Department of Classics and Archaeology

Successful graduates - Classics and Archaeology

Our degrees provide a rigorous academic training and excellent transferable skills, with graduates entering a wide range of careers including heritage, museums, teaching, publishing, journalism, law, finance, and many others.

In 2016, 93.2% of undergraduates in the School of Humanities who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20, 205 with the highest being £38,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Luke Taylor
BA Archaeology and MA Archaeology / Creative content producer, McCann Manchester

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After graduating I worked as a freelance graphic designer for the National Trust developing their digital media and marketing strategy in the Lake District. I now in the advertising and marketing industry, developing award-winning digital strategies, artwork and creative content for a range of international clients including American Airlines, Unilever, Aldi and Npower.

Why did you choose to study archaeology at Nottingham?

I switched to archaeology from a course in architecture a few months after starting university, which was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Which of the skills you gained studying archaeology have proved most useful subsequently?

The fantastic thing about archaeology is that it builds a range of experiences - from writing, researching, computer graphics and design, to IT skills, marketing and scientific analysis - to prepare you for any career path. During my degree I was able to practice illustration and learn graphic design thanks to various modules, the Digital Humanities Centre and the incredible resources available within the department. The ability to research new ideas and generate quick analysis, produce creative material, manage multiple deadlines and resources, liaise with clients and operate various applications all originated from my time studying archaeology at Nottingham.

What about outside of studying?

The flexible nature of the course enabled me to work as a graphic designer for the Students' Union, a design editor for two University magazines and also worked in the Digital Humanities Centre for two years, allowing me to utilise skills built from my degree.

Alice White
BA Classical Civilisation, MA Classical Literature / 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.

Dan Nash
BA Ancient History / 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.

Julie St Jean
MA Archaeology / Freelance Archaeologist

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I took a Zooarchaeology course and have since been fascinated by animal and human remains and what they tell us about the past.

Since completing my degree, I have worked for companies including West Kent Archaeology Society in the UK, Richard Grubb & Associates and Archaeology Research Consultants both in New Jersey, Archaeology Resource Services in New York as well as undertaking some independent projects in faunal analysis.

Projects I have worked on include Native American sites, Irish burial grounds and Roman era sites, as well as various Medieval and post-Medieval sites in southern England. Additionally, I am a contributor to the online archaeology website Heritage Daily and will be presenting my dissertation entitled, “Where have all the heads gone? and other questions arising from the avian faunal assemblage from Lucera Castle, Italy” at the Women in Archaeology conference in New York City this spring. 

I have become known as the “Bone Girl” among my peers. It is not unusual to see me peering into the carcass of a poor deceased animal on the side of the road or calmly explaining to my husband why I have a bag of dead animals in the house!

Thea Wolff
BA Ancient History, MA The Visual Culture of Classical Antiquity / 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.

Tom Watkinson
BA Ancient History / 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.



Department of Classics and Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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