BA Classical Studies and Modern Languages
|Typical offer||AAB–ABB | IB: 34–32 | BTEC: DDD–DDM|
A Classical Studies degree at the University of Exeter enables you to understand an ancient world that has fundamentally impacted the society we live in today. Combining this with a Modern Language opens a world of possibilities, helping you to develop further in three key areas: language learning, employability skills and intercultural skills. This four year degree course includes a well-structured year abroad, which may be spent teaching English, on a work placement or studying at one of our renowned partner universities.
Exeter has one of the largest and most vibrant Classics and Ancient History departments in the country. It ranked 5th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and The Complete University Guide 2020. At Exeter, you join an open, friendly and dynamic community in which to live and study. Our highly-active Classics Society is run by students who organise a lively social and academic programme for you to take advantage of including; plays, balls, debates, film nights, museum visits and opportunities to travel abroad.
Focusing on Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, which form the cornerstones of our modern Western civilisation, you will learn to interpret their language, literature and philosophy to unlock new ways of thinking. You will study ancient history in context to current issues such as power, sexuality, ethics, migration, identity, magic, food, globalisation and religion. Not only will you emerge as an accomplished researcher, you will have a deep understanding of classical languages and the confidence to analyse, interpret and challenge traditional theories and concepts. You will also get the chance to study Latin or Greek in more detail and spend time immersing yourself in a new language and culture during your year abroad.
To complement your education in Classics, you can choose from one of the seven modern languages taught at Exeter. These are French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Chinese and Russian. The course will be tailored to reflect your current level and personal needs. You will not only grasp the fundamental language skills such as reading, speaking, translating and writing, but explore the rich cultural backdrop behind your chosen language. In depth study of literature, politics, national and regional identities, film and philosophy will enhance your understanding of the language and let you draw interesting comparisons from your classical studies. Exeter has a wealth of expertise in covering the cultures of the major European nations and China as well as those in the postcolonial nations where our core languages are spoken, particularly Latin America, Francophone and Portuguese speaking Africa.
As with all our humanities degrees, this course equips you with a solid foundation of transferable skills including; communication, persuasion, problem-solving, critical analysis and collaborative working. Combining the study of ancient and modern languages further reinforces your skills base to create unique career opportunities. Recent graduates are now working in areas such as marketing and communications, journalism, publishing, law, banking, teaching and translation.
No previous knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.
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.
The Classical Studies and Modern Langauges degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
Dependent on your chosen language; see table below.
Languages and levels for Combined Honours programmes with Modern Languages
Study a new language at Beginners level (excluding programmes with Arabic)
|Available languages||Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish|
|Language requirements||GCSE grade B/grade 5 (or equivalent) in any modern foreign language|
Study your A level language at Advanced level (including programmes with Arabic)
|Available languages||French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish|
|Language requirements||A level grade B or IB HL 5 (or equivalent) in the language chosen at advanced level|
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:
- 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.
International students should check details of our English language requirements
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
Our teaching makes full use of seminars, study groups and web-based learning. 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 third-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’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including the increasing use of interactive, computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes, as well as interact through activities such as discussion forums.
In addition to the teaching methods described above, there are many other opportunities for you to add to your overall experience in the department. 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. The student-run Classics Society organises events throughout the year. Recently they have organised vibrant debates, lectures and a peer-mentoring scheme for the ancient languages, for which they receive academic support. 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 a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
You will be assessed by coursework and exams in all your years of study. You must pass your first year modules in order to proceed, but your performance at this level does not count towards your final degree classification. In order to be eligible for ‘with Study Abroad’ you will need to attain an average of 60% or more in your first year. The assessments in the second year, year abroad (if applicable) and final year will contribute to your final degree classification. In most modules, you will be assessed as follows: in the first year 70 per cent exams and 30 per cent coursework; in the second year 60 per cent exams and 40 per cent coursework; and in the third year 50 per cent exams and 50 per cent coursework. If you study a three-year programme, assessments in the final two years both count towards your classification, and if you study a four-year programme then the final three years all contribute.
For programmes with Modern Languages, your third year will normally be spent studying abroad, developing your language skills.
Your year abroad could be spent either:
- On a work placement
- Studying at a university
- In a school working as a language assistant
You can find out more at our Study Abroad web pages.
If you register for the four-year Classics and French programme but are subsequently unable to meet the requirements for study abroad by Year 2, you may apply to transfer to a three-year version of this programme.
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, learning how to think logically and independently, to interpret and critique sources, to assess evaluate information and to communicate in a sophisticated way.
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:
- Editorial Assistant (Publishing)
- Marketing Executive
- PR Assistant
- Trainee Chartered Accountant
- Officer Cadet
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
- MA International Relations
- MSc Bioarchaeology
- MSc International Management
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- Msc Library and Information Studies
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.