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Course content

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.

Programme structure

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 one compulsory course and select a further three skills courses and an additional two options from a wide range on offer, followed by a dissertation.

The compulsory course is:

  • Skills and Methods in Classics

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Classical Greek Sculpture
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium BC
  • The Hellenistic City
  • A Period of Ancient History 1
  • A Period of Ancient History 2
  • Byzantine Text Seminar 1
  • A Topic in Late Antique and Byzantine History 1

Learning outcomes

The programme aims to:

  • provide students with the intellectual background, training and support necessary for the conduct and critical assessment of research in Classical Art and Archaeology
  • provide students with advanced knowledge of and competency in a specific area of Classics
  • familiarise students with various methods used in the study of Classical Art and Archaeology and enable them to work in a manner that is theoretically and methodologically engaged
  • equip students with knowledge of Greek and/or Roman artefacts and their interpretation through study of original objects and monuments and careful analysis of secondary literature
  • develop and test the ability of students to formulate and sustain a substantial piece of research in Classical Art and Archaeology

Career opportunities

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 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).


Visit the Classical Art and Archaeology (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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