This Master's degree is devoted to the advanced study of the archaeological, historical and cultural legacies of ancient Greece and Rome within their broader Mediterranean contexts. It will provide you with the skills required to retrieve and evaluate archaeological evidence and use the material culture of the classical period to enhance your understanding of ancient societies. This programme is ideal for anybody interested in the archaeology and history of the classical past who is preparing for doctoral or professional research, or specialist work in heritage management.
The programme starts with an exploration of the broad themes of classical archaeology, including methodological and interpretative approaches to the material past. While grounding you in theoretical approaches, the degree will also develop your practical skills with an optional fieldwork module that covers major techniques and approaches to excavation. Another focus is the contemporary debates on the reception and interpretation of classical history and culture, particularly the meanings that have been attached to antiquities. You will also develop a critical understanding of archaeological research that will enable you to go on to complete a dissertation on a subject of particular interest to you and, if you wish, pursue archaeological research at MPhil/PhD level, professionally or independently.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings. This Master’s degree will allow you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you. We maintain close links with key institutions concerned with the study and conservation of classical cultural remains. We are located 5 minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Classical Studies and the Institute of Historical Research, the Institute of Archaeology and the Warburg Institute are all located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus. All 4 institutes have internationally renowned library collections and run seminars you can attend. Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is ranked in the top 20 nationally and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research. Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, delivering stimulating teaching. You will be taught by specialists engaged in cutting-edge research in the archaeology, history and culture of the ancient Mediterranean. The department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.
Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked 6th in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.