How to Apply

Applying for an undergraduate course​

The application process for the undergraduate degrees in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is as follows:

1. Choose a course and check its entry requirements

2. Choose a College

3. Apply for your course through UCAS by 16th October 2023

International students

Information about applying from outside the UK is available on the main University of Oxford website here.

The interview process

Interviews will take place online in December. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews with tutors in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and their chosen (or allocated, if they have made an ‘open application’) college. Interviews are not intended to be confrontational although they will undoubtedly be intellectually challenging. The tutors are interested in finding out what your intellectual potential is; they do not wish to catch you out. Remember to think carefully about the questions you have been asked; your interviewers will not mind if you pause to think. Try not to go in with some pre-packaged prepared piece you are determined to deliver at all costs.

Selection criteria

The following criteria are to be applied in the assessment of candidates for Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. In the case of candidates for the Joint Schools with Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, these criteria are to be applied in assessment for the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies side of each school.

  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Conceptual clarity
  • Flexibility - the capacity to engage with alternative perspectives and/or new information
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Critical engagement
  • Capacity for hard work
  • Enthusiasm for their chosen subject

At various points of the admissions process candidates will be assessed against these criteria on the basis of information derived from a variety of sources:

  • UCAS forms, including, in particular, personal statements, school reports, qualifications achieved and qualifications predicted
  • Performance in interviews
  • Comparison, in all these areas, with other candidates

Shortlisted candidates for 2024 entry will be told whether or not their application has been successful on 9 January 2024. Decisions will be released via UCAS Track early in the morning. This will be followed by direct communication from the college considering your application. 

Confirmation of places

Applicants who were given conditional offers will receive confirmation of their places after the results for their outstanding qualifications are received by the university, providing they have met the conditions of their offer. For applicants sitting A-Levels, this confirmation will take place after A-Levels results day in mid-August.

Further information on applying to Oxford for undergraduate study can be found here


Further information on applying to Oxford for undergraduate study can be found here. Video guides to undergraduate study at Oxford are also available here.

Students have written about their experiences studying some of the languages offered in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for The Oxford Blue here. 


The entry requirements for BA Asian and Middle Eastern Studies are:

If English is not your first language you may also need to meet our English language requirements.

Students are not expected to have studied an Asian and Middle Eastern language before. A language to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent can be helpful to students, although this is not required for admission.

The only A-levels we do not accept are General Studies and Critical Thinking.

As long as students meet the subject requirements for their course, if there are any, then students are free to apply with any combination of A-levels for the remaining subjects.

We generally recommend that students take those subjects which they enjoy the most, and where they are most likely to achieve top grades. However, the selection criteria for Oxford University are entirely academic, and studying here involves a great deal of independent study: reading and preparing for essays and other academic work. So it is a good idea for you to choose subjects that will prepare you for the rigours of study at Oxford, and demonstrate to the tutors that you are prepared for academic life here.

Unfortunately not, the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies only offers courses for full-time study. You might be able to find some part-time opportunities or short courses in your area of interest with the Department of Continuing Education.

Information on written work can be found here.

If you are not sure what to send, or if you are concerned that you do not have suitable written work, please contact the college(s) that you are interested in applying to, as colleges may have different advice, or expectations in such situations.

Oxford University does not allow transfers into different years of the course. In the case of applicants that have started studying at another University, the Central Admissions Office has confirmed that the applicant would apply to start the course from the first year of the course, and their previous study at another University would only be considered as an entrance requirement (e.g. alongside A-levels).