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History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World (MA)

Course Aims

The MA in the History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World is an interdisciplinary programme designed to develop skills in interpreting literary, artistic and archaeological evidence from the ancient world. It is suitable for students who have taken combined undergraduate degrees in Ancient History and Archaeology, and for those who have taken Ancient History, Classics or Archaeology alone and wish to extend the scope of their studies.

Course Description

The MA in the History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World is designed to be flexible, enabling students to pursue their own interests whilst gaining a solid foundation of research skills. 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 20,000 words. The course can be taken full-time in one year, or part-time over three years.

Available Modules

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

HST203   Themes and Approaches in Classical Archaeology

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

HST002   Themes and Approaches in Ancient History

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

HST205   Approaches to Ancient Art

HST511   Iron Age and Archaic Greece

HST533   The Early Celts

HST927   The Archaeology of Death and Commemoration

HST928   Late Roman Society and Culture

HST200   Special Period/Topic Study 1

HST201   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


HST211 Dissertation

Special Features

  • The Cardiff School of History and Archaeology is an ideal place for interdisciplinary study.
  • Training in Research methods and skills, including writing and public speaking.
  • The flexible programme allows students to pursue their special interests.
  • Students can take a course at the British School in Athens or Rome.

Skills Acquired

In addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical knowledge of the historical and archaeological evidence for their chosen area of the ancient world, 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 the History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World, 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.

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.

Language skills, including the ability to read and interpret texts in either Latin or ancient Greek.

Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.

Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; 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.

Entry Requirements

1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject. Suitable for graduates in Ancient History, Classics, Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, combined Ancient History and Archaeology, and other related disciplines.

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.

Contact Information

Dr Ruth Westgate

Position:Senior Lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology
Dr Ruth Westgate
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 76105Extension: 76105

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