MA Classics and Ancient History

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


Our innovative MA in Classics and Ancient History gives you the chance to study for a world-class degree with the flexibility to tailor the programme to match your own interests. We will give you a supportive and stimulating environment in which to enhance the knowledge and skills you picked up at Undergraduate level.

You can choose to follow an open pathway to mix your modules and interests or one of the specially designed research streams that match our own specialisms. The research streams we currently offer are:

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

At the heart of the Department is the A.G. Leventis Room, our dedicated Postgraduate study space, which you will have full access to. You might also take the opportunity to participate in Isca Latina, our local schools Latin outreach programme. We have a vibrant Postgraduate community which we hope you will become an active part of.

If you decide to join us at Exeter you will become part of one of the largest and most successful Classics and Ancient History Departments in the UK. We have an excellent reputation for both our teaching and our research with league table rankings to match.

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.

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

Before you begin your MA we will sit down with you to discuss your module choices and help you build your programme of study. Throughout the course we will support you, mainly through a personal tutor who will meet with you regularly to discuss progress, results and feedback.

Your teaching will mainly be through small group discussions and seminars where you will present your work and take part in debates. We use a variety of methods including seminars, student-led groups and one-to-one supervision. You will also have the opportunity to join Postgraduate reading groups and benefit from working collaboratively with your fellow students.

In your final term you will design, research and write your dissertation which will be an original project on a topic of your choice. We will teach you the skills and train you in the methodology you need to be a success.

Throughout your programme you will have the opportunity to explore your personal interests through directed independent study. If you decide you would like to progress to a PhD we will help you prepare with one-to-one mentoring as you develop a research proposal and prepare applications for funding.


Many of our students decide to take their studies on to doctoral level and we are very happy to provide mentoring and support if you decide to take this path. Of course a PhD isn’t the only option available to you on completing our MA.

During your time with us you will have a developed an excellent range of skills in logical thinking, interpreting, analysing and evaluating information, and communication. A range of options will be open to you, you might take a career path in a related area such as museum and cultural heritage work or teaching. Alternatively you might choose to pursue a different profession using your relevant skills, perhaps joining the Civil Service or working in business, law or 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

We are proud of our research. We are currently ranked 6th in the UK for research power by the Times Higher Education with 75% of our research classified as world-leading or internationally excellent. We have a real research culture at Exeter, with international conferences and regular publications. We hope that you will become part of that culture and add to our research strength.

Our academic staff have a broad range of expertise and ground-breaking research interests, some of the research streams available on our MA reflect these. We regularly review and update our MA programme to reflect both the needs of our students and the latest emerging research within the field. Some of the areas we have a special research interest include:

Research expertise

  • 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

A large part of the Department’s research falls under the remit of one of our three 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 examines the ways in which 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.

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


All our Postgraduate students have access to the A.G. Leventis Room which is our dedicated Postgraduate study space. The main University Library is a modern facility with extensive collections and resources, including digital.

You will also be able to take advantage of other resources in the South West such as the Cathedral Archives which date to Saxon times. The Devon Heritage Centre and the Dorset Heritage Centre which are valuable resources for those interested in local history.

You will also have access to use the new £1.2 million Digital Humanities Lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will allow you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine in greater detail and share discoveries with the public. For more information visit our Digital Humanities Lab page.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree in Classics, Classical Studies, Ancient History or other relevant subject (e.g Archaeology, English, History). Prior knowledge of Greek and/or Latin not required.

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.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2019/20

  • UK/EU: £8,300 full-time; £4,150 part-time
  • International: £17,700 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.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.

Contact us

Admissions Office - Exeter

Web: Enquire online

Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

Select a programme

Fast Track
Current Exeter students
Ask a question Visit subject website Get a prospectus

Why choose Classics 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.

//unibuddy popcard script