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Ancient History

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Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

Studying Ancient History provides you with an understanding of the political, military, economic, social and cultural history of the Graeco-Roman world. The programme also gives you the chance to investigate the close relationship between the ancient world and modern responses to it.

Introduction

Explore the political, social and cultural history of Ancient Greece and Rome; examine how individuals and communities organised themselves, met the challenges of daily life and extraordinary events, and responded to change in the context of expanding horizons, shifting power relations and radical new ideas.

You will be encouraged to read, describe and comment on current research, tackling questions of central interest to ancient historians today, taking particular advantage of the research specialisms of staff within the Department.

You will develop the skills to read and analyse the surviving (and sometimes conflicting) evidence, allowing you to reach and present your own judgements convincingly on a variety of complex and controversial issues. You can also study Greek and/or Latin from beginner’s to advanced levels.

 

What you'll learn

  • Understanding of another culture through its history, literature, political and social organisation, and development of an informed sense of the similarities and differences between it and our own culture
  • Knowledge of Graeco-Roman history
  • Techniques and methodologies such as bibliographical and library research skills
  • Textual skills analysis
  • Critical responses to a range of viewpoints
  • Language and textual analysis in both Greek and Latin (through optional modules)

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Year one develops your knowledge of the main themes and events in Greek and Roman history, and the skills required to assess them. Further modules expand the range of sources (reliefs, statues, paintings, etc) with which you are familiar, and focus on how the ancient world worked.

Compulsory modules

WARFARE, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY IN THE GREEK WORLD, 510-323 B.C. (CLAH104)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces the history and society of the ancient Greek world, from the liberation of Athens from tyranny in the late sixth century BC through to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The module offers students a foundation of knowledge in the history of events, as well as exploring a range of aspects of Greek society and culture, including the Greek ‘way of war’, sexuality and religion. It also introduces a range of sources for the study of ancient history, especially the two great Greek historywriters, Herodotus and Thucydides.

GREEK MYTH AND SOCIETY (CLAH115)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module explores ancient Greek myth in its social, political, and religious contexts, focusing primarily on the Archaic and Classical periods (7th – 4th C BC). It thereby investigates the nature of myth and its role within Greek society, whilst providing insights into that society too. In the course of the module, students are introduced to a broad range of literary, artistic, and archaeological sources including epic poetry, tragedy, philosophy, sculpture, vase painting, coins and sanctuaries, and learn to use them as evidence for social history. The module closes with an examination of the importance of Greek myths other societies, including our own.

FROM HANNIBAL TO SEVERUS: AN INTRODUCTION TO ROMAN HISTORY (CLAH105)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module deals with the history and society of Rome and the Roman world from the foundation of Rome to the end of the second century AD, i.e. the periods of the ‘Roman Republic’ and the ‘Principate’ (named after the princeps, a title of the Roman emperor). The aims are to provide (1) an introductory survey of the political and military history of Rome and the Roman empire; (2) to build a sound
chronological, geographical and conceptual framework for understanding the ancient Roman world; (3) to introduce students to reading primary sources in translation and evaluating their historical significance; (4) to introduce students to a limited range of scholarly views on ancient Roman history; and (5) to teach fundamental research skills.

VISUAL CULTURE (CLAH114)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

In this module you will explore the visual modes and media by which the ancient Greeks and Romans expressed themselves individually and societally. We will explore contexts across the ancient Mediterranean learning not only about the Greeks and Romans but also how they were influenced by other contemporary cultures. You will learn about a wide variety of visual culture from temples and monuments to statues and painted pottery. You will learn how to ‘read’ these different media to reconstruct ancient culture and to appreciate the tastes, desires and ideas from the ancient Mediterranean. As you learn about the ancient world you will develop your academic skills (methodological and critical).

Optional modules

Bronze Age Civilizations: Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean (ALGY106)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides an introduction to the history and archaeology of the Near East and Aegean from ca. 4,000 to 800 BC, specifically the ancient cultures of the Near East, Levant and Greece. The module includes artefact handling sessions.

INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT EGYPT I (ALGY109)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

ALGY109 is designed as an introductory, level one module aiming to provide students with an overview of Ancient Egyptian history from prehistory to AD 395 both in its chronological development and in its environmental and geographical setting, including the fundamentals of the chronology of Ancient Egypt (including the limitations of available evidence), and a good awareness of how major archaeological sites and other forms of primary evidence fit within this framework.

FROM VILLAGE TO CITY: THE ORIGINS OF CHINESE CIVILISATION (ALGY112)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will introduce students to the development of early Chinese civilisations. We will investigate the transition from hunter-gatherers to the first sedentary village farming communities and the emergence of the earliest cities and states from these early village societies. We will thus also investigate some formative features of Chinese societies that persisted for millennia. The module will also place developments in China in a broader comparative context and allow discussion of the emergence of social and political hierarchies, complex economies and the appearance and nature of the state. The module will also introduce students to some of the conceptual tools and methodologies needed to investigate these issues in the archaeological record.

THE WORLDS OF ODYSSEUS (CLAH101)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module provides a contextualised introduction to Homer’s Odyssey (in English translation) as one of the pivotal texts of ancient Greek culture. Thus, the module addresses the idea of heroism as a social and ethical factor in the Homeric epic, the degree of historicity in the epic, the stylistic aspects of Homeric poetry, and its cultural impact.

THE GLOBAL HISTORY OF THE PRESENT (HIST114)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module explores contemporary issues and debates through considering global relationships in the past and how they have shaped the world in which we live. In light of the tremendous impact that modern imperialism and colonialism have had in shaping our world, the module focuses, in particular, on questions relating to race, empire and their legacies.

By exploring some of the ways in which historical investigation enriches urgent contemporary debates, the module aims to introduce students to a range of new ways of approaching the past, both in terms of subject matter and of new approaches to history, and to broaden their historical understanding of both western and non-western history (or what scholars refer to as the ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’) and the myriad connections between them. In addition, therefore, to preparing students for the range of subject matter, geographical areas and approaches that they will be able to study in the second and third years of their History degree programme, this module also aims to make students better global citizens.

POWER, BELIEF AND IDENTITY: MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN WORLDS, C. 500-1600 CE (HIST115)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module covers a period of crucial significance for European history, including interactions between Europe and other parts of the world in the premodern period. Much of it will be unfamiliar to many of you, but, we hope, will be all the more interesting for that reason. At its broadest, this module covers more than a millennium, from the rise of Christianity to the European arrival in and settlement of the Americas. We start with the origins of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean, before moving on to the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam. In Europe, we chronicle the rise of post-Roman kingdoms, the settlements of Vikings in Europe and more distant locations, the launching and objectives of the crusades. In light of the expansion of the papacy, we assess the emergence of new forms of spirituality and heresy, political conflicts between nascent states, and the impact of the Reformation and Catholic Reformation on other parts of the world. Underlying these events are some continuous themes, such as the foundation of the Christian Church, the development and evolution of notions of holiness, and the effect of religious belief on methods of education, ideas of difference and deviance, and responses to natural disasters. Another theme that runs through the module is to assess how gender mores affected the experiences of and possibilities for individuals who lived in these periods. Course content also looks at the practice of, and ideology behind, political activity and war. We aim to give you an appreciation of world views and of methods of representation based on the mental horizons possible in the age before modern technology.

LATIN IA (CLAH401)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is an introduction to the basics of Latin morphology, syntax, and translation.

LATIN IIA (CLAH403)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Intermediate basics of Latin morphology and syntax; translation of continuous text

LATIN IIIA (CLAH405)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module offers continued progress in the Latin language, and the opportunity to read a selection from Pliny’s Letters, which give vivid insight into elite society and culture during the early empire.

ANCIENT GREEK IA (CLAH501)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module opens the way for reading written documents, (eg inscriptions, grafitti, and papyrus letters) and literary texts, (eg poetry, tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy) from ancient Greece in their original language. Over the course of the module, students become familiar with standard terms for classifying and analysing the language’s fabric, and begin to understand how words in Ancient Greek change and interact with each other (‘morphology, ‘grammar’), forming phrases and complex sentences (‘syntax’). Students build this knowledge by working with a coursebook (JACT Reading Greek) and translating passages of increasing complexity. From the first, adapted passages from the coursebook are balanced with ‘real’ Greek. Prior langage learning is not a pre-requisite for this module, only a curiosity about and passion for the language and culture of ancient Greece.

ANCIENT GREEK IIA (CLAH503)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module extends skills and knowledge acquired through prior study (CLAH502 or equivalent) for reading literary texts and historical documents from ancient Greece in their original language. It introduces further elements of Greek grammar, morphology and syntax to aid analysis of compound sentence structures. Students continue to work with a coursebook (JACT Reading Greek), and complement this with regular translation of longer and more complex unseen passages from ancient texts, with the aid of a Greek-English lexicon.

ANCIENT GREEK IIIA (CLAH505)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

During this module, students expand their competence and confidence in ancient Greek language by reading extended segments from a range of texts, for example, epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, historiography, lawcourt oratory, and philosophy, with the help of vocabulary (using the JACT Greek Anthology). There is an opportunity to revise and consolidate knowledge of grammar and syntax through dedicated grammar workshops, and training is provided in the use of resources for language learning, especially the Greek-English lexicon. This module builds on CLAH 501 to CLAH504 and A-level study of ancient Greek.

INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT EGYPT II (ALGY116)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

ALGY116 is designed as a year one module which aims to provide students with an overview of Ancient Egyptian culture. In particular it has as its core aim the development of students’ understanding of the broader thematic aspects of Egyptian society, such as writing, religion, art and social structure. The emphasis will be on the use of primary data (written and material culture), and on awareness of how major archaeological sites fit within this framework.

EMPIRES AND CITIZENS: THE CLASSICAL MEDITERRANEAN AND THE NEAR EAST (ALGY131)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the archaeology of Classical Greece and the Roman Empire by comparing these two Mediterranean civilisations across common themes relating to the life experiences of people in the ancient world.

VIRGIL AND THE AGE OF AUGUSTUS (CLAH102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The Epic poetry of Virgil and its literary, historical, and social contexts.

LATIN IB (CLAH402)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module is a continuation of the introduction to the basics of Latin morphology, syntax, and translation.

LATIN IIB (CLAH404)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Intermediate basics of Latin morphology and syntax; translation of continuous text

LATIN IIIB (CLAH406)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module offers continued progress in the Latin language, and the opportunity to read Virgil’s Eclogues, from the flowering of Latin literature. The set text is a quintessential work of bucolic poetry written during the period of political uncertainty preceding the principate of Augustus, and looks back to the Idylls of Theocritus, and forward to the later European tradition of pastoral.

ANCIENT GREEK IB (CLAH502)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module continues the task of preparing students for reading written documents and literary texts from ancient Greece in their original language. Students, now familiar with standard terms for classifying and analysing the language’s fabric, continue to learn how words in Ancient Greek change and interact with each other(‘grammar’, ‘morphology), forming phrases and complex sentences (‘syntax’). Students build this knowledge by working with a coursebook (JACT Reading Greek) and translating passages of increasing complexity. Adapted passages from the coursebook are balanced with ‘real’ Greek.

ANCIENT GREEK IIB (CLAH504)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module extends skills and knowledge developed in CLAH503 Ancient Greek IIA for reading literature and historical documents from ancient Greece in their original language. It introduces advanced elements of Greek grammar, morphology and syntax to aid analysis of complex sentences. Regular translation of more complex unseen passages from ancient Greek texts, with the help of a Greek-English lexicon, fosters independent translation and comprehension of un-adapted ancient texts. By the end of the module students have completed the JACT Reading Greek course and are ready to read ancient texts on their own.

ANCIENT GREEK IIIB (CLAH506)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

During this module, students improve their competence and confidence in ancient Greek language by reading passages from a broad variety of texts written during the Archaic to Roman periods (using the Loeb Classical Reader). There is an opportunity to revise and consolidate knowledge of grammar and syntax through dedicated grammar workshops, and special training is provided in the skills and techniques of translation.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Combine this subject

With a combined degree, you can study two subjects as part of the same degree programme.

  • Choose from 30 subjects and over 300 combinations
  • Choose joint or major minor subjects
  • Adjust the weight of your subjects at the end of your first year
  • Same number of credits as single honours students
  • Same classes as single honours students
  • Appeal to a wide range of employers

Explore combined degrees for Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology courses

Your experience

The Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures. Teaching takes place across campus, including in specialist facilities in the Central Teaching Hub.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

Graduates of this programme which combines a range of analytical skills can expect to have good access to careers in industry, commerce, finance, education, and public service.

The programme will also prepare students for postgraduate study or further training.

Our graduates progress to a range of careers including

  • banking,
  • law,
  • financial consultancy,
  • national and local government,
  • third sector work,
  • journalism, publishing,
  • teaching or work in heritage and culture organisations.

Recent employers include:

  • The National Trust
  • English Heritage
  • Civil Service
  • Archaeology South East
  • Police Service
  • Apple

88% of students go on to work or further study within 15 months of graduation.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Meet our alumni

Hear what graduates say about their career progression and life after university.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Year abroad fee £11,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

BBB

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBC with B in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

T levels

T levels considered in a relevant subject.

Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

BTEC applications are encouraged. We evaluate each BTEC application on its merits.

International Baccalaureate

30 points, with no score less than 4

Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

BBB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Grade B plus A levels BB
Access Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (e.g. Humanities or Social Sciences), 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction, 15 at Merit
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

  • If your qualification isn't listed here, or you're taking a combination of qualifications, contact us for advice
  • If you are returning to learning, have had a disrupted education or are switching career pathways, the one-year Go Higher diploma qualifies you to apply for University of Liverpool arts, humanities and social sciences programmes
  • Applications from mature students are welcome.

Changes to Ancient History BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.