MA Classics and Ancient History

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Classics and Ancient History
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The Classics and Ancient History department at the University of Exeter is one of the largest and most successful in the UK, with an excellent reputation in both teaching and research; we are ranked top 5 in all major UK university league tables for the subject.

The department provides students with a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment, which is further enhanced by the ground-breaking research interests of our internationally-renowned staff, who contribute to the development of and teaching on the MA. We constantly review and update our MA programme, to ensure it meets the needs of our students and keeps up-to-date with changing and emerging research within the field.

Our innovative MA in Classics and Ancient History offers a world-class degree qualification, and will enhance the knowledge gained in the subject at undergraduate, or equivalent, level.

Students on our extremely flexible and wide-ranging MA can tailor-make their programme of study to suit their own personal interests. The programme offers the opportunity for study in a number of key areas connected to the department’s research strengths.
Students can either take an entirely flexible MA, by choosing modules from a variety of different areas of specialism, or they can choose to tailor a more specific programme in one of the following research streams:

Ancient Philosophy, Science and Medicine 
Ancient Politics and Society
Classical Receptions 
Cultural Histories and Material Exchanges 
Literary Interactions

This high degree of choice is also reflected in our wide choice of modules and the provision of our methodology training, which provides the teaching of specialist skills according to the needs of individual students.

As a postgraduate student with us you will:
• Play a key role in our vibrant and diverse research culture
• Have use of our dedicated postgraduate study space (the A.G. Leventis Room) at the heart of the department
• Have the opportunity to participate in Isca Latina, the department’s outreach programme to local schools that gives students the opportunity to teach Latin in a school setting
• Engage with a lively postgraduate community, with dedicated reading groups and seminars to present work in-progress to your peers, in addition to our regular research seminar series
• Undertake directed independent study in areas of your personal research preference (in addition to the dissertation)
• Gain a range of academic and personal skills that will prepare you for employment or PhD study
• Receive one-to-one mentoring to help you if you decide to apply for PhD study

The department’s sense of community is really what ties everything together. Within the first week of my MA I was invited to attend a conference organised by the department. The staff encouraged our interaction there and throughout the year at other such events. By the end of my Masters I felt like a part of the group, not only with the other postgraduates but also the department.

Sam Hayes, MA Classics and Ancient History alumnus.

Programme structure

The MA Classics and Ancient History programme is a one year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework level 7. The programme can also be studied part time. The programme is further divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

Compulsory modules

Research Methodology and the Dissertation are compulsory. The research methodology module can be 'tailor made' to individual student needs. The dissertation is 20,000 words (including footnotes and titles).

CTHM007Research Skills in Classics and Ancient History 30
CLAM043Dissertation in Classics and Ancient History 60

Optional modules

The optional modules determine the main focus of your MA study.

The optional modules contain a range of Greek and Latin language modules appropriate for different levels of language competence and experience on entry to the programme.

Students beginning a Classical language take CLAM201 Classical Language & Texts: Greek I (30 credits), CLAM251 Classical Language and Texts: Latin I (30 credits), or CLAM034 Fast Track Greek (60 credits)

Students with a Classical language at Beginners' level take CLAM252 Intermediate Latin or CLAM202 Greek II.

Students with a Classical language at Intermediate level take CLAM254 Latin III, CLAM255 Latin IV or CLAM204 Greek III, CLAM205 Greek IV. 

Students with Classical language at Degree level choose from CLAM Greek Comedy, CLAM012A Latin Epic, or CLAM038 Independent Reading in Greek and Latin Authors.

CLAM071Food and Culture 15
CLAM039AAncient Drama in its Social and Intellectual Context 30
CLAM102Hellenistic Culture and Society - History 15
CLAM103Hellenistic Culture and Society - Literature 15
CLAM104Cultural Transformations in Late Antiquity 15
CLAM105Migration and the Migrant Through Ancient and Modern Eyes 15
CLAM106Ancient Philosophy: Truth and Ancient Thought 15
CLAM107Roman Myth 15
CLAM108Rome: Globalisation, Materiality 15
CLAM046The City of Rome (subject to availability) 30
CLAM201Greek I 30
CLAM251Latin I 30
CLAM034Fast-Track Greek 60
CLAM252Classical Language and Texts: Latin II 30
CLAM202Classical Language and Texts: Greek II 30
CLAM254Latin III 30
CLAM255Latin IV 30
CLAM204Greek III 30
CLAM205Greek IV 30
CLAM012ALatin Epic 30
CLAM012ALatin Epic 30

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Responsibility for the management of the programme rests with the programme director who you will meet at the beginning of the academic year to discuss your choice of option modules and help construct your programme of study.

You will receive the support of a personal tutor who you will meet at least once a term to discuss your progress, assessment results and feedback and anything that has been of concern. Each personal tutor sets aside a number of hours a week for appointments or drop-in sessions. Teaching mainly involves seminars including group discussions and presentation of work.

We use a variety of learning and teaching methods including seminars, student-led groups, one-to-one supervision, visits and web and IT resources. Teaching groups for option modules tend to be small and numbers are usually capped at ten or fewer.

The precise method of teaching varies according to each module. Seminars involving student discussion are very important and you will be expected to prepare for these classes by reading recommended texts or preparing papers for discussion.

During the preparation of your dissertation, you will be offered one-to-one supervision by a member of staff who will advise you during the research process and provide feedback on a draft before submission for assessment.


A degree in Classics and Ancient History can provide you with an excellent range of skills such as developing logical thinking, interpreting, assessing and evaluating information and good communication skills. For our graduates, it opens up a wide range of options of both further study and employment including career paths in related areas such as museum work and teaching as well providing a path to other areas such as the Civil Service, business, law and management.

Some destinations of graduates from Classics and Ancient History programmes are:

  • Actor
  • Classics Teacher
  • Client Executive
  • Executive Search Researcher
  • Human Resources Adviser
  • Lecturer
  • Legal Assistant
  • Personal Incident Manager
  • Producer of West End Shows
  • Project Manager
  • Property Manager
  • Publishing Assistant
  • Quality Controller
  • Researcher

Research areas

Classics and Ancient History at Exeter is ranked 6th in the UK for research power by the Times Higher (using the Research Excellence Framework 2014 results), with 75% of research classified as world-leading or internationally excellent. The Department has a vigorous research culture, with international conferences, at least once a year, most of which lead to published volumes.

Research expertise

  • Ancient and modern philosophy, especially ethics
  • Classical art and archaeology
  • Classics in the history of sexuality
  • Comparative philology and linguistics
  • Food in the ancient world
  • Greek and Roman epic, tragedy and comedy
  • Greek and Roman mythology, religion and magic
  • Greek and Roman social history, especially sexuality
  • Hellenistic history, especially the barbarian interface and the Greek culture of Asia Minor and dynastic studies
  • History of medicine in antiquity, especially Galen
  • Later Greek literature, including Lucian, Athenaeus, ecphrasis
  • Latin literature
  • palaeography

Find out more about our research on the Classics and Ancient History website.


Classics and Ancient History are located in the Amory Building which provides access to meeting rooms, lecture theatres and tutorial rooms. The Postgraduate IT suite is located in the Amory Building and provides workstations, internet access, printers and other IT facilities for all of our graduate students.

The Amory Senior Common Room provides a social space and meeting place for staff and students. The common room includes a seating area and access to a roof terrace. 

Entry requirements 2016

Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 in Classics, Classical Studies, Ancient History or an other relevant subject. Prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is not essential.

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 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency

Overall score 176. No less than 169 in any section.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2016/17

  • UK/EU: £6,900 full-time; £3,450 part-time
  • International: £15,950 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Current available funding

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding postgraduate study in the College of Humanities please contact us:


Tel: +44 (0) 1392 725306


Graduate School Office
College of Humanities
Queens Building
The Queens Drive
University of Exeter

We are located on the University's Streatham Campus.



Apply online Fast Track
Current Exeter students
Visit subject website

Why choose Classsics and Ancient History at Exeter?

Student Katrina Alaimo talks about her experiences studying the MA Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter. View full size.