Our Department of Classics & Ancient History is able to provide exceptionally rich resources for Masters-level work, whatever your reason for thinking about an MA:
as preparation for higher research (for example PhD work);
to allow you to go deeper into subjects you enjoyed as an undergraduate;
to give you a highly-regarded degree which attests to your personal enthusiasm, dedication, and academic achievement.
Taught MA programmes
We offer three taught MA programmes. Our core programme is the MA in Classics, a research training degree developed with a particular view to the needs of students who plan to pursue higher research in Classics.
In addition to our general MA in Classics, we also have two specialised MA programmes in areas where we have particular research strength and where students may wish to acquire a qualification whose title recognises the particular specialisation:
All of the courses have a similar structure: all last for one year if taken full time, and can also be taken part-time over two years. There is a common research training component, language work is required in each programme, and every Masters student writes a dissertation (of 12,000 - 15,000 words). The dissertation offers you the chance to undertake a substantial piece of independent research, and many former students, including both those who continued into academia and those who pursued other opportunities, were able to publish work arising from their MAs in prominent journals.
Details of further modules for each programme, and how to apply, can be found by following the links above. For general information on applying to taught MA programmes at Durham, please visit the university's taught postgraduate degree page.
We offer two research master's programmes which allow you greater autonomy than the taught MA without demanding the length of commitment required for a PhD:
MA by Thesis: a one-year programme (two years part time), examined by a thesis of not more than 50,000 words.
MLitt: a two yearprogramme (three years part time) examined by a thesis of not more than 70,000 words.
The admissions process for these programmes is essentially identical to that for the PhD. (You should, for example, identify and discuss your plans with a prospective supervisor.) Subject to satisfactory performance it is possible to upgrade to the PhD from either of these programmes (though this is not a route we recommend if the PhD is really what you have in mind).
Over the past five years, graduates of our Taught MA programmes have gone onto receive funded offers to pursue doctorates at institutions including Cambridge University, Durham University, Georgia State University, Oxford University, Stanford University, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Oklahoma, University of St Andrews and University of Warwick.
Others have gone on to pursue successful careers in a variety of fields from accountancy to teaching, bringing with them the added prestige of a higher degree and the advanced analytical, communication, and research skills an MA offers.