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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 A*AA
International Baccalaureate 38

Course details

This joint degree enables you to combine modules from our Ancient History course with modules in medieval and modern History offered by the Department of History. The balance between the two departments is broadly equal, but by the third year you can weight your choice of modules more to one side than the other, depending on your interests.

In your first year we will introduce you to the world of the ancient Greeks and early imperial Rome, seen from a variety of perspectives (not just historical), and to different forms of evidence. This will prepare you for a wide range of more specific historical modules about politics and society in the ancient world in your second and third years. This can also be enriched by the study of ancient literature, language and philosophy.

In the Department of History, you will study modules in medieval, early modern and late modern history, with electives available in the study of cultures from around the globe.

You will bring all your knowledge and skills together in your dissertation. You will be able to concentrate your studies in an area that fascinates you, and really blossom as an independent learner. Through this you will engage, at an advanced level, with creative research at the forefront of these historical disciplines.

You will be encouraged to attend an extensive programme of research-related activities in both departments, including research seminars, public lectures from high-profile guest speakers, and events organised by the student-run History Society and Classics Society.

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. 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 basic intellectual resources available to assist that study.

In recent years, optional modules (Ancient History) have included:

  • The Craft of the Ancient Historian
  • Lives of Objects – Greek and Roman Antiquity.

In recent years, optional modules (Classics) have included:

  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Language, Translation, Interpretation

In recent years, optional modules (Medieval History) have included:

  • Decline and Crisis? Europe, 1300-1500 
  • Transformations in the Late Antique Mediterranean, c.300-c.700 CE.

In recent years, optional modules (Early Modern History) have included:

  • Connected Histories: Early Modern Europe, c. 1450-1750 
  • The Atlantic Archipelago, c.1500-c.1750.

In recent years, optional modules (History) have included:

  • Modern Times: A Cultural History of Europe, c. 1860-1960 
  • Power in Africa 
  • Imagining East Asia in the Modern World 
  • Wars and Welfare, c. 1900-1945 
  • The Rise and Fall of American Slavery, 1607 – 1865.

Year 2

In recent years, optional modules (Ancient History) have included:

  • Ancient Political Thought and Action 
  • Emperors and Dynasties 
  • Living in the Classical World 
  • The City of Athens 

In recent years, optional modules (Classics) have included:

  • Traditions of Epic
  • Ancient Science
  • Alexandria
  • Classical Receptions and Contemporary Cultures
  • Dialogues with Antiquity
  • Beginners, Intermediate, or Advanced Greek and/or Latin language.

In recent years, optional modules (History) have included:

  • The Court: Art and Power in Early Modern Europe
  • Hard Times: British Society, 1815-1902
  • International Human Rights since 1945
  • Wildlife Conservation in African History
  • Socialising the Household in Late Medieval Cities
  • Food and Culinary History of Southern Africa, the Past and Present
  • Black British History
  • Native Americans and Minority Rights in the US, 1914-2000
  • Rive, Race, Religion, and Revolt in Colonial Myanmar
  • Early Modern Hospitality in Global Comparative Perspective
  • Gender and Sexuality during Britain’s Long Twentieth Century.

Year 3

Core modules:

Dissertation. The dissertation is a significant piece of work in which you research and analyse an area of Classics or History in depth and write up your findings and conclusions. 

In recent years, optional modules (Ancient History) have included:

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

In recent years, optional modules (Classics) have included:

  • Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced Greek and/or Latin language modules
  • Roman Law and Latin Literature 
  • The Origins of Civilisation 

In recent years, optional single modules (History) have included:

  • Interpreting Conflict in Post-Colonial Africa 
  • Revolution and History 
  • Liberty, Equality, Democracy: Progressive Thought in Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • History and Its Audiences 
  • Empires and States in Early Modern Asia: Nomads, Slaves, Scholars, Rulers
  • Health, Wealth and Happiness: Investigating Standards of Living and Wellbeing in the Past
  • Beyond Feudalism 
  • Fascism/Anti-Fascism. 

In recent years, optional triple modules (History) have included:

  • 1688: Monarchy and Revolution in Britain 
  • Engineering Armageddon: Visions of Scientific Apocalypse 
  • Voice and Silence in South Africa’s Liberation Struggle 
  • Developing Africa 
  • From War to Cold War: US Foreign Policy, c.1944–1948 
  • Beyond the Holocaust: Poles, Jews, Turks and Germans from the Nineteenth Century to the present
  • The American Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850–1876 
  • A World Turned Upside Down: Radicalism and the English Revolution
  • Sexual Revolutions: The Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Britain and Beyond, 1920s–1970s.


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


You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Lectures introduce broad historical questions and offer context and critical commentary; seminars provide an opportunity for you to develop your critical skills through discussion.

You will progress from study skills and general subjects to specialised areas as you gain confidence and experience and develop as an independent, self-motivated learner.

Across the years there is an increasing emphasis on developing your critical and analytical skills. Your dissertation gives you the opportunity to exercise these skills, along with your independence, establishing your own research agenda and identifying your own sources and reading lists.


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 areas of learning from across the entire course.

Entry requirements

A level offerA*AA including History.

Contextual offer – AAB including History.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaD*DD and grade A History A level.

IB Diploma score38 with 666 in higher level subjects, including History, Ancient History is only acceptable in conjunction with History.

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

  • We also consider other level 3 qualifications, including T-levels.

  • 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. Please contact our Admissions Tutor.
  • Classical subjects are not essential for any of our courses.
  • Ancient History is acceptable as one of three A levels but History A level must also be taken.
  • We welcome enquiries regarding applications for deferred entry which may be considered in special circumstances. Please contact us using

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

The tuition fees for 2025/26 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

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 2020-21:

  • 83% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 80% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £26,500

(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


Our aim is to make you better at thinking, speaking, and writing for yourself; and better at critically assessing the words that others speak and write. Thinking analytically, arguing clearly and concisely - these are fundamental skills in many jobs. Our graduates have gone on to find successful careers in a wide variety of fields. They work in teaching at schools and universities, in museums and galleries, in law, finance, banking and accountancy, the Civil Service, the charity sector, media, journalism, and the military and further study.

Of those students who graduated in 2020-21:

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

Of those in employment:

  • 85% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £28,000.

(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

Explore the artistic, historical, literary, linguistic, cultural, scientific, and philosophical aspects of the Greek and Roman world, studying in one of the largest and most vibrant departments in the UK at the heart of a World Heritage Site.

When you study at the Department of Classics and Ancient History you will join a large, forward-looking department. 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, and culture 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, literature in translation, history of various areas of the ancient Mediterranean, and many more aspects of classical culture, including philosophy, art and science.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

  • 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2024

  • 5th in The Guardian University Gude 2024
  • 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, at the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The friendly and welcoming Department is housed in eighteenth-century buildings which include dedicated study space and a library with an extensive collection of ancient texts and reference works.

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.


Why study history? Our answer to that is simple: because we are human, and we need to understand ourselves, and one another. History helps us to see other ways of thinking and living – and it offers us alternative perspectives on the present.

The History programme at Durham is designed to give you a sense of the diversity of human experience – geographically and chronologically. We offer an unusually broad range of options that will take you to very different places and times. You can also explore diverse themes and approaches, such as environmental and scientific history, visual cultures, and gender and sexuality. The course will equip you with critical and presentational skills that are valuable in many careers.

Year 1 offers you an induction into advanced historical study, engaging with different periods and approaches to the study of the past.

Year 2 raises new questions about the human past, setting these in specific periods and parts of the world. It develops your understanding of historiography - the history of history-writing – and gives you experience of writing an extended historical argument. You can also apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.

In Year 3 the focus is on intensive study and independent learning. The special subject guides you through the primary and secondary material on a specific period or phenomenon; the dissertation allows you to choose your own topic, and devise your own question, for an extended piece of writing. The dissertation is an opportunity to focus on a topic that fascinates you – and brings together the skills you have developed through your time at Durham.

Throughout your degree, you will be encouraged to attend an extensive programme of activities, including research seminars and public lectures from high-profile guest speakers.

For more information see our department pages.


  • Top 50 in the world in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
  • Top 5  in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • Top 5 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
  • Top 5 in The Complete University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the History Department web pages.


The Department of History occupies the heart of Durham World Heritage Site. Our location is within easy reach of all University colleges, lecture halls and libraries.

Our work incorporates everything from manuscripts to photography, printed sources to museum collections. You will work with staff on a rich array of primary sources, which range from medieval manuscripts in the cathedral archive, through the ceramics, prints and textiles held by the Oriental Museum, to the documents of the Sudan Archive, and more. Durham holds historical resources of international significance.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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