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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The programme is assessed by coursework for each of the modules and by the dissertation.
This programme aims to:
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You will gain the following transferable skills:
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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 email@example.com.
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.
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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.
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.
Currently particular areas of interest are:
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).
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.
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.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.