Undergraduate Admissions

Please note that this page is currently being updated for the 2024 entry admissions timeline. Please see the University Admissions page for the most up-to-date information regarding application to Oxford.


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

The interview process

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place in December. 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. But 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 at GCSE
  • Performance in interviews
  • Comparison, in all these areas, with other candidates

Confirmation of places

Applicants will receive confirmation of their places in mid-August, following the receipt of their exam results, providing they have achieved or exceeded the minimum offer they will have received if they were successful at interview.

International students

We welcome applicants from outside the United Kingdom. There are students from all over the world studying Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford. We encourage students from abroad to study the entire course if at all possible, but those doing a second BA may sometimes be allowed to do a shorter version of an undergraduate course. Information about applying from outside the UK is available on the main University of Oxford website. We are used to dealing with applications from a wide range of educational systems and make offers which are appropriate in each case. For further advice on these and other qualifications, please consult the Schools Liaison Officer or the Undergraduate Admissions Office, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD.

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).

The University of Oxford is and intends to remain a thriving, cosmopolitan community of scholars and students united in our commitment to education and research. The UK referendum result will not change this; our students from across the EU are as warmly welcome as ever.

Please check our Oxford and the EU: student Q&As page for the most up-to-date information from the University.