. Adjacent to the Oriental Institute is the Ashmolean Museum, which houses superb collections. The Sackler Library includes the principal library for Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
Most courses offer the opportunity to spend time in the region being studied. The Arabic course includes a year in the Middle East, the Persian and Turkish courses a year in Iran or Turkey respectively, the Hebrew course an optional year in Israel. Both the Chinese and Japanese courses include a year abroad for all undergraduates in their second year, where they attend a course at a university which has been especially designed for Oxford’s undergraduates.
Further information about individual subjects can be found on this website within the relevant subject areas, accessed via the navigation bar above the banner picture at the top of each page.