Postgraduate study


Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Classics

The MSc by Research in Classics is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.

The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.

Classics at Edinburgh continues a tradition that goes back to the University’s foundation in 1583.

We now boast one of the most significant clusters of scholars in the United Kingdom working in all the areas of the discipline.

We are happy to supervise across the full range of our research interests in:

  • Greek and Latin language, literature and thought
  • Greek and Roman history from classical Greece to late antiquity
  • classical Greek and Roman art and archaeology

We are able to supervise in related areas such as Persian history and reception studies.

You will be assigned two supervisors who will provide expert academic guidance on your chosen research topic. You will meet regularly to discuss your progress and research plans, as well as drafts of your thesis/dissertation chapters, conference papers and potential articles.

In addition to individual supervision, you will also have access to research training and postgraduate seminars.

Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.

Graduate students are able to use two further large School study and resource rooms, which are open to all staff and students. There is access to lockers equipped with laptop charging facilities as well as standard lockers.

The building is wireless enabled and includes state of the art teaching rooms, meeting rooms, a common room, a refreshment area, and open social/breakout areas.

A long dissertation of 30,000 words is the sole form of assessment, but you will also attend compulsory training courses and may attend other relevant courses (especially languages).

Career opportunities

The programme’s focus on research under supervision makes this degree suitable for those contemplating doctoral study, here or elsewhere, and many who take this degree follow that route.

But undertaking a substantial and independent research and writing project is equally an excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline and a strong and viable research proposal. You should also have a good knowledge of the languages required for your topic.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Programme Director, Prof Andrew Erskine (Sem 1)/Dr Ben Russell (Sem 2)
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3591
  • Email:
  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

You must submit a research proposal demonstrating your knowledge of your field of research, which will be closely scrutinised as part of the decision-making process.

Two supervisors will be appointed to work with you on the project: it is a good idea to consult with prospective supervisors before applying.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Prof Andrew Erskine (Sem 1)/Dr Ben Russell (Sem 2)
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3591
  • Email:
  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG