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Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

  • Number of students per year: up to two
  • Typical offer: A*AA or equivalent
  • Essential subjects: none
  • Useful subjects: Language, Literature, History, Anthropology, Politics in particular, but any other subjects at A-Level or equivalent are welcome.

In Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) at Jesus College, we pay close attention to the specific needs and interests of individual students. 

We have one resident Fellow whose primary interests are in the languages, cultures, and literatures of the modern Middle East: Yaron Peleg, a specialist in modern Hebrew Studies.

We encourage our students to develop their own interests within a supportive and challenging intellectual environment. For instance, at our termly Language and Linguistics Forum we discuss a research topic over food and drinks. In this way, our undergraduates have the chance to broaden their horizons and develop independence of thought and pleasure in intellectual debate, while postgraduates get an opportunity to hone their presentation skills and get feedback.

Undergraduates and postgraduates also meet at various social events, and postgraduates often help out with undergraduate teaching.

Our graduates find employment in a wide range of professions because they develop a variety of skills that are very popular with prospective employers, like specific language skills (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, and Persian) and various analytical skills.

Recent graduates have gone into management and economic consultancy, finance, diplomatic service, language teaching, and academia. We're also very pleased to be able to welcome some of our graduates back as postgraduate students.

Find out more on the University webpage.


Our typical offer is for an A* and two A grades at A-Level or equivalent. The main requirement for studying Asian and Middle Eastern languages and cultures is that you are curious about cultures different from your own and the world at large. AMES is an interdisciplinary course, so there are no specific subjects you need to have studied. 

However, some subjects that could help to prepare you for AMES are those that include some formal study of language, as well as literature, and history, since they can help you to develop the necessary logical thinking and critical analysis skills.


No specialist knowledge is needed, but we expect you to have explored your interest in the subject to some degree. The most obvious way to do this is through reading, but you might also have begun studying your target language, or taken part in activities like the model United Nations conference.

Written assessment

There is currently no written assessment for applicants for Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES).

Applicants wishing to combine AMES with a modern European Language (from the MML course) will be required to sit the MML at interview written assessment in addition to the AMES pre interview written assessment. 

You won't need any specific preparation or previous knowledge, the aim is to assess your common sense, curiosity, and willingness and ability to engage with unfamiliar topics. Find out more on the University undergraduate AMES pages.


In light of Covid we are currently reviewing whether we shall be holding virtual or College-based interviews and will provide further details in the future.

In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff, all 2020 interviews were held online. A typical virtual interview for Asian and Middle Eastern Studies usually consists of two 20-30 minute online interviews with the Director of Studies for AMES and subject specialists. The interviews aim to assess your intellectual ability, enthusiasm, and commitment to the subject. They usually include some exercises designed to assess your ability to think creatively and logically about language and literature, but you're not expected to have previous knowledge of the subject. However, this format may change depending on government guidelines for 2021.

There is the possibility that interviews this year could take place in College or virtually once more. We will provide further details as soon as we are able.

Written work

You don't need to submit any written work with your application.

Deferred or post A-Level entry

We're happy to consider applications for either immediate or deferred entry. We're happy to consider post A-Level applications from anyone who has achieved an A* and two A grades, or equivalent, including mature students.

Find out how to apply to study at Jesus.


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