This is the degree for you if you enjoyed studying the ancient world as an undergraduate, and would now like to study Classics in greater depth and at a higher level; or if you want to explore this aspect of antiquity and it wasn’t included in your first degree. It allows you to specialise, but also encourages you to branch out into related disciplines and to consider interdisciplinary approaches.
If you are a beginner in Classical language, our specially-designed graduate linguistic skills modules provide you with a high level of competence in the course of one year. If you have studied the languages already, we will take you forward from whatever point you have reached.
You will study three core modules [full descriptions available below]:
- Herodotus and Ancient Worlds
- Approaches to Images, Material Culture and Texts
- Research Skills
You will also choose three optional modules from across all of the programme’s pathways, offering the opportunity for interdisciplinary study. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, with one-to-one expert supervision.
The University of Birmingham has a distinguished tradition of Classical scholarship going back more than a hundred years. Particular current research strengths include: Greek mythology and religion; Greek and Latin poetry and its reception, both in European literature and film and in modern popular culture; drama, democracy, and citizenship in Ancient Greece; and the social history, and modern reception, of Roman cities and of the City of Rome in particular.
With such a range of expertise available, you will be supported to explore your specific interests, particularly through the dissertation.
You will study three core modules:
Herodotus and Ancient Worlds
Herodotus’ text is the perfect example of the curiosity, openness to new ideas and interdisciplinary ethos which characterise Classics as a discipline. You work with a unique team including not only classicists and ancient historians but also specialists in Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies to investigate this ground-breaking text, which is both quintessentially Greek and richly intertwined with other cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. Inquirer, historian, ethnographer, and story-teller, Herodotus constantly challenges us to reflect on just what is involved in making sense of other cultures.
Approaches to Images, Material Culture and Texts
This module invites you to experiment with interdisciplinary approaches. Linked to a series of research seminars by academic staff, the module is a forum in which staff and students work together to identify significant current directions in research, and to explore links, and differences, between academic disciplines.
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
You will also choose three optional modules, from a range which typically includes:
Ancient Greek or Latin Language
Available at beginner or advanced levels.
The beginners' module provides an intensive introduction to either Greek or Latin. It aims to provide you with the basic linguistic skills needed to acquire a reading knowledge of Greek/Latin for the purposes of research.
The advanced module consolidates linguistic skills to enable you to work independently on Latin/Greek texts in the original language, building upon existing knowledge. It develops analytical and critical skills by means of advanced grammar and reading classes focusing in detail on a text or texts.
Empire and Identity: The City in the Roman West
This module is in two parts, both linked by questions of how contact with the Roman empire changed peoples’ perceptions of themselves and how this was represented in particular through their material culture.
The first part considers the ‘Romanisation’ debate of the last hundred years, from the ‘top-down’ view of Haverfield and his successors, who brought to bear their own experiences of European colonialism and imperialism, through to more recent ‘bottom-up’ analyses employing post-colonial and related analyses, to the current position where the term can be seen as counter-productive.
The second part looks at the construction of ‘barbarian’ identities in the later Roman period (mainly the 4th and 5th centuries). It considers the construction of ‘ethnicity’ in the 20th century, from Kossinna on, and its relationship to material culture (if there is any). The recent discussions of the construction of ‘identity’ rather than just ‘ethnicity’ are considered. Particular use is made of the rich textual and archaeological evidence for the (Visi-)Goths.
Both part of the module seek to deconstruct traditional views and show how new thinking is necessitating profound review of previously accepted categories of ‘ethnicity’ in favour of considerations such as age, gender and status.
Individuals in History
This module explores the theory and practice of historiography, normally in the Roman world, with particular emphasis on the role of the individual. Typically, the module will be centred on a key text or texts which will enable you to develop strategies for reading and understanding the sources (biographic, literary, historical, material cultural) through which the role of the individual is accessed, and the relationship between individuals and their cultures is understood. This module will investigate issues such as: the significance of individuals in models of historical causation; the impact of biographical tropes and the importance of particular topoi for understanding characterisation; theories of the individual, character-development and biographical criticism; how individuals project themselves into history, versus the impact of historiographic/cultural imperatives on the representation of individuals within history.
- Archaeology of Greece
- Myth and Text in Antiquity
- Research Project Development
Some of these optional modules may form the core of other pathways.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:
Home / EU: £6,210 full-time; £3,105 part-time
Overseas: £14,140 full-time
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.
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.
Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme
For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.