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Course Content

Course content

Our Classical Art and Archaeology postgraduate course is designed for those who want to further their understanding of the classical world through the advanced study of the art and archaeology of the Greeks and Romans. This MA programme studies the Classical world through the art and every-day items the ancients left behind. It draws upon the expertise of several members of the department who have research interests in the art and archaeology of the Near East, Roman Britain, Rome and Italy as well as the architecture of Classical Greece.

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 Classical Art and Archaeology we are particularly well equipped to supervise dissertations on: Greek architecture, quantitative methods in archaeology, ancient water systems and management, the Roman Near East, the city of Rome, Greek architecture, the archaeology of the Roman Empire, and ancient shipping and shipsheds.

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. You will also benefit from access to the world renowned collections of the Museum of London and the British Museum.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Research Training in Classical Archaeology
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • Who Owns the Roman Past? 
  • The Archaeology of Water
  • Greek Law and Lawcourts
  • Latin Epigraphy
  • Advanced Latin A
  • Advanced Latin B

Teaching & assessment

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

Taught modules will normally be completed by the end of the second term, with the dissertation occupying the summer.

The Research Training in Classics module is not assessed, but attendance is compulsory.

Part time students will take two taught modules in their first year, and a third taught module plus dissertation in their second year. Each of these elements will normally be examined in the year in which it is taken.

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 programmes, 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 Classical Art and Archaeology - MA page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

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