Classics MPhil/PhD

Qualification name
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Fact file

MPhil/PhD Classics
Entry requirements
MA at merit level or above (or international equivalent).
7.0 (6.0) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
MPhil / PhD Classics
Other requirements



We welcome applications for postgraduate research. Nottingham's Classics and Archaeology Department is very actively engaged in research, and its staff cover a wide range of research specialisms. The department is also involved with several research centres: Centre for Ancient Drama and its Reception (CADRE), the Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS), the Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies (CSPS), and the Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (CLABS).

Our department provides excellent support for its research students, many of whom gain valuable teaching experience and publish their research whilst studying with us. For areas our staff would be particularly interested in supervising please visit our staff research profiles.

All students registered for a research degree participate in a programme of research training and skills development. 

Supervision for research leading to a PhD or MPhil can be provided in most areas of Greek and Roman history, society, culture, art and literature. Applications are particularly welcomed in the specialities mentioned under classics research opportunities.


Studying for an MPhil degree involves a minimum of two years of full-time or four years of part-time directed study, at the end of which you produce a 60,000-word dissertation in your chosen area of research. If you are registered for the MPhil, you may transfer to the PhD if your work is judged to be of suitable quality and promise.


The PhD course involves a minimum of two years full-time (four years part-time) directed research within the University, although the usual period of study is three years full-time. At the end of the course, you will produce a dissertation in your chosen area of research, normally of about 80,000 words. 
To give you some idea of the range of subject matter that has been supervised at PhD level in the past, successful PhDs have had titles such as the following: 

  • Dionysian Triumph Sarcophagi
  • Homerus ubique: Lucian’s Use of Homer
  • The Female Portrait Statues of Aphrodisias
  • Taking on the mantle of authority: gifts of clothing as devices in late antique literature
  • Constructions of the Spartan body
  • Individuals and Institutions: Status in the Classical Period
  • Carnal Bloody and Supernatural Acts: Religious Pollution in Ancient Rome

Find out more about our previous research students and their work or browse a list of current postgraduate students to read about their interests.



The Department of Classics and Archaeology has an impressive suite of dedicated research and teaching facilities available you to use, housed within the School of Humanities. The Humanities building also houses the Departments of Philosophy, and Theology and Religious Studies, providing excellent opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration for staff and students across the humanities.

You will also have access to hot-desking computing facilities, and a personal locker, within the School Postgraduate Office which is shared by all departments; this creates an excellent environment for building a strong inter-disciplinary student community. Informal social events for postgraduate students are hosted in advance of the departmental research seminars.

The Digital Humanities Centre provides a range of up-to-date imaging and printing software and equipment, of particular relevance for those engaged in research relating to visual and material culture.


Research support

You will develop both discipline-specific and transferable skills within your research programme, and have access to an extensive range of training opportunities provided by the Graduate School. All PhD students are enrolled on the Faculty of Arts Researcher Training Programme, which has been designed to meet the requirements of the AHRC for doctoral student training. Your training will be individually designed around your own needs in consultation with your supervisor, and it can include formal workshops in essential skills (such as academic writing, IT and communication), work placements and public engagement activities. You may also attend the research training module that is a compulsory element of our MA degrees. This module will give you a strong foundation in the skills and techniques necessary for effective research in the subject.

You will also have access to a wide range of support services during your time as a student, providing assistance with study skills, careers advice, accommodation and personal issues. All postgraduate students are enrolled in the Graduate School which provides extensive facilities and resources and has members of staff dedicated to postgraduate student support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.

Details of research supervisors in Classics can be found on the department website.


Fees and funding

Competitive scholarships available include:

  • PhD Scholarships
  • School Overseas Research Scholarship

This is by no means a complete list. For up-to-date information and application forms on these and other funding opportunities, please visit the funding section of the Postgraduate Prospectus.

You may also search the University’s funding database, designed to give you an indication of University scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply. The University Graduate School operates funding schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research.

For a detailed list of external funding schemes, please visit the School of Humanities funding page.

Midlands4Cities funding

The Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership supports the personal and professional development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. Studentships are available to UK/EU students.

How to apply to the University of Nottingham through Midlands4Cities

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



As research students progress with their work, they are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to present their results in contexts outside of Nottingham, such as the annual Classical Association conference, the Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient Literature (AMPAL), the Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History (AMPAH), and the Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World (AMPRAW).

There are usually also opportunities for research students to develop their teaching skills through involvement in helping with the teaching of undergraduate seminars and/or language classes.

Average starting salary and career progression

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers*.

In 2016, 96% of postgraduates from 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 £22,370 with the highest being £30,000.** 

The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.  
**Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career Prospects and Employability

If you take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us, you will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Individual guidance appointments, career management training programme, access to resources and invitations to events including skills workshops and recruitment fairs  are just some of the ways in which they can help you develop your full potential, whether you choose to continue within an academic setting or are looking at options outside of academia.


Related courses and downloads


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Department of Classics
School of Humanities
The University of Nottingham
University Park
NG7 2RD 

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