Skip to main content
Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


Ready to Apply?

Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAA
International Baccalaureate 37

Course details

The Classics degree is language-focused, although how much language is studied and at what level depends upon you. The course is designed to be equally suitable for students who have A-levels (or equivalent) in Greek and/or Latin and for students with no experience in one or both languages. We offer modules in both Latin and Greek, in prose and verse, at every level, from complete beginner to very advanced, and you will be able to take modules which are appropriate to your level of language experience and (at Advanced and Higher levels) your particular interests in the subject.

Year 1

In your first year, you will take two interdisciplinary modules that will give you grounding in the central periods of Greek and Roman culture:

  • Introduction to the Greek World
  • Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus.

You will also take courses in Greek and/or Latin language, at the appropriate level.

Other first-year optional modules have previously included:

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

Year 2

You will take a module to study representative examples of Greek and Roman epic; you will be introduced to a wide range of approaches to the study of epic including its role as a device for memorialisation, and explore the ways in which the genre developed in Greek and Roman antiquity, and beyond:

  • Traditions of Epic.

Study of Latin and/or Greek continues in the second year.

Many of the other modules in the second year are broad surveys, for example of a historical period or a literary genre.

Historical offerings have previously included:

  • The Hellenistic World
  • Crisis of The Roman Republic
  • Emperors and Dynasties.

Literary, philosophical and cultural topics have previously included:

  • Greek Literature and The Near East
  • Interpreting Greek Tragedy Today
  • Creation and Cosmology
  • Ancient Political Thought and Action
  • Stoicism
  • Dialogues with Antiquity
  • Classical Receptions and Contemporary Cultures
  • Theatre and Spectacle in Ancient Rome.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)

You will write a Dissertation in your third year. You choose a topic at the end of your second year in consultation with an adviser, with who you will meet regularly for guidance throughout Year 3. Your study of Latin and/or Greek will proceed to the next level, with the texts becoming more difficult or fragmentary. Most other modules in the third year cover specific topics that arise out of the research interests of the members of staff.

Historical modules have previously included:

  • Greeks and Persians
  • Roman Syria
  • Writing Alexander
  • The Life and Times of Cicero
  • Urbs Roma
  • The Later Roman Empire.

Literary, philosophical and cultural topics have previously included:

  • The Literature and Language of Ancient Babylon
  • Comedy and Tragedy, Laughter and Sorrow
  • Hellenistic Poetry: Theory and Practice
  • Roman Law and Latin Literature
  • Love and Sex in Ancient Poetry
  • Technologies of Knowledge in Antiquity
  • Knowledge and Doubt in Hellenistic Philosophy.


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

Study abroad

This course includes an optional European Studies element, where you may spend the third year of a four-year course studying at a European university. We currently have exchange links with universities in Belgium (Liege), France (Bordeaux), Germany (Tubingen, Munich), Greece (Athens), Italy (Bologna, Rome, Milan, Vercelli), the Netherlands (Free University, Amsterdam), Spain (Seville) and Switzerland (Fribourg). Students interested in studying abroad should apply to transfer to the European Studies course after their first year of study.

The Department also participates in the University-wide overseas exchange programme, which offers the opportunity to spend your second year studying at one of our partner universities in North America or Australasia. Find out more


The Classics course will give you around 9 hours of contact time every week. It is slightly higher than the figure for our other Single Honours courses, reflecting the enhanced level of support required for the study of the ancient languages, which lies at the heart of this degree.

The aim of the course is to help you become an independent learner and researcher in the field of Classics. In order to do this, it progresses from a greater number of contact hours, designed to promote and support your own study to a greater intensity of contact in more specialised areas as you gain in independence and experience.

First-year modules focus on ensuring that you have knowledge and skills across a number of sub-disciplines which you share with all other students in the Department. As well as the languages, you will take two core modules, 'Introduction to the Greek World' and 'Monuments and Memory', which include seminars with a special emphasis on scholarly skills. Other modules start to introduce more specialised foundations in the study of ancient history, literature, and philosophy.

In the second and third years topics are increasingly offered from current research interests of the lecturers; lecture and seminar/tutorial sizes become smaller and there is more scope for interaction between students and staff.

The final-year dissertation gives you the opportunity to exercise your skills in independent learning and research. You will receive one on one supervisory support with an expert in the field through the writing of your dissertation in your final year.

Every module coordinator is available for consultation about particular issues and advertises office hours when they can be contacted. You will be allocated an academic mentor, with who you will discuss your module choices within the context of your interests and aims (academic and personal). Mentors are available for consultation throughout the year.

You are encouraged to attend the Department’s research seminar series, which are scheduled at times when you should be available to attend. In addition, the student-run Classics Society regularly organises guest speakers.

You will also have the opportunity to attend events and workshops focused on your future career, organised in collaboration with alumni of the Department and the Careers and Enterprise Centre at Durham.

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 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

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £23,250 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £23,250 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

Of those students who graduated in 2018:

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

Of those in employment:

  • 84% are in a professional or managerial job
  • Average salary of £25,000.

(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

Specialise in a wide range of artistic, historical, literary, linguistic, cultural and philosophical aspects of the Graeco–Roman world. We offer a wide variety of modules: ancient Greek and Latin for every level of ability, surveys of the main periods and themes of Greek and Roman history, and teaching in all aspects of classical culture, including philosophy, art and literature in translation.

For more information see our department pages.


  • World Top 15 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
  • 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2021.


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

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 2nd in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).


We have an extensive collection of ancient texts in the original and in translation, modern scholarship, and reference works. Our library is particularly strong in ancient philosophy, but also provides valuable resources for students in all our programmes and a useful reference library for researchers. The collections amount to approximately 8,000 volumes, across three rooms. Students may borrow the books, and many also use the library as a quiet study space to use between lectures, or for informal discussion sessions and reading groups.

More information about our facilities.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



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

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Virtual Undergraduate Open Day
  • Date: 16/09/2021
  • Time: 00:00 - 23:59
Register for open day
Discover Durham Tours
  • Date: 25/10/2021
  • Time: 13:30 - 16:00
Register for open day