This course offers the opportunity to study both Greek and Latin language at an advanced level. As well as reading some of the greatest achievements in Western literature, from Homer to Lucian, Horace to Apuleius and engaging with these texts in the complexity and richness of their original form, you will use your language skills to think about the ancient world, its culture and history.
You begin a programme of intensive language study designed to bring your proficiency up to degree level and allow you to engage on all levels with texts in the original Latin or Greek. You also study two core survey modules which give you an integrated introduction to the history and culture of Greece and Rome and their reception. Other modules are chosen from a range of first-year introductory modules going into more depth in the areas of history, literature or art.
You will normally continue with both Greek and Latin, though you may start the second language in this year. You also choose from a wide range of optional modules on the literature, art, history and society of the ancient world, including an innovative independent second year project ISYP.
You would normally expect to continue with both languages into your third year, including a Latin special subject module which involves detailed, in-depth study of a particular topic (taught in seminars), but some students may choose rather to take a dissertation. A choice of further optional modules completes the year.
A levels: AAB
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (minimum 19 with 20 in Speaking).
For details please see the alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of some of the modules we offer.
Typical Year One Modules
Studying the Greek World
This wide-ranging module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from 1600BC-31BC; the period from the Bronze Age to the point when Greece becomes part of the Roman Empire; no prior knowledge of the Greek world is required. You will also consider other major chapters of Greece’s history from the Mycenean Period and the Dark Ages, to the rise of the polis in the Archaic period. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture as well as consider aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week over the course of 10 weeks.
Studying the Roman World
This module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. You will examine all many important aspects of Rome’s history such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome. At the same time you will explore developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. In addition, you will also examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world which complements the Autumn semester module ‘Studying the Greek World'. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week.
Interpreting Ancient Literature
Ancient literature from Homer to late antiquity is studied in this module by focusing on a representative theme. Themes will address issues such as the relationship between literature and society, the working of genres, modern and ancient receptions, the analysis of rhetoric, and literary style. Recent themes have included ‘Performance and Persuasion’ and 'Love and War'; some issues treated may include: orality and performance, genre, gender, religion and literature, ritual and performance. For this module you will have eight 1-hour seminars over the year and two 1-hour lectures each week.
Beginner's Greek: 1
In this module you will be provided with an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of classical Greek; no previous knowledge is assumed. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the ability to read Greek; the course is intensive and takes you to a high level of knowledge in a short period of time. Language learning requires regular and frequent reinforcement which can be hard work but is very rewarding. For this module you will have four 1-hr classes every week, enabling you to keep working steadily over the course of 10 weeks.
Beginner's Greek: 2
This module is a continuation to the study of classical Greek begun in Beginners’ Greek 1. You will continue to study the structure of the language, and reading skills are further developed until almost completely unadapted passages from classical Greek texts are read. For this module you’ll have four 1-hour classes each week.
Latin Texts: 1
This module is targeted at those students who have a good A-level pass in Latin. This module studies a Latin literary text and begins the systematic revision of grammar to be completed in Q81LT2 Latin Texts: 2. This module will reinforce your knowledge of the Latin language and develop your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. Examples of texts read: Lucretius 1, Virgil Eclogues, Propertius 4, Tacitus' Agricola. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and three 1-hour lectures each week.
Latin Texts: 2
This module studies a Latin literary text and is a systematic revision of grammar begun in Q810LT1 Latin texts: 1. The Latin Texts: 2 module reinforces and further develops your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture, a single 1-hour lecture and two 1-hour lectures each week.
Typical Year Two Modules
Extended Source Study
This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation in preparation for your third year dissertation. You will be expected to write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of worksheet topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how to approach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary effects, relationships with other material, discussion of context or reception. A number of seminars and consultation sessions will be help you approach and develop your source study. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar over a period of 10 weeks.
Latin Texts: 3
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Modules include: Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius); Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus). Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. The module will not just be about literature: you will also explore the text's relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour lecture each week.
Intermediate Greek: 1
In this module you will study classical Greek from the level reached in Beginners Greek 2. This will complete instruction in the basic aspects of the Greek language and enables students to undertake the detailed linguistic and literary study of the simple Greek text. In this module you will have one 4-hour seminar each week.
Intermediate Greek: 2
This module continues the study of classical Greek from the level reached in Intermediate Greek: 1. It continues the study of Greek grammar and focuses on the reading of one or more classical Greek texts. For this module you will have one 4-hour seminar each week.
Independent Second-Year Project
In this module you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge of the Classical works in an area that interests you, and to experiment with a method of communicating that knowledge which is different from the usual assessment practices of essay-writing, exam writing and seminar-presentation. There are various options in this module including undertaking research which leads to the construction of a database, acquiring a communication method which could be of use in a future career, or experimenting using a different medium of communication eg video, website. The topic and form of the project chosen must be both approved by the module convener. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, computing sessions and workshops.
This module considers the genre of literature known as Imperial Biography: that is, biographies written about the Roman Emperors. In particular, it will focus on Suetonius' "Lives of the Caesars" and the anonymous text known as the "Historia Augusta". The module will not only look at the limitations of the genre as a whole in relation to its structure and sources, but it will also look at major themes within the lives and key case studies of specific examples - ranging from physiognomics and appearance, to gender and sexuality, omens and portents, religion and philosophy, administration and empire-building, birth and death scenes and so on - all in relation to specific emperors such as Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Domitian, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus and Elagabalus. This module has one 1-hour lecture per week and one 1-hour seminar every two weeks.
Virgil and the Epic Tradition
This module involves a detailed study of Virgil's Latin epic poem, the Aeneid, in English translation, and focuses on its interactions with the epic genre. The Aeneid was immediately characterised as a 'great' poem: how does Virgil react against his predecessors to carve out his own literary territory? How is the Aeneid received and re-used by poets and other artists down the ages? Themes will include: career and poetics, Homer and Apollonius, reception in later epic (Roman imperial, Neo-Latin, Milton), politics and identity, games and reality, gender and genre, and vision and spectacle. For this module you’ll have two 1-hour lectures every week and one 2-hour seminar every two weeks.
Typical Year Three Modules
Special Subject in Latin
This module draws on a member of staff's research interest in Latin literature and analyses, in the original Latin, a text or range of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature, with a focus on language and style. The position of the text(s) in relation to the genre will be studied, alongside considerations such as social context. For this module, you will have around three hours seminar time each week.
Advanced Greek: 1
In this module you’ll be given a guided detailed study, in Greek, of prose or verse text designed for those who have taken Greek A-level or begun the study of Greek as part of their University course. Attention is paid to the development of translation skills, but the focus of the module will not be merely linguistic as you will be encouraged to explore the set text’s interrelation with its literary tradition and its socio-political background as well as to appreciate style and imagery through your access to the text in the original language. For this module you will have three hours of classes per week.
Advanced Greek: 2
Building on Advanced Greek 1, you will continue to deepen your understanding of Greek language, literature and culture. The module will focus on a text in the original Greek and will set it in its social, cultural and literary context. You might study a book of Homer, a tragedy of Euripides or Sophocles, a selection from the works of Lucian, or a speech by Demosthenes or a book of Herodotus.
Jason and the Argonauts
A cross-medium, cross-genre, cross-cultural perspective on one important myth: Jason and Medea, the quest for the golden fleece, the journey of the first ship, Greek civilisation meets Colchian barbarism. The myth that pre-dates Homer and brings together the famous fathers of Homeric heroes (Peleus, Telamon), the gathering of the marvellous, the semi-divine and the ultra-heroic. A quest that replaces war with love. For this module the central text will be the Hellenistic Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius, but a wide range of texts, images and films, Greek, Roman and beyond will be part of the module. Themes include: the Greeks and the other, civilisation and colonisation, Jason and Medea, gender and sexuality (the Lemnian women, Hercules and Hyllas), the nature of heroism (Cyzicus and friendly fire), monsters, marvels and magic. You will have a 1-hour lecture each week and one 2-hour seminar each fortnight.
In this module, you will consider the structures and techniques of Athenian Old and New Comedy and how they reflected and influenced the society of their respective periods. Particular attention is paid to the problems of reconstructing the performance from a bare script (often, in the case of New Comedy, a script with considerable gaps). A representative selection of Aristophanes' and Menander's plays are studied in translation. For this module you will have two 1-hour lectures every week and one 2-hour seminar every fortnight.
You will have developed your language skills to advanced level (those without prior knowledge of either language will aim to reach advanced level in at least one) and gained a broad knowledge of ancient literature and culture. You will also have developed transferable skills including the ability to think independently, communicate effectively, and construct a logical argument.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 87.9% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Classics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £18,625 with the highest being £26,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.