MRes Classics

This programme offers a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of classical antiquity by combining a substantial (20,000 words) research 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.

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 Gideon Nisbet

Dr Gideon Nisbet

“The MRes is the course for an academically ambitious student who wants to get stuck into serious research as quickly as possible, probably with a view to progressing – or just maybe, converting – to a full PhD. We give you enough taught provision to top up your existing expertise and embed you in our postgraduate community, and then it’s one-on-one with a supervisor (or two) with the focus on developing a dissertation with real academic stature.”

A research skills training module equips you 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 further training in classical languages.

In addition, you may choose 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 classical or ancient historical 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.

Why study this course

  • Disciplines in dialogue. Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at Birmingham is one of the few university departments in the UK that draws together the study of Greece and Rome with Egypt and the ancient Near East.
  • Unparalleled range. You will be able to draw on a wide range of academic expertise in the history, culture, and languages of the ancient world in its broadest sense, from the beginnings of civilisation to the fall of Byzantium and even beyond (classical reception).
  • World-leading excellence. The department was ranked fifth in the UK in REF2013 – for perspective, Oxford was fourth. Over four-fifths of our submitted research was ranked either ‘world-leading’ (38% - the highest possible rating) or ‘internationally excellent’ (43%). We were also ranked fifth for the impact of our research on the economic and social life of the United Kingdom.

Related staff

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 tuituion fees and funding.

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

Before you make your application

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.

Making your application

Learn more about applying

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

Classics and Ancient History at Birmingham is one of the few university departments in the UK that draws together the study of Greece and Rome with Egypt and the Near East.

You will 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.