MRes Late Antiquity

Image for Late Antiquity MRes

This programme offers you the opportunity to study the fragmentation of the Roman World and its transformation into a myriad of new states as the result of internal pressures and barbarian invasion in the period AD 300–700.

The taught elements examine major debates about the period, tackling historical, textual, archaeological and art historical material as an essential foundation for your research topic.

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


The MRes consists of 60 credits of coursework and 120 credits achieved through a 20,000-word supervised research project, on topic of your choice in some element of the late antique world. Ideally you should talk to a potential supervisor about the project before applying.

The 60 credits of course work will include 20 credits of Research Skills. You will then choose 40 credits from a range of modules taught by the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology and the Department of History depending on your interests and research needs. Modules include:

  • Greek and Latin at various levels
  • Individuals in History (Roman historiography)
  • Empire and Identity (focusing on ‘Romanisation’ and late antique identities)
  • Byzantine Art and Architecture
  • Gender in Byzantium: women, men and eunuchs
  • Late Roman and Byzantine Archaeology
  • The Economies of the Late Roman, Byzantine and Frankish East Mediterranean

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

The MRes in Late Antiquity is taught by a large concentration of staff approaching the late antique world from a range of perspectives – archaeological, art historical, historical, philosophical and literary. Staff within the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, work particularly on late antique North Africa and Augustine of Hippo, Britain and the western provinces, the Balkans and the East Roman/Byzantine empire. Relevant colleagues in the Department of History work on early Islam and on Scandinavia.

You will benefit from the large postgraduate community in the Department who work on all aspects of the ancient and late antique worlds. There is a particular concentration of students who work on the Byzantine period.

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