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Course overview

This course will build your understanding of Classical antiquity and its modern reception, introducing a range of approaches for studying the Greek and Roman worlds.

Depending on your research interests, you can choose to specialise in the area you enjoy most, from classical literature, ancient history, and visual culture of classical antiquity. Optional language modules let you further tailor your studies, learning Latin or ancient Greek at beginner, intermediate or advanced level. This route through the course is strongly recommended for those considering a research degree.

Our staff offer expertise in:

  • Ancient History
  • Classical Literature
  • Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology
  • Classical Reception

You are also very welcome to join the activities and events held by our specialist research centres.

Why choose this course?

Ranked joint 4th

among UK Classics departments for world-leading research

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Learn from experts

specialising in ancient history, classical literature, and classical art and archaeology

Get involved

On-site museum

gain practical experience in our on-campus museum

Course content

You will take a range of core and optional modules that add up to 180 credits.

 

Modules

Classics modules

All students take these two core taught modules, as well as doing a dissertation.

Myth, Society and Religion

What was the role of religion in ancient Greece and Rome? What do we know about their gods and myths? Are myths simply entertaining stories, or do they serve other purposes? What could these be?

We explore a range of primary sources for studying myth and religion in ancient Greek and Roman societies, with particular emphases on their religious and social significance.

As well as investigating sources in detail, you will explore the following:

  • different approaches to analysing myth and religion
  • how the Greeks and Romans understood their myths and religion
  • the role of religion and the gods in ancient societies
  • a range of modern theories and scholarship on ancient religion

You will focus on literary, visual or historical aspects of myth (according to your own interests), while examining how these different narrative forms may overlap and interact. By the end of the module, you will have gained valuable interdisciplinary research skills.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Telling Stories

Discover how the stories we tell shape the things that we think.

On this module we’ll explore literary, historical and visual narratives and their workings. We will also look at constructions of history, society and culture - both Greek and Roman, ancient and modern.

Topics that might be covered, include:

  • plot in ancient novels
  • narratology
  • rhetoric
  • historiography
  • narrative art
  • ekphrasis
  • silence
  • literary self-positioning
  • dealing with fragmentary sources

This module is worth 20 credits.

Dissertation in Classical Antiquity

You will select, research and write a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice. This must be in the field of Classics and Ancient History.

The Course Director and module convenor can offer support and guidance when choosing your research topic.

Recent dissertation titles include:

  • Narratives of Fear in the Early Roman Republic
  • Arsinoe II and the Hellenistic Ruler Cult in Ptolemaic Egypt
  • A Study on the Theme of Revenge in Ovid's Metamorphoses
  • The Representation of Sparta in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  • Crossing the Boundaries: Reflections of Gender Anxieties in Roman Domestic Art
  • Horns and Hunting: An Analysis of Iconographic Motifs from the Bronze Age Aegean

This module is worth 60 credits.

Faculty-wide modules

These two modules build your interdisciplinary skills.

Arts in Society

We will help you to apply your arts MA across society to enhance your career and contribute to wider society.

We'll demonstrate how the arts can be used to:

  • transform society, politics and culture
  • enhance the careers of arts and humanities MA students.

You'll be able to explore, explain and then detail how your disciplinary skills can impact upon wider issues to emphasise the applicability of the arts and humanities. From the role of the scholar activist to understanding ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘public engagement’, you'll develop professional skills in preparation for a career within academia or across a range of sectors.

You will:

  • harness the ways in which the arts and humanities enable us to think differently and to innovate
  • work on issues of research, networking, grant-writing and cultural exchange
  • learn how to engage, communicate and create.

This module is worth 20 credits.

 

Mastering the Arts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research

This module has been developed to introduce you to a range of research techniques and methodologies. It will also help you develop a variety of valuable transferable skills for your future career.

You will achieve:

  • greater confidence in dealing with original research
  • a recognition of the huge range of approaches that can be used to address research questions.

We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:

  • ensuring you are possessed of a range of practical ways to approach research
  • making you think about the nature of your discipline-specific approaches within a context of growing interdisciplinarity.

You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:

  • academic publishing
  • digital transformations
  • use of illustrations in dissertations.

You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Mastering the Arts introductory video 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 July 2021.

Special Topics

These allow you to explore a topic you're interested in in more depth.

You will take up to two Special Topic modules depending on your interest in learning Latin or Greek.

Special Topic in Classics 1

This is an advanced module where you will:

  • acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of the subject
  • gain close familiarity with relevant ancient sources and material evidence, and engage critically with them
  • gain close familiarity with modern scholarship and approaches to the subject, and engage critically with them

The topic will be based on a module from our undergraduate third year programme. You will attend the same lectures as an introduction to the subject but will have an MA specific seminar group. The focus and assessment will be at an appropriately advanced MA level.

Special Topic in Classics 2

This is an advanced module where you will:

  • acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of the subject
  • gain close familiarity with relevant ancient sources and material evidence, and engage critically with them
  • gain close familiarity with modern scholarship and approaches to the subject, and engage critically with them

The topic will be based on a module from our undergraduate third year programme. You will attend the same lectures as an introduction to the subject but will have an MA specific seminar group. The focus and assessment will be at an appropriately advanced MA level.

 

Language modules

You can choose to study Latin or Greek at beginners', intermediate or advanced levels.

You will usually take two modules in the same language in both the autumn and spring semesters. Alternatively, you can study a language just in the autumn and take a Special Topic in the spring.

Beginners' Latin 1 for MA

This module provides an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of Latin; no previous knowledge is assumed. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the ability to analyse and understand basic Latin sentences and short passages.

Beginners' Latin 2 for MA

This module continues the introduction to Latin begun in Beginners' Latin: 1. Study of the structure of the language continues, and reading skills are further developed until almost unadapted passages from Latin texts are read.

Intermediate Latin 1 for MA

This module continues the study of Latin from the level reached in Beginners' Latin 2. You will have the opportunity to revise basic aspects of the Latin language and proceed to the reading of Latin texts.

Intermediate Latin 2 for MA

This module continues the study of Latin from the level reached in Intermediate Latin 1, consolidating your ability to read Latin texts.

Advanced Latin 1 for MA

Detailed guided study in Latin of a prose or verse text designed for those who have begun the study of Latin as part of their University course. Careful attention will be paid to the development of translation skills, but the focus of the module will not be merely linguistic. Students will also be encouraged to explore the set text's interrelation with its literary tradition and its background as well as to appreciate style and imagery through their access to the text in the original language.

Advanced Latin 2 for MA

Detailed guided study in Latin of a prose or verse text designed for those who have begun the study of Latin as part of their University course. Careful attention will be paid to the development of translation skills, but the focus of the module will not be merely linguistic. Students will also 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 their access to the text in the original language.

Beginners' Greek 1 for MA

This module provides 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 basis of the course is the study and translation of passages adapted from classical Greek texts.

Beginners' Greek 2 for MA

This module continues the introduction to classical Greek begun in Beginners’ Greek: 1. Study of the structure of the language continues, and reading skills are further developed until almost completely unadapted passages from classical Greek texts are read.

Intermediate Greek 1 for MA

This module continues the study of classical Greek from the level reached in Beginners' Greek: 2. It completes instruction in the basic aspects of the Greek language. You will undertake the detailed linguistic and literary study of a simple Greek text.

Intermediate Greek 2 for MA

You will continue the study of classical Greek from the level reached in Intermediate Greek 1, studying Greek grammar and focusing on the reading of one or more classical Greek texts.

Advanced Greek 1 for MA

This module examines, in the original Greek, a range of texts representative of an author, genre, period or style of Greek literature, paying special attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of the original Greek. The position of the texts in the development of the genre will be explored, as well as their relationship with their social context.

Advanced Greek 2 for MA

This module examines, in the original Greek, a significant literary text, paying special attention to matters of language and style. It completes the systematic revision of Greek grammar begun in Greek Texts: 1, but also devotes attention to the text's literary and broader contexts. The module reinforces students' knowledge of the Greek language and develops students' ability to read Greek with fluency and understanding.In Spring 2020 we will study Iliad 11 and Odyssey 3, including the relationship of Homeric and Mycenaean Pylos and of Homeric and Mycenaean Greek.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 July 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

We use a wide range of assessment types focusing on students' academic and personal development. Most modules are assessed by written work of varying lengths, corresponding with the content and weighting of the module. Language modules are usually assessed by written examination.

Your course tutors provide detailed comments on assignments. 

During the summer, you will complete a dissertation. This is a major piece of independent research, and you will be allocated a supervisor who is a specialist in your chosen area.

Your dissertation supervisor will provide advice and guidance to help you select your area of study, and offer close supervision and support as you complete your research.

Contact time and study hours

You will typically have 11 hours of face-to-face timetabled contact a week. Your tutors will also be available during office hours to discuss your work, address any issues, and help you develop your understanding.

Study hours

One credit is approximately 10 hours of student work, so a 20-credit module will be around 200 hours of work. On average, you will spend around 10 hours per module per week on independent study. 

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in classics, ancient or modern history, archaeology, art history, classical civilisation, Latin, Greek, or English

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in August 2021.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

Books

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (i.e. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). 

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

This course will develop a range of transferable skills, including:

  • critical analysis and interpretation of evidence
  • developing an idea and building an argument
  • communicating clearly and persuasively

As a result, our graduates move into a wide range of careers, including:

  • PhD research
  • heritage, museums and archives
  • marketing, publishing and PR
  • teaching
  • central and local government

Career progression

78.4 % of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £23,045*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" The Classical world did not end with antiquity, but inspired artists and thinkers over the centuries. This programme will allow you to explore many exciting aspects of the Classical past, from language and literature to politics, religion, philosophy, art and architecture, and will help you appreciate how and why it continues to shape the world we live in today. "
Tiziana D'Angelo, Postgraduate Admissions Tutor

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of undergraduate teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Wednesday 14 July 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.