MA Antiquity: Roman History and Archaeology pathway

The Antiquity MA: Roman History and Archaeology pathway focuses on the study of one of the world’s great empires, encompassing both history and archaeology, and tracing the development of imperialism in the west. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the latest thinking on the Roman city, its societies, and the traces they have left, with a focus on Italy, North Africa and the Western Provinces. You will also benefit from our own collection of Greek and Roman artefacts in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity Museum. It is an excellent preparation for further research at doctoral level, but also stands alone as an opportunity to pursue your interests in greater depth than was possible at undergraduate level. This is one of several pathways available on the Antiquity MA.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

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

Start date: September

Details

This is the degree for you if you enjoyed studying the ancient world as an undergraduate, and would now like to study Roman History and Archaeology 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.

You will study three core modules [full descriptions available below]:

  • Empire and Identity: The City in the Roman West
  • 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.  

Why study this course

The University of Birmingham has one of the highest concentrations of staff in Roman studies and classical antiquity has been studied at the University for more than a hundred years. Current research strengths include: the ancient city, especially Rome and Pompeii; the archaeology of death, burial and human remains; cultural memory; environmental archaeology; historiography and trends in historical study; religion; the life course; the archaeology of landscape; and archaeological imaging and remote sensing techniques.

With such a range of expertise available, you will be supported to explore your specific interests, particularly through the dissertation.

Modules

You will study three core modules:

Empire and Identity: The City in the Roman West

Building on a series of case studies – literary, archaeological, historical and epigraphic – this module introduces a range of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the city. You will develop an advanced understanding of how contemporary urban theory helps us understand the ancient Roman city. You will learn to apply a range of interpretive approaches to key archaeological sites in order to understand the role of the city in creating imperial identity. The module places you at the forefront of developments in the study of the relationship between Roman imperialism and Roman urban life.

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.

Research Skills

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:

  • Age and Gender in the Roman World
  • Byzantine Archaeology
  • Creating Europe: Complex Societies 1000 BC – AD 1000
  • Egyptian Culture in Context, 1100-200 BC
  • Greek Archaeology
  • Herodotus and Ancient Worlds
  • Individuals in History
  • Latin Language (beginners, intermediate or advanced)
  • Myth and Text in antiquity
  • Research Project Development

Some of these optional modules will form the core of other pathways.

Fees and funding

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.

University of Birmingham graduates 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 research modules will train you to a professional level in bibliographic research, project development, information management and retrieval, oral presentation, active listening, and a range of subject-specific skills tailored to this pathway.

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.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support through the English for International Students Unit (EISU).

Employability

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.

Graduates with a postgraduate degree in Antiquity can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. That’s why historically, over 91% of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology postgraduates have been in employment or further study within six months of graduating.