MRes Ancient History

This programme will enhance your skills as an ancient historian. 

You will undertake training in key fields such as classical languages or historiography, which will equip you with the essential skills for your Greek or Roman History research project in any period from Archaic Greece to Imperial Rome and its provinces. You will also have the opportunity to choose modules from across the MA Antiquity syllabus which are complementary to your research.

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top five departments of Classics in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Dr Gareth Sears

“The MRes Ancient History allows you to undertake an in-depth study on an aspect of the history, society or culture of the Graeco-Roman world alongside language and research skills training or modules on aspects of ancient society, history or culture. Your degree will be within the supportive atmosphere of the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology and will allow you to interact with a large community of academics and postgraduates studying many aspects of the ancient and Byzantine worlds”

Your thesis will be on an aspect of Greek or Roman history, culture or society.

It will be supervised by a specialist in the area of your work. A research skills training module equips you for your thesis with a range of specialised and generic skills, including textual criticism, document handling, literary theory, information resources, thesis presentation and bibliographical management.

Many students also opt to take training in classical languages but you may choose to take modules from the MA Antiquity syllabus, which allows for interdisciplinary study of the ancient world and includes modules on historiography and ancient socieities. We also offer the opportunity to take modules from other related postgraduate programmes, such as Byzantine Studies and Modern Greek Studies.

Typically, applicants will have a degree in some area of ancient historical, archaeological, historical or classical studies, and we recommend that you discuss your proposed research with a potential supervisor before applying - see the full range of academic research interests of individual staff.

This programme offers a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of ancient history by combining a substantial (20,000 words) dissertation with research training and taught elements. It can lead to doctoral research, but also provides the chance to undertake scholarly research as enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

Why study this course

  • Although your focus will be on an aspect of the cultures, history and societies of the Greek and Roman world the Ancient History grouping at Birmingham is part of one of the few university departments in the UK that draws together the study of Greece and Rome with Egypt and the Near East, antiquity with Byzantium, and allows you to use historical approaches alongside those from classics and archaeology. You will therefore be able to draw on a wide range of academic expertise in the history, culture, and languages of the ancient world
  • The department celebrated excellent Research Assessment Exercise 2014 results . 38% of research at the University of Birmingham for Classics was top 4* rated ‘world-leading’. A further 43% was rated 3* ‘internationally excellent’
  • We have an outstanding research collection in the University Library, with strong holdings in periodicals and other scholarly publications, including those in relevant European languages, and subscriptions to all major online databases and e-resources.

Modules

Core Module:

Research and Scholarship

This module will help you to develop the skills necessary for graduate level research, introduce you to the latest methods and techniques for interpreting primary sources, and demonstrate how to make critical use of scholarly works. You will learn how to define and approach interesting research questions, and develop an overview of the fields of scholarship most relevant to your pathway.

Optional modules:

Those modules available from the MA Antiquity syllabus may include (subject to availability in any given year): 

  • Cities in the Ancient World
  • Herodotus and Ancient Worlds
  • Greek Drama since 1900
  • The Methodologies of Byzantine Studies
  • Archaeology of Greece
  • Egyptian Culture in Context, 1100-200 BC
  • Creating Europe: complex societies 1000 BC – AD 1000
  • Roman History and Archaeology: Empire and IdentityAspects of Byzantine History 
  • Byzantine Archaeology
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Coins and the Economy in the Byzantine World
  • Egyptian Culture in Context 1100–200 BC
  • Egyptian Language
  • Graduate Linguistics: Latin (level as appropriate)
  • Graduate Linguistics: Greek (level as appropriate)
  • Myth and Text in Antiquity
  • Women, Men and Eunuchs: Gender in Byzantium

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2016/17:

  • Home / EU £4,110 full-time; £2,055 part-time*
  • Overseas: £13,680 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

* For UK/EU postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2016.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • If you are applying for a PhD then you may also need to hold a good Masters qualification.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Although your focus will be on an aspect of the cultures, history and societies of the Greek and Roman world the Ancient History grouping at Birmingham is part of one of the few university departments in the UK that draws together the study of Greece and Rome with Egypt and the Near East, antiquity with Byzantium, and allows you to use historical approaches alongside those from classics and archaeology.

You will therefore be able to draw on a wide range of academic expertise in the history, culture, and languages of the ancient world

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

The University has been recognised for its impressive graduate employment, being named ‘University of the Year for Graduate Employment’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

In addition, the global edition of The New York Times has ranked the University 60th in the world and 9th in UK for post-qualification employability. The rankings illustrate the top 150 universities most frequently selected by global employers and are the result of a survey by French consulting firm Emerging and German consulting firm Trendence.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

University of the Year for employability

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

In 2013, over 92% of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AOC Archaeology Group; Blakesley Hall Museum; City and Borough Councils; English Heritage; KPMG; National Trust; and Sotheby's.

Dr David Creese, PhD Classics

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

Support in your studies

We offer an Academic Writing Advisory Service, which aims to help your transition to postgraduate research. The service offers guidance on organising your ideas and structuring an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, being clear and coherent and editing your work for academic style and linguistic accuracy. Individual support is provided by a professional academic writing advisor via tutorials or email, as well as through the provision of online materials.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.