Postgraduate study

Classics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Classics

The reputation of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology led me to choose this MSc, I was attracted to the Classics programme for the opportunity to deepen my knowledge, to experience a different way of teaching and to refine a more specific area of interest.

Rossana Zetti MSc Classics, 2015-16

This programme will give you the opportunity to study specific periods and regions of classical civilisation, analyse the literary significance of texts, and develop your language skills in Greek and Latin.

Drawing on the diverse interests of our academic staff (which number more than 20 in this area), the programme content is highly flexible, allowing you to choose a specialised path or a more interdisciplinary approach. We have specialists in the central areas of Greek and Latin literature and thought, Greek and Roman history, and Classical art and archaeology. We also take a broad view of the discipline with, for example, expertise in late antiquity, and reception history.

We provide opportunities for you to hear from distinguished speakers in the weekly classics research seminar series and to share your research with your peers at the classics graduate seminar.

Studying Classics in Edinburgh is the perfect marriage; known as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh is a stunningly beautiful city with a worldwide reputation as a cultural and academic capital.

You will complete one compulsory course and select a further three skills courses and an additional two options from a wide range on offer. The modular structure of the programme allows you to concentrate on areas of particular interest while still providing breadth of coverage. Your required course equips you with the independent skills you need to complete your dissertation.

The compulsory course is:

  • Skills and Methods in Classics.

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Elementary Latin (PG) 1
  • Elementary Greek (PG) 1
  • Elementary Latin (PG) 2
  • Elementary Greek (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Greek (PG) 1
  • Intermediate Latin (PG) 1
  • Intermediate Greek (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Latin (PG) 2
  • Latin Text Seminar 1
  • Greek Text Seminar 1
  • A Period of Ancient History 1
  • A Period of Ancient History 2
  • Byzantine Text Seminar 1
  • A Topic in Late Antique and Byzantine History 1
  • Epicurus and Epicureanism
  • Topics in Byzantine Literary History
  • The Hellenistic City
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent
  • Latin Text Seminar 2
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Classical Greek Sculpture
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium BC

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScClassics1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScClassics2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Students who follow this programme will gain:

  • an advanced knowledge of the archaeology/art and history of specific regions and periods of classical civilisation
  • an opportunity to study and analyse the literary significance of Greek and Latin texts and develop knowledge of current interpretation of them
  • an ability to comment in a detailed manner on passages from a selection of Greek and Latin
  • a developed knowledge of the Greek or Latin languages

Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers, others are interested in pursuing long-term academic careers and therefore consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.

The programme provides a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work. This programme can form the stepping stone to many career options, such as further academic research, law, museum and art curation, literary translation or analysis, education or public heritage.

Recent graduates in Classics are now putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers, editors and civil servants.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, a minimum US 3.25 GPA or international equivalent, in a subject related to this programme, preferably Classics, Classical Civilization, Ancient History or Classical Archaeology.*

We will also consider an honours degree in another subject if your personal statement demonstrates how you are equipped to undertake the programme.

Relevant experience, or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.

(*Revised 8 November 2019 to include GPA requirement)

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScClassics1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScClassics2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 3 August 2020

If you are applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Please read the application guidance for more information:

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

Further information

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG