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Subjects

Some of the subjects learned in Hogwarts; the Bat represents Defence Against the Dark Arts, the wand represents Charms, the mortar and pestle represents Potions and the cat represents Transfiguration

There are a variety of classes taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These include both the core curriculum and the electives, available from third year forward. In the fifth year, students take the Ordinary Wizarding Level (O.W.L.) exams to determine whether they can achieve a score high enough to continue to N.E.W.T.-level (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test) for the class in the remaining two years. Some classes, including the core classes, may be dropped in sixth year. Specialised classes such as Alchemy become available in sixth year provided there is sufficient demand.

Even though students cannot apply for Time-Turners to take more classes than are able to fit in the timetables, a student's head of house may suggest a Time-Turner to an individual on very rare occasions. All students do, however, have a choice to drop a course if they become a burden (aside from the essential classes).

Overview

All first-years at Hogwarts must take seven core subjects: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy and Herbology. Flying lessons (on broomsticks) are also compulsory. Flying is the only one of these that is dropped upon entry into second year.

At the end of their second year at Hogwarts, students are required to choose a minimum of two additional subjects from the following list: Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures.[1] Students cannot elect to drop any of the core subjects at this time, but they may choose to drop an elective if it becomes a burden.

OWLS 1996

1996 Charms theoretical O.W.L. examination

During fifth year students have an appointment with their head of house to discuss which job they would like to go into, the teacher will recommend any specific subjects for N.E.W.T. level required for this job, taking into account predicted O.W.L. grades based on current performance. The teacher may recommend subjects based on the student's current grades if the student is unsure of what job they would like. These students make provisional choices for N.E.W.T.s at this time and their choices are confirmed or rejected depending on their achieved O.W.L grades or the demand.

During sixth year, students advance to N.E.W.T.-level classes, based on the individuals O.W.L. scores for a certain subject. Course work during this year is much more advanced than it was previously. The majority of students' time is spent studying and trying to cope with the vast amounts of homework they are being given. Students in the sixth year may also elect to take part in Apparition lessons for a fee of twelve Galleons.

The seventh year is the final year of magical education and at the end of the year, students take the exam for their N.E.W.T. subjects that were chosen in sixth year and must carry through to the seventh.

Very specialised subjects such as Alchemy are offered in the final two years, but will only be provided if there is sufficient demand.[1] It's unknown whether the student will need any grades from another subject to take the subjects, or whether it's open to anyone to try. There may be a N.E.W.T. exam for these subjects too.

Certain subjects may be abolished for certain reasons. Albus Dumbledore was originally planning to scrapping Divination altogether due to its inaccuracy to most, but he kept the subject as a pretence to protect Sybill Trelawney from the Death Eaters. During the conquered Ministry's regime, Defence Against the Dark Arts was cancelled and replaced with outright Dark Arts, conforming with Lord Voldemort's reign of darkness. Upon the defeat of Voldemort, the Dark Arts class was abolished and the regular Defence class was restored.

Core classes

Astronomy

Main article: Astronomy (class)
Astronomy Tower top

The Astronomy Tower

Astronomy is the only field of study at Hogwarts that has a direct equivalent in the Muggle world. Astronomy classes take place in the Astronomy Tower, the tallest tower in Hogwarts, and are taught by Professor Aurora Sinistra. Lessons involve observations of the night skies with telescopes. Lessons are held every week at midnight, and first years have lessons on Wednesday. Known student homework activities include learning the names of stars, constellations and planets, and their location, movements, and environments.

Charms

Main article: Charms (class)
CharmsClassroom

1991 first year Charms lesson, taught by Filius Flitwick

Charms is the type of spells concerned with giving an object new and unexpected properties, and hence this class mainly consists on learning those sorts of spells. Charms classes are described as notoriously noisy and chaotic, as the lessons are largely practical. Many of the exposition sequences in the books are set in Charms classes, which are on the second floor of Hogwarts.

Dark Arts (core in 1997–1998 only)

Main article: Dark Arts (class)

Dark Arts only became a subject and mandatory for all students during the 1997–1998 school year. It replaced Defence Against the Dark Arts that school year.

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson

1994 fourth year DADA lesson, taught by Alastor Moody

Defence Against the Dark Arts, commonly shortened to D.A.D.A., is the class that teaches students defensive techniques to defend against the Dark Arts, and to be protected from Dark creatures.

The subject has an extraordinarily high turnover of staff members — throughout Harry Potter's time at Hogwarts, no Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher has remained at Hogwarts for more than one school year. These included Quirinus Quirrell, Gilderoy Lockhart, Remus Lupin, Bartemius Crouch Jr impersonating Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Dolores Umbridge, Severus Snape, and Amycus Carrow. Hagrid suggested that "They're startin' ter think the job's jinxed. No one's lasted long for a while now." Dumbledore suggested that Voldemort cursed the position because his application for it was rejected. The position had also been coveted by Snape, but he was denied the position as well. Snape was finally appointed D.A.D.A. professor in 1996. After the end of the Second Wizarding War, the jinx on the position was lifted. Harry Potter would occasionally come to the class to give lectures on the subject.

Flying

Main article: Flying (class)
Flying class in 1991

1991 first year flying lesson, taught by Rolanda Hooch

Flying is the class that teaches the use of broomsticks made for the use of flying and is taught only to Hogwarts first years[citation needed] by Rolanda Hooch. The subject is the only one that requires physicality.

Herbology

Main article: Herbology
1992 Herbology

1993 second year Herbology lesson, taught by Pomona Sprout

Herbology is the study of magical plants and how to take care of, utilise and combat them. There are at least three greenhouses, holding a variety of magical plants of varying degrees of lethality. Herbology is also the subject Neville Longbottom excels in. He later replaces Professor Sprout as the Herbology teacher.

History of Magic

Main article: History of Magic
HistoryofMagic

1992 second year History of Magic lesson, taught by Cuthbert Binns

History of Magic is the study of magical history. Cuthbert Binns' lessons are depicted as some of the most boring at Hogwarts. They are only lectures, given without pause, about significant events in wizarding history. Topics have included Goblin Rebellions, Giant wars, and the origins of wizarding secrecy. This is the only class at Hogwarts that is taught by a ghost, as the professor never noticed he had died and simply continued teaching as if nothing had changed.

Potions

Main article: Potions (class)
Potions

1991 first year Potions lesson, taught by Severus Snape

Potions is described as the art of creating mixtures with magical effects. It requires the correct mixing and stirring of ingredients at the right times and temperatures. Snape's lessons are depicted as unhappy, oppressing times set in a gloomy dungeon in the basement of the castle, whilst Horace Slughorn's, who replaces Severus Snape as Potions Master, is shown as more cheerful and even fun at times.

Transfiguration

Transfiguration class1

1992 second year Transfiguration lesson, taught by Minerva McGonagall

Transfiguration is the art of changing the form or appearance of an object, and hence this is what this class teaches. Transfiguration is a theory-based subject, including topics such as "Switching Spells" (altering only a part of some object, such as giving a human rabbit's ears); Vanishing Spells (causing an object to completely disappear); and Conjuring Spells (creating objects out of thin air). It is possible to change inanimate objects into animate ones and vice versa — Minerva McGonagall, the class's teacher, transfigures her desk into a pig.

Electives

Third years and up

Arithmancy

Main article: Arithmancy (class)

Arithmancy is a branch of magic concerned with the magical properties of numbers. It is a favourite subject of Hermione Granger. Arithmancy is reportedly difficult, as it requires memorising or working with many charts. It is also an elective course, that can be taken by students third year and above. The subject is taught by Professor Septima Vector. It is separated into normal Arithmancy and Advanced Arithmancy Studies

Care of Magical Creatures

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1995 fifth year Care of Magical Creatures lesson, taught by Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank

Care of Magical Creatures is the class which instructs students on how to care for magical beasts. Classes are held outside the castle. In Harry's first two years, the class is taken by Professor Silvanus Kettleburn who then retires "in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs". Dumbledore then recruits the gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid to accept a teaching position along with his gamekeeping duties. Although Hagrid is obviously very experienced and knowledgeable, he consistently misjudges the risk that the animals he uses in his lessons pose to his students, which sometimes results in chaos. When Hagrid is absent, his lessons are taken over by Professor Grubbly-Plank, a witch and acquaintance of Dumbledore's.

Divination

Main article: Divination (class)
Third year Divination

1993 third year Divination lesson, taught by Sybill Trelawney

Divination is the art of predicting the future. Various methods are described, including tea leaves, Fire-omens, Crystal balls, Palmistry, Cartomancy (including the reading of conventional playing cards and the tarot), astrology, and Dream interpretations. Divination is described by Professor McGonagall as "one of the most imprecise branches of magic". Supporters of the subject claim that it is an inexact science that requires innate gifts like the "Inner Eye". Those opposed claim that the subject is irrelevant and fraudulent. Harry is first taught Divination by Professor Trelawney, and then later by Firenze after Trelawney is sacked by Dolores Umbridge in Harry's fifth year. In the sixth (and presumably seventh) year, Firenze and Professor Trelawney teach Divination.

Muggle Studies (core in 1997–1998 only)

Main article: Muggle Studies

Muggle Studies is a class taught by Charity Burbage which involves the study of the Muggle (non-magical) culture "from a wizarding point of view." It also includes Muggle Art and Muggle Music.[citation needed] The only need for witches and wizards to learn about Muggle ways and means is to ensure they can blend in with Muggles while needing to do so (for example, at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup). As the class is only mentioned as being taken by Hermione, and for just one year, little is known about its curriculum.

Voldemort murdered Professor Charity Burbage because she portrays Muggles in a positive light and is opposed to limiting wizardry to only people of pure-blood origins. For the rest of that academic year, Alecto Carrow, a Death Eater, teaches Muggle Studies. However, her lessons (which are made compulsory) mainly describe Muggles and Muggle-borns as subhuman and worthy of persecution.

Study of Ancient Runes

The Study of Ancient Runes is a general theoretical subject that studies ancient runic scripts. It is taught by Professor Bathsheda Babbling (c. 1991-?). It is an elective course, that can be taken by students third year and above.

Sixth and seventh year

Advanced Arithmancy Studies

Alchemy

Main article: Alchemy (class)

Alchemy is a sort of composite subject between Transfiguration, Potions and Muggle Chemistry, focused roughly on the transmutation of substances into other forms. It is an elective, only offered to NEWT level students if the demand is sufficient.

Ancient Studies

Main article: Ancient Studies

Apparition

Main article: Apparition (class)
Apparition class, B6C18M1

1997 Sixth year lesson on Apparition, taught by Wilkie Twycross

Apparition is the magical form of teleportation in the wizarding world. Lessons are optional to those in the sixth and seventh years. In the wizarding world, performing Apparition requires a licence and may only be legally performed by people over seventeen years of age. The described reason for the restriction is that Apparition is dangerous if done improperly: insufficient concentration may lead to body parts being left behind in an unfortunate side-effect known as splinching. Although, as Hermione points out innumerable times throughout the series, magical enchantments on Hogwarts Castle and grounds prevent Apparition and Disapparition inside the castle, these protections are temporarily relaxed within the Great Hall for short periods to permit students to practise Apparition. Wilkie Twycross, a Ministry of Magic Apparition Instructor, offers lessons in Apparition to sixth-years.

Extra-curricular subjects

Art

Main article: Art

Art is a class where students paint, draw, and otherwise, depict artistic things (presumably controlling the paint and pencils with either a spell that repeats the same thing over and over or a spell that stands upright over the paper or canvas and draws in the direction that the wand moves).[citation needed]

Frog Choir

Main article: Frog Choir

Ghoul Studies

Main article: Ghoul Studies

It is assumed that students learn about ghouls like poltergeists, vampires, Veela, etc. and how to defend themselves from these creatures.

Magical Theory

A subject taught to at least first years.[citation needed] It is taught in Class 67 on the fourth floor of Hogwarts Castle. It presumably covers magic from a purely theoretical view, and Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling may be a required textbook.

Muggle Art

Main article: Muggle Art

Muggle Art is a class where students paint, draw, and otherwise depict artistic things.

Muggle Music

Main article: Muggle Music

Music

Main article: Music

Music is a class in which students are taught musical instruments and possibly sing in the Frog Choir. It was taught, in the early 1990s, by a male professor.

Orchestra

Main article: Hogwarts orchestra

Xylomancy

Main article: Xylomancy (class)

Appearances

Notes and references