-Study at one of the largest and liveliest classical world education centres in the UK
-Work with a strong research community, supported by excellent resources
-Opportunities to begin or continue your study of Ancient Greek or Latin
The MA in Classics and Ancient History is extremely flexible and wide-ranging. In this it reflects the broad, multidisciplinary nature of the subject, which includes Latin and Greek language, the history of Greek and Roman antiquity from archaic times to the beginning of the Middle Ages, and Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and culture. The MA is designed to introduce students to advanced study in their chosen field and to equip them with the skills required for doctoral research. The programme and most modules within it allow students to tailor their advanced study and research-preparation to their interests, needs and existing knowledge. Apart from the thesis, the only compulsory unit is that devoted to research training. We also expect all students to study Latin and/or Greek as part of their MA. (No existing knowledge of Latin or Greek is required, and we are very well-equipped to support students beginning their study of either language; it is also possible to study one or both languages at more Advanced levels). Apart from these requirements, students are able to choose freely in constructing an MA course which best suits their interests and skills.
In addition, we offer one specialist route through the MA programme: namely the 'City of Rome' route. This route involves taking a course unit at the British School at Rome, for which students prepare by studying a course on Roman social and urban history.
On successful completion of the MA in Classics and Ancient History, students will:
i. Demonstrate the enhancement of previously acquired skills at a more critical, reflective, and sophisticated level, especially skills involving synthesising information from a variety of sources, historical and/or literary interpretation, exercising independent and critical judgement.
ii. Understand and respect the `otherness' of the past by developing specialist knowledge about one or more aspect of Graeco-Roman civilisation.
iii. Be able to describe, analyse, and assess ancient sources, including (as appropriate) literary, non-literary, visual, and material evidence.
iv. Be able to design and complete a substantial piece of independent research.
v. Work effectively as autonomous scholars.
vi. Be able to understand complex problems and communicate them clearly in oral and written form, with the help, where appropriate, of visual or graphic aids.
Coursework and assessment
The MA in Classics & Ancient History is made up of a taught element (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). Taught units are usually assessed by extended essay, but assessment might also include oral presentations, conference posters, commentary exercises and (particularly for language units) formal examinations.
In more detail, the structure of the course is as follows:
Research training . Our core course, 'Studying the Ancient World: Techniques and Approaches', introduces you to the key research questions and methods involved in advanced study of the discipline and, in the second semester, gives you experience in developing and presenting your own research project.
Language units. If you are a beginner, you will take one of our specially-designed `intensive' courses in Latin or Greek, which will put you in a position to start reading ancient texts in the original language before the end of your MA. If you have already studied Greek or Latin, you will continue your study of one or both languages at an appropriate level. If you are already at a very advanced stage in both languages you will take a specially-designed course unit which allows you further to develop your language skills in an area related to your research interests (for example: palaeography; papyrology; textual criticism; epigraphy).
Taught course-units . The remainder of your taught credits are selected from a range of taught units, chosen from a menu covering a range of topics in Greek and Roman history, literature, and culture. Most taught units are worth 15 credits, and usually involve 11 `classroom' hours, consisting of both student-led and tutor-led discussion, supported by additional guidance and planning sessions.
It is possible for one of these units to be an approved unit from another subject area (for example, History or Archaeology), or a Directed Reading course, in which you are free to pursue whatever avenue is of interest to you, by negotiation with a tutor and with the Postgraduate Programme Director. The usual pattern for a Directed Reading course is 6 to 8 hours of contact time, which may be individual or in a small group, or a mixture of the two.
A dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words: 60 credits.
This non-vocational Masters degree teaches and develops a wealth of transferable skills, and thus enables students to keep open a very wide range of career options. Recent graduates have gone on to vocational MAs (e.g. in Gallery & Museum Studies), to PhDs in Classics or Ancient History, to teaching, to contract researching, or to work in local or central government, commerce or industry.