Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

MA Ancient History and Classical Archaeology

UCAS code: VV14

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: History, Classics and Archaeology

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Ancient History and Classical Archaeology

On MA Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, study of the history and material culture of the classical civilisations will be at the core of your studies.

You will develop a range of disciplinary skills used by historians, archaeologists and art historians. The programme requires the careful interpretation of scanty but complex written and material evidence to understand peoples who are chronologically remote but highly significant to the modern world.

In addition to the study of the Greek and Roman civilisations from the bronze age to late antiquity and Byzantium, you will have the opportunity to study other ancient peoples and civilisations such as the Etruscans, the Persians and the Carthaginians.

You will gain an understanding of Graeco-Roman society within its geographical context and will analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts, works of art, artefacts, archaeological sites, and other material evidence.

The programme will challenge you to confront the sometimes rather divergent pictures of the classical world given by the different bodies of evidence – textual and material – and is thus both intellectually demanding and intrinsically interesting.

There will also be opportunities for gaining practical skills in excavation, for which there may be some funding available.

Year 1

You will complete four survey courses on the history and culture of the Greek and Roman worlds from archaic Greece down to the later Roman empire. You will additionally choose two courses from a wide range of options, usually from outside classics.

Year 2

Your curriculum includes two ancient history courses, two courses on Greek and Roman art and archaeology, and a further two courses from a wide range of options.

Year 3

You will select two or three ancient history honours courses, two or three courses in classical art/archaeology, and one course from any area of classics.

Year 4

A third of your final year’s study will consist of a dissertation on a topic of your choice in classics. You will also select two ancient history honours courses and two classical art/archaeology honours courses.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

You will be taught in the School of History, Classics & Archaeology and in other lecture rooms and classrooms around George Square in the University's Central Area. The School building is home to a Student Research Room and subject collections. The University Library and computing facilities are located in George Square.

In addition to our own resources and those of the University Library, you can apply for access to the outstanding collections of the National Library of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland. Both are located near the University.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3, to go on excursions to ancient sites abroad, and to join fieldwork projects overseas. Academic staff are currently running excavations in Italy and Macedonia.

There are plenty of opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 by applying for the School’s Erasmus exchange agreements with prestigious universities across Europe, or for one of the University’s many international exchanges beyond Europe. These cover practically every continent on the globe, from North and South America to Australasia.

These are unique opportunities to immerse yourself in different university systems and cultures.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and small group tutorials. Some classes take you out of the classroom and into the local museums and libraries. Especially at honours level, teaching is often closely inspired by the cutting-edge research of our academic staff.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams and coursework, and sometimes by practical exercises.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2018/19)

You'll gain practical, intellectual and theoretical skills that are highly valued by employers. You'll gain rigorous mental training in a range of disciplines, enabling you to demonstrate intellectual flexibility and the ability to adapt to new situations and to learn new skills.

Our Classics graduates have gone on to pursue a range of career paths. Previous graduates now work in journalism, museums, teaching, academia, accountancy, finance, IT, publishing, the armed forces, the legal profession and the civil service.

Typical offer range

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AABB - ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 36 points (grades 665 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Access threshold

The access threshold for a contextual offer is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Find out more about access thresholds and contextual offers

Detailed requirements for all applicants

To be considered for an offer of a place all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C and Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C.
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English at Grade C or 4 and Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C or 4.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics or an approved science at 4.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Ancient History and Classical Archaeology

Additional costs

If you study abroad in Year 3, your costs will vary by country. It is possible to take part in archaeological fieldwork on overseas projects run by academics in Classics.

While you will be expected to pay for accommodation, subsistence, and travel costs, you can apply for grants to mitigate the cost.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding