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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 a compulsory course, five option courses and a 15,000 word dissertation.

The compulsory course is:

  • Skills and Methods in Classics

Option courses previously available include:

  • Early Greek Art;
  • Classical Greek Sculpture;
  • Greek Vase Painting;
  • The Topography and Monuments of Athens and Attika;
  • Hellenistic Art and Archaeology;
  • The Hellenistic City;
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy;
  • Roman Funerary Art;
  • Roman Imperial Monuments;
  • Roman Archaeology;
  • Constantinople, the City of a World’s Desire 300–600;
  • Late Antique Visual Culture;
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The Archaeology of the Byzantine
  • Empire and its Neighbours AD 600–1000;
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000–300 BC;
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus;
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece.

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 RSPB.


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

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