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Course Content

Course content

Want to master the art of persuasion? If you’re also looking for a postgraduate degree course that equips you with the transferable skills of research, analysis, critical thought and communication, then this course is for you.

The only course of its kind to be offered by a major UK university, this one-year, research-based postgraduate course in oratory and rhetoric is designed for all students, not just those with a background in classics. It is ideal for those looking for onward progression into a career or further studies where an ability to construct and deliver persuasive arguments, as well as analyse and evaluate those presented by others, is key.

Combining both ancient and modern fields of research, the course is taught at the Centre of Oratory and Rhetoric in the Royal Holloway Classics Department. With the primary emphasis on the practice of oratory, the course draws on the department’s scholarly expertise to deliver a core module on Problems and Methods in Oratory and Rhetoric plus a wide range of complementary optional courses. Add to that access to experts in rhetoric and oratory from around the world as well as world-class research resources and we guarantee MRes Rhetoric students will finish the course equipped with a range of analytical and research skills, fully adept in the art of persuasion. 

Course structure

Core modules

  • Problems and Methods in Oratory and Rhetoric
  • Independent Project on Rhetoric 1
  • Independent Project on Rhetoric 2
  • 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Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff.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.

  • Oratory and Identity

Teaching & assessment

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

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.

With the MRes Rhetoric course designed to equip you with the skills of research, analysis, critical thought and communication graduates are best placed for continuing onto PhD studies or for pursuing non-academic careers, especially those involving communication (such as law, politics, the media, advertising, or teaching).


Visit the Rhetoric - MRes page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

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