Skip to main content
Degree type

BA

Course length

3 years full-time

Location

Durham City

UCAS code

Q820

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
BTEC DDD
International Baccalaureate 37

Course details

The BA in Classical Civilisation offers a broad and varied exploration of the society and culture of Greece and Rome, and their importance for us today, as well as an opportunity to focus on particular areas which might interest you. The course includes the option of beginning to learn Greek or Latin language (or continuing, if you have studied the languages already).

Year 1

In the first year, you will take two interdisciplinary modules that serve to 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 one module that introduces you to ancient philosophy.

In previous years, this module has been offered:

  • Early Greek Philosophy.

You will also take a module that introduces you to the cultural, anthropological and literary implications of translation:

  • Language, Translation and Interpretation.

Other first-year optional modules have previously included:

  • Beginners’ Latin or Greek
  • Intermediate Latin or Greek (if you have an A level or equivalent)
  • Lives of Objects
  • The Craft of the Ancient Historian.

Year 2

You will take a module in which you 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 you will also explore the ways in which the genre developed in Greek and Roman antiquity, and beyond:

  • Traditions of Epic.

If you choose to study Latin or Greek you may continue these courses in your second year. It is also possible to begin the study of Latin or Greek in your 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 & Contemporary Cultures
  • Theatre and Spectacle in Ancient Rome.

Year 3 (Year 4 if taking a Year Abroad)

  • You will write a Dissertation in your third year. You can 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. Most other modules in the third year cover specific topics that arise out of the research interests of our 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.

For this course, the study of ancient languages is not required, though it is permitted as an option.

Placement

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

Learning

The BA Classical Civilisation will give you an average of 8 hours of timetabled tuition every week.

The aim of the course is to help you become an independent learner and researcher in the field of Classical Civilisation. 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.

The contact time is made up of weekly lectures, delivered by experts who are active in research in the relevant fields, supported by smaller-group seminars or tutorials per module, designed to give you the opportunity to explore the material covered in lectures in more depth, and to receive detailed feedback on formative assignments.

First-year modules focus on ensuring that you have a bedrock of knowledge and skills across a number of sub-disciplines which you share with all other students in the Department. Two core modules, 'Introduction to the Greek World' and 'Monuments and Memory', include seminars with a special emphasis on research skills.

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

Your final-year dissertation gives you your richest opportunity to exercise your skills in independent learning and research. You receive support in choosing a topic at the end of your second year; and one-to-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 their presence can be guaranteed. You will be allocated an academic mentor who you will discuss your module choices with, in 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 would be available to attend. In addition, the student-run Classics Society regularly organises guest speakers.

You will 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.

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 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 £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 www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)

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.

Rankings

  • 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.

Staff

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).

Facilities

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.

Apply

Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:

Apply

Q820

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: 09:00 - 17:00
Register for open day
Discover Durham Tours
  • Date: 25/10/2021
  • Time: 13:30 - 16:00
Register for open day