Classics and Ancient History

  • MPhil/PhD Classics and Ancient History
  • MA by Research Classics and Ancient History
Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
MA by Research: Full time 2 years; Part time 3 years
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April

Research overview

Research areas

Research spans the breadth of the Classical world and its neighbours, with methodological strengths in the various fields of literature, language, history, archaeology and philosophy.

  • Ancient and modern philosophy, especially metaphysics and ethics
  • Archaeology and material culture, especially of the Roman world
  • Classical art and visual culture
  • Classics in the history of sexuality
  • Comparative philology and linguistics
  • Greek and Roman epic, tragedy and comedy
  • Greek and Roman mythology, religion and magic
  • Greek and Roman socio-economic history
  • Greek literature in the Roman empire, including Lucian, Athenaeus, ecphrasis
  • Hellenistic history, especially the barbarian interface and the Greek culture of Asia Minor Medicine in antiquity, especially Galen
  • Latin literature
  • Migration and mobility, especially in Italy and the Roman empire

Our postgraduates are a part of the vigorous research culture in the Department. They have taken a leading role in setting up their own seminar series, and in giving conference papers throughout the UK and abroad. The Department journal Pegasus is currently edited by postgraduates and includes contributions by undergraduates and staff members.


We offer supervision across a wide variety of research specialism. Prospective PhD candidates are encouraged to explore the interests of our staff in more detail via their individual pages, and should make informal contact with a potential supervisor before submitting a formal application.

Research centres

Supported by a £1.25 million Leverhulme grant, the Centre for Hellenistic and Romano-Greek Culture and Society is rapidly becoming internationally recognised for the study of the history and culture of the post-classical Greek world.

The Centre for Connectivity in the Roman World aims to examine in what ways connectivity contributed to the shaping of distinctive cultures, economies and societies across the breadth of the Roman world (and its immediate neighbours).

The Centre for Knowledge in Culture in Antiquity and Beyond brings together research in specialised areas including ancient medicine, ancient science and the scientific imagination, metaphysics, philosophy, ethics, sexual knowledge, military strategy and political thought, and on ancient technical writings from across the Classical world.

Research projects

Most staff research is based on individual research projects, many of which are externally funded. There are also clusters of research expertise, enabling fruitful synergy between colleagues, and these provide a framework for much of the postgraduate research.


We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career.

Postgraduate students have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Classics and Ancient History postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation

Classics Teacher
Climate Change Communications Manager
Production Supplier Analyst
English Foreign Language Teacher
Senior Lecturer
International Public Relations Specialist
Assistant Head, International Partnerships
Lecturer in Roman History

Exeter School
Met Office
Homerun Consulting
Goodridge Ltd UK
Plymouth College
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
University of Exeter
Hokkaido University, Japan
University of Exeter
Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Entry requirements 2018

Applying for MPhil/PhD study

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in Classics and Ancient History, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject. 

Applying for MA by Research

The MA by Research is suited to dedicated students who are comfortable with independent research with a focused topic already in mind. Applicants should have a proven track-record of producing excellent research at undergraduate level, either in the form of an overall first class degree in Classics and Ancient History, or an upper-second class degree with a first-class dissertation (or equivalent). They should also obtain prior approval on a research proposal from their prospective supervisor in the department of Classics and Ancient History before submitting an application. Students should also have an undergraduate degree in Classics and Ancient History, or a cognate discipline e.g. Archaeology.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306

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Find out more

  • Preparing a research proposal
  • Staff profiles

Why study Classics at Exeter?

Dr Richard Flower (Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History) gives an overview of the Classics and Ancient History department and what postgraduate students can expect at Exeter.