Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This Master's degree is devoted to the advanced study of the archaeological, historical and cultural legacies of ancient Greece and Rome within their broader Mediterranean contexts. It will provide you with the skills required to retrieve and evaluate archaeological evidence and use the material culture of the classical period to enhance your understanding of ancient societies. This programme is ideal for anybody interested in the archaeology and history of the classical past who is preparing for doctoral or professional research, or specialist work in heritage management.

The programme starts with an exploration of the broad themes of classical archaeology, including methodological and interpretative approaches to the material past. While grounding you in theoretical approaches, the degree will also develop your practical skills with an optional fieldwork module that covers major techniques and approaches to excavation. Another focus is the contemporary debates on the reception and interpretation of classical history and culture, particularly the meanings that have been attached to antiquities. You will also develop a critical understanding of archaeological research that will enable you to go on to complete a dissertation on a subject of particular interest to you and, if you wish, pursue archaeological research at MPhil/PhD level, professionally or independently.

Course Modules

The core module taken in the first year has a broad thematic range and integrates methodological and interpretative approaches to the classical material past with debates on its modern reception and interpretation.

You study 3 option modules (2 in your first year and 1 in your second) from a diverse range of subjects.

You also write a dissertation on a subject of your choice in your second year, under the guidance of experienced academic staff.

Not all modules are available each year.

Core module:

Themes and Concepts in Archaeology .

MA Classical Archaeology dissertation.

Indicative option modules:

Archaeological Architecture;

Athens: Material Culture Approaches to the Classical City;

Between Words and Walls: Housing in the Graeco'Roman World;

Field school: Buried Humanities;

Frameworks for Archaeology: Curatorial Archaeology in England;

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

Material Worlds;

The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval;

The Edge of Empire: The Archaeology of Roman Frontiers .

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:

  • Applicants are expected to have achieved a second-class honours BA.
  • 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: IELTS Academic Test score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.