Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Classics

Why choose Classics at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Classics achieved high student satisfaction levels in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2017, with 94 per cent of students saying they were satisfied overall, rising to 100 per cent for the MA (Hons) Classics programme.

  • Our programmes in Greek and Latin offer a rigorous and traditional linguistic training, alongside innovative texts and approaches, letting you reach very high standards whether or not you have studied the languages before and irrespective of previous linguistic knowledge.

  • Whichever programme you study, you will have opportunities to get involved in excavations run by members of staff, most recently in Italy and Macedonia.

  • You will be taught by one of the largest groups of classics-focused academics in the UK, with 30 members of staff covering a variety of research interests.

  • We offer a wide choice of programmes and more than 40 specialist course options across all the main areas of classics: Greek and Latin language, literature and thought; ancient history; and classical art and archaeology.

  • Our courses in ancient history, classical art and archaeology, and classical literature in translation require no prior knowledge and no linguistic knowledge, and cover the whole of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, including neighbouring civilisations such as Persia, and Byzantium, the successor state to the Roman empire.

Study abroad

The close relationship among students and the interaction with our lecturers make the learning process much more enjoyable.

Angus Carey-Douglas 3rd year MA (Hons) Classics
Angus Carey-Douglas 3rd year MA (Hons) Classics

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 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, criminology, and modern languages, subject to availability and to timetabling restrictions

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 strengths across ancient history, Greek and Latin language and literature and classical art and archaeology.

No previous knowledge is required to study ancient history, classical art and archaeology, or classical literature in translation 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, criminology and modern languages, subject to availability and to timetabling restrictions.

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.

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?

If you study abroad in Year 3, your costs will vary by country.

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 for 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.

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.

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.