MRes Ancient History

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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 and have the opportunity to choose modules from across the MA Antiquity syllabus which are complementary to your research.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Combined research and taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: September


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. 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 an enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £3,996 full-time; £1,998 part-time
  • Overseas: £12,565 full-time; £6,282.50 part-time

Learn more about 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.

University of Birmingham graduates - including those due to graduate in summer 2014 - may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

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

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

Learning and teaching

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 sits in 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 of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

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.


  • 91.8% of postgraduate respondents over the past five years were in work and/or further study just six months after graduation
  • 100% of respondent postgraduate researchers in Archaeology over the past five years found work or a further study place within six months of graduating
  • 100% of respondent PhD students in Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies over the past five years found work within six months of graduation

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology includes postgraduates with degrees in Classics, East Mediterranean History, Ancient History, Archaeology and Heritage Management. These graduates boast a wide range of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. For example, they can contribute an understanding of issues around globalisation, diversity, language, culture and influences on society to most employment sectors. Birmingham’s Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates also 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. 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 graduate professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy.

Dr David Creese, PhD Classics

Range of occupations:

Below is an overview of the kinds of employment sectors, organisations and professions that recent Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology postgraduates have entered, based on responses to 'Destinations of Leavers' surveys conducted six months after graduation.

Popular employment sectors

  • Administration of the state
  • Engineering and technical consultancy
  • Higher education
  • Landscape service activities
  • Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural organisations
  • Membership organisations
  • Research and experimental development
  • Secondary education

Range of employers

  • AoC Archaeology group
  • Blakesley Hall Museum
  • City and Borough councils
  • English Heritage
  • Environment Agency
  • Ernst and Young
  • Headland Archaeology
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Historic Scotland
  • KPMG
  • National Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Trust
  • North of England Civic Trust
  • Sotheby’s
  • University of Birmingham

Typical occupations

  • Ancient Greek Tutor and Transcriber
  • Assistant Archaeologist
  • Assistant Heritage Protection Advisor
  • Chartered Building Surveyor
  • Conservation officer
  • Consultant in Historical and Archaeological Heritage
  • Curator
  • Field Archaeologist
  • Lecturer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Museum Assistant
  • Research Fellow
  • Solicitor
  • Teacher