Department of Classics
   
   
  

Graduate career profiles

What does a Classics degree from the University of Nottingham prepare you for?

Graduates with degrees in classical subjects are recognised for their skills in analysing evidence and developing arguments, and for their ability to combine disciplined study with creative responses to texts and images. Classical studies train students to:

  • handle different kinds of evidence expertly and sensitively
  • develop reflective and thoughtful approaches to cultural difference
  • gain skills in presentation and independent work

This variety of transferable skills helps our graduates succeed in a wide range of careers, from law and finance to public service, education and the creative industries.

Recent graduate careers:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Journalism and broadcast media
  • Accountancy
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Personnel and recruitment
  • Researchers

More information from the Careers and
Employability Service

Further study

As well as pursuing a career, many of our graduates choose to pursue further study in the UK or overseas.

 

Graduate profiles

Thea Wolff 
Thea Wolff, BA Ancient History (2013), MA The Visual Culture of Classical Antiquity (2014)
PhD student in Classics at the University of Nottingham 

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'Why didn’t you go to university?' is a loaded question! Not only does it make you query your decision, it also implies that, if you’re being asked, it’s already too late! Realising this not only makes you feel very old, but also as if you’ve missed out on something.

At 18, university would have been a terrible choice for me. I didn’t have the focus or the motivation to stay with a course and no idea what subject I would have picked. Family and personal problems led me to leave school early without qualifications. I enrolled in a college course doing computer programming, hated it and left after a few months, then spent the next few years moving through various jobs from waitressing to forklift truck driving. I was in my mid-20s and working as a musician before I even considered university as a possibility.

This is not the kind of background people might expect for a student of Classics. Even now, the subject is often seen as being for those with a more privileged background and private education. Having no GCSEs or A-levels, I began with the Open University’s 'Introduction to the Arts' course. This was an interesting mix, covering topics from the paintings of Cézanne to the Benin bronzes to Roman villas, but not an instant success as I struggled to engage with some of the topics and most of my assignments were turned in late.

My second Open University course was 'Exploring the Classical World' – which focussed more on one area. There was also increased contact with a tutor, which helped me improve my assignments and gave me a better idea of what I wanted to study next. Making the change from distance learning to full-time study at the University of Nottingham gave me better access to support and resources.

Studying Classics at Nottingham offered great variety in the range of modules available and plenty of opportunities to pursue my own interests within the subject, especially with the Independent Second Year Project and dissertation projects. It was this that helped me decide to stay on and study for a Masters after my degree – something I never considered before starting full-time study.

 

Lizzy Allman
Lizzy Allman, BA Latin (2010), MA Classical literature (2011)
PhD student in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Bristol

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Why did you choose to study Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

It actually happened by accident! I was studying Maths at Nottingham, but decided it wasn't for me and I wanted to go down the Arts route, and was offered a place on the Classics course.

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

The excellent language training is of particular use now, as my current research is focused on Latin literature. The encouragement to think critically is also a skill that has served me well.

What did you enjoy most about your study?

There was a great community feeling, which I have yet to find since, as lecturers and students alike tend to know each other well. The teaching was excellent and came with a great deal of enthusiasm – I always felt encouraged and that teachers cared about my work. I liked that the course had a wide range of study focus and could be tailored to your specific interests from art to literature to history, as well as offering language options from beginners to highly advanced. The pastoral care was also outstanding.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

Do it! I don't know anyone from my course who wanted to study in any other department.

 

Dan Nash
Dan Nash, BA Ancient History (2012)
Police officer, Metropolitan Police

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Why did you choose to study Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

I was very impressed by what I saw during the Open Day and thought the campus and city were fantastic. I chose the course as I really enjoyed A-Level History and wanted to learn something new while studying something I loved.

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

Studying Ancient History at Nottingham gave me a good grounding in the ability to gather information from a number of sources and assess the usefulness and accuracy of that information. This is extremely useful as a police officer as people tell me all sorts of things – including lies – and it's my job to figure out what the truth really is!

What did you enjoy the most about your study?

My favourite topic was Greek Mythology because of all of the interesting and often wacky stories, the meanings they may have had within Greek culture and what they reveal about the mind-set of people thousands of years ago.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

I would recommend it to anyone. The course was extremely interesting and enjoyable, and the staff are very knowledge, incredibly friendly and endlessly approachable and helpful.

Any other thoughts…

I would recommend all Classics students join ClasSoc. The society brings like-minded people together to enjoy the subject they love in a relaxed and social way, enabling you to make new friends and visit great places. I would also suggest students get involved in lots of different societies, and go for committee positions if you have a passion for something – you learn so much and it's incredibly rewarding.

 

Alice White
Alice White, BA Classical Civilisation (2008), MA Classical Literature (2009)
Assistant Editor, The British Museum Press

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I joined The British Museum Press as an Editorial Assistant in February 2011 and have since been promoted to Assistant Editor. I work on books for the museum’s exhibitions as well as more general titles, so the content is extremely varied – from pharaohs and Greek vases to modern Chinese paintings. It is wonderful to work with the museum curators who are experts in their fields.

Which of the skills you gained studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham has proved most useful subsequently?

My study has helped dramatically with my career; studying Latin and ancient Greek has been key to my understanding of grammar while analysing texts in depth has taught me to question scholarship and have confidence in my own opinions and ideas.

What did you enjoy most about your study?

My time at Nottingham was brilliant! There are so many opportunities (both inside and outside of the University) and there really is something for everyone; whether it be sport, nightlife, drama... The support from the department was exceptional and continuing with study at postgraduate level led to a stronger rapport with the staff. Learning about their research projects inspired me to look for a career that would relate to my Classics degrees and I have been really lucky to find the perfect role.

 

Tom Watkinson
Tom Watkinson, BA Ancient History (2007)
BBC researcher

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I work as a Researcher on a variety of history and arts programmes at BBC London Factual. Recent projects include a three-part programme on Roman art for BBC4, a series on the Vikings for BBC2 and a 90-minute drama for BBC1 set at sea in the 19th-century.

Which of the skills you gained studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham has proved most useful subsequently?

My degree gave me a solid grounding in research skills, in analysing sources and creating a central story from a selection of different ideas. My appreciation and understanding of Roman art and culture is largely due to the modules I took at Nottingham, and it has been wonderful to apply this directly to some of the programmes I’ve researched.

What did you enjoy most about your study?

There was an excellent selection of modules and the staff were very supportive and engaged with their particular subjects. I also loved Nottingham as a city and have been back to visit several times.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

I would strongly recommend the University, and especially the Classics department, to any prospective student.

 

Matt Routledge
Matt Routledge, BA Latin and Ancient History (2007)
Classics teacher

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After leaving Nottingham I pursued a PGCE in Classics at King’s College London on the advice of my excellent tutor, Dr Mark Bradley. I returned home to take up the position of Classics teacher at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School in Crosby.

Why did you enjoy most about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

After experiencing a relatively narrow approach to Classics at A-Level, the sheer breadth of Nottingham’s course was a revelation! The diverse experience of the Classics staff made the transition to higher education seamless and less daunting than I had feared. I studied Roman and Greek history as well as literature in genres such as comedy, history, philosophy and epic verse.

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

I find it difficult to sum up in brief how important the University and the Classics department have been in shaping not only my approach to my work but also my attitude towards study. The staff imbued in me an enthusiasm for the subject that I hope I am passing on in turn to my pupils (and I have to say, the Classics department at Crosby was recently judged the best in an independent girls’ school in the country!). I entered Nottingham with an interest in Classics, and thanks to the tireless work and enthusiasm of the staff, I left it with a love of Classics and built a career around it that I am immensely proud of.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

Come on an open day and see it for yourself; talk to the staff, students and alumni such as myself if possible. Nottingham is a vibrant and welcoming city, full of people and places that not only stimulate the academic mind but also provide an opportunity to hone the all-important work/life balance!

 

James Collings
James Collings, BA Ancient History (2009)
Deloitte, Information Security

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After leaving Nottingham, I travelled and studied towards a Masters. On entering the job market, I was initially concerned that my degree may seem irrelevant to prospective employers, but this was far from the case and I now work for Deloitte in their Information Security consulting team.

Why did you choose to study Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

The choice and breadth of the modules offered and the different methods of assessment.

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

I developed a number of skills I now utilise on a daily basis including presentation, effective research, critical analysis, team work and working to deadlines (not as easy as you might think!), report writing and project management.

What did you enjoy most about your study?

My course! Essays and projects didn’t always follow the standard formula and I really enjoyed the chance to take control of my studies and focus my interests. My favourite module was the Independent Second Year Project, writing a 5,000 word script for a documentary on the life of the Emperor Julian. The staff were also very supportive and accommodating, many of whom I keep in touch with today.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

Go for it! I really enjoyed my time there – the campus is fantastic, both in aesthetics and amenities. There is an award-winning student radio station that I was lucky enough to be a part of, excellent careers and student support departments, and constantly improving academic facilities.

 

Nick Caplan
Nick Caplan BA Latin and Ancient Greek (2009)
Asset Finance Software

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After Nottingham, I studied an MA at Oxford University with a view to pursuing academia. When I decided that I didn’t want to go down that route, I became somewhat concerned about my job prospects; will any company want a Classics graduate with a Masters degree? Well, yes, as it turns out! Classics is a well-respected degree in the job market and since 2010, I have been working for CHP, a consultancy who write their own asset finance software.

Why did you choose to study Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

It has a strong Classics department with internationally renowned professors at the helm and, when I visited an open day, I was blown away by how green and spacious the campus was. It made walking anywhere a pleasure and never got old during my time there.

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

My Classics degree was instrumental in acquiring my job; my company, like many others, wants employees with a wide skillset and the ability to engage with and succeed at different disciplines. This is something that Classics gives you in abundance – it is not just a literature degree or a history degree or a philosophy degree or an archaeology degree, it is all those things and more.

What did you enjoy most about your study?

I had a fantastic time both in terms of academic endeavour and social opportunities! The course was varied; with modules that went beyond the rigid remit of a traditional Latin and Greek degree, and outstanding teaching and academic support. As for the social aspects; from the many societies to the numerous sports teams, there was always something to do, somewhere, with someone and I can honestly say that I was never bored!

 

Kate Bernstein
Kate Bernstein, BA Ancient History (2007)
Solicitor

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I advise on a variety of both private and public sector commercial contracts in the IT, telecommunications and media sectors at Bird & Bird LLP, an international commercial law firm.

Why did you choose to study Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

I have a keen interest in the Greek and Roman worlds and am fascinated by the way many aspects of these societies continue to resonate in modern culture. The Classics department at Nottingham has an excellent reputation as well as a warm environment in which to learn. I was also attracted to the breadth and diversity of the course which covered politics, history, language, art and culture.

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

Translating Latin and Greek required close attention to detail, a skill I frequently use in my work. I also had to pinpoint relevant evidence within large historical texts quickly and efficiently in order to support my arguments. I find that training is extremely useful when reading legal judgments and long contracts.

What did you enjoy the most about your study?

The range and diversity of the modules was excellent and the module on Greek and Roman sexuality will always be a highlight!

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

I would highly recommend it. I really enjoyed my three years there and the course prepared me well for my career.

 

Louise Price
Louise Price, BA Ancient History and Archaeology (2005)
Museum curator

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I work as both a curator at a small (but fascinating) medical museum in Worcester and as a freelance oral historian/researcher. After graduating, I volunteered at various heritage organisations before completing my MA Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Over the years, I have worked for a huge range of museums, both independent and council-run, whilst building up a portfolio of freelance work.

Why did you choose to study Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

I fell in love with the University campus and friendly staff during an open day visit. With my ultimate career aim of managing collections in museums, I wanted the opportunity to study both the history and practical archaeology of the ancient world. I also knew I’d have a great social life in Nottingham!

Which of the skills you gained has proved most useful subsequently?

Interpreting epic poems and ancient religious calendars gave me an excellent grounding in the ability to explain complicated themes and artefacts to the public. And, after a somewhat shaky start, I developed a good writing style, which has come into its own when writing marketing material, editorials, funding bids and interpretation panels for the museum world.

What did you enjoy the most about your study?

My dissertation was the highlight. After completing the Independent Second Year Project, I had a strong desire to know more about reliefs on so-called imperial triumphal buildings, and spent several happy months undertaking research in the library!

What would be your advice to someone thinking about studying Classics/Ancient History at Nottingham?

Go for it! I am still in touch with some of my lecturers and I made THE best friends in halls. The level of commitment amongst staff and researchers at the university is evident, and I benefited from being part of it. I have no doubt that my degree from Nottingham has helped me to stand out from the crowd.

Department of Classics

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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