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Course content

If you are seeking to further your undergraduate qualification, conducting research into or wanting to specialise in the history of the ancient Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds, then this programme offers you the perfect opportunity to do just that. Covering the historical period from Classical Athens to Christian Byzantium, we offer courses which allow you to examine many aspects of the Ancient History of Greece, Rome and the Near East. Our Ancient History MA also provides postgraduates with the ideal foundation for conducting further research at doctoral level.

Organised on an intercollegiate basis, this MA programme is jointly run with King’s College London and University College London to enable you to take full advantage of the teaching expertise of all three participating colleges. This tri-collegiate approach offers up an unparalleled range of modules to study: postgraduate units cover Greek and Latin literature and ancient philosophy, as well as key technical skills such as papyrology, epigraphy, and palaeography. 

Our Classics department has an excellent track record in producing publications that advance the understanding of the ancient world. A thriving and internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching, the department is home to two College Research Centres - Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome (CRGR) and the Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric (COR). Research in the department covers the whole range of Classical Studies, from Homeric Greece to the very end of the Roman Empire with particular interests in language, literature, history, ancient philosophy as well as Greek and Roman archaeology.

In teaching Ancient History, we are particularly well equipped to supervise dissertations on: the history of Greek law, Athenian political and social history, the Roman army, ancient shipping and shipsheds, ancient urbanism, the economic, political and social history of Rome and both Greek and Latin.

A global leader in Masters provision, Royal Holloway gives you the opportunity to take part in one of the most extensive programmes of research seminars and training programmes offered by any institution. During your time with us you will be under the careful supervision of our academic staff with access to not only the Royal Holloway library but also the word-class resources of: the Institute of Classical Studies, the Warburg Institute, the British Library, Senate House Library, and other specialised libraries in the School of Advanced Study. 

Course structure

Core modules

  • Sources and Methods in Ancient History
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

A total of 40 credits of any type (including Ancient History) from a list of available MA courses.

A total of 40 credits chosen from a list of available MA Ancient History courses.

Teaching & assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation. 

Your future career

Graduates of classical degrees have much to offer potential employers having developed a range of transferable skills, both practical and theoretical, whilst studying with us. With up to 90% of our most recent graduates now working or in further study, according to the Complete University Guide 2015, it’s true to say our graduates are highly employable.

In recent years, PhD graduates, many of whom have progressed from our MA courses, have taken up academic positions at Oxford, Bristol and Roehampton Universities. Outside of academia, our graduates have embarked on teaching careers in the UK and overseas, undertaken archaeological and museum work and pursued careers in journalism, finance, politics and the arts.


Visit the Ancient History - MA page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

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