University of St Andrews

Classical Studies MA (Hons)

University of St Andrews
In St Andrews

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Important information

Typology Master
Location St andrews (Scotland)
Duration 4 Years
  • Master
  • St andrews (Scotland)
  • Duration:
    4 Years

The MA (Hons) in Classical Studies includes the study of Greek and Roman literature alongside social and cultural history, philosophy, religion and art. The course encourages new ways of seeing the classical and modern worlds. All Classical Studies modules use English texts.
Classical Studies at St Andrews allows you to discover and debate the nature of Athenian democracy, the power of Greek tragedy, the purpose of ancient erotic fiction, the imposing beauty of Roman sculpture or the twists and turns of Platonic dialogue.
At all stages during your time studying Classical Studies at St Andrews there is the opportunity to study complementary subjects such as ancient history and ancient philosophy.

Facilities (1)
Where and when



St Andrews (Fife)
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University Of St Andrews, KY16 9AJ


On request

To take into account

· What are the objectives of this course?

The MA (Hons) in Classical Studies is a four-year course run by the School of Classics. The first two years focus on Greek and Roman literature, art and culture. In your first year, you will explore some of the most dynamic literary and artistic achievements of archaic and classical Greek and Roman culture, ranging from Homer’s epic poetry, the art, drama and philosophy of classical Athens, to the glories of Augustan Rome. In your second year, you will take modules that further extend and refine your knowledge of Greek and Latin literature. This year covers the art, literature and philosophy of two periods of dramatic social and political change, early Greece and the Late Roman Republic. Rome in the first century BCE experienced a series of brutal civil wars that tore the city and its empire apart and ushered in the age of the emperors. Yet the same period also produced some of Rome’s finest literature, from the seething passions of Catullus’ poetry to the slick rhetoric of Cicero’s speeches. You will study key authors of the period in their social, political and intellectual context, to learn – among other things – how they used their writing to work out what it meant to be Roman in such turbulent times.

· Who is it intended for?

Classical Studies students at St Andrews have traditionally moved into a very wide range of careers upon graduating. Some continue their academic careers via a postgraduate training degree or doctoral study either in St Andrews or at another university. Other students have often progressed to postgraduate qualifications in teaching, law or finance. Recent Classical Studies graduates have moved into careers in: law marketing museums work journalism the theatre civil service teaching finance applied computing.

· Requirements

SQA Highers AABB GCE A-Levels AAA IB points 36, including three subjects at HL6

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Course rating
Centre rating

Reviews on this course

5.0 17/11/2018
What I would highlight: It's a dream come true for me to be here at this university and it hasn't been any less amazing for me than I thought it to be.
What could be improved: -
Would you recommend this course?: Yes
Did this opinion help you? Yes (0)
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What you'll learn on the course

Ancient History
Roman Praise
Greek Theatre
Roman Republic
Greek poetry

Course programme


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Classical Studies alongside modules in at least one other subject.

The Classical Studies programme is very flexible and can incorporate modules in Ancient History, Latin and Greek alongside or even in place of specialist Classical Studies modules (though there are some minimum requirements), so that you can pursue your interests in the Greeks and Romans wherever they lead.

1st Year

In the first year, most students take:

  • Images of Augustan Rome: studies a range of literary works that were written during the lifetime of the first emperor of Rome, Augustus, and that react in different ways to the new regime that he established.
  • Myth and Community in Ancient Greek Literature and Culture: explores some of the most dynamic literary and artistic achievements of archaic and classical Greek culture.

You can also choose from first-year modules in Ancient History, Greek and Latin.

2nd Year

In the second year, most students take:

  • Culture and Thought in the Late Roman Republic: sets the main literary texts of the Late Roman Republic against the broader backdrop of Roman art, culture and social life. All prescribed texts will be studied in translation.
  • Early Greek Poetry and Philosophy: explores the diversity of early Greek thought at the crossroads of poetry and philosophy, starting with Hesiod’s struggle to reorder the world of gods and humans.

You can also choose from modules in Ancient History, Greek and Latin.


If you decide to take Classical Studies in your third and fourth years, you will choose further modules for more advanced study of ancient texts, discourses and images.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Greek Theatre
  • Art of the Roman Empire
  • Religions of the Greeks
  • Pleasure, Goodness and Happiness: Hellenistic Ethics
  • Roman Praise
  • Herodotus
  • Greek Painted Pottery
  • Magic in Greco-Roman Literature and Life
  • Animals in Greco-Roman Antiquity
  • Modern Classics: Classics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.

You will also have access to Honours modules from the Ancient History and Ancient History & Archaeology programmes.

In fourth year, students also have the opportunity to undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

The sub-honours modules listed here are typical modules that students take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above.

Additional information

Overseas Fee £22,350

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