Lions and chrysanthemums

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies

  • Director of Studies Dr Nuri Kim
  • Faculty Website

This is a broad-ranging course that includes the opportunity to study the language, culture, history and politics of your chosen subject.

Diasporic Brush by Fiona Gilsenan

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at ҹѰ

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) covers the major languages and civilisations of Asia, from the Middle East (Arabic, Persian and Hebrew) to the Far East (Japanese and Chinese). Intensive language training provides a key to discovering these exciting cultures.

Students for AMES follow one of three pathways

  • East Asian Studies: Students choose either Chinese or Japanese language.
  • Middle Eastern Studies: Students choose either Arabic, Hebrew or Persian as a single subject or a combination of two of these languages.
  • Middle Eastern Studies with a modern language: Students choose either Arabic, Hebrew or Persian in combination with one language offered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages (MML).

Students studying AMES attain a high level of competence in the language and a thorough grounding in the culture of the area(s) studied.

All the courses in AMES are four-year courses including a year abroad. The whole third year of the four-year course is spent abroad in a relevant country to improve fluency in the chosen language and knowledge of the culture.

You can find further information about studying AMES on the University's course . Detailed information is also available on the Faculty's Prospective Undergraduates .

Lee Seng Tee Library

What are we looking for?

All languages are taught from scratch. Our courses may not be suitable for people who already have a thorough knowledge of the language in both its spoken and written forms. However, this should in no way discourage potential applicants from spending some time in the relevant country, and/or learning some of the language.

Candidates will need a clear head for grammar, the recognition of linguistic patterns and the learning of vocabulary. Although an experience of language learning is extremely useful, several students have excelled in this Tripos despite differing backgrounds.

Apart from language learning, all available subjects involve writing essays on a wide range of topics. An independent approach for learning together with evidence of wide reading will be expected. Enthusiasm is also essential, as is the ability to work in small groups.

Entry Requirements

No particular subjects at A level (or equivalent) are required for the AMES course. A language at A level is not essential, however, we do look for evidence of ability to learn languages, since this is such a central part of our courses. Please consult the University's for further information.


Applications to study AMES at ҹѰ are submitted through UCAS. The College additionally requires the submission of a separate written assessment and an online interview, as detailed below.

Written Work

No written work submission is required.


Applicants wishing to study a European language will also sit a written assessment around the time of the interview. Further information about the written assessment can be found on our applying page.


Shortlisted candidates will be invited to be interviewed in December (or late March for those who apply in the March round). There will be one or two interviews (in total lasting 40-50 minutes) which will be conducted online via Zoom.

For more information about making an application, please visit our application webpages

You can also find useful information on our Application FAQs page.