Why study Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology?

Are you thinking about studying Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at university but unsure what you will gain from studying this subject? Watch our short film to hear students Jessica, Holly, Alisha, and Hamish explain why they love studying Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology - and why we think you will too.

Read on to discover five reasons why studying Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at university is not just rewarding in itself but also useful for your future career.

1 – It’s fascinating!

To understand the present, you need to discover the past. Our programmes study the full diversity and richness of human cultural life around the world and across the whole time span of human existence. You can study Greece and Rome, but also Egypt, Western Asia and prehistoric Europe.  An appreciation of past events and why people acted as they did are essential tools for understanding the motivations of others, and of ourselves.

2 – Our teaching style

At Birmingham, we have big, set-piece lectures, but we also have small-group teaching. This gives an opportunity to develop communication skills and to learn from them and your peers. Much  teaching is in groups of around 12.  Some modules also include one-to-one tuition for essay work, particularly for the final year dissertation.

There is also the option to learn ancient languages, such as Latin, Greek and Egyptian on some of our programmes.

3 - Study tour 

There is the opportunity of undertaking a unique two week Study Tour in my second year to countries such as Italy and Greece with fellow students.  You will plan your travel, develop a research project and visit sites, monuments and museums of interest to you.  The Study Tour is one of the highlights of my degree, allowing me to gain valuable research and personal skills as well as being loads of fun!

4 – Specialise in the subject you love

There are several degree programmes to choose from in the Department.  These programmes allow you to explore a wide range of ancient civilisations over several millennia, the classical world in all its diversity, practical archaeological fieldwork and ethnography. As you progress through your degree, you have the opportunity to tailor your programme to focus on the areas that interest you the most.

5 – It’s great for employability

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology students graduate with well-rounded skills in research, analysis, organisation, self-management and reasoning. They are capable of working independently and as part of a team. They can present arguments effectively. Graduates have gone onto careers in a wide range of professions, such as law, business, education, and the media, with employers including central and local government, museums, cultural and heritage organisations, charities and commercial companies, to name just a few.