Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This Master’s degree in classics offers an interdisciplinary approach to the classical world for graduates with prior knowledge and study of Greek or Latin. You can focus on multiple aspects of ancient Greek and Roman archaeology, history and culture from the archaic period through the classical era to late antiquity, including literary and material evidence. A particular focus of the programme is contemporary debate about the reception and interpretation of classical history and culture, particularly the meanings that have been attached to the classical past, including archaeological objects, architectural remains and literary works.

The course starts with a broad introduction to postgraduate study of the classical world, with sessions proceeding in broadly chronological order from the archaic Mediterranean to the early Christian empire. Themes considered will include politics and culture, religion, sex and sexuality, the writing of history, and the reception of classical culture in the modern world. You will also continue your study of Greek or Latin, enhancing your langauge comprehension to an advanced level, while a wide range of option modules allow you to explore and expand your interests more fully. You will receive training in research methods and techniques that will give you the confidence and skills to research and write a dissertation on a subject of particular interest to you.

Course Modules

The structure of the degree is similar to that of our MA Classical Civilisation.

In Year 1, you take a 22'week core course that introduces approaches to different kinds of ancient evidence and major modern debates about it. You then take 1 language option module taught at the highest level, either Greek (Greek Set Book) or Latin (Latin Set Book). (Part'time students can take this as an option in either their first or second year.) Finally, you take 1 option module and you write a dissertation.

Option modules are offered on a 2'year rolling cycle and the list below shows modules taught in recent years.

Not all modules are available each year. View the full timetable for the year.

Core module:

Introduction to Classical Culture .

Indicative option modules:

Archaeological Architecture;

Athens: Material Culture Approaches to the Classical City;

From temples to museums: post'classical encounters with classical antiquities;

Money and Empire c. 300'c. 800;

The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval;

The Edge of Empire: The Archaeology of Roman Frontiers;

The Greeks and the sea;

The Medieval Mediterranean;

The Past in the Present: Classical Archaeology in the Modern World;

The politics of culture in Neronian Rome .

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MA £8,175 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MA £14,850 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA £4,075 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MA £7,425 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • A good degree in an arts subject. Proficiency in either Greek or Latin. We will also normally consider social science and science graduates, and applicants with other qualifications. We also offer a 1-year Graduate Certificate in History , which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.