This is an intensive one-year taught degree course which is intended to give students experience in reading and interpreting a wide range of Armenian texts, from a choice of genres, either as a stand-alone qualification or as a solid foundation in the subject for those intending to go on to do doctoral research.
Within the long span of Armenian history, the study of Armenia at Oxford concentrates on the period when Armenian sources give valuable information not only about Armenian culture itself, but also about neighbouring peoples of the Near East. Emphasis is therefore given to the study of the classical and medieval forms of the language and to Armenian literature from the fifth to the seventeenth centuries.
After an initial introduction to the grammar and syntax of classical Armenian, you will read a variety of texts. An understanding of the literary culture of the period and the historical background is thus obtained directly from the original sources.
The course consists of four papers. The first is a core course on the language, literature, history, and culture of Ancient and Medieval Armenia. The remaining three papers are core courses on key Armenian literary genres. For these papers you must choose to study texts in three of the following subjects: biblical texts; homiletic and polemical literature; hagiographic texts; historical literature of the 5th-9th centuries; historical literature of the 10th-14th centuries; religious and secular verse; or any other subject approved by the Faculty Board.
Teaching offered consists of classes and tutorials and may include lectures and seminars.
Asian and Middle Eastern studies graduates have found employment in many and diverse fields including business, finance, law, civil service, journalism, government and industry.
Many graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with Asian and Middle Eastern studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world, education and in museums.
You will prepare for four, three-hour papers.
The core course examination paper will consist of essay questions. You are generally required to answer three questions out of ten or so that are set.
The examination of the remaining three papers on key Armenian literary genres will consist of passages to be translated in the three types of text chosen by you, with brief questions on the background, content or grammar of the passages set.
Every candidate will be examined by oral examination (viva voce) unless they have been individually excused by the examiners.
Further information on the course, and the examination process, can be found in the course handbook here (information is current for the academic year of publication).
Oxford is the only university in the UK where Armenian may be studied as a main subject. The Armenian resources of the Bodleian Library are excellent, and students also use the Nizami Ganjavi Library at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Adjacent to the Faculty is the Ashmolean Museum, which houses superb collections.
In addition to this, there are a number of other specialist library collections in Oxford that focus on Oriental studies, such as:
The Sackler Library includes the principal library for Egyptology and ancient Near Eastern Studies. The Khalili Research Centre is the University of Oxford's centre for research and teaching in the art and material culture of the Islamic societies of the Middle East and of non-Muslim members and neighbours
You will have access to the University's centrally provided electronic resources, the Faculty of Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies' IT Officer, and other bibliographic, archive or material sources as appropriate to the topic. There is a computing room for the use of graduate students in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, as well as a common room where tea and coffee are available and staff and students can meet.
Sources of funding
Applications recieved for this course by the January deadline will also be considered for funding if applications fulfill the eligibility criteria, including the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) London Trust Scholarship. Please use the University's fees, funding and scholarship search tool to find what funding you may be eligible for.
The Faculty has a number of scholarships and funding opportunities across a wide range of subjects. Please see here for a list of these opportunities.