BA Classical Literature & Civilisation and Philosophy

Love reading and thinking for yourself? Then this innovative degree is for you.

You will embrace the diversity of Greek and Roman culture as well as acquiring philosophical skills to engage critically with some of the deepest and most difficult questions human beings have ever been asked.  

At the University of Birmingham, you will have access to world-class Philosophy talent in fields as diverse as Metaphysics, Philosophy of Psychiatry, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Mind. Meanwhile, on the Classical side of your course you will work with the plays, poems, and speeches that have come down to us from antiquity, and study the monument, religion and mythology that make up classical civilisation. You will enjoy a rich and engaging academic experience as students on this programme rate it extremely highly. 

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Francesca Harris

Francesca Harris

“I get a really diverse and exciting workload that always keeps me interested and on my toes. I never have a dull moment in my studies as the modules on offer are always interesting and complement both halves of my degree yet are individual fields in their own right. Committing to two amazing fields of study is easier than it looks with the support on offer from both lecturers and the University.”

You will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you’re a fully supported and active learner.

Our degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that is highly sought after by today’s employers.

The compulsory modules on the Classical Literature and Civilisation side of the course introduce you the history and literature of Greece and Rome, before taking you to the heart of their cultures. You will also choose from a wide range of optional modules, focusing not just on Greece and Rome, but Egypt and Western Asia too, and have the option to study ancient languages. On the Philosophy side, the compulsory modules introduce you to quintessential philosophical problems and provide you with the skills you need to study philosophy. In the second and final years, you will have the flexibility to choose the subjects that interest you the most.

You will learn in a variety of different contexts, such as lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, independent research and field trips. You will be supported by outstanding library resources, and have access to departmental facilities including a small study library and the Classics museum. 

Why study this course

  • Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds in both fields. Philosophy was ranked 2nd in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, with 83% of its research rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent.'
  • Excellent student experience – Our Classics students gave their course an overall satisfaction rating of 91% in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • Friendly and relaxed atmosphere – Staff in both Departments will know you by name and are always happy to provide additional feedback on academic performance.
  • Flexibility – The variety of modules on offer will allow you to specialise more as you progress so that you can study areas of the discipline which interest you the most. Almost all of our assessments are now based on coursework.
  • Be part of an exciting department – Both Departments provides a diverse range of opportunities to enrich your student experience. For example, students have been involved in the Classics in the Community project, working with teachers on developing new ways of telling ancient stories. Meanwhile, Philosophy has a thriving student society to get involved with.

Open day talks

Three full videos on YouTube of recent open day talks relevant to this course:

Modules

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

In this programme, your first year of study is split equally between Classical Literature and Civilisation and Philosophy (60 credits in each subject). Following this, you have flexible options to alter your balance of study, meaning that you could take for example 80 credits in one subject and 40 in the other in either or both of years 2 and 3, or stay with the 60/60 balance. 

First year

Classical Literature and Civilisation: In your first year, you will study the literature and history of the Greco-Roman world by taking two compulsory modules: Introduction to Greek Literature and Introduction to Roman Literature. You then choose from options to study an ancient language, or the cultures of Ancient Egypt, Western Asia or Byzantium.

Philosophy:

Philosophy's first year modules will provide you with a thorough grounding in mainly mainstream western philosophy. You will take our compulsory modules, Problems of Philosophy, Reasoning and Logic, as well as 20 credits of optional modules.

See our first year Philosophy module descriptions (compulsory and optional)

Second year

Classical Literature and Civilisation: Our compulsory modules, The Age of Cicero and Athenian Drama, will take you to the heart of the cultures of Rome and Athens. If you take more than 40 credits, you will also be able to choose from our unique range of options in literature, culture, language, myth, religion, art, philosophy, archaeology and history.

Philosophy

In second year, there are no compulsory Philosophy modules and you can pursue the topics and questions that interest you the most. Depending on your chosen balance of study, you chose 40, 60 or 80 credits from our range of optional modules.

See our second year Philosophy module descriptions

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

Classical Literature and Civilisation: In your final year, you will take a seminar as a compulsory module and then you will have the opportunity to do a dissertation: a substantial research project, developed in collaboration with your supervisor, on a subject of special interest to you. You can choose to this in Classical Literature and Civilisation or your other subject. Depending on which Department you choose to do your dissertation in and your balance of study, you can also choose modules from our wide range of options.

Philosophy

As in second year, there are no compulsory Philosophy modules in your final year however, you will be expected to undertake an independent research project. Joint Honours Philosophy students can chose to do this in either of their two disciplines. If you do a project in your other discipline, you are not obliged to do another in Philosophy.

See our final year Philosophy module descriptions

Fees and funding

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2018, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £16,320

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as home/EU for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as overseas for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB
Required subjects and grades:
ABB

Additional information:

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all considered on a case by case basis.

Please be aware that you will need to meet the subject specific requirements for both subject areas within the degree programme - please check their Single Honours coursefinder entries for more information. If you need further guidance please contact us.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Welfare tutors - We have dedicated welfare tutors who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact hours

In your first year on our programmes in Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology you can expect to have 9- 12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures and small-group teaching. During your first year you will also undergo a formal transition review to see how you are getting on. 

In your second year on our programmes in Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology you can expect to have 8-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision.

In your third year on our programmes in Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology you can expect to have 8.5-9.5 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision. There are also many additional activities that are also available to students .

Assessment methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development – a balance that is highly sought after by employers in today’s competitive graduate market.

By studying Classical Literature and Civilisation and Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, you will acquire skills highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market:

  • Understanding complex information
  • Writing clearly and effectively
  • Building a case to critically assess a particular point of view
  • Independent thought
  • Ability to communicate to a variety of different audiences
  • Strong research methods

Classical Literature and Civilisation and Philosophy graduates go on to pursue highly successful careers in professions such as:

  • Law
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Local Government
  • Museums and charities
  • Culture and heritage organisations

Therefore studying this degree at the University of Birmingham opens the doors to a wide range of careers. Some graduates will go onto undertake further study and research in pursuit of higher degrees. 

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.

Student Experience Officers

Our Student Experience Officers will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.

International students

The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900.

We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, how to apply and funding options, then you can visit our international students webpage. You may also wish to take a virtual tour of our campus and watch the video below to hear our international students say their favourite thing about the University of Birmingham.