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Course content

This programme will give you the opportunity to study specific periods and regions of classical civilisation, analyse the literary significance of texts, and develop your language skills in Greek and Latin.

Drawing on the diverse interests of our academic staff (which number more than 20 in this area), the programme content is highly flexible, allowing you to choose a specialised path or a more interdisciplinary approach. We have specialists in the central areas of Greek and Latin literature and thought, Greek and Roman history, and Classical art and archaeology. We also take a broad view of the discipline with, for example, expertise in late antiquity, and reception history.

We provide opportunities for you to hear from distinguished speakers in the weekly classics research seminar series and to share your research with your peers at the classics graduate seminar.

Studying Classics in Edinburgh is the perfect marriage; known as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh is a stunningly beautiful city with a worldwide reputation as a cultural and academic capital.

Programme structure

You will complete one compulsory course and select a further three skills courses and an additional two options from a wide range on offer. The modular structure of the programme allows you to concentrate on areas of particular interest while still providing breadth of coverage. Your required course equips you with the independent skills you need to complete your 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:

  • Elementary Latin (PG) 1
  • Elementary Greek (PG) 1
  • Elementary Latin (PG) 2
  • Elementary Greek (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Greek (PG) 1
  • Intermediate Latin (PG) 1
  • Intermediate Greek (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Latin (PG) 2
  • Latin Text Seminar 1
  • Greek Text Seminar 1
  • 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
  • Epicurus and Epicureanism
  • Topics in Byzantine Literary History
  • The Hellenistic City
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent
  • Latin Text Seminar 2
  • 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.
  • Classical Greek Sculpture
  • 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

Learning outcomes

Students who follow this programme will gain:

  • an advanced knowledge of the archaeology/art and history of specific regions and periods of classical civilisation
  • an opportunity to study and analyse the literary significance of Greek and Latin texts and develop knowledge of current interpretation of them
  • an ability to comment in a detailed manner on passages from a selection of Greek and Latin
  • a developed knowledge of the Greek or Latin languages

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 graduates in Classics 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 Classics (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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