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Course overview

Raise your love and understanding of the ancient world to new levels. Classics is a language-based course. You will investigate the culture and history of Ancient Rome and Greece by examining written materials in their original language. You can learn Latin or ancient Greek from scratch, or build on your existing knowledge. 

Beginners' Latin and ancient Greek

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

A level Latin or ancient Greek

You will study both languages from year one. 

Whichever your entry level, you will use your language skills to interpret ancient art, history, literature, mythology and drama. Experience satire, epics and tragedies with new understanding. Ancient languages live on; just see where the LatinNow team went in 2019, demonstrating just how influential the classical world remains in today's society.

Video overview

Professors Helen Lovatt and Dr Nick Wilshere give you an overview of what the course is like and answer questions from applicants. Watch now

Your department

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

Why choose this course?

  • Study Greek or Latin from beginners, or from A-level
  • Gain valuable practical and professional experience in our on-campus museum
  • Communicate your knowledge to schools via our outreach programme
  • Opportunities for international study
  • Come with a love of languages and history; no previous experience of the ancient world required

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer 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

You can also access this course through our Foundation Year. This may be suitable if you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A level.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

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 methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Field trips

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Essay
  • Examinations
  • Presentation
  • Research project
  • Poster presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Group coursework
  • Portfolio (written/digital)

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.

Your tutors will all be qualified academics with PhDs. Some of our postgraduate research students also support teaching after suitable training.

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  
  • Students studying abroad for a semester pay reduced fees (Home/EU students - £6,480, International - 75% of the relevant international fee)
  • Boost your CV for prospective employers

See our study abroad pages for full information

Placements

Work experience gives you the skills and experience that will allow you to stand out to potential employers and is a crucial part of becoming 'workplace-ready'.

Our second-year School of Humanities work placement module involves a professional placement (1 day a week for 6 weeks or equivalent) in an external organisation. You will gain employability skills in a workplace relevant to Arts/Humanities graduates.

You also have access to a wide range of work experience and volunteering schemes through the:

Impact of the Coronavirus on work placements, field trips and volunteering

We work with a range of organisations to provide work placements, field trips and volunteer opportunities. As you'll appreciate they are all disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We expect opportunities to run as usual from the academic year 2021/22 but this cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to arrange suitable activities as previous students always tell us how much they appreciate these opportunities.

Modules

You will take 120 credits of modules. Your split of core and optional modules will be dependent on your current language abilities. If you have an A level in either Greek or Latin, then you will study both languages from the start. If you are a beginner in both languages then you will choose either Greek or Latin in year one. 

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

  • 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 Greek and Latin: 

  • 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 Greek or Latin
  • Optional Classics modules (60 credits) – You will choose 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. 

Scenarios 1 and 2: core modules

Studying the Greek World
This module provides a wide ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from c.1600-31 BC; that is from the Bronze Age to becoming part of the Roman Empire. As well as examining all the major chapters of Greece's history from the Mycenaean Period and the Dark Ages, to 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 and absorption into the Roman Empire, it also explores synchronous developments in Greek literary and artistic culture, and considers aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. This module will also examine the relationship of the Greek world to the Roman World, and will be complemented by the Spring semester module Studying the Roman World. No prior knowledge of the Greek world is assumed.
Studying the Roman World
This module provides a wide-ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. As well as examining all 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, it also explores synchronous developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and considers aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. This module will also examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world, and 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 assumed. 

Scenario 1: language modules if you have A level Latin

Latin Texts: 1

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

Latin Texts: 2
This module studies a Latin literary text and completes the systematic revision of grammar begun in Latin Texts: 1. The module reinforces students' knowledge of the Latin language and develops students' ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding.
Beginners Greek: 1
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

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.

Scenario 1: language modules if you have A level Greek

Greek Texts: 1
This module studies a Greek literary text and begins the systematic revision of grammar to be completed in Greek Texts: 2. The module reinforces students' knowledge of the Greek language and develops their ability to read Greek with fluency and understanding. 
Greek Texts: 2
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.
Beginners Latin: 1
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
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.

Scenario 1: choose one from:

Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology
This module explores Greek and Roman art in detail and it aims is to give students a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, whilst concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous and talked about objects and monuments of Greek and Roman culture. More specifically, it offers an introduction to sculpture in the public and private sphere, vase-painting, numismatics, architecture and urban structures from 8th century BC Greece to the 4th century AD Rome. The module covers the Greek world in Autumn and the Roman world in Spring. Rather than proceeding chronologically, the material is organised by themes and media, starting with topography, then sculpture, vase painting etc. This is meant to give students a grasp of formal and stylistic developments within each of these media through the centuries, along with the meanings attached to them.
Interpreting Ancient History
This full-year module is devoted specifically to the history of the ancient world, and investigates some of its major themes and approaches through a series of historical case studies. The range of topics introduces students to important historical issues from the major periods of Greek and Roman history, with an emphasis on the methodological questions raised by the relevant ancient source material and on the modern debates about those issues. As a result, students should gain a more detailed knowledge of important topics in ancient history, a clearer understanding of the evidential basis on which ancient historians rely, and some appreciation of how contemporary preoccupations can influence the perspectives of modern practitioners of the discipline and generate vigorous debate between them.
Interpreting Ancient Literature
This module will introduce students to the interpretation of ancient literary texts (in translation) as sources for ancient culture, by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes. The module 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, and how to compare translations. The focus will be on Greek texts in autumn and Latin texts in spring.

Scenario 2: beginners' languages - choose either

Beginners Latin: 1
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
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.

or:

Beginners Greek: 1
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

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.

Scenario 2: choose at 20-60 credits from:

Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology
This module explores Greek and Roman art in detail and it aims is to give students a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, whilst concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous and talked about objects and monuments of Greek and Roman culture. More specifically, it offers an introduction to sculpture in the public and private sphere, vase-painting, numismatics, architecture and urban structures from 8th century BC Greece to the 4th century AD Rome. The module covers the Greek world in Autumn and the Roman world in Spring. Rather than proceeding chronologically, the material is organised by themes and media, starting with topography, then sculpture, vase painting etc. This is meant to give students a grasp of formal and stylistic developments within each of these media through the centuries, along with the meanings attached to them.
Interpreting Ancient History
This full-year module is devoted specifically to the history of the ancient world, and investigates some of its major themes and approaches through a series of historical case studies. The range of topics introduces students to important historical issues from the major periods of Greek and Roman history, with an emphasis on the methodological questions raised by the relevant ancient source material and on the modern debates about those issues. As a result, students should gain a more detailed knowledge of important topics in ancient history, a clearer understanding of the evidential basis on which ancient historians rely, and some appreciation of how contemporary preoccupations can influence the perspectives of modern practitioners of the discipline and generate vigorous debate between them.
Interpreting Ancient Literature
This module will introduce students to the interpretation of ancient literary texts (in translation) as sources for ancient culture, by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes. The module 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, and how to compare translations. The focus will be on Greek texts in autumn and Latin texts in spring.

Scenario 2: choose 0-20 credits from:

Greek and Roman Mythology
This module will introduce students to the interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman myth by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes. The module will be team-taught exposing students to a wide range of material and approaches to the use of myth in the ancient world. The module will consider how mythology is used not only in ancient literature such as epic and drama, but also in historical texts, in religious contexts and in the material culture of the ancient world such as statuary, paintings and sarcophagi. It will also introduce students to the variety of methodologies that scholars have used over the years to help interpret and understand these myths and their usages.
Understanding the Past - Introduction to Archaeology

Archaeologists are interested in all aspects of the human past, 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 provides a basic introduction to the discipline of archaeology, the process by which the material remains of the past 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 the subject, 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, and 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. By the end of the module, we hope that you will have developed a good understanding of the concepts used in archaeology, the questions asked and methods applied in investigating the evidence.

Understanding the Past II

This module builds on the autumn semester module, Understanding the Past 1, as an introduction to the core aims and methodologies of Archaeology as a discipline in providing a basic introduction to the process by which the 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, students will be introduced to the study of landscape and the built environment, looking at how the archaeological record is both created and investigated. Students will be taken into the field to gain practical experience of core archaeological methods in field survey and buildings archaeology. By the end of the module, we aim to ensure that students will have developed a good understanding of the concepts used in archaeology, the questions asked and methods applied in investigating the evidence.

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

You’ll receive a grounding that will feed into our other modules on Prehistoric archaeology in the Department of Archaeology.  

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

Rome to Revolution: Historical Archaeology of Britain.

You will gain 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, and using key sites and discoveries you will be introduced to the challenges of understanding the archaeology of periods partially documented in textual sources.

The module covers:

  • 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.

The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, seminars and a museum session, on average taking up 2 hours per week across the spring semester. 

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

You will take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

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

  • 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 modules

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

  • Compulsory core modules (80 credits) – you will take intermediate modules in your year 1 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 modules

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

You must pass year 2 which counts 33% towards your final degree classification. 

Scenario 1: Core modules if you started the course with A level Latin or Greek

Intermediate Greek: 1

In this module you will study classical Greek from the level reached in Beginners Greek 2. This will complete instruction in the basic aspects of the Greek language and enables students to undertake the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Greek text, such a Lysias 1. 

Intermediate Greek: 2

This module continues the study of classical Greek from the level reached in Intermediate Greek 1. It continues with the study of Greek grammar and focuses on the reading of one or more classical Greek texts. 

Latin Texts: 3

This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. In recent years, themes have included: Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius); Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); the emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus). Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. The module will not just be about literature: you will also explore the text's relationship with its social, political and cultural context. 

Latin Texts 4

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

Intermediate Latin: 1

This module continues the study of Latin from the level reached in Beginners' Latin 2. It provides the opportunity to revise basic aspects of the Latin language and enables students to proceed to the reading of Latin texts. The assessment-pattern emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Intermediate Latin: 2

This module is for students in their fourth semester of Latin. You will read a text such as Cicero Pro Archia or Virgil Aeneid 2 in some depth, and practise close reading of Latin literature, as well as continuing to revise and consolidate Latin grammar. 

Greek Texts: 3

This module examines, in the original Greek, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme 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 text in the development of the genre will be explored, as well as its relationship with its social context. Students will also develop their understanding of the Greek language more generally.

Greek Texts: 4

This module examines, in the original Greek, a significant literary text, paying special attention to matters of language and style, but also 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.

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

You will develop your year one language, and start your second language as a beginner. 

Core modules if you took Beginners' Latin in Year 1

Intermediate Latin: 1

This module continues the study of Latin from the level reached in Beginners' Latin 2. It provides the opportunity to revise basic aspects of the Latin language and enables students to proceed to the reading of Latin texts. The assessment-pattern emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Intermediate Latin: 2

This module is for students in their fourth semester of Latin. You will read a text such as Cicero Pro Archia or Virgil Aeneid 2 in some depth, and practise close reading of Latin literature, as well as continuing to revise and consolidate Latin grammar. 

Beginners Greek: 1
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

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.

Core modules if you took Beginners' Greek in Year 1

Intermediate Greek: 1

In this module you will study classical Greek from the level reached in Beginners Greek 2. This will complete instruction in the basic aspects of the Greek language and enables students to undertake the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Greek text, such a Lysias 1. 

Intermediate Greek: 2

This module continues the study of classical Greek from the level reached in Intermediate Greek 1. It continues with the study of Greek grammar and focuses on the reading of one or more classical Greek texts. 

Beginners Latin: 1
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
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.

Scenarios 1 and 2 optional modules

Choose 40 credits from a range. 

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

Animals in the Ancient World

Awaiting final description of module content

The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian war lasted for more than 25 years, and came to involve much of the Greek world, as diverse states and peoples felt compelled to become allies of either Sparta or Athens – the central protagonists. The scale of this struggle, and its repercussions, make this a highly significant period of Greek history. You will consider this conflict in detail - its causes and background, protagonists, character and consequences.

You will also consider the disproportionate role that one man, the Athenian historian Thucydides, plays in shaping our knowledge and understanding of this conflict. You will seek to look beyond this major (but imperfect) source using other ancient authors and other types of evidence.

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. 

Religion and the Romans

Religion was central to all aspects of Roman life; but did Romans really "believe"? This module explores the traditions and rituals that operated in Roman society from the earliest stages of archaic Rome through to the advent of Christianity. It helps the student to make sense of customs and practises that could baffle even the Romans themselves, and shows how the religious system permeated and controlled Roman social, political and military activities.

This course will be principally concerned with evidence drawn from the late Republic and early Principate, and will use literature and images from the Augustan period as a central hinge for studying the dynamics of religion in Rome. Topics to be covered will 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
Communicating the Past

This module is your opportunity to expand your knowledge of an aspect of Classics or Archaeology which interests you, and to experiment with methods of communicating that knowledge which take you beyond the usual assessment practices of essays and exams. You might undertake research that leads to (for example) the creation of a museum exhibition, the reconstruction of an ancient artefact, or the design of a new public engagement strategy for a historic site. You might acquire experience of a communication method which could be of use to you in a future career, e.g. by constructing an education pack, writing in a journalistic style, or creating an archaeological site management plan. You might choose to experiment with a different medium of communication such as video, website or phone app. The topic and form of the project chosen must both be approved by the module convener. This module is ideal for any student who is interested in pursuing a career in heritage, museums or education, while developing skills in research, project design and communication are essential for a wide range of career choices as well as being excellent preparation for your third-year dissertation.

Classics and Comics

Awaiting final description of module content

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. 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.

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

You will examine Britain in the later-Roman Empire, from the crisis that marked the middle years of the third century to the disappearance of Roman power in the early fifth and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed. This is a fascinating period: an era of prosperity, integration, and sophistication, and yet marked also by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.

You will take an interdisciplinary approach, familiarising yourself with a wide range of types of archaeological and historical evidence. You 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, and the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire.

You will be encouraged to consider the integration of different types of source material and to think about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

This discipline-bridging cross-campus module will involve 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, and 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, between for example China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

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
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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

You will take 120 credits of modules split as follows:

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

  • 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 2)

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

  • 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 2)

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

You must pass year 3 which counts 67% towards your final degree classification.

Scenario 1: core language modules if you started the course with A level Latin or Greek

Advanced Greek: 1

In this module you will do detailed guided study of a prose or verse text in Greek. Those who have taken Greek A-level and third-years who began the study of Greek in their first year at Nottingham are taught together. Attention is paid to the development of translation skills, but the focus of the module will not be merely linguistic as you will be encouraged to explore the set text’s interrelation with its literary tradition and its socio-political background, as well as to appreciate style and imagery through your access to the text in the original language. You might study a book of Homer, a tragedy of Euripides or Sophocles, a selection from the works of Lucian, a speech by Demosthenes or a book of Herodotus.

Advanced Greek: 2

This module involves detailed guided study in Greek of a significant literary text, designed for those who have begun the study of Greek as part of their University course. Special attention will be paid to matters of language and style, but 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.

or:

Advanced Latin: 1

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

This module involves detailed guided study in Greek of a significant literary text, designed for those who have begun the study of Greek as part of their University course. Special attention will be paid to matters of language and style, but 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.

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

You will continue with your year 1 language to Advanced level and your year 2 language to intermediate level.

If you took Beginners' Latin in Year 1

Advanced Latin: 1

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

This module involves detailed guided study in Greek of a significant literary text, designed for those who have begun the study of Greek as part of their University course. Special attention will be paid to matters of language and style, but 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.

Intermediate Greek: 1

In this module you will study classical Greek from the level reached in Beginners Greek 2. This will complete instruction in the basic aspects of the Greek language and enables students to undertake the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Greek text, such a Lysias 1. 

Intermediate Greek: 2

This module continues the study of classical Greek from the level reached in Intermediate Greek 1. It continues with the study of Greek grammar and focuses on the reading of one or more classical Greek texts. 

If you took Beginners' Greek in Year 1

Advanced Greek: 1

In this module you will do detailed guided study of a prose or verse text in Greek. Those who have taken Greek A-level and third-years who began the study of Greek in their first year at Nottingham are taught together. Attention is paid to the development of translation skills, but the focus of the module will not be merely linguistic as you will be encouraged to explore the set text’s interrelation with its literary tradition and its socio-political background, as well as to appreciate style and imagery through your access to the text in the original language. You might study a book of Homer, a tragedy of Euripides or Sophocles, a selection from the works of Lucian, a speech by Demosthenes or a book of Herodotus.

Advanced Greek: 2

This module involves detailed guided study in Greek of a significant literary text, designed for those who have begun the study of Greek as part of their University course. Special attention will be paid to matters of language and style, but 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.

Intermediate Latin: 1

This module continues the study of Latin from the level reached in Beginners' Latin 2. It provides the opportunity to revise basic aspects of the Latin language and enables students to proceed to the reading of Latin texts. The assessment-pattern emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Intermediate Latin: 2

This module is for students in their fourth semester of Latin. You will read a text such as Cicero Pro Archia or Virgil Aeneid 2 in some depth, and practise close reading of Latin literature, as well as continuing to revise and consolidate Latin grammar. 

Optional modules

Scenario 1: choose 80 credits

Scenario 2: choose 40 credits

You may only choose the Dissertation module if you took the Studying Classical Scholarship module in Year 2

Year-long 40-credit modules:

Classics Dissertation

The dissertation is compulsory unless you are studying ancient Greek or Latin, in which case it is optional. It is your opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation of a chosen area, to be agreed with a supervisor in advance. You will use the skills that your degree has equipped you with thus far to plan, research and complete a 10,000-word essay. There will be a mix of contact to achieve this, including workshops, lectures and one-to-one tutorials.  

Augustus

The year-long Special Subject module involves 3 hours of seminars per week, and provides an opportunity for intensive study of one of the most influential figures in Roman history. The module examines the ways in which, after his victory in the civil wars, Augustus established his rule over the Roman world on a secure and generally acceptable basis. Attention is paid to the ancient sources (studied in translation): these include not only historical and literary texts, but inscriptions, coins, art and architecture. This module covers not only political aspects of the theme but also Augustus' impact on society, religion, culture, and ideology. It is assessed through a combination of coursework essays, formal presentation and exam.

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. Things to think about: how does myth work in the ancient world? How do representations in different media interact? When does myth-making become reception? How do the Greeks represent Greek culture and the barbarian other? How does Roman literature re-appropriate and re-work Greek myth? How do 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.

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.  

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.

Additional 10 and 20 credit modules. Choose from a range not already taken in year 2: 

Classics and Comics

Awaiting final description of module content

Animals in the Ancient World

Awaiting final description of module content

The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian war lasted for more than 25 years, and came to involve much of the Greek world, as diverse states and peoples felt compelled to become allies of either Sparta or Athens – the central protagonists. The scale of this struggle, and its repercussions, make this a highly significant period of Greek history. You will consider this conflict in detail - its causes and background, protagonists, character and consequences.

You will also consider the disproportionate role that one man, the Athenian historian Thucydides, plays in shaping our knowledge and understanding of this conflict. You will seek to look beyond this major (but imperfect) source using other ancient authors and other types of evidence.

Religion and the Romans

Religion was central to all aspects of Roman life; but did Romans really "believe"? This module explores the traditions and rituals that operated in Roman society from the earliest stages of archaic Rome through to the advent of Christianity. It helps the student to make sense of customs and practises that could baffle even the Romans themselves, and shows how the religious system permeated and controlled Roman social, political and military activities.

This course will be principally concerned with evidence drawn from the late Republic and early Principate, and will use literature and images from the Augustan period as a central hinge for studying the dynamics of religion in Rome. Topics to be covered will 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
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
The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

This discipline-bridging cross-campus module will involve 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, and 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, between for example China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

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

This module examines Britain in the later-Roman Empire, from the crisis that marked the middle years of the third century to the disappearance of Roman power in the early fifth and the rapid economic collapse and social transformation that followed. This is a fascinating period: an era of prosperity, integration, and sophistication, and yet marked also by rebellion, civil war, and the sundering of the links that had bound Britain to the continent so deeply for so long.

The module takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining archaeological and historical evidence – students will be expected to familiarise themselves with a wide range of types 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, and the question of how it ended up leaving the Roman Empire. It will encourage students to consider the integration of different types of source material and to think about Britain’s place in the wider world in a broader context.

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. 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.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

£19,000*
Per year
*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 starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who 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 Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

Essential course materials are supplied and recommended reading is available from our libraries.

For optional field trips we usually provide travel costs and entry fees but you will need to pay for meals.

Students studying for a semester abroad pay reduced fees:

  • Home/EU students: £6,480
  • International: 75% of the relevant international fee

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/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Classics is a broad interdisciplinary subject that allows you to develop a broad range of professional skills. Our graduates enter a wide variety of careers, including in the heritage, museum and archaeology sectors, central and local government, publishing and journalism, law, and finance. Often graduates stay with us to undertake postgraduate studies.

A degree in classics equips you with a broad array of important skills, including:

  • ability to process and critically evaluate data and apply 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

More information about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Services.

Average starting salary and career progression

75.1% of undergraduates from the School of Humanities secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £22,180*

*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.

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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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

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.