Classics at Edinburgh offers one of the widest range of approaches to the subject in the UK. We are one of Europe’s leading centres for teaching and researching the ancient world.

HCA Calton Hill

Classics is a multidisciplinary subject, including all aspects of the Greek and Roman civilisations: language, literature and thought; political, social, economic and cultural history; art history and archaeology. It also involves the study of neighbouring states to the Greeks and the Romans, of later Greek and Latin speaking cultures, and of the Classical tradition.

Being a student in the Classics department at Edinburgh will let you learn from faculty members with research interests spanning all of these areas and a passion for brining students to the highest level in the field. We are the third largest Classics department in the UK, employing around 30 members of academic staff.


Our specialist courses are categorised under the main research areas within the discipline of Classics:

  • Greek language and literature
  • Latin language and literature
  • ancient history
  • classical art and archaeology.

It is also possible to take courses on Classical Literature in translation.

We have a wide range of degrees in which you can focus on one, or more usually a combination, of these subdisciplines.

Our Greek and Latin courses combine rigorous and traditional linguistic training with study of a wide range of ancient literature. While a substantial number of students with prior experience in one or both languages, but it is possible to learn Greek and/ or Latin from scratch and to reach the highest standards over the four years of the degree.

Texts studied range chronologically from Homer and Hesiod to Byzantine Greek and late antique and Medieval Latin; love poetry, epic, history-writing, and oratory are among the specialities of our staff. Specialist skills in Greek and Latin palaeography and manuscripts are also taught. Courses on philosophical texts are regularly offered in both languages. Many of these subjects are also taught in translation.

Our ancient history and classical art and archaeology courses cover Greek history from Archaic Greece to the Roman conquest and Roman history from the republic to the fall of the empire; we also cover the history and archaeology of neighouring civilisations such as Persia, and of Byzantium, the successor-state to the Roman empire in the Greek east.


All undergraduate students within the Classics department, and especially those with a Classical archaeology focus, will have the opportunity to get involved in excavations run by members of staff. Recently, for example, our students have participated in ongoing excavations in Italy and Macedonia.

A word from our students...

Meet Caroline and Betsy to find out what they enjoy about studying Classics here at the University of Edinburgh.



View a full list of our Classics degrees