Ancient History at the University of Birmingham draws together the four main subject areas: Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Near East. Many of our students will have little experience of exploring Ancient History at school or college, so our initial focus will be on helping you adapt to new ways of working.
Our Ancient History degree offers you coherence and flexibility. Foundation modules provide you with the knowledge and skills you need, but at the same time you can choose to study a diverse range of subjects across our wide range of specialisms.
Our focus on understanding ancient civilisations will include exploring primary sources, both the Classical, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian texts which have survived to the modern day, and the monuments and objects of those civilisations. No previous knowledge of Greek, Latin, Egyptian or Sumerian is required and all texts are read in translation, except in specialist language modules.
In your second year, with financial support from the University, you will have the opportunity to undertake a unique two-week Study Tour where you will develop a research project and travel with fellow students to countries such as Italy and Greece.
Why study this course
- Excellent employability– 90% of our Ancient History graduates enter work, or full time study, within six months of graduation.
- Highly rated department – The Department is ranked in the Top Ten in the Guardian 2015 university league table for Ancient History and Classics.
- Study tour – our unique two-week Study Tour gives you the opportunity to plan and undertake travel to countries such as Italy and Greece to visit sites, monuments and museums of interest to you.
- Exceptional learning resources – You will have access to a range of learning resources including the Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology Museum and the Eton Myers Collection at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
- Taught by experts – Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top five Russell Group departments of Classics in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
You will gain a thorough grounding in Greco-Roman, Egyptian, and Near Eastern culture and societies, as well as opening up some wider interdisciplinary perspectives.
Our Ancient History core module develops your analytical skills and introduces you to advanced historical theory and methodology. You will engage in-depth with key periods and problems in ancient history, and examine the process of writing history itself..
A special feature of the second year is the Study Tour module which is a unique opportunity to visit the regions you are studying in the Easter vacation. With financial support from the University you plan a research project and travel with fellow students to a country relevant to your studies such as Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, France or Spain.
Reading texts in the original is a great advantage and you have the opportunity, if you wish, to learn one of the ancient languages – Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek or Latin. You can also choose from our unique range of options.
By now you are ready to make your own choice. In your final year you choose a seminar and two options. Once again, you will have the opportunity to study an ancient language, either starting from scratch or taking your skills to a higher level. The highlight of the final year is your dissertation: working one-on-one with your supervisor you will complete a substantial research project on a subject of special interest to you.
Students who have achieved grades of 2.1 or above in their first year will have the opportunity to take a year abroad between their second and final year at one of a wide range of carefully selected partner institutions from around the world. In addition to the tutor support given from the host University, students who choose to take a Year Abroad will be allocated a member of staff from the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology who will monitor their progress while overseas through email and Skype contact.
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: ABB
General Studies: accepted
International baccalaureate update
Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.
Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
Joint Honours combinations
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