V110 Ancient History BA Undergraduate 2017
|Mode of study||Full Time|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|Telephone||+44 (0) 191 334 1670|
In the first year, all students take two interdisciplinary modules that serve to give everyone grounding in the central periods of Greek and Roman culture:
- Remembering Athens
- Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus.
Other previous first-year optional modules included:
- Beginners’ Latin and Greek
- Intermediate Latin and Greek for those with an A-level or equivalent
- Greek Art and Architecture
- Early Greek Philosophy
- The Craft of the Ancient Historian
- Living in the Classical World.
Many of the modules in the second year are broad surveys, for example of a historical period or a literary genre.
Students of Latin and Greek may carry on to a higher level in the second year, where the level depends on whether they took Beginners’ language in the first year or came in with an A-level.
Historical offerings have previously included:
- Archaic Greece
- Athens, Sparta and the Greek World
- History of The Hellenistic Age
- Crisis of The Roman Republic
- Emperors and Dynasties.
Cultural surveys have previously included:
- The Ancient Novel
- Traditions of Epic
- Greek Literature and The Near East
- Interpreting Greek Tragedy Today
- Creation and Cosmology
- Being Human: Classical Perspectives
- The Literary and Political Culture of The Roman Republic.
Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)
All students write a Dissertation in the third year. You choose a topic at the end of your second year in consultation with an adviser, with whom you will meet regularly for guidance throughout year three. Students of Latin and Greek will proceed to the next level, with the texts becoming more difficult or fragmentary. Most other modules in the third year cover specific topics that arise out of the research interests of the members of staff.
Historical modules have previously included:
- Law and Society in Classical Athens
- Roman Syria
- Writing Alexander
- The World of Greek Rituals and Greeks and Persians.
Cultural topics have previously included:
- The Gods in Greek Literature
- Ancient Literary Criticism
- Love and Sex in Ancient Poetry
- Knowledge and Doubt in Hellenistic Philosophy.
Classics and Ancient History
Single Honours courses include an optional European Studies element as part of the ERASMUS scheme, whereby students may spend the third year of a four-year course studying at a European university. We currently have ERASMUS exchange links with universities in Belgium (Liege), France (Bordeaux), Germany (Tubingen, Munich), Greece (Athens), Italy (Bologna, Rome, Milan, Vercelli), the Netherlands (Free University, Amsterdam, Groningen), Spain (Seville) and Switzerland (Fribourg), with further to come. Students interested in studying abroad should apply to transfer to the European Studies course after their first year of study.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University in 2016 please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Course Learning and Teaching
The BA Ancient History will give you an average of 8 hours of timetabled tuition every week over the course of the programme (which is at the upper end of the standard defined by CUCD, the national subject body for Classics).
The aim of the programme is to make help you become an independent learner and researcher in the field of Ancient History. In order to do this, it progresses from a greater number of contact hours, designed to promote and support your own study (in your first year, you can expect to receive 9 hours of contact with lecturers each week), to a greater intensity of contact in more specialised areas as you gain in independence and experience. (In your second and third years, you can expect, respectively, 8 and 7 hours of contact in smaller groups and one-to-one supervision.)
The contact time is made up of weekly lectures, delivered by experts who are active in research in the relevant fields, supported by at least six smaller-group seminars or tutorials per module, designed to give you the opportunity to explore the material covered in lectures in more depth, and to receive detailed feedback on formative assignments.
First-year modules focus on ensuring that your have a bedrock of knowledge and skills across a number of sub-disciplines which you share with all other students in the Department. Two core modules,Remembering Athens and Monuments and Memory, include seminars with a special emphasis on research skills. Other modules start to introduce more specialised foundations in the study of ancient history, as well as allowing scope for the study of ancient literature, language, and philosophy.
In the second and third years topics are increasingly offered from current research interests of lecturers; lecture and seminar / tutorial sizes become progressively smaller; more scope for interaction with staff is built in.
The final-year dissertation gives you your richest opportunity to exercise your skills in independent learning and research. You receive two hours of collective and individual support in choosing a topic at the end of your second year; and three hours of one-to-one supervisory support with an expert in the field through the writing of the dissertation in your final year.
Every module coordinator is available for consultation by students about particular issues, and advertises office hours when their presence can be guaranteed. You will be allocated an academic adviser, with whom you will discuss your module choices within the context of your interests and aims (academic and personal). You will meet with your adviser at least three times a year; but the adviser is available for consultation throughout the year.
You are encouraged to attend the Department’s two research seminar series, which are scheduled at times when you would be available to attend. In addition, the student-run Classics Society regularly organises guest speakers – often attracting very high-profile scholars from outside Durham.
Finally, you will have the opportunity to attend events and workshops focussed on your future career, organised in collaboration with alumni of the Department and the Careers, Employability, and Enterprise Centre.
Subject requirements, level and grade
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information or contact our Admissions Selectors
- Classical subjects are not essential for any of our courses
- We will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2017 entry in the summer of 2016 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2017 entry before 1 September 2016
- We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
- We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Information relevant to your country
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£17,400.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Classics and Ancient History
Classics students from universities such as Durham are highly valued by employers, who realise that, in studying for your degree, you have not only mastered the intricacies of Latin grammar, Augustan foreign policy or Aristotelian metaphysics, but have also acquired skills which are readily transferable in the jobs market. You have learned, for example, to think logically, to compile and evaluate evidence and to express yourself clearly and succinctly both orally and in writing. The aptitude of classicists for careers in computing is well-known, but our graduates have also found their way into careers as diverse as the civil service, gold dealing, insurance, journalism, law, accountancy, public relations and the theatre.
Among our many distinguished alumni: Robert Swan was the first man to walk to both poles, and a leading environmentalist. He studied Ancient History in Durham, from 1976-1979. Jenny Willott, who studied Classics at Durham, was MP for Cardiff Central between 2005 and 2015. (She made headlines when she resigned as Chris Huhne’s Parliamentary Aide over the issue of Unviersity tuition fees.) And Matt Barber, who read Classical Studies and Philosophy at Durham between 2002-2005, can be seen as Atticus Aldridge on 'Downton Abbey'.
Of those students that left in 2015:
- 82% are in paid employment or further study
Of those students in employment:
- 52% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £21,501
(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2014/15 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:www.hesa.ac.uk/support/definitions/destinations)
A significant number of students progress onto higher level study following their degree in Classics and Ancient History. Some remain within their academic field of interest and pursue a Masters, notably at Durham but also other prestigious institutions. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes in law, finance and teaching to name but a few.
Employment development opportunities
The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works with closely the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance. The department delivers a number of events in partnership with the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre including 'Beyond the BA' and 'Beyond the MA'.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.
Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
Overseas Visit Schedule
Classics and Ancient History
Study the Greek and Roman world at one of the largest and most vibrant Classics departments in the UK. Our academic staff work in a truly interdisciplinary way and specialise in a wide range of artistic, historical, literary, linguistic, cultural and philosophical aspects of the Graeco-Roman world.
We are consistently ranked among the top Classics departments in the UK. We offer a wide variety of modules: ancient Greek and Latin for every level of ability, surveys of the main periods and themes of Greek and Roman history, and teaching in all aspects of Classical culture, including philosophy, art, and literature in translation. We offer three Single Honours courses, with a common first year intended to emphasise the unity of the subject. Each of these degrees has a different emphasis, depending on which area you prefer to put at the centre of your degree: ancient languages, ancient history, or ancient culture.
- 93% of our Classics and Ancient History students were satisfied with the quality of their course in
the National Student Survey 2015 (sector-wide average 86%).
- 3rd in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016.
There is a well-stocked departmental library with a reading room and study space, plus a computer room. In addition, extracurricular activities are provided by the lively and friendly Students’ Classical Society, which often puts on a Greek or Roman play in English translation.