|Discipline||Classics and Ancient History|
- Combine the challenge of exploring the culture and thought of the ancient world with the study of a modern language
- Study Greek and Roman literature, history, and culture from translated texts
- In your final year choose from a range of ‘special subjects’ that consider the ancient world from different perspectives
- Your third year will normally be spent studying abroad in a country where you can develop your chosen language
Top 200 in world subject rankings for Modern Languages and Cultures
QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
Year abroad spent studying at a partner university or in employment
Top 10 in all major UK League tables for Classics and Ancient History
6th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, 7th in the Guardian University Guide 2022 and 10th in The Complete University
Proactive Classics Society with successful student tutor scheme
I love languages, so to be able to learn alongside other people who are also passionate about the same thing is really motivating.
I especially love the Russian department, because it is so small and friendly, and we know all the teachers really well. They understand our difficulties with learning such a challenging language and give us great advice.
BA Spanish and Russian
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||AAB - ABB||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|IB||34/665 - 32/655||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|BTEC||DDD - DDM||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|GCSE||C or 4||English Language|
|Access to HE||30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade||Dependent on level chosen the required L3 credits in Modern Foreign Language subject area|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply
- Grade B at A level is required in any language you intend to study from A level.
- You may only choose one language.
- Students wishing to pursue language study on the basis of a GCSE are normally classed as beginners.
- French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish can be studied either from A level or beginner’s level, with both cohorts reaching degree level in the final year. Portuguese and Chinese can normally only be studied from beginner’s level, not from A Level; students of these two languages reach degree level in final year.
Languages and levels available for Combined Honours courses
I want to study a new language at beginner level alongside my other subject (excluding programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||GCSE grade B/grade 5 (or equivalent) in any Modern Foreign Language|
|Advanced level languages available||n/a|
|Beginners level languages available||Chinese (Mandarin); French; German; Italian; Portuguese; Russian; Spanish|
I want to study my A level (or equivalent) language at advanced level alongside my other subject (including programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||A level grade B or IB HL 5 (or equivalent) in the language chosen at advanced level|
|Advanced level languages available||French; German; Italian; Russian; Spanish|
|Beginners level languages available||n/a|
Completing your UCAS form
In the section named ‘further details’ on your UCAS application form please indicate in the ‘choices’ field the language and route you wish to study using the abbreviations below, separated by a space:
Your year abroad
Study/Work Abroad in Year 3
A pivotal part of all Modern Language programmes is the year spent abroad, either studying at one of our prestigious partner universities, teaching on a British Council placement, or working in other employment. By immersing yourself in the culture you study, you will not only enhance your language skills, but cultivate:
- strong intercultural understanding
- improved communication skills
- the ability to think and study in different ways
- resilience and confidence
- analytical skills and the ability to make cross-cultural comparisons
- adaptability, independence and valuable life experience
During your Year Abroad, you will still be registered as an Exeter student and therefore supported in several ways. You will retain your personal tutor and be expected to keep in contact with them. You will also have the support of the Exeter Global Opportunities team for advice on any matter.
You will need to decide how to spend your Year Abroad during the first half of the second year. We will help you in the process. During your first year you will be invited to an introductory presentation about your Year Abroad options. In your second year, there is an extensive orientation programme to help you prepare for your Year Abroad.
Ways to spend the Year Abroad
- You must spend 7-15 months abroad, maximising the opportunities available to you
- You can work, study, or split the year on two or more placements
- Students going to China or Russia can currently only study (work abroad is not available)
- If you study Portuguese, the only options available are study or work abroad (not a British Council assistantship)
Studying abroad offers a range of possibilities, with over 40 different partner universities worldwide available to Modern Languages students. This can provide you with the opportunity to experience a different academic environment with local and other international students broadening your knowledge of the language and culture you study.
Internships are very rewarding in that they can offer you valuable workplace experience. Placements can be sourced via our Global Opportunities webpages, but you can also source your own internship externally, though it must be approved by the Global Opportunities team. Some of our students have spent their Year Abroad working in translation, tourism, marketing, fashion, commerce, journalism, heritage and many other sectors.
British Council English Language Assistantship
Becoming an English Language Assistant with the British Council is a brilliant opportunity to explore both the world of working and, more specifically, the idea of working as a teacher. An academic year is spent supporting teachers in a primary or secondary school in the country of the language you are studying.
Does it count towards my degree?
The Year Abroad is an assessed year and the marks obtained count towards your final degree classification. If you begin a language in your first year at Exeter and intend to take that language in your final year, we strongly recommend you spend the majority of your Year Abroad in a country where that language is spoken. If you would like to arrange the year differently, you should first speak with the Programme Director for your language and/or the Study Abroad Officer.
How does it affect my tuition fee and funding?
For your Year Abroad you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter – for more information visit our fees pages. You will also continue to receive any Student Finance support for which you are eligible. Other financial support may also be available for certain students.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £21,500 per year
The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us in 2023 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
Our teaching makes full use of seminars, study groups and web-based learning, and there are many other opportunities for you to add to your overall experience in the department. We integrate the latest approaches with traditional lectures to give you a varied and challenging programme. In the first two years, the teaching is via both formal lectures (usually 50-70 students) and discussion-based seminar groups of around 12-18 students. All final year teaching is through discussion-based seminar groups.
You’ll receive 10 contact hours per week with staff, both teaching time and with your personal tutor. You’re also expected to invest plenty of time in independent study and contact with your study-group (for example, in preparation for seminars). The exact amount of time spent working independently varies from module to module.
We hold mini conferences for some modules, where students can present papers to fellow students and staff, along with weekly research seminars and monthly Classical Association lectures, with talks from leading internal and external speakers. We have a lively and engaged student-led Classics Society which organises events throughout the year. Recently they have organised a trip abroad, plays, balls, debates, film nights, and loads more, on top of running lectures and a peer-mentoring scheme for the ancient languages. The department also publishes its own journal, Pegasus, and our students take an active role in writing and editing this publication.
Teaching that is inspired by research ensures that lectures are up-to-date and relevant to your studies. You will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach third year options linked to their own interests, which include the study of ancient Greek Mythology, moral concepts in Latin literature, Greek inscriptions and ancient ideas of character, food, sex, politics and religion.
All students have a Personal Tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also several services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
You will be assessed by coursework and exams throughout your study. You must pass your first-year modules in order to proceed: this level does not count towards your final degree classification. The assessments in the second year, year abroad and final year will contribute to your final degree classification. In most modules, your assessment will be in the first year: 70% exams and 30% coursework; in the second year: 60% exams and 40% coursework; and in the final year: 50% exams and 50% coursework.
Employer-valued skills this course develops
A degree in Classics and Ancient History will provide you with skills which are highly valuable to employers across many sectors. You will develop an advanced knowledge of other cultures, learn how to think logically and independently, to interpret and critique sources, to assess and evaluate information and to communicate (verbally and in writing) in a sophisticated way.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. The Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award schemes encourage you to participate in employability related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates.
As a Classics and Ancient History graduate, you will have an array of different industries open to you, such as museum and heritage work, education, journalism, business, and law. Our recent graduates have since secured a variety of positions, such as:
- Archives Assistant
- Business Development Associate
- Freelance Journalist
- Grants and Partnerships Assistant
- Investment Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Publishing Assistant
- Research Culture Administrator
- Trainee Chartered Accountant
- Media Producer
A degree in Classics and Ancient History will put you in an excellent position to pursue postgraduate study after you have graduated. Our recent graduates have since enrolled on courses such as:
- MA History
- MSc Bioarchaeology
- MA International Relations
- MSc International Management
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- MSc Library and Information Studies