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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAA
International Baccalaureate 37

Course details

If you are fascinated by the history of the Greeks and Romans, this is the course for you. We will introduce you to the world of the ancient Greeks and early imperial Rome, and their interactions with neighbouring societies.

In your first year you will focus on core topics in Greek and Roman history, as well as studying a module focusing on ancient historical writing. This will prepare you for a wide range of more specific historical modules about politics, culture and society in the ancient world in your second and third years. At least half of your course in your second and third years will concentrate on historical topics.

The course includes the option to start learning Greek or Latin, and if you have prior knowledge of these languages you can choose to study higher level modules. And if you wish, you can broaden your degree by selecting modules about ancient art, literature or philosophy, or by choosing other topics that interest you from other departments.

Course structure

Year 1

Core modules:

Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus gives you an introduction to Roman history and culture and Latin literature. You will investigate a central, transitional epoch in the history of ancient Rome, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Introduction to the Greek World examines ancient Greek history, society and thought, by focusing on how the classical Athenians engaged with their past. It will introduce you to the central themes, topics and terminology in the study of Archaic and Classical Greece, and equip you to use the intellectual resources available to assist that study.

The Craft of the Ancient Historian gives you an introduction to ancient Greek and Roman historiography. This will help you develop critical skills in handling the information conveyed in ancient texts.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Beginners Latin or Greek
  • Intermediate Latin or Greek
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Language, Translation, Interpretation
  • Lives of Objects – Greek and Roman Antiquity.

Year 2

Core modules:

Historical modules offer deeper and broader surveys of political and social history from the Greek and Roman worlds.

Living in the Classical World explores everyday life in ancient Greece and Rome, and especially the variety and development of the social structures of the two civilisations. You will examine the relationship between different social structures within a society, and the ways in which individuals encounter and experience them.

Examples of further ancient history modules:

  • Ancient Political Thought and Action 
  • Emperors and Dynasties
  • The City of Athens
  • Crisis of The Roman Republic.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Traditions of Epic
  • Interpreting Greek Tragedy Today
  • Alexandria
  • Classical Receptions and Contemporary Cultures
  • Dialogues with Antiquity
  • Further Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced Greek and/or Latin language.

Year 3 (Year 4 if taking a placement or year abroad)

Dissertation. The dissertation is a significant piece of work in which you research and analyse a topic in depth.

Examples of further ancient history modules:

  • Greeks and Persians (c. 560-336 BC)
  • The Later Roman Empire
  • The History of Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Roman Law and Latin Literature

  • The Origins of Civilisation

  • Comedy and Tragedy, Laughter and Sorrow
  • Lives and Afterlives of The Greek and Roman Poets
  • Sing Me, O Muse
  • Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or Higher Greek and/or Latin language.

Additional pathways

Students on the BA in Ancient History can apply to be transferred onto either the ‘with Year Abroad’ or ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year. Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


A combination of lectures and seminars will help you become an independent learner and researcher. You will get research skills training and access to an academic mentor for consultation about module choices, in line with your interests and aims, and any other issues.

Your dissertation gives you the richest opportunity to use your independent learning and research skills. You will be supported choosing a topic at the end of Year 2, with one-to-one supervisory support from an expert in the field through the writing process.

You will also be able to attend the Department’s research seminar series, guest speakers arranged by the student-run Classics Society, and events and workshops focused on your future career.


We use various types of assessment, designed to test the different skills you have gained through your studies: essays, commentaries, translations and (in some modules) presentations or projects.

In your final year, you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills in independent learning and research and your ability to tie together your learning from across the entire course.

Entry requirements

A level offerAAA.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaDDD.

IB Diploma score37 with 666 in higher level subjects.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information or contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • Classical subjects are not essential for any of our courses.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £25,500 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £25,500 per year

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Classics and Ancient History

Our students acquire many skills which are readily transferable to a whole range of professions. You will learn to search for, gather, and process information, to evaluate evidence and to express yourself clearly and succinctly, both verbally and in writing. 

Classics graduates have progressed to careers as diverse as computing, the Civil Service, gold dealing, teaching, journalism, law, accountancy, public relations and the theatre. A significant number of our students progress onto higher level study following their degree. Some remain within their academic field of interest and pursue a Master’s degree, either at Durham or elsewhere. Others choose professional postgraduate programmes in subjects such as law, finance and teaching.

Of those students who graduated in 2019:

  • 87% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 79% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £23,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

Classics and Ancient History

When you study at the Department of Classics and Ancient History you will join a large, forward-looking department that is genuinely diverse in both make up and outlook. We offer an intellectually stimulating learning environment in a welcoming community, and consistently rank highly for teaching, graduate employability and research.

We offer a range of flexible and challenging degree courses designed with the twenty-first-century student in mind. Each with a different emphasis, depending on which area you prefer to put at the centre of your studies: ancient languages, ancient history or ancient culture. We also offer joint honours courses with the departments of Archaeology and History.

Our degrees offer both academic rigour and an outstanding student experience, taught by a team of academic staff who between them specialise in the languages, literature, history, culture and philosophy of the Greco-Roman world, as well as its impact on later centuries up to the present day. The breadth of knowledge in the Department allows us to offer a wide range of study areas including ancient Greek and Latin languages from beginner to advanced level, surveys of the main periods and themes of Greek and Roman history, and teaching in all aspects of classical culture, such as philosophy, art and literature in translation.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
  • 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • 4th in The Guardian University Gude 2023
  • 8th in the QS World University Rankings 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the Classics and Ancient History Department pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 4th in the UK for overall research quality (REF 2021).


We are situated in the beautiful and historic centre of Durham next to the Cathedral and Castle and just two minutes’ walk from the city centre. The friendly and welcoming Department is housed in eighteenth-century buildings which includes dedicated study space and a library with an extensive collection of ancient texts and reference works. Our location, at the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is highly conducive to study of the subject.

The student body is a large, close-knit and highly engaged community. Our student-led Classics Society organises regular social and academic events, often in conjunction with staff from the Department.

More information about our facilities.


Find out more:

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