Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Classics

Why choose Classics at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Classics has been taught at Edinburgh for more than 400 years. Join us and you’ll learn from world-leading academics who are at the forefront of their disciplines.

  • We offer a particularly wide range of areas of study within classics, with specialisms across ancient history, Greek and Latin, and classical archaeology, and a chronological range extending from archaic Greece through to late antiquity, Byzantium and the medieval world.

  • Greek and Latin language and literature are taught at all levels, whether you have studied them before or not. Alternatively, you can study ancient history, classical art and archaeology, or classical literature without learning an ancient language.

  • The city of Edinburgh has been a hub of classical study for hundreds of years. With its neoclassical architecture, Edinburgh, the ‘Athens of the North’, is an ideal base to pursue your study of classics.

Study abroad

Classics is a challenging and rewarding subject which encourages critical thinking and develops a range of key analytical skills. Edinburgh's Classics department is among the best in the UK.

Dylan Bage MA (Hons) Classics graduate
Dylan Bage MA (Hons) Classics graduate

Classics will introduce you to the history, cultures, languages and literatures of some of the world’s most important civilisations. Whether you are interested in the archaeology of the Roman empire, the art of ancient Athens, the drama of Euripides, the epics of Homer and Virgil, or the history of Greece, Rome and Byzantium, you will be able to find a programme suited to your interests and ambitions.

Classics is a wide term which refers to the study of all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman civilisation. It also includes the study of those cultures that the Greeks and Romans came into contact with, of the Greek and Latin-speaking civilisations that followed them, and of the reception of classical heritage in the modern world.

You will learn from our range of expert teaching staff, who are drawn from many countries and maintain strong international links. We offer a wide choice of programmes, with particular strengths in ancient history, Greek, Latin and classical archaeology. No previous knowledge is required to study ancient history or classical archaeology, and it is possible to learn Greek or Latin from scratch and to progress to the highest level by the end of your programme.

You will be able to choose from an exceptionally wide selection of courses in classics and related disciplines. In Years 1 and 2, you can also choose option courses from subjects as diverse as astronomy, law, criminology, and modern languages, subject to availability and to timetabling restrictions.

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

In Classics, what you will study varies between programmes.

Find specific year by year study information on your chosen programme page.

Are there additional costs?


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.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad, to go on excursions to ancient sites abroad and to join fieldwork projects overseas. Recently, there have been opportunities for archaeological excavation in both Italy and Greece.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminar groups and tutorials. Some classes take you out of the classroom and into the local museums and libraries.

How will I be assessed?

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

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.

By working with distant sources and inconclusive evidence, you’ll learn to think logically and to develop sound research and analytical skills. You’ll learn how to make links between what you already know and what you still need to find out. You’ll be taught how to compile and critically evaluate evidence in order to formulate and present an argument coherently.

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.