Triangle

Course overview

Build your love for, and understanding of, the ancient world to new levels.

Classics is a language-based course. You will investigate the culture and history of ancient Greece and Rome by examining texts in their original language. Immerse yourself in ancient speeches, drama, epic, and satire in the original Greek or Latin, and explore how language and culture inform one another.

Reading ancient texts in their original Latin or Greek is one of the greatest pleasures of studying Greek and Roman culture. You can learn either language from scratch, or build on your existing knowledge.

Studying Latin and ancient Greek will give you greater insight into the texts you’re reading in translation. You can combine modules on the history, art, and culture of the ancient Mediterranean with detailed study of both Latin and Greek. Learning an ancient language also builds skills in linguistic analysis and literacy that are valued by employers.

Beginners' level If you’re unsure whether to start with Latin or Greek, but are more interested in Roman history or Latin literature, go for Latin in your first year. If you’re more interested in Greek history or literature, choose Greek.

As a beginner of both languages, you will receive extensive language tuition in your first year, reaching an advanced level by year three. You will also begin the other language in your second year.

If you have A level Latin or ancient Greek You will study both languages from year one.

Whatever your entry level, you will use your language skills to interpret ancient art, history, literature, mythology and drama. Ancient languages live on in the modern world: just see how the Nottingham LatinNow research team is exploring the role of Latin language and culture in the diversity of modern Europe.

Your department

For more information on what it's like to study with us, see the Department of Classics and Archaeology website.

Why choose this course?

Learn Latin or Greek

Study Latin or Greek from beginners, or from A-level

Nottingham Museum

Gain practical and professional experience in our on-campus museum

Beginners welcome!

No previous experience of the classical world is needed

Share your knowledge

Volunteer with local schools through our Nottingham Classics Out-and-about (NoCOut) outreach programme

Study abroad

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn new skills and study abroad


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level ABB
IB score 32

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Foundation progression options

If you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A Level, you may be eligible for our Foundation Year. You may progress to a range of direct entry degrees in the arts and humanities.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

You will be taught via a mixture of large-group lectures and smaller, interactive seminars. You might also be taught through tutorials and supervisions. These are one-to-one meetings or discussions with an academic tutor.

All students are assigned a personal tutor at the start of each academic year. Your personal tutor oversees your academic development and personal welfare.

Peer mentoring

All new undergraduate students are allocated a peer mentor, to help you settle into life at Nottingham.

Find out more about the support on offer

Teaching quality

100% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification. Source: UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020.

Nine academics from the Department of Classics and Archaeology have received Advance HE recognition for their contribution to education, becoming Teaching Fellows.

For the Department of Classics and Archaeology, 89% of students surveyed in the 2021 National Student Survey agreed that 'Staff are good at explaining things'. 91% also agreed that ‘I have been able to contact staff when I needed to’.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Field trips

How you will be assessed

Our courses are modular, and range from full-year to semester-long modules. Assessment normally takes place towards the end of each semester, while beginners’ language modules are usually assessed by a coursework portfolio running throughout the semester.

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on a combination of coursework, including essays, close-reading exercises, research projects, and the dissertation, oral presentations, and formal examinations. The precise assessments vary between modules and across the years of your degree. Some of our modules (such as 'Communicating the Past', or 'Classics and Comics') include the option of producing more artistic or creative coursework projects.

"I designed several T-shirts and hoodies which conveyed information about the site’s art and architecture, history, and its eventual ruination by ISIL in 2015. I wanted to combine my interest of fashion with my love for the Classical world, and this project gave me the opportunity to do so."

- Alexander Gadd, on the 'Communicating the Past' module

Feedback

We offer detailed written comments on all coursework, and the opportunity to discuss ideas and coursework with your tutor is an integral part of your studies at Nottingham. Whether by giving feedback on an essay plan or discussing the results of an assessment, we help you work to the best of your ability. There are appointed days in each semester to get feedback from tutors and module convenors, as well as other opportunities to discuss pieces of work.

Assessment methods

  • Commentary
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Written exam

Contact time and study hours

You’ll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops, tutorials and supervisions.

  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours
  • Year two: minimum of 10 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours

Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. We reduce your contact hours as you work your way through the course. As you progress, we expect you to assume greater responsibility for your studies and work more independently.

Your tutors will all be qualified academics. Our largest lectures, 'Studying the Greek World' and 'Studying the Roman World' are typically attended by up to 150 students, whereas the corresponding seminars are typically no bigger than 15. Other popular optional module lectures may be attended by up to 100 students, with up to 25 in each seminar group.

As well as scheduled teaching, you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as:

  • reading
  • locating and analysing primary sources
  • planning and writing essays and other assessed work
  • collaborating with fellow students

As a guide, 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).

Study abroad

  • Explore the world, experience different cultures and gain valuable life skills by studying abroad
  • Options range from short summer schools, a single semester to a whole year abroad
  • Language support is available through our Language Centre where required
  • Boost your CV for prospective employers

See our study abroad pages for full information

Placements

In your department

Our second-year School of Humanities work placement module involves a professional placement (one day a week for six weeks or equivalent) in an external organisation. You will gain employability skills in a workplace relevant to arts/humanities graduates.

The Department of Classics and Archaeology also runs Nottingham Classics Out-and-about (NoCOut), a local schools outreach programme where you can communicate your knowledge and gain valuable employment skills.

"I signed up for NoCOut to gain experience in schools for my future career. I'm much more confident in my ability to tailor presentations for different audiences and to communicate effectively. I’m really proud of the activities we were able to create together. Dressing up as a Roman became a standard afternoon for me!"

- Isabelle Powell, student NoCOut volunteer

Find out more about opportunities in the department.

Internships, placements and other work experience

Our reputation means we can work with top employers to offer high quality opportunities to gain experience and build employment skills. Check out our Careers and Employability Service for what’s on offer.

Nottingham Advantage Award

Boost your employability with a range of employer-led projects and career development opportunities. See the Nottingham Advantage Award website for what’s available.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Modules

Our first-year core modules are designed as an introduction. Even if you haven’t studied classics before, we’ll build everyone's knowledge to the same level, so you can progress through to year two.

You will take 120 credits of modules. Your split of core and optional modules will be dependent on your current language abilities.

For example, if you have an A level in either Latin or Greek, you will study both languages from the start. If you are a beginner in both languages, you will choose either Latin or Greek in year one, before taking up the other language in year two. If you have an A level in both languages, you will study the Greek and Latin 'Texts' modules from year one.

Scenario 1: you have an A level in either Latin or Greek

  • Compulsory core modules (100 credits) – you will receive an integrated introduction to the history and culture of Greece and Rome and their reception. You will take text modules in your A level language, and beginners modules in the second language
  • Optional Classics modules (20 credits) – you will choose one module

Scenario 2: you are a beginner in both Latin and Greek

  • Compulsory core modules (60 credits) – you will receive an integrated introduction to the history and culture of Greece and Rome and their reception. You will start to learn either Latin or Greek
  • Optional Classics modules (60 credits) – you will choose modules including at least one 'interpreting' module

You’ll have at least 12 hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

You must pass year one, but it does not count towards your final degree classification.

Core modules

Everybody takes the below 10-credit core modules:

Studying the Greek World

Gain a wide-ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and culture of the ancient Greek World. Covering from c.1600-31 BC, you will explore Greek history from the Mycenaean period to the coming of Rome.

You will:

  • Examine the major topics in Greek history – from the Mycenaean Period and the Dark Ages, through the rise of the polis in the Archaic period, to the height of Greek civilisation in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and finally its conquest by the Roman Empire
  • Explore primary evidence from Greek literary and material culture
  • Consider the relationship between ancient Greece and the modern world

This module is followed by the Studying the Roman World module, in the spring semester. No prior knowledge of Greek history or Greek language is needed.

This module is worth 10 credits.

Studying the Roman World

This module gives a wide-ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and art of the Roman world. We will explore from the beginnings of the city of Rome, to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West.

You will:

  • examine the major chapters of Rome's history – such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome
  • discover coinciding developments in Roman literary and artistic culture
  • consider the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture

We will also examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world. This will complement the autumn semester module, Studying the Greek World, by continuing training in a number of basic study skills. No prior knowledge of the Roman world is needed.

This module is worth 10 credits.

Scenario 1: Core language modules if you have A level Latin or Greek

You will study the 'Latin or Greek Texts' modules at levels 1 and 2. This will be in your A level language. Information on these modules can be found in the below:

Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

This group of modules is for those who have already reached A-level standard. They allow you to explore the work of Latin or Greek authors in detail.

You will also:

  • improve your reading fluency
  • gain insight into language and literature
  • build linguistic analysis and literacy skills that are valued by employers

We pay special attention to language and style. Analysis of linguistic detail will build both your literary appreciation and your language skills.

Some modules will involve in-depth study of a single text, while others may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature. All modules combine literary discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

Regardless of whether you take Latin or Greek, the below applies:

Levels 1 and 2 are for first-year students: they involve a systematic programme of grammar revision alongside support with reading and analysis of the set text.

Levels 3 and 4 are for second-year students: they build on the previous year’s work, allowing you to read a larger amount of text and to develop your skills further.

Levels 5 and 6 are for third-year students: you will by now be able to read texts more independently, and assessment for these modules typically allows you to discuss the set text at greater length and with a high level of literary sophistication.

The texts covered change each year, but recent modules have focused on the following topics:

In Latin:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novel Metamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek:

  • Tragedy (Euripides’ Hecuba)
  • Books from Homer’s Iliad
  • Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’s Life of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

These modules are mandatory for Classics BA students with an A-level in Latin or Classical Greek. Other students with A-level can choose to start with ‘Latin or Greek Texts’ at levels 1 and 2, but they may drop later modules if they wish.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

You will also take beginners level modules (both 1 and 2) in your second language:

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 1

This module is for complete beginners. However, it is also suitable if you have already done some study of Latin or Classical Greek (up to GCSE level).

You may find it reassuring that, unlike modern language study, there is no speaking and listening element. The main focus will be on reading text.

This module offers an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language. You will be supported to analyse and understand basic sentences and to translate short passages.

After this module, you progress to ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 2’.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"I see learning ancient languages like a puzzle, and I think that helps with problem solving. I have better initiative now, because I know how something fits in Latin and Greek and that can transfer to the everyday." - Chloë Choong

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 2

This module continues from ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 1’.

You will:

  • Continue to study the structure of your chosen language, including all the major grammatical features
  • Develop your reading skills until you can read almost unadapted passages from Latin or Classical Greek texts

After this module, you can choose to continue studying your chosen language in your second year, in the ‘Intermediate’ level modules. Note: This is mandatory for Classics BA students.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Scenario 1: Optional modules

Choose one of the below:

Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology

Explore Greek and Roman art, from the Bronze Age to the end of the Roman Empire (roughly 1600 BC to AD 400). We will consider classic sites and monuments that are among the great lasting achievements of mankind, including the Parthenon, Trajan’s Column and the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta.

You will learn how to look at works of art and artefacts from the ancient world. This includes how to describe, explain and analyse them. As a result, you will unlock the meanings of these images and monuments for the people who made, commissioned and looked at them.

You will build a thorough understanding of the key contexts and media of ancient art and archaeology. This includes:

  • sculpture
  • vase-painting
  • coins
  • mosaics
  • architecture and urban structures

We will cover the Greek world in the autumn semester, and the Roman world in the spring semester. Rather than working chronologically, the material on this module is organised by media and contexts (topography, sculpture, vase painting, temples, tombs, houses etc.) This gives you a grasp of formal and stylistic developments within each of these media through the centuries, helping you understand their meanings in their original contexts.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"'Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology', which was a first-year module, is by far my favourite. You spend the first semester doing Greek art. You progress from the earliest Greek art, to when the Romans conquered them. Then in the spring semester, you do Roman art from beginning to the end and talk about all the different periods. It was interesting for me, as you got to do a presentation on a specific piece of art. It was really fun." - Hannah Parker, second-year Classical Civilisation

 

Interpreting Ancient History

This year-long module is devoted to the history of the ancient world. You will investigate some of its key themes and approaches through a series of historical case studies, covering major periods of Greek and Roman history.

You will explore:

  • What do we know (and not know) about the ancient world?
  • How do ancient politics, society, culture and morality differ from our own?
  • What evidence informs us about the ancient world? What are its limits and pitfalls?
  • How do modern concerns influence academic debates about the ancient world, and the views of individual scholars?
  • How far can we hope to know ‘how things really were’ in the ancient world?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Interpreting Ancient Literature

This module will introduce you to the interpretation of ancient literary texts (in translation) as sources for ancient culture, by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes.

We will address issues such as:

  • ancient performance-contexts and audiences
  • the workings of genres
  • analysis of rhetoric and literary style
  • representations of gender and sexuality
  • study of classical reception
  • how to compare translations

The autumn semester will focus on Greek texts, and the spring semester will focus on Latin texts.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Scenario 2: Core modules if you are a beginner to ancient languages

You will take both Latin modules or both Greek modules:

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 1

This module is for complete beginners. However, it is also suitable if you have already done some study of Latin or Classical Greek (up to GCSE level).

You may find it reassuring that, unlike modern language study, there is no speaking and listening element. The main focus will be on reading text.

This module offers an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language. You will be supported to analyse and understand basic sentences and to translate short passages.

After this module, you progress to ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 2’.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"I see learning ancient languages like a puzzle, and I think that helps with problem solving. I have better initiative now, because I know how something fits in Latin and Greek and that can transfer to the everyday." - Chloë Choong

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 2

This module continues from ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 1’.

You will:

  • Continue to study the structure of your chosen language, including all the major grammatical features
  • Develop your reading skills until you can read almost unadapted passages from Latin or Classical Greek texts

After this module, you can choose to continue studying your chosen language in your second year, in the ‘Intermediate’ level modules. Note: This is mandatory for Classics BA students.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Scenario 2: Optional modules

Choose three from the below. One must be an ‘Interpreting’ module:

Comparative World Prehistory

Gain an overview of prehistoric archaeology through global case studies.

We’ll be covering the latest debate and scholarship, on topics such as:

  • Human dispersal
  • Technology
  • Environmental change
  • Food procurement and production
  • Monumentality
  • Sedentism and urbanisation

By the end of the module, you’ll understand the broad chronological development and key themes in Prehistory, up to the development of writing.

You will also have an appreciation of archaeological approaches in prehistoric periods, and the complexities of integrating varied sources of archaeological evidence including landscapes, monuments, excavated evidence and material culture.

This module is worth 10 credits.

Greek and Roman Mythology

This module introduces the interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman myth, focussing on a representative range of texts and themes.

The module will be team-taught, exposing you to a wide range of material and approaches to the use of myth in the ancient world.

We will consider how mythology is used in:

  • ancient literature, such as epic and drama
  • historical texts
  • religious contexts
  • the material culture of the ancient world, such as statuary, paintings and sarcophagi

We will also introduce the variety of methodologies that scholars have used over the years, to help interpret and understand these myths and their usages.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology

Explore Greek and Roman art, from the Bronze Age to the end of the Roman Empire (roughly 1600 BC to AD 400). We will consider classic sites and monuments that are among the great lasting achievements of mankind, including the Parthenon, Trajan’s Column and the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta.

You will learn how to look at works of art and artefacts from the ancient world. This includes how to describe, explain and analyse them. As a result, you will unlock the meanings of these images and monuments for the people who made, commissioned and looked at them.

You will build a thorough understanding of the key contexts and media of ancient art and archaeology. This includes:

  • sculpture
  • vase-painting
  • coins
  • mosaics
  • architecture and urban structures

We will cover the Greek world in the autumn semester, and the Roman world in the spring semester. Rather than working chronologically, the material on this module is organised by media and contexts (topography, sculpture, vase painting, temples, tombs, houses etc.) This gives you a grasp of formal and stylistic developments within each of these media through the centuries, helping you understand their meanings in their original contexts.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"'Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology', which was a first-year module, is by far my favourite. You spend the first semester doing Greek art. You progress from the earliest Greek art, to when the Romans conquered them. Then in the spring semester, you do Roman art from beginning to the end and talk about all the different periods. It was interesting for me, as you got to do a presentation on a specific piece of art. It was really fun." - Hannah Parker, second-year Classical Civilisation

 

Interpreting Ancient History

This year-long module is devoted to the history of the ancient world. You will investigate some of its key themes and approaches through a series of historical case studies, covering major periods of Greek and Roman history.

You will explore:

  • What do we know (and not know) about the ancient world?
  • How do ancient politics, society, culture and morality differ from our own?
  • What evidence informs us about the ancient world? What are its limits and pitfalls?
  • How do modern concerns influence academic debates about the ancient world, and the views of individual scholars?
  • How far can we hope to know ‘how things really were’ in the ancient world?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Interpreting Ancient Literature

This module will introduce you to the interpretation of ancient literary texts (in translation) as sources for ancient culture, by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes.

We will address issues such as:

  • ancient performance-contexts and audiences
  • the workings of genres
  • analysis of rhetoric and literary style
  • representations of gender and sexuality
  • study of classical reception
  • how to compare translations

The autumn semester will focus on Greek texts, and the spring semester will focus on Latin texts.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Rome to Revolution: Historical Archaeology of Britain

This module gives an overview of the archaeology of the British Isles, from the Roman invasion until the industrial revolution.

This was a period of dramatic change in Britain. Using key sites and discoveries, you will be introduced to the challenges of understanding the archaeology of periods partially documented in textual sources.

You will study:

  • The Roman invasion and military and civilian life in the Roman province of Britannia
  • Anglo-Saxon and Viking incursions and settlement
  • Medieval castles, towns and monasteries
  • The impact of the Reformation and the growth of the Tudor state
  • The role of industry and urbanisation in the making of modern Britain

Teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, seminars and a museum session. On average, this will be two hours per week across the spring semester.

This module is worth 10 credits.

Understanding the Past I – Introduction to Archaeology

Archaeologists are interested in all aspects of the human past. This includes everything from ancient landscapes and changing environments, buried settlements and standing monuments and structures, to material objects and evidence for diet, trade, ritual and social life.

This module introduces the discipline of archaeology. It also explores how material remains are discovered, analysed and used to provide evidence for human societies, from prehistory to the present day.

The autumn semester introduces the historical development of archaeology. This is followed by a presentation of current theory and practice in the areas of:

  • archaeological prospection and survey
  • excavation and post-excavation analysis
  • relative and absolute dating
  • the study of archaeological artefacts
  • frameworks of social interpretation

In the spring semester, you will be taken into the field to gain practical experience of core archaeological methods in field survey and buildings archaeology.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"'Understanding the Past I' has probably been my favourite module so far. We were given a sheet of data and finds on the site and asked to map it out and give our interpretations of what it was and calibrate the dates. We started off with the bare minimum and you’ve just got to build up this database and I found it really interesting. Problem-solving – it was really fun."Emily LeHegarat, first-year Archaeology

Understanding the Past II – Landscapes and Surveying

This module builds on Understanding the Past I. It is an introduction to the core aims and methodologies of Archaeology as a discipline. It provides a basic introduction to how material remains of the past are discovered, analysed and used to provide evidence for human societies, from prehistory to the present day.

Through lectures, classroom activities and practical fieldwork, you will be introduced to the study of landscape and the built environment, looking at how the archaeological record is both created and investigated.

You will be taken into the field to gain practical experience of core archaeological methods in field survey and buildings archaeology. One of the locations you will visit is Wollaton Hall, the Elizabethan house and landscape park that's nearby to University Park campus.

This module is worth 20 credits.

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 Friday 17 June 2022.

You will take 120 credits of modules split as below:

Scenario 1: If you started the course with an A level in either Latin or Greek

  • Compulsory core modules (80 credits) – you will take 'text' modules in your A level language, and intermediate modules in your second language
  • Optional classics modules (40 credits) – choose from a range of modules, including a work placement module. If you are planning a dissertation in your third year, you must take the 'Studying Classical Scholarship' module

Scenario 2: If you started the course as a beginner in both Latin and Greek

  • Compulsory core modules (80 credits) – you will take intermediate modules in your year one language and start as a beginner in your second language
  • Optional classics modules (40 credits) – choose from a range of modules, including a work placement module. If you are planning a dissertation in your third year, you must take the 'Studying Classical Scholarship' module

You’ll have at least 10 hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

You must pass year two, which counts as 33% towards your final degree classification.

Scenario 1: Core modules if you have A level Latin or Greek

Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

Continue your study of Latin or Classical Greek, following on from the beginners’ level modules.

You will thoroughly consolidate the vocabulary and grammar of your chosen language and begin the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Latin or Greek text.

In Latin, you will typically read a text such as Cicero’s Pro Archia, or a book of Virgil or Ovid.

In Greek, the text might be a complete speech by Lysias or selections from a longer text such as the Odyssey or a Greek tragedy.

The assessment for these modules emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

You will also continue with the 'Texts' modules at levels 3 and 4. Information about these can be found below:

Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

This group of modules is for those who have already reached A-level standard. They allow you to explore the work of Latin or Greek authors in detail.

You will also:

  • improve your reading fluency
  • gain insight into language and literature
  • build linguistic analysis and literacy skills that are valued by employers

We pay special attention to language and style. Analysis of linguistic detail will build both your literary appreciation and your language skills.

Some modules will involve in-depth study of a single text, while others may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature. All modules combine literary discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

Regardless of whether you take Latin or Greek, the below applies:

Levels 1 and 2 are for first-year students: they involve a systematic programme of grammar revision alongside support with reading and analysis of the set text.

Levels 3 and 4 are for second-year students: they build on the previous year’s work, allowing you to read a larger amount of text and to develop your skills further.

Levels 5 and 6 are for third-year students: you will by now be able to read texts more independently, and assessment for these modules typically allows you to discuss the set text at greater length and with a high level of literary sophistication.

The texts covered change each year, but recent modules have focused on the following topics:

In Latin:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novel Metamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek:

  • Tragedy (Euripides’ Hecuba)
  • Books from Homer’s Iliad
  • Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’s Life of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

These modules are mandatory for Classics BA students with an A-level in Latin or Classical Greek. Other students with A-level can choose to start with ‘Latin or Greek Texts’ at levels 1 and 2, but they may drop later modules if they wish.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Scenario 2: Core modules if you started as a beginner in both Latin and Greek

You will develop your year one language with an intermediate level module, and start your second language as a beginner.

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 1

This module is for complete beginners. However, it is also suitable if you have already done some study of Latin or Classical Greek (up to GCSE level).

You may find it reassuring that, unlike modern language study, there is no speaking and listening element. The main focus will be on reading text.

This module offers an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language. You will be supported to analyse and understand basic sentences and to translate short passages.

After this module, you progress to ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 2’.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"I see learning ancient languages like a puzzle, and I think that helps with problem solving. I have better initiative now, because I know how something fits in Latin and Greek and that can transfer to the everyday." - Chloë Choong

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 2

This module continues from ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 1’.

You will:

  • Continue to study the structure of your chosen language, including all the major grammatical features
  • Develop your reading skills until you can read almost unadapted passages from Latin or Classical Greek texts

After this module, you can choose to continue studying your chosen language in your second year, in the ‘Intermediate’ level modules. Note: This is mandatory for Classics BA students.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

Continue your study of Latin or Classical Greek, following on from the beginners’ level modules.

You will thoroughly consolidate the vocabulary and grammar of your chosen language and begin the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Latin or Greek text.

In Latin, you will typically read a text such as Cicero’s Pro Archia, or a book of Virgil or Ovid.

In Greek, the text might be a complete speech by Lysias or selections from a longer text such as the Odyssey or a Greek tragedy.

The assessment for these modules emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Scenario 1 and 2: Optional modules

Choose 40 credits from a range (this varies every year, but might include the below).

If you are planning a dissertation in your third year, you must take the 'Studying Classical Scholarship' module.

Britain in the Later Roman Empire (c. 250-450)

This module examines Britain in the later-Roman Empire. It is a fascinating period of prosperity, integration, and sophistication. Yet it is also marked by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.

We will cover from the crisis that marked the middle years of the 3rd century, to the disappearance of Roman power in the early 5th, and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed.

You will take an interdisciplinary approach, combining archaeological and historical evidence, and will be expected to familiarise yourself with a wide range of evidence.

We will examine:

  • the political framework of the later-Roman Empire
  • the textual and archaeological evidence for Britain’s society and economy
  • the barbarian peoples who threatened and interacted with it
  • the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire

You will also consider the integration of different types of source material, thinking about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Communicating the Past

Get creative and build your knowledge on an aspect of Classics or Archaeology which interests you.

Your aim in this module is to communicate your chosen topic to the general public. How you choose to do that is entirely up to you. You might explore different types of writing, perhaps for children or in the style of a magazine, or you might experiment with a different medium of communication, such as video, website or phone app.

For example, past students have:

  • Created a museum exhibition
  • Reconstructed an ancient artefact
  • Designed a new public engagement strategy for a historic site
  • Developed a board game
  • Created a marketing campaign

The module convenor will support you to design an appropriate topic and format for your project.

You will develop vital research, project design and communication skills, which are excellent preparation for a range of careers, as well as your third-year dissertation.

This module is worth 20 credits.

“I designed several T-shirts and hoodies which conveyed information about the site’s art and architecture, history, and its eventual ruination by ISIL in 2015. I wanted to combine my interest of fashion with my love for the classical world, and this project gave me the opportunity to do so.”

- Alexander Gadd, Created a clothing brand based on Palmyra 

Read more student experiences about this module

Extended Source Study
This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for a third year dissertation in classical civilisation. You will write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of 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. For this module you will have a mixture of lectures and four 2-hour seminars over a period of 10 weeks.
Oedipus Through the Ages

You will explore the ancient evidence for the myth of Oedipus and selected representations of the myth in the post-Classical world. In terms of evidence, you will have the opportunity to explore ancient drama and other poetry as well as visual culture and mythographic writings. In terms of post-Classical representations, there will be a particular focus on performance and on modern popular culture, including (but not necessarily limited to)

  • film
  • popular mythology books,
  • material aimed at children,
  • on-line representations,
  • humour
Religion and the Romans

Religion was central to all aspects of Roman life, but did the Romans really 'believe'?

This module explores the traditions and rituals that operated in Roman society, from the earliest stages of archaic Rome, to the advent of Christianity. It will help you to make sense of customs and practices that could baffle even the Romans themselves, alongside showing how the religious system controlled Roman social, political and military activities.

You will examine evidence drawn from the late Republic and early Principate, and use literature and images from the Augustan period as a central hinge for studying the dynamics of religion in Rome.

Topics covered include:

  • The definition of 'religion' and comparative studies
  • Early Rome and the origins of religion
  • The calendar temples and other religious buildings
  • Priesthoods and politics
  • Sacrifice
  • The deification of the emperor
  • Foreign cults in Rome
  • The supposed 'decline of religion'
  • Early Christianity

This module is worth 20 credits.

Studying Classical Scholarship

This module focuses on the history and development of the scholarship on ancient Greece and Rome and on specific theories, approaches and methods used by modern scholarship. The aim is to sharpen your engagement with and understanding of scholarship, and to give a deeper appreciation of the ways the ancient world has been appropriated. Studying the history of scholarship in its socio-political context will show you how the questions we ask depend on the situations we live in; it will also allow you to judge the merits and limitations of scholarly approaches and will develop your skills of research and analysis, as preparation for your third-year dissertation. As with the Extended Source Study, you will choose a work-sheet relating to an area of the ancient world which particularly interests you; the module is assessed by an oral presentation and a 4,500-5,000 word essay.

The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian war lasted for more than 25 years. It came to involve much of the Greek world, as diverse states and peoples felt compelled to become allies of either Sparta or Athens. The scale of this struggle, and its repercussions, make it a highly significant period of Greek history.

You will answer key questions about this conflict, including:

  • Why and how did it start?
  • Why did it last so long?
  • How was it fought?
  • How was it won?
  • What were its consequences?

In particular, we will examine the disproportionate role that one man, the Athenian historian Thucydides, plays in shaping our knowledge and understanding of this conflict. How far can we use other authors and types of evidence to get beyond this hugely significant, but imperfect source?

This module is worth 20 credits.

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

This is a discipline-bridging cross-campus module, involving colleagues from across the School of Humanities.

The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as:

  • The definitions of the Silk Roads
  • Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads
  • Luxury production
  • Trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods
  • Ming Dynasty links with the West

Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials, and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads, will also be considered. This could be between, for example, China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

This module is worth 20 credits.

The World of the Etruscans

When Rome was still a small town, and before Athens became a city of international significance, the Etruscan civilisation flourished in Italy and rapidly gained control of the Mediterranean.

But who were the Etruscans? The Greeks and the Romans regarded them as wealthy pirates, renowned for their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle and for the freedom of their women. Archaeology, however, tells us much more about their daily life and funerary customs, their religious beliefs, their economy, their language, and their technical abilities and artistic tastes.

In this module, you will examine visual and material culture, as well as epigraphic and literary sources, in order to lift the shroud of mystery that often surrounds the Etruscans. You will also place them in the context of the wider Mediterranean world in the 1st millennium BC, examining their exchanges with the Near Eastern kingdoms, their cultural interactions with Greece and the Greek colonial world, and their role in the early history of Rome.

By exploring Etruscan cities and cemeteries from the 9th to the 3rd centuries BC, with their complex infrastructures and technologies, lavish paintings, sculptures and metalwork, you will discover a most advanced civilisation that shared much with the classical cultures and yet was very different from them.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Writing History in Ancient Rome

This module will examine the writing of narrative histories in ancient Rome and their importance in the study of Roman history, particularly in the late Republic and Imperial periods. The works of ancient historical writers differ significantly from modern historians in their approach to evidence, narrative, and impartiality, and we need to be aware of these differences when using these texts as sources. This module will therefore consider the importance of the works of historians like Livy, Tacitus, and Ammianus not only as sources for the study of history, but as literary works in their own right, examining issues of historical accuracy and reliability alongside generic conventions, narrative structures, and issues of characterisation. 

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

You will take 120 credits of modules split as below:

Scenario 1: If you started the course with an A level in either Latin or Greek

  • Compulsory core modules (40 credits) – you will continue with Latin or Greek language modules at the appropriate level
  • Optional classics modules (80 credits) – choose from a range of optional modules, including continuing with your second language at the appropriate level, and a dissertation (if you took the 'Studying Classical Scholarship' module in year two)

Scenario 2: If you started the course as a beginner in both Latin and Greek

  • Compulsory core modules (80 credits) – you will continue with Latin and Greek language modules at the appropriate level
  • Optional classics modules (40 credits) – choose from a range of optional modules, including continuing with your second language at the appropriate level, and a dissertation (if you took the 'Studying Classical Scholarship' module in year two)

You’ll have at least eight hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and tutorials.

You must pass year three, which counts as 67% towards your final degree classification.

Scenario 1: Core language modules if you have A level Latin or Greek

You only need to continue with one language in your third year, but some students do choose to keep both.

Advanced Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

You will study prose and verse texts in your chosen language, building on the skills you learned in the Intermediate modules.

By this stage you will be at or above A-level standard, and will benefit from being taught together with first-year students who have an A-level in the language.

The modules may involve in-depth study of a single text, or may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme. They will combine literary and linguistic discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

The texts covered change each year. In Latin, recent modules have focused on the following topics:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novel Metamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek, recent topics have covered:

  • Tragedy (Sophocles’ Antigone)
  • Selections from Homer’s Iliad
  • Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’s Life of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

Each module is worth 20 credits.

You will also continue with the 'Texts' modules at levels 5 and 6. Information about these can be found below:

Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

This group of modules is for those who have already reached A-level standard. They allow you to explore the work of Latin or Greek authors in detail.

You will also:

  • improve your reading fluency
  • gain insight into language and literature
  • build linguistic analysis and literacy skills that are valued by employers

We pay special attention to language and style. Analysis of linguistic detail will build both your literary appreciation and your language skills.

Some modules will involve in-depth study of a single text, while others may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature. All modules combine literary discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

Regardless of whether you take Latin or Greek, the below applies:

Levels 1 and 2 are for first-year students: they involve a systematic programme of grammar revision alongside support with reading and analysis of the set text.

Levels 3 and 4 are for second-year students: they build on the previous year’s work, allowing you to read a larger amount of text and to develop your skills further.

Levels 5 and 6 are for third-year students: you will by now be able to read texts more independently, and assessment for these modules typically allows you to discuss the set text at greater length and with a high level of literary sophistication.

The texts covered change each year, but recent modules have focused on the following topics:

In Latin:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novel Metamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek:

  • Tragedy (Euripides’ Hecuba)
  • Books from Homer’s Iliad
  • Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’s Life of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

These modules are mandatory for Classics BA students with an A-level in Latin or Classical Greek. Other students with A-level can choose to start with ‘Latin or Greek Texts’ at levels 1 and 2, but they may drop later modules if they wish.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Scenario 2: Core language modules if you started as a beginner in both Latin and Greek

You will continue with your year one language to advanced level and your year two language to intermediate level.

Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

Continue your study of Latin or Classical Greek, following on from the beginners’ level modules.

You will thoroughly consolidate the vocabulary and grammar of your chosen language and begin the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Latin or Greek text.

In Latin, you will typically read a text such as Cicero’s Pro Archia, or a book of Virgil or Ovid.

In Greek, the text might be a complete speech by Lysias or selections from a longer text such as the Odyssey or a Greek tragedy.

The assessment for these modules emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Advanced Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

You will study prose and verse texts in your chosen language, building on the skills you learned in the Intermediate modules.

By this stage you will be at or above A-level standard, and will benefit from being taught together with first-year students who have an A-level in the language.

The modules may involve in-depth study of a single text, or may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme. They will combine literary and linguistic discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

The texts covered change each year. In Latin, recent modules have focused on the following topics:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novel Metamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek, recent topics have covered:

  • Tragedy (Sophocles’ Antigone)
  • Selections from Homer’s Iliad
  • Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’s Life of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Optional modules

Scenario 1: choose 80 credits

Scenario 2: choose 40 credits

You may only choose the 'Classics Dissertation' module if you took the 'Studying Classical Scholarship' module in year two.

Year-long 40-credit modules:

Augustus

The year-long Special Subject module allows you to intensively study one of the most influential figures in Roman history – Augustus.

We examine how, after his victory in the civil wars, Augustus established his rule over the Roman world on a secure and generally acceptable basis. You will pay attention to the ancient sources (studied in translation). These include not only historical and literary texts, but also inscriptions, coins, art and architecture.

This module covers political aspects of the theme, but also Augustus' impact on society, religion, culture, and ideology.

You will have three hours of seminars per week. Assessment is through a combination of coursework essays, formal presentation and exam.

This module is worth 40 credits.

Dissertation in Classics and Archaeology

The dissertation is compulsory, unless you are studying ancient Greek or Latin (where it is optional).

You will use the skills gained from your degree to plan, research, and complete an 8,000-12,000-word dissertation. This is your opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation of a chosen area, to be agreed with your supervisor in advance.

You will have a mix of contact time to support you, including advice sessions and one-to-one supervisions.

Recent dissertation titles include:

  • “Adultery, Allusion, and Augustus: undermining imperial morality in Ovid's 'Ars Amatoria'”
  • "De-individualised faces in personal spaces: the construction of identity in the banquet scenes of Palmyrene tombs"

  • "A critical cultural investigation of donkeys in the Roman world"

  • "The role and importance of the horse in the Mycenaean world"

This module is worth 40 credits.

From Petra to Palmyra: Art and Culture in the Roman Near East

This module focuses on the variety of local cults and cultures in the Near East (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan) under Roman rule. We will zoom in on a number of localities in order to look at social, cultural and religious interactions between Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and various other local cultures through literary, epigraphic, visual and archaeological evidence. In the great urban centres such as Palmyra, Tyre, Damascus, we will observe the adoption of the trappings of Graeco-Roman urbanism and public life (from peristyle temples to honorific statues) and their significance within the Second Sophistic.

On the other hand, we will explore alternative “pockets” of non-Hellenisation such as the lava lands of southern Syria with their distinct style of art and architecture in black basalt. ‘Oriental’ gods feature prominently in this module: We will explore their great sanctuaries (Temple of Jupiter at Heliopolis-Baalbek, Temple of Bel at Palmyra, Temple of Zeus at Damascus) in terms of architecture and ritual, and investigate their iconographies (Jupiter Heliopolitanus, Bel, Baalshamin, Atargatis of Hierapolis and myriads of other local gods). In contrast to Judaism and Christianity, there is a colossal lack of literary sources for these gods, and as a consequence, our understanding of their function and character hinges on how their worshippers depicted them in reliefs, statues, figurines and paintings.

Greek Work, Class and the Economy: Good and Bad Strife

The title (Good and Bad Strife) is derived from the opening lines of Hesiod’s Theogony, in which the poet explains that there are two goddesses called Eris (Strife), one who stirs men to productive labour and another who fosters domestic conflict. We will examine both forms of strife: on the one hand the division of labour in antiquity and attitudes towards work and, on the other, notions of class struggle between a ‘leisured elite’ and a working ‘mass’. This module thus aims to provide students with an introduction to the economic and social history of archaic and classical Greece.

These two areas of endeavour, work and class conflict, are of central importance to the history of the Greek city and a much-contested field of research. We will examine key methodologies that have been applied to the study of ancient society and its economy, including Marxist approaches to class and sociological theories of professions. Students will engage in ongoing debates that are currently shaping our understanding of ancient work. These include recent challenges to the notion that the Greeks believed work to be inherently low-status. How does work affect status in antiquity? Could the ‘elite’ have included not only those who possessed land and slaves but also those who had obtained wealth and status through the practice of a valuable skill? We will thus attempt to broaden the subject of work beyond its usual parameters of agriculture and estate management to include manufacturing and the ‘learned professions’, such as doctors, seers, poets and sculptors. The first semester considers what has been termed ‘the aristocratic ideal’: the concept of a leisured elite of rentiers, the importance of agriculture, the spectre of class conflict and finally the different forms of education (both liberal education and training for specific work). The second semester will cover the existence of a labour market, the division of labour and the role of a professional class of skilled workers in ancient society.  

Jason and the Golden Fleece

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.

The central texts will be the Hellenistic Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius and the Roman epic version of Valerius Flaccus, both read in translation, but a wide range of texts, images and films, Greek, Roman and beyond will be part of the module.

This module will explore:

  • How myth works in the ancient world
  • How representations in different media interact
  • When myth-making becomes reception
  • How the Greeks represent Greek culture and the barbarian other
  • How Roman literature re-appropriates and re-works Greek myth
  • How modern versions reflect on and construct the ancient world

Themes include: the Greeks and the other; civilisation and colonisation; Jason and Medea; gender and sexuality (the Lemnian women, Hercules and Hylas); the nature of heroism (Cyzicus and friendly fire); monsters, marvels and magic.

This module is worth 40 credits.

Additional 10 and 20 credit modules. Choose from a range not already taken in year two: 

Britain in the Later Roman Empire (c. 250-450)

This module examines Britain in the later-Roman Empire. It is a fascinating period of prosperity, integration, and sophistication. Yet it is also marked by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.

We will cover from the crisis that marked the middle years of the 3rd century, to the disappearance of Roman power in the early 5th, and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed.

You will take an interdisciplinary approach, combining archaeological and historical evidence, and will be expected to familiarise yourself with a wide range of evidence.

We will examine:

  • the political framework of the later-Roman Empire
  • the textual and archaeological evidence for Britain’s society and economy
  • the barbarian peoples who threatened and interacted with it
  • the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire

You will also consider the integration of different types of source material, thinking about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Oedipus Through the Ages

You will explore the ancient evidence for the myth of Oedipus and selected representations of the myth in the post-Classical world. In terms of evidence, you will have the opportunity to explore ancient drama and other poetry as well as visual culture and mythographic writings. In terms of post-Classical representations, there will be a particular focus on performance and on modern popular culture, including (but not necessarily limited to)

  • film
  • popular mythology books,
  • material aimed at children,
  • on-line representations,
  • humour
Religion and the Romans

Religion was central to all aspects of Roman life, but did the Romans really 'believe'?

This module explores the traditions and rituals that operated in Roman society, from the earliest stages of archaic Rome, to the advent of Christianity. It will help you to make sense of customs and practices that could baffle even the Romans themselves, alongside showing how the religious system controlled Roman social, political and military activities.

You will examine evidence drawn from the late Republic and early Principate, and use literature and images from the Augustan period as a central hinge for studying the dynamics of religion in Rome.

Topics covered include:

  • The definition of 'religion' and comparative studies
  • Early Rome and the origins of religion
  • The calendar temples and other religious buildings
  • Priesthoods and politics
  • Sacrifice
  • The deification of the emperor
  • Foreign cults in Rome
  • The supposed 'decline of religion'
  • Early Christianity

This module is worth 20 credits.

The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian war lasted for more than 25 years. It came to involve much of the Greek world, as diverse states and peoples felt compelled to become allies of either Sparta or Athens. The scale of this struggle, and its repercussions, make it a highly significant period of Greek history.

You will answer key questions about this conflict, including:

  • Why and how did it start?
  • Why did it last so long?
  • How was it fought?
  • How was it won?
  • What were its consequences?

In particular, we will examine the disproportionate role that one man, the Athenian historian Thucydides, plays in shaping our knowledge and understanding of this conflict. How far can we use other authors and types of evidence to get beyond this hugely significant, but imperfect source?

This module is worth 20 credits.

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

This is a discipline-bridging cross-campus module, involving colleagues from across the School of Humanities.

The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as:

  • The definitions of the Silk Roads
  • Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads
  • Luxury production
  • Trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods
  • Ming Dynasty links with the West

Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials, and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads, will also be considered. This could be between, for example, China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

This module is worth 20 credits.

The World of the Etruscans

When Rome was still a small town, and before Athens became a city of international significance, the Etruscan civilisation flourished in Italy and rapidly gained control of the Mediterranean.

But who were the Etruscans? The Greeks and the Romans regarded them as wealthy pirates, renowned for their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle and for the freedom of their women. Archaeology, however, tells us much more about their daily life and funerary customs, their religious beliefs, their economy, their language, and their technical abilities and artistic tastes.

In this module, you will examine visual and material culture, as well as epigraphic and literary sources, in order to lift the shroud of mystery that often surrounds the Etruscans. You will also place them in the context of the wider Mediterranean world in the 1st millennium BC, examining their exchanges with the Near Eastern kingdoms, their cultural interactions with Greece and the Greek colonial world, and their role in the early history of Rome.

By exploring Etruscan cities and cemeteries from the 9th to the 3rd centuries BC, with their complex infrastructures and technologies, lavish paintings, sculptures and metalwork, you will discover a most advanced civilisation that shared much with the classical cultures and yet was very different from them.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Writing History in Ancient Rome

This module will examine the writing of narrative histories in ancient Rome and their importance in the study of Roman history, particularly in the late Republic and Imperial periods. The works of ancient historical writers differ significantly from modern historians in their approach to evidence, narrative, and impartiality, and we need to be aware of these differences when using these texts as sources. This module will therefore consider the importance of the works of historians like Livy, Tacitus, and Ammianus not only as sources for the study of history, but as literary works in their own right, examining issues of historical accuracy and reliability alongside generic conventions, narrative structures, and issues of characterisation. 

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

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

Essential course materials are supplied.

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. A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy. We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (e.g. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). They also offer second-hand books, as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Volunteering and placements

For volunteering and placements e.g. work experience and teaching in schools, you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Optional field trips

Field trips allow you to engage with source materials on a personal level and to develop different perspectives. They are optional and costs to you vary according to the trip; some require you to arrange your own travel, refreshments and entry fees, while some are some are wholly subsidised.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

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

International scholarships

Careers

A degree in classics gives you a wide range of transferable skills, including:

  • ability to process and critically evaluate data
  • applying theoretical and scientific principles to problems
  • critical analysis and argument
  • experience of fieldwork, post-excavation and laboratory techniques
  • ability to interpret spatial data numerical, statistical, IT and analytical skills
  • strong team working
  • written, oral and visual communication
  • awareness of other linguistic cultures

Read our Classics and Archaeology student and alumni profiles for more about the range of skills you will gain, as well as the careers which our graduates go into.

You can learn more about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Services.

Average starting salary and career progression

74.7% of undergraduates from the Department of Classics and Archaeology secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £21,963.*

*Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

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.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" Studying Classics at Nottingham helped me to discover many interesting topics. The lecturer’s teaching never fails to pique interest and their enthusiasm makes every lecture brilliant. "
Jasmine Newton-Rae, Classics BA

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