Ancient History (MA)
The MA in Ancient History allows students to explore the history, society and culture of the Greek and Roman world from Archaic Greece to Late Antiquity, through a combination of taught modules and individual research.
The MA in Ancient History is designed to be flexible, enabling students to pursue their own interests whilst gaining a solid foundation of research skills. We offer a range of seminar-based modules that explore major themes and approaches in the study of the ancient world, and a variety of Special Topics in which the student researches a subject of their choice under the guidance of a supervisor. The MA can serve as a basis for doctoral research, but it also provides transferable skills, which will be valuable for a career in any field.
The taught element of the MA runs from October to May, and combines research training modules, study of an ancient language, and a choice of specialised options (listed below). It is also possible to take a residential course at the British School in Athens or the British School in Rome. During the taught stage of the MA, students lay the foundations for the second part of the course, which is an individual research project, carried out between May and September, leading up to a dissertation of 16,000 words. The course can be taken full-time in one year, or part-time over three years.
Students on the MA select a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:
- 40 credits of core skills modules (Group 1)
- 20 credits of language modules (Group 2)
- 60 credits of option modules selected by the student (Group 3)
- 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff)
Group 1: Core modules
HST900 Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
HST002 Themes and Approaches in Ancient History
Group 2: Language modules
All students take a 20 credit course in either ancient Greek or Latin, tailored to their level of competence (from beginners upwards):
HST022 Postgraduate Latin I
HST023 Postgraduate Latin II
HST024 Postgraduate Greek I
HST025 Postgraduate Greek II
Group 3: Optional modules
HST009 Ancient Warfare
HST017 Understanding Greek Inscriptions
HST018 Gender, Sexuality and Society in Ancient Greece and Rome
HST028 Romanisation of Italy
HST029 Eunuchs of the Empire
HST203 Themes in Classical Archaeology
HST205 Approaches to Ancient Art
HST030 Special Period/Topic Study 1
HST031 Special Period/Topic Study 2
HST033 Special Topic: Ethnicity in the Ancient World
HST036 Special Topic: Aspects of Greek Warfare
HST037 Special Topic: Aspects of the Roman Army
HST038 Special Topic: Julian the Apostate
HST039 Special Topic: Medicine and Society in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
HST204 Special Topic: Domestic Space in Classical Antiquity
RTT315 Special Topic: Magic and Religion in Late Antiquity
RTT134 Religion & Culture in Late Antiquity
RTT140 Religion & Culture in Late Antiquity 2
HST040 The City of Rome (40 credits)
HST206 British School at Athens Skills Training Course
- Flexible programme geared to the student’s interests.
- Training in research skills and methods, theoretical concepts and the techniques of conducting and writing up an independent research project.
- Students can take a course at the British School in Athens or Rome.
In addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical knowledge of their chosen area of ancient history, the MA offers them the chance to acquire and perfect valuable skills that are applicable to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for them to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.
Upon completion of the MA in Ancient History, students will have acquired the following skills:
Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation, and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.
Language skills, including the ability to read and interpret texts in either Latin or ancient Greek.
Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional manner; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.
Information technology skills, including the ability to use electronic resources for ancient historians and classicists; to find, manage and utilise information and data.
Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals, and to adapt to changing circumstances.
Above all, by the end of the MA, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.
The programme is suitable for graduates in ancient history, history, classics, archaeology and related disciplines. We are happy to discuss applications from graduates in related disciplines, especially if applications are from a non-UK institution.
A 1st or 2.1 UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject is normally required.
Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.