Postgraduate Students

PhD in Classics

The PhD in Classics offers you the opportunity to study Classics at an advanced level through independent research.

Classics at the University of Edinburgh, with its broad range of supervisors and stimulating and supportive intellectual environment, can offer you a first-class experience in focused and sustained research.

We welcome applications from anyone keen to work on topics that overlap with the research interests of our academic staff, including Greek social history, Greek law, Classical literature & art, Hellenistic history & archaeology, Roman slavery, Roman art and architecture, the Roman economy, late antique and Byzantine literature, history and archaeology. Our strong relationship with other subjects such as Archaeology, History, Philosophy and Law, mean that interdisciplinary study and supervision can be arranged.

Details of PhD projects currently being undertaken in the School can be found on our list of research student web profiles.  

We also interviewed a recent PhD in Classics student, Meg, about her time studying with us.


Programme structure

The PhD is a substantial piece of independent research which makes a contribution to the state of existing knowledge in the field. The PhD programme is designed to take three years full-time or six years part time. The PhD is examined by submission of a thesis of up to 100,000 words and by oral examination.

PhD students work closely with their supervisors, who are recognised experts in the field of study. All PhD students pursue an individually tailored programme of research training agreed with their supervisors, which in Classics includes a practical skills course run by the Head of Subject and the Graduate Officer in Classics as well as professional and research skills training provided by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and the Institute for Academic Development. Full details of the training we provide are available on our PhD training pages. PhD students are also encouraged to share their research with other postgraduate students through workshops and seminars, and to take an active part in the research life of the archaeology subject area, the School and the University.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor  to discuss your research project before making a formal application.


Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme, please contact the Programme Director.

Dr Kimberley Czajkowski

Entry Requirements

You will need a UK 2:1 honours degree in a relevant discipline and a relevant masters degree with an overall mark of at least 65%, or the international equivalent.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant professional experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language

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)
  • 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 three 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:

If your language skills only meet the lower end of the requirements, the English Language Teaching Centre at the University run several courses in English for Academic Purposes.

Apply for this programme

Apply through our Degree Finder now

Proposed New Programme

We are looking at developing new online PhD by Distance opportunities in our subject areas of History, Classics and Archaeology. We would like to hear your views; please take our short survey.