Interviewing in: Oriental Studies

Background on subject

Oriental Studies is a course at Oxford which aim to introduce students to civilisations outside of Western ones, including Arabic, Chinese, Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Hebrew, Japanese, Jewish Studies, Persian, Sanskrit and Turkish. At Cambridge, the equivalent course is Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

For Oxford, there are no specific subject requirements; however, a language may be useful. At Cambridge, some colleges require a language A-level.

For Oxford, students have to submit two pieces of written work, and for some subjects will have to sit the Oriental Languages Aptitude Test (OLAT).

For Cambridge, applicants to some colleges will have to submit written work, and all applicants have to take the Arts-Humanities Admissions Assessment (AMES).


Can I interview in this subject?

You do not have to have studied Oriental Studies at university to give a robust and rigorous practice interview in this subject. 

Volunteers from the following subjects, or similar, will also be able to deliver Oriental Studies interviews:

Interview types

There are two different types of practice interviews in Oriental Studies, which you may be asked to deliver. 

  1. Interview on 'application material' - asking the students' questions about their personal statement, or an essay they will submit as part of their application

  2. Interview on 'unseen material' - asking the students' questions on an article, study, or research paper they have not seen before, testing how they handle new material

SAMPLE Resources

Below you can access a folder of resources for conducting Oriental Studies interviews:

  1. Interview on application material - you can see a sample personal statement, highlighted with examples of questions which could be asked

  2. Interview on unseen material - you can see examples of articles which have previously been given to students, along with questions

These resources are intended for inspiration - to give you an idea of the level, length and themes of the material we use in our practice interviews. However, should you wish to use this material in the practice interviews you deliver, just let us know so we can make sure returning students haven't seen it before!

Meet one of our VOLUNTEER INTERVIEWERS: Rachael

I am currently a DPhil student at the University of Oxford, having completed a MPhil in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies (University of Oxford) and a BA in Study of Religions and History (SOAS).

I've volunteered with OxFizz as a Mock Interviewer, and do so to fundraise for Branch Up, a student-run charity that tackles extra-curricular disadvantage in and around Oxford.

I also believe Oxbridge should be an entitlement for all students, and I feel that volunteering at OxFizz is a way of aiding that.