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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

The core of the Classics course is language, although how much language is studied and at what level, depends on you. The course is equally suitable for students who have A levels (or equivalent) in Greek and/or Latin and for those who have never studied an ancient language before. As such, we offer modules in both Latin and Greek, in both prose and verse, at every level appropriate to your experience or your particular interests.

The course also put these languages into context by exploring the culture of these ancient civilisations. In your first year, you will gain a grounding in the central periods of Greek and Roman culture. In your second year you will then study how the genre of epic developed in Greek and Roman antiquity and beyond.

In your final year you will bring together your studies and write a dissertation in your chosen area of interest. This will be supported by continuing language study and a choice of further learning which you can tailor to your own studies.

Course Structure

Year 1

Core modules:

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.

Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus gives you an introduction to Roman history and culture and Latin literature, which will also serve as a basis for your further study in these areas. You will investigate a central, transitional epoch in the history of ancient Rome, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Beginners or Intermediate Greek and/or Latin language modules, at the appropriate level based on your previous experience.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Language, Translation, Interpretation
  • The Craft of the Ancient Historian
  • Lives of Objects – Greek and Roman Antiquity.

Year 2

Core modules:

Traditions of Epic enables you to study representative examples of Greek and Roman epic, including its role as a device for recording and remembering lives and events, and you will explore the ways in which the genre developed, in ancient Greece and Rome and beyond.

Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced modules in Greek and/or Latin language.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Interpreting Greek Tragedy Today 
  • Ancient Political Thought and Action 
  • Emperors and Dynasties 
  • Alexandria
  • Classical Receptions and Contemporary Cultures 
  • Dialogues with Antiquity 
  • Living in the Classical World 
  • The City of Athens 
  • Ancient Science

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

Core modules:

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

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or Higher Greek and/or Latin language modules.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

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


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 to support you with any other issues.

Your dissertation gives 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.


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

In your final year, you will write a dissertation of up to 12,000 words on a subject of your choice, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills in independent learning and research and your ability to bring together areas of learning from across the entire course.

Entry requirements

A level offerAAA.

Contextual offer – BBB. 

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

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 contact our Admissions Tutor.
  • Classical subjects are not essential, but selectors look for evidence of linguistic ability.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
  • 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

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

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.


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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