History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman Worlds - MA

Study ancient Greece and Rome through a distinctive new programme that combines archaeology, ancient history, and classics but allows you the flexibility to choose your own unique pathway. You will acquire a firm grounding in wider spheres of evidence, such as archaeological theory, epigraphy, or numismatics.

Overview

This programme is geared towards training you in becoming independent in your study of the ancient world, while at the same time offering great flexibility by allowing you to shape the focus of your studies of the ancient world. Through a variety of optional modules you can either study both the Greek and the Roman worlds or have the opportunity to specialise in one.

The programme draws from a broad span of expertise housed in our Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies, with experts in Athens, Rome, Egypt, as well as in the study of artefacts, philosophy and ancient sciences. You will study at our beautiful Canterbury campus overlooking the Roman and Medieval city of Canterbury. During your studies, you gain training in research skills in both Greek and Roman History, and in Archaeology through small-group seminars led by internationally recognised experts in these fields.

This is an ideal programme for graduates of ancient history, classics, archaeology, history, or the wider humanities, wanting to gain a rigorous understanding of a range of fields. Options range from archaeological method and theory to Greek cosmology and Roman cities, combined with a comprehensive set of research skills for those interested in pursuing a career in academia.

Entry requirements

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You are more than your grades

For 2021, in response to the challenges caused by Covid-19 we will consider applicants either holding or projected a 2:2. This response is part of our flexible approach to admissions whereby we consider each student and their personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Entry requirements

A second class honours degree (2.2 or above) or equivalent in ancient history, ancient history and archaeology, classical studies, classical and archaeological studies or another relevant subject.

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

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Course structure

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

Over the course of the academic year, you take a combination of core and optional modules to a total of 180 credits. In the Autumn and the Spring terms, you take a combination of taught and research modules. In the Summer Term, you complete your MA by writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a research topic defined in collaboration with your supervisor. This is written over the summer with completion in August.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Compulsory modules currently include:

Optional modules may include:

Compulsory modules currently include

The module is designed with training, knowledge enhancement and skills acquisition to the fore. The module begins with an introduction to the origins and development of theoretical perspectives in archaeology (e.g. ‘cultural history’, the ‘New Archaeology’, ‘Post-Processualism’), and assesses the contributions of these approaches. A central question is how we may study and define past society. Artefacts and their value as evidence of the past are then considered within a contemporary intellectual framework. Settlement sites are then examined and in particular approaches to understanding their morphology, elements and their identity as lived environments; spatial approaches are considered here too. Approaches to the archaeology of landscape are in turn examined, this being a dynamic field in contemporary archaeological understanding. How archaeological data is assesses, organized, and published is then examined from a theoretical and methodological angle. Finally, how the various strands of archaeological data can be brought together to assemble a coherent picture of past human life and society are critically examined and reviewed.

Find out more about CLAS8050

The module introduces students to key research skills for the study of ancient history and the associated discipline of Roman archaeology. The focus will be on group work that will investigate how we can gain greater knowledge of an aspect of the ancient city. In so doing, students will learn new skills ranging from researching bibliographies to the development of a sustained research project. A particular focus will be placed on critique of the modern scholarship on the subject, based on historical, epigraphic, archaeological, numismatic and visual sources. The curriculum is designed to develop students' research skills at the beginning of a one year FT MA or two-year PT MA in the Autumn term. The seminars will also focus on the development of the PhD research proposal.

Find out more about CLAS9000

Optional modules may include

This module gives students a foundation in Ancient Greek, covering the fundamentals of morphology and syntax. By the end of the module, students will be able to read, comprehend, and translate simple sentences and short passages of Ancient Greek.

Find out more about CLAS3590

This module is designed for students who have already acquired some fundamentals of Ancient Greek morphology and syntax. It aims to introduce students to reading and understanding complex sentence and longer passages by providing them with more knowledge of grammar and syntax.

Find out more about CLAS3600

This module gives students a foundation in Latin, covering the fundamentals of morphology and syntax. By the end of the module, students will be able to read, comprehend, and translate simple sentences and short passages of Latin.

Find out more about CLAS3640

This module is designed for students who have already acquired some fundamentals of Latin morphology and syntax. It aims to introduce students to reading and understanding complex sentence and longer passages by providing them with more knowledge of grammar and syntax.

Find out more about CLAS3650

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Ancient Greek Prose through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Greek by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CLAS7530

The module focuses on solidifying students' knowledge of Ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary through exercises and by reading texts in the original. Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Greek literary texts through translation. This enhances their understanding of the key themes and ideas in the text.

Find out more about CLAS7550

In addition to consolidating intermediate knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, this module emphasises close reading and interpretation of Ancient Greek literary texts in their literary and cultural contexts.

Find out more about CLAS7560

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Latin Prose through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Latin by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CLAS7580

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Latin Verse through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Latin by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CLAS7590

The module focuses on solidifying students' knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary through exercises and by reading texts in the original. Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin literary texts through translation. This enhances their understanding of the key themes and ideas in the text.

Find out more about CLAS7600

In addition to consolidating advanced knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, this module emphasises close reading and interpretation of Latin literary texts in their literary and cultural contexts.

Find out more about CLAS7610

The module examines the varied, rich and extensive archaeological (and historical) evidence for settlement and social life in the area of the northern provinces of the Roman empire and its near neighbours during the Late Iron Age and Roman eras. The module structure is thematic and explores a range of inter-related topic areas. Particular emphasis is placed on new ideas and approaches. It is expected that there will be site and museum visits related to this module, undertaken in the south-east of England and/or on the near continent.

Topics typically covered would be: the nature of the archaeological record for the era and approaches to its study; material culture and society in the Iron Age: production and consumption; regional patterns and identity in the Iron Age; continuities into the Roman era and the civitates system; the historiography of Roman studies in North West Europe; the archaeology of Roman London; the character and morphology of settlement in the Roman era: towns and cities, smaller centres and the countryside; material culture and society in the Roman period: production and consumption; regional civitas capitals; the archaeology of the Roman era in The Netherlands (Lower Germany); the Roman ‘Saxon-Shore’ and military society; religion and ritual; society in the later Roman era and the end of ‘urban life; burial evidence and patterns; the archaeologies of people: gender, status, ethnicity and biography.

Find out more about CLAS8070

Ancient Greek concepts of 'rational science' were vastly different from modern perceptions and discipline classifications. Its foundation was grounded in philosophical discussions that considered the nature of the cosmos and all that existed within it. This module demonstrates how the subjects were interlinked through a close analysis of the development of ancient astronomy, mathematics, cosmology and physics, from the Geometric to the Hellenistic periods. It discusses literary, philosophical and archaeological material.

The module begins with a discussion of the pre-Socratic philosophers' introduction of the theory of the four elements: earth, air, fire and water that were present within everything, including the stars and the body. From here, students will examine how the theories on the primary cosmological elements were transformed into entire cosmological theories, which included the stars, animals and the human body. The module will finally proceed to discuss how advances in astronomical knowledge, mathematics and geography influenced the development of the sciences and engineering in the Hellenistic period.

Find out more about CLAS8210

Inscriptions are crucial for the study of ancient history. Straddling the divide between material evidence and literary sources, they are challenging to read because of their (often) fragmentary state and formulaic language.

This module will train students to handle epigraphic evidence and exploit its potential to the fullest extent. Key themes include but are not limited to textual problems, statistical approaches, and the confrontation of epigraphic and literary sources. Each theme will be explored in the context of a topic from political and/or social history (e.g. status, migration, multiculturalism, religion, law, the military). No knowledge of an ancient language is required.

Find out more about CLAS8360

The module introduces students to key skills for the study of the mythology of Rome as an eternal city. The focus will be on group work that will investigate how we can gain greater knowledge of key aspects of the creation of myths of the city of Rome and how mythology can be adjusted through reception and incorporation of new ideas, yet proclaiming a continuity with the past. The curriculum is designed to develop students' research skills and the development of their awareness of public engagement with research. The seminars will also focus on the development of blogs as well as the research skills to develop a longer piece of academic writing in the form of an essay. Students will learn new skills ranging from researching bibliographies, writing succinctly, using hyperlinks in blog formats, through to the development of a sustained research project to underpin their essay.

Find out more about CLAS8980

Compulsory modules currently include

The Dissertation module comprises supervised research undertaken by the student, in the broad area of the history, literary sources and archaeology of the ancient world. A curriculum will be developed by the student around their own particular research interests.

Find out more about CLAS8970

Teaching and assessment

The programme is assessed by coursework for each of the modules and by the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • attract outstanding students, irrespective of race, background, gender or physical disability from both within the UK, and EU, and from overseas
  • develop new areas of postgraduate teaching in response to the advancement of scholarship and current research
  • expand student’s depth of knowledge of key subject areas in ancient Greek and Roman History and Archaeology
  • develop the student’s competence in applying skills to analysis of a diverse body of ancient evidence
  • enhance the development of the student’s interpersonal skills
  • assist the student to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team working
  • provide the student with skills to work in multidiscipline environments by introducing the student to a complex range of disciplines, cultural relationships and varied geographical regions of the Classical World
  • provide the students with skills for a further career either for doctoral research in Greek or Roman History and Archaeology or in employment, through the use of these transferable skills
  • develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills to prepare the student for graduate employment, opening up a wide range of careers to graduates in the academic, journalistic and literary fields.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • a complex range of disciplines, cultural relationships and varied geographical regions at an advanced level
  • the research skills associated with the use of ancient evidence to produce historical and archaeological narratives and analyses that engage with the most recent development in research in ancient Greek and Roman History and Archaeology
  • basic philosophical issues by thinkers of very different cultural and linguistic assumptions from our own
  • the nature of the societies and political systems of antiquity
  • an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials: material culture, epigraphy, papyrology, literature, visual material, and history
  • a broad and systematic knowledge developed within a coherent framework of complementary subjects, including archaeology, and history.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • applying the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • evaluating research and a variety of types of information and evidence critically
  • synthesise information critically from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice
  • applying strategies for appropriate selection of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
  • utilising problem solving skills
  • analyse, evaluate and interpret the evidence underpinning archaeological, historical, linguistic and literary evidence critically.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • having an advanced understanding of another culture, whether focused on its archaeology, history, literature, thought, art and religion, or its history and political and social organisation, or its material culture; demonstrate a critical engagement with it; develop an informed sense of the similarities and differences between it and our own culture
  • having a broad knowledge, developed within a coherent framework, of complementary subjects, drawn from such fields as archaeology, history, art, literature, linguistics, language, and philosophy, or theme-based topics which cross the boundaries between them (e.g. religion, gender studies), and periods
  • demonstrating familiarity with and be able to evaluate an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials, e.g. archaeological and historical texts, art objects, and inscriptions 
  • commanding a range of techniques and methodologies, such as bibliographical and library research skills, a range of skills in reading and textual analysis, the varieties of historical method, art criticism, use of statistics (e.g. in archaeology), philosophical argument and analysis.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • communicate effectively complex issues to specialist and non-specialist audiences using a variety of means
  • evaluate autonomously your own academic performance
  • manage change effectively and respond to changing demands and complex and unpredictable situations
  • take responsibility for advancing personal and professional learning, initiative and development to a high level
  • manage time and prioritise workloads, plan and implement tasks professionally.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £8100
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £4050
  • EU part-time £6300
  • International part-time £8400

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.

Complete University Guide Research Intensity

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, classics was ranked 2nd for research impact and in the top 20 for research intensity, research power, research quality and research output in the UK.

An impressive 97% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Research areas

Currently particular areas of interest are:

Archaeology, Heritage and Late Antiquity

The history of archaeology; Heritage and Museum Studies; Greek religion and ritual practice; Archaeoastronomy and the study of astronomy and cosmology in ancient cultures; Roman ceramics; the archaeology of the Roman army and frontier; Archaeology and gender; Later prehistory in temperate Europe, including the British Isles; the archaeology of the Roman era in Britain and the Western Provinces; Monumental architecture, especially Greek; Roman artefacts and art; the late post-Roman transition in the West; Landscape and settlement studies; the archaeology of the Transmanche region; Late Antiquity cities in the Mediterranean (AD 300-650).

Classical studies and Byzantium

Ancient narrative literature, especially the novel; Classical literature; Greek mythology, catasterism myths and cosmological texts; Greek palaeography; Greek ritual and magic; ancient philosophy, epistemology and the senses; Greek and Roman performance arts, costume and reception; Greek satire; Greek and Roman epic; Roman literature, especially Virgil and Ovid; Hagiography and Byzantium; Historiography; Aesthetics and gender studies.

Ancient History

Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Greece; Women and children in the Greco-Roman world; Roman and Byzantine Egypt; the history of the Roman Republic; Roads and the landscape of the Roman Empire; Tourism and the classical tradition; the social, economic and legal aspects of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire; the history of the Roman army; Greek, Roman and Egyptian Papyrology; Epigraphy; Palaeography; and neo-Latin.

Careers

Our MA programmes include much scope for vocational training, skills acquisition and guided project work, often with use of our extensive facilities. These aspects of our programmes have been praised by external assessors in recent years. 

Recent graduates have progressed to careers in a wide range of related professional and leadership areas, including national and local museums, teaching and senior roles with archaeological organisations (national government institutions, contracting units and trusts). A large proportion of completing Master’s students have progressed onto PhD study.

Study support

About the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies

Classical & archaeological studies examines the textual and material evidence for a wide cross-section of the ancient world and includes three convergent research and teaching pathways: ancient history, classical literature, and archaeology. Many core areas in the investigation of the ancient world can be studied with us at postgraduate level.

The Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies operates within the Division of Arts and Humanities, and there are corresponding opportunities for a high level of interdisciplinary interaction, with staff researching medieval history, the history of science and architecture, in addition to the informal links with staff in the rest of the University active research community. We have good partnerships with high-profile universities and organisations such as the Ghent University, University Lille 3, the Flemish Heritage Institute, UCLA, the Free University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Typically, around 30 students each year have been placed on research and training excavations in Britain, Italy (including Ostia, port of Rome) and Greece, relating to sites of Bronze Age Greek (Minoan), Iron Age, Roman, Late Antique and Anglo-Saxon date.

Postgraduate resources

The School has extensive literary holdings and many other facilities to support active research, and the Templeman Library also has excellent holdings in all our areas of research interest. This includes an extensive range of English and international periodicals, as well as specialist collections (the library of A S L Farquharson, specialising in the age of Marcus Aurelius, and generous donations from the libraries of Victor Ehrenberg in ancient social history, Anthony Snodgrass, Richard Reece and Jill Braithwaite in archaeology). We have access to Canterbury Cathedral Library, and to archaeological libraries and collections in Kent, such as the major collection of the Kent Archaeological Society, and first-rate connections with London and continental Europe. Kent is now the home of the Colin Renfrew Archive, a major resource for research on the history of archaeology, archaeological theory, prehistoric Orkney and the Aegean Bronze Age.

The Department has its own specialist technician, Lloyd Bosworth, who is widely experienced and skilled in landscape archaeology, geographic information systems (GIS), digital imaging and laser scanning, as well as geophysical surveying. He offers advice and training in the use of the archaeological equipment and has worked in Belgium, Ostia, Rome and Crete.

The University has recently invested in a range of new archaeological equipment including a Romer laser scanner, portable XRF machinery, resistivity and magnetometer survey machines, GPS and a photographic lab.

The University of Kent’s location is highly convenient for students who need to visit not only the British Library and other specialist libraries in London, but also the major libraries and research centres within Europe.

Training

All postgraduate students in SECL receive support and guidance within their departments and from the Graduate School. Within SECL, in addition to the research culture of your department, our research centres combine overlapping interests to foster interdisciplinary support and dialogue, while the Graduate School provides a Researcher Development Programme to equip you with a full range of skills that will improve your effectiveness as a researcher. Training courses are also offered by the Library and Computing Services, and by the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT).

Individual training is offered in accordance with a student’s needs. We offer training in Greek and Latin languages at the appropriate level; and specialist skills training in epigraphy, papyrology, palaeography and Egyptology, artefact studies and fieldwork methods. Postgraduates have also gained experience by mounting their own independent seminar programme to discuss work in progress (in addition to taking part in staff/postgraduate research seminars).

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Acta Antiqua; European Journal of Archaeology; Latomus; Hermes; L’études Classiques; Aegyptus; Annual Review of the British School at Rome; American Journal of Archaeology.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

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Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MA at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies
T: +44 (0)1227 824792
E:artshumsadmissions@kent.ac.uk

 

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk