This programme studies the ancient Greek and Roman worlds from the Iron Age to the late Roman and early Christian period through their material remains including sculpture, funerary art, topography and visual cultures.
Focusing on the ancient Mediterranean world, broadly defined, you’ll explore not simply the archaeology of Greece and Rome but also the near east and north-western Europe.
Through our interdisciplinary approach, you’ll also be able to work with staff from all areas of the School. Several members of classics have ongoing excavations in Italy, Georgia and Macedonia, which students are welcome to attend.
The programme aims to familiarise you with the various methods used in the study of classics, enabling you to work in a manner that is theoretically and methodologically engaged.
We offer a range of courses, which has been designed to reflect the research interests of our lecturers and help you develop a particular topic of interest for your dissertation.
You will complete a compulsory course, five option courses and a 15,000 word dissertation.
The compulsory course is:
Option courses previously available include:
The programme aims to:
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 Classics graduates are now putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers and conference coordinators for a range of employers including the RSPB.
The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. You’ll analyse contemporary theoretical approaches, hone your skills in current methodologies and take advantage of the specialist fields and periods of study that our staff, and those in history and classics, can offer.
You’ll develop an understanding of specific regions and periods, current theories, methodologies and major research issues, all of which provide the basis for a PhD or future participation in excavation, survey and/or lab work.
Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and expertise and practical advice from staff in commercial companies.
You will complete six courses over the course of the programme, which culminates in the production of your independently researched dissertation.
You will take a compulsory course in Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology.
You will choose five option courses from a list that may include:
Archaeology of Gender
Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
Byzantine Archaeology: The Archaeology of the Byzantine Empire and its Neighbours AD 500–850
Constantinople and the Cities of Asia Minor
Early Farmers of Cyprus and the Near East
Etruscan Italy, 1000–300 BC
From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
Greek Vase Painting
Hellenistic Art and Archaeology
The Hittites: the Archaeology of an Ancient Near Eastern Civilisation
Island Worlds: Prehistoric Societies in the Mediterranean Sea
Late Antique Visual Culture
Roman Funerary Art
Roman Imperial Monuments
The Hellenistic City
You may also be given permission to choose an added course from any of the non-archaeology taught masters programmes that relate to your study
The programme will help you develop potential research interests and explore these with a view to progressing to research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills, including:
a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use
The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career. You will acquire practical as well as academic experience in your training and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.
Examples of career options for archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include working within universities, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, environmental assessment work, schools, the tourist/travel industry, broadcasting, and the police force.