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History & Archaeology×

University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Ancient History

We have 4 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Ancient History

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The MRes Ancient History programme will enhance your skills as an ancient historian. . Read more

The MRes Ancient History programme will enhance your skills as an ancient historian. 

You will undertake training in key fields such as classical languages or historiography, which will equip you with the essential skills for your Greek or Roman History research project in any period from Archaic Greece to Imperial Rome and its provinces. You will also have the opportunity to choose modules from across the MA Antiquity syllabus which are complementary to your research. 

Times Higher Education ranked us among the top five departments of Classics in the country for our performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

Your 20,000 word thesis will be on an aspect of Greek or Roman history, culture or society.

It will be supervised by a specialist in the area of your work. A research skills training module equips you for your thesis with a range of specialised and generic skills, including textual criticism, document handling, literary theory, information resources, thesis presentation and bibliographical management.

Many students also opt to take training in classical languages but you may choose to take modules from the MA Antiquity syllabus, which allows for interdisciplinary study of the ancient world and includes modules on historiography and ancient societies. We also offer the opportunity to take modules from other related postgraduate programmes, such as Byzantine Studies.

Typically, applicants will have a degree in some area of ancient historical, archaeological, historical or classical studies, and we recommend that you discuss your proposed research with a potential supervisor before applying - see the full range of academic research interests of individual staff.

This programme offers a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of ancient history by combining a substantial thesis with research training and taught elements through your taught modules. It can lead to doctoral research, but also provides the chance to undertake scholarly research as enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

Learning and teaching

Although your focus will be on an aspect of the cultures, history and societies of the Greek and Roman world the Ancient History grouping at Birmingham is part of one of the few university departments in the UK that draws together the study of Greece and Rome with Egypt and the Near East, antiquity with Byzantium, and allows you to use historical approaches alongside those from classics and archaeology.

You will therefore be able to draw on a wide range of academic expertise in the history, culture, and languages of the ancient world

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AC archaeology; University of Birmingham; National Trust; and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.



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This programme offers you the opportunity to research one of the aspects of the fragmentation of the Roman World and its transformation into a myriad of new states as the result of internal pressures and barbarian invasion in the period AD 300–700. Read more

This programme offers you the opportunity to research one of the aspects of the fragmentation of the Roman World and its transformation into a myriad of new states as the result of internal pressures and barbarian invasion in the period AD 300–700.

The taught elements examine major debates about the period, tackling historical, textual, archaeological and art historical material as an essential foundation for your research topic.

Times Higher Education ranked us among the top five departments of Classics in the country for our performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

The MRes consists of 60 credits of taught modules and 120 credits achieved through a 20,000 word supervised research thesis on a topic of your choice in the late antique world. You should talk to a potential supervisor about this project before making your application.

Your taught modules would usually include Research Skills to support you with the thesis. You will then choose two ptions from a range of modules taught by the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology or the Department of History depending on your interests and research needs.

Learning and teaching

The MRes in Late Antiquity is taught by a large concentration of staff approaching the late antique world from a range of perspectives – archaeological, art historical, historical, philosophical and literary.

Staff within the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, work particularly on late antique North Africa and Augustine of Hippo, Britain and the western provinces, the Balkans and the East Roman/Byzantine empire. Relevant colleagues in the Department of History work on early Islam and on Scandinavia.

You will benefit from the large postgraduate community in the Department who work on all aspects of the ancient and late antique worlds. There is a particular concentration of students who work on the Byzantine period.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AC archaeology; University of Birmingham; National Trust; and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.



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This programme offers a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of classical antiquity by combining a substantial (20,000 words) research thesis with research training and taught elements. Read more

This programme offers a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of classical antiquity by combining a substantial (20,000 words) research thesis with research training and taught elements.

It can lead to doctoral research, but also provides the chance to undertake scholarly research as an enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

Times Higher Education ranked us among the top five departments of Classics in the country for our performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

A research skills training module equips you with a range of specialised and generic skills, including textual criticism, document handling, literary theory, information resources, thesis presentation and bibliographical management.

Many students also opt to take further training in classical languages.

In addition, you may choose modules from the MA Antiquity syllabus, which allows for interdisciplinary study of the ancient world. We also offer the opportunity to take modules from other related postgraduate programmes, such as Byzantine Studies.

Typically, applicants will have a degree in some area of classical or ancient historical studies, and we recommend that you discuss your proposed research with a potential supervisor before applying - see the full range of academic research interests of individual staff.

Learning and teaching

Classics and Ancient History at Birmingham is one of the few university departments in the UK that draws together the study of Greece and Rome with Egypt and the Near East.

You will be able to draw on a wide range of academic expertise in the history, culture, and languages of the ancient world.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AC archaeology; University of Birmingham; National Trust; and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.



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The Antiquity MA. Byzantine Studies pathway allows you to study the political, cultural, social economic and literary history of the Byzantine Empire. Read more

The Antiquity MA: Byzantine Studies pathway allows you to study the political, cultural, social economic and literary history of the Byzantine Empire.

This programme offers an ideal opportunity to pursue your interests in greater depth and also provides an ideal foundation for further research at doctoral level. This is one of several pathways available on the Antiquity MA.

Times Higher Education ranked us among the top five departments of Classics in the country for our performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.

Course details

This is the degree for you if you enjoyed studying the ancient world as an undergraduate, and would now like to study Byzantine Studies in greater depth and at a higher level; or if you want to explore this aspect of antiquity and it wasn’t included in your first degree.

It allows you to specialise, but also encourages you to branch out into related disciplines and to consider interdisciplinary approaches.

You will choose two core language modules, at least one which should be Greek, from a range of which includes:

  • Beginners' Greek
  • Beginners' Latin
  • Advanced Greek
  • Advanced Latin
  • Modern Languages

You will also study a third core module: Methodologies in Byzantine Studies.

You will also choose three optional modules, at least two of which should relate to Byzantine Studies. Options available may include:

  • Aspects of Byzantine History: Byzantine Society
  • Byzantine Archaeology and Material Culture
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Coins and the Economy
  • The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East

Full module descriptions are available below.

Assessment 

Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, other than language modules which may be assessed by examination. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures and seminars. You will also receive one-to-one supervision to support you in the development of your dissertation.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies

Graduates with a postgraduate degree in Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. Many graduates have gone on to pursue academic posts at institutions such as Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University), University of Birmingham and University of Warwick.

Over the past five years, 91% of MA Antiquity postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. 



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