This programme introduces the main fields, topics and research methods in ancient philosophy. It is appropriate for applicants who have previously studied philosophy and classics, or have backgrounds in history, political theory, science and literature. The programme is appropriate for applicants who have previously studied philosophy and classics, as well as those with backgrounds in history, political theory, science and literature.
The degree provides a necessary preparation for further postgraduate research towards a doctoral degree or an academic background to a professional career outside academia.
You will be exposed to the main doctrines and texts of ancient philosophy – including Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy and Late Antiquity – mastering analytical skills pertaining to philosophical arguments and to historical (textual) sources.
You will develop the ability to reconstruct, analyse and critically assess philosophical arguments and doctrines based on a careful study of the texts.
You study two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation.
Option courses may include:
Other option courses can be chosen from outside Philosophy and Classics with permission from the Programme Director.
You are encouraged to take at least one course outside the ‘ancient’ curriculum, such as:
You will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the main broad areas of ancient philosophy (Pre-Socratics, High Classics (Plato and Aristotle), Hellenistic philosophy, Late Antiquity) and medieval philosophy, specific types of philosophical thought (idealism, corporealism, naturalism, rationalism, skepticism) in their historical context.
An important goal of the programme is to develop the ability to reconstruct, analyse and critically assess philosophical arguments and doctrines on the basis of a careful study of the text.
For those planning to go on to a PhD in Ancient Philosophy, there will be an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of classical languages by studying the course texts in the original language. Up to 40 credits in ancient Greek, Latin or Arabic can be taken at introductory, intermediate or advanced level.
This programme aims to improve your analytical skills and give you a solid background in core areas of humanities useful for careers in professional fields such as law, education or public policy.
This programme will give you the opportunity to study specific periods and regions of classical civilisation, analyse the literary significance of texts, and develop your language skills in Greek and Latin.
Drawing on the diverse interests of our academic staff (which number more than 20 in this area), the programme content is highly flexible, allowing you to choose a specialised path or a more interdisciplinary approach. We have specialists in the central areas of Greek and Latin literature and thought, Greek and Roman history, and Classical art and archaeology. We also take a broad view of the discipline with, for example, expertise in late antiquity, and reception history.
We provide opportunities for you to hear from distinguished speakers in the weekly classics research seminar series and to share your research with your peers at the classics graduate seminar.
Studying Classics in Edinburgh is the perfect marriage; known as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh is a stunningly beautiful city with a worldwide reputation as a cultural and academic capital.
The modular structure of the programme allows you to concentrate on areas of particular interest while still providing breadth of coverage. Your required course in classics research methods and skills equips you with the independent skills you need to complete your dissertation. In addition, you will choose five courses from a list of options.
The compulsory course is:
Option courses previously offered include:
Students who follow this programme will gain:
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the programme as preparation for a PhD.
The programme provides a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work. This programme can form the stepping stone to many career options, such as further academic research, museum and art curation, literary translation or analysis, education or public heritage. Recent graduates in Classics are now putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers and conference coordinators for a range of employers including the RSPB.