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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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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

This course focuses on the political, social and cultural history of the Greek and Roman world, and their interactions with neighbouring societies. In your first year, you study core topics in Greek and Roman history, as well as a module focusing on ancient historical writing.

These courses prepare you for a wide range of more focused modules about politics, culture and society in the ancient world available in your second and third years. 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 take an introductory module on ancient historiography:

  • The Craft of the Ancient Historian.

You will also 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.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Beginners’ Latin or Greek
  • Intermediate Latin or Greek (if you have an A level or equivalent)
  • The Lives of Objects
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Language, Translation, Interpretation.

Year 2

Historical modules in the second year offer deeper and broader surveys of political and social history from the Greek and Roman worlds. You will take at least three ancient history modules in your second year.

In addition, you can choose from a range of modules exploring literary, philosophical and cultural topics. 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 the second year.

Historical offerings have previously included:

  • The Hellenistic World
  • Crisis of The Roman Republic
  • Emperors and Dynasties
  • Death in the Classical World
  • Ancient Political Thought and Action.

Literary, cultural and philosophical topics have previously included:

  • Traditions of Epic
  • Interpreting Greek Tragedy Today
  • Creation and Cosmology
  • Stoicism
  • Dialogues with Antiquity
  • Classical Receptions and 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 will 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.

Third-year modules typically cover specific topics that arise out of the research interests of our members of staff. At least two of your third-year modules must focus on ancient historical subjects; you can also choose from modules which explore cultural, literary and philosophical themes. If you study Latin and Greek you can proceed to the next level, with the texts becoming more difficult or fragmentary.

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; and each year at least half of your modules must be on historical topics.


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

Study abroad

Classics and Ancient History

This course includes an optional European Studies element, where students 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). If you are interested in studying abroad you should apply to transfer to the European Studies course after your 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 here


The Ancient History BA 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 Ancient History. 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 of the 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 with more scope for interaction with staff.

The 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, 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 would 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.

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 £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.

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