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Classics and Ancient History

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What you'll need

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  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

The Classics and Ancient History MA explores the literature, cultures, history and societies of ancient Greece and Rome and their later reception, whilst delivering transferable skills and training that employers value.


The programme’s modules help you to develop thematic perspectives on the ancient world and understand ideas that inform contemporary research. They build your skills in research and communication, encouraging you to adopt strategies for gathering and organising information, analysing complex evidence, evaluating propositions and articulating arguments for different audiences. As well as pursuing independent research, you will work with fellow students to coordinate and participate in a research colloquium.

You will choose from optional modules focused around the literary, documentary, visual and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome. These modules shed light on the lived experiences of people in Classical antiquity.

Additional options in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology allow you to expand beyond Greece and Rome to the Mediterranean and the Near East, and to work with objects in our Garstang Museum collection. You can develop skills in ancient Greek or Latin language. You may also apply to study abroad at the British School of Athens or the British School of Rome as an accredited part of your degree.

This variety allows you to tailor the MA to suit your interests, and prepares you for completing a dissertation on the agreed topic of your choice.

Who is this course for?

The programme is designed for graduates in Classics, Classical Studies, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History and other relevant disciplines who wish to broaden and deepen their understanding of the Classical Greco-Roman world and its legacy.

What you'll learn

  • To demonstrate understanding of the literature and culture of the Greeks and Romans and of the historical experience of antiquity in its diversity and communicate that understanding in writing and orally
  • Knowledge of topics in Classics and Ancient History and how to deploy that knowledge in the evaluation and production of arguments
  • To identify and resolve problems relating to the literature, culture, and history of ancient Greece and Rome, utilizing linguistic, conceptual and theoretical approaches
  • To become familiar with a diverse range of written texts, visual images and material remains from the ancient world; to understand their characteristics and problems and be able to undertake advanced analysis as a result
  • To be conscious of research methodologies and be self-reflective in their application when formulating and testing hypotheses, analysing and evaluating information, and making reasoned synthesis of diverse and sometimes incomplete material
  • To learn and work independently by planning, conducting and reporting on an extended programme of original research and by responding constructively to feedback.


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Course content

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

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

On the Classics and Ancient History MA full-time programme you take 30 credits of required modules and two optional modules totalling 30 credits in each semester.

Registration onto language modules is determined by ability level.

Not all combinations of optional modules are possible. For example, you are only permitted to take one of HLAC711, HLAC712 or HLAC713.  Therefore for further details on optional module combinations please contact the Programme Lead.

Compulsory modules


Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

This module will provide students with a set of skills that is necessary for the development, structuring and presentation of their dissertation topic (which can be later applied to PhD research) alongside transferable skills (clarity of written expression, critical faculty, advanced level ability to structure and present arguments in a range of media, and project management) applicable to academic and non-academic work environments; The module also aims to develop your abilities to engage with current historiographical and theoretical debates appropriate to MA level in an informed, analytical and critical manner.

Optional modules


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

In the age of ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alternative Facts’ questions of what facts are, how they are conveyed or identified, and what consists a ‘lie’ and what ‘truth’, are at the heart of current political and media discourses. The exact same questions pertain to the ancient world as well, and they gain in significance due to our fragmentary written sources and the frequent blurring of what we would call ‘fact’ with ‘fiction’ across a range of genres.   Reaching across ancient Greece and Rome, this module investigates the intersection of truth and lies in the texts upon which our engagement with and construction of the ancient world rests.   Through a variety of documentary and literary texts, it interrogates the conceptual distinction between truth and lies and explores the ways historians, politicians, poets, authors, and common people use ‘facts’ and ‘fictions’ to generate their own   narratives and views of the world they inhabit. These views can be very persuasive and convincing, making it even more difficult to disentangle ‘fact’ from ‘fiction’, to separate ‘truth’ from ‘lies’.   The module concludes by examining how contemporary engagements with the Classical past similarly navigate a line between ‘truth’ and ‘lies’ to serve their own agendas.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Space and place are important anchors for human experience.   The immediate environment shapes and frames our everyday lives, while the worlds we imagine, past and present, nearby and faraway, provide touchstones for ourselves as individuals and members of a community. It is the purpose of this module to examine the relationship between the ancient Greeks and Romans and the spaces and places they built, occupied, moved in, and imagined.   By engaging with a diverse body of written material, from poetry to the literature of geography, ethnography and historiography, ancient handbooks, to travel itineraries on papyri and objects, along with the fabric of religious, civic and domestic spaces, it explores how people in antiquity experienced, interacted within and conceptualized their immediate world.   Moving between natural landscapes and urban environments, it also illuminates the importance of spaces and places in establishing understanding of other peoples, and other possible ways of living, that were reflected in different experiences and ideologies ‘at home’. The module also highlights the way ancient landscapes, surviving now in ruins, shaped later engagements with the ‘other worlds’ of Classical antiquity.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is designed to promote key skills in the collection, analysis and interpretation of primary material (archaeological and textual) relevant to a reconstruction of the nature and organisation of settlement in ancient Egypt;

It will use detailed case-studies to encourage students to develop their ability to formulate and present independent argument using this archaeological and textual material as data;

It will further encourage the presentation of such argument and analysis in a coherent format as might be appropriate for publication.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module examines the formative period in the development of the Greek world, marked by the rapid expansion of Greek culture and the emergence of distinct regional identities. Using small-group discussions, we will utilise diverse forms of archaeological evidence combined with early documentary and epigraphic sources (in translation) to examine this crucial proto-historical period, for which there exists a large and complex body of archaeological evidence at a time when Greek writing systems and historical traditions are in their nascence.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

​The study of the frontiers of the Roman empire represents one of the oldest branches of European archaeology. Their study has traditionally complimented explanations of Roman history and therefore the foreign policies of the various imperial dynasties. The discipline of Roman Frontiers Studies has, however, tended to be subservient to an interpretative framework initially derived from historical sources. Today the archaeology of the subject is now sufficiently self-confident to stand independent scrutiny. In turn more recent scholarship on the subject of the frontiers of the empire have focused on them as zones and regions rather than simply as linear barriers. This fresh outlook has, in turn, occasioned a greater awareness of the evidence of life, military and non-military, in frontier situations.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is concerned with the critical examination of medical practice and policy-making and how knowledges and practices of health, illness, wellbeing and medicine are constituted, represented and governed at various scales (historical, political, economic, socio-cultural). Focussing especially on biopolitical, necropolitical and biosocial arrangements (the regulation, exploitation and structural violence in respect of the body, covering reproductive care, organ trafficking, treatments of drug and alcohol addiction, war, slavery and
the body in pain), the module interrogates conventional bio scientific approaches and explores new ways of knowing which decentre medical expertise and open up opportunities for critical collaborations between social sciences, humanities, medical and life sciences.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Introduction to basics of Latin morphology, syntax, and translation.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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


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.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module consolidates knowledge of grammar and syntax from CLAH405 and CLAH406 (or equivalent level of study elsewhere) and seeks to enhance comprehension, competence and confidence in reading Latin at an advanced level. Students will strengthen and extend their knowledge of the shape and structure of Latin by reading ancient texts and develop their understanding through independent use of lexicons, grammar books, and commentaries; Students will conduct independent research using Latin texts involving not only the translation of passages from and into Latin, but also the study of a book of late Republican or Augustan Latin literature to be determined in each year.


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.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module extends skills and knowledge acquired through prior study (CLAH652 or equivalent) for reading literary texts and historical documents from ancient Greece in the original language. The module introduces further elements of Greek grammar, morphology and syntax to aid analysis of compound sentence structures. Students (continue to) work with JACT Reading Greek coursebook, and complement this with regular translation of longer and more complex unseen sentences / passages from ancient texts, with the aid of a Greek-English lexicon.

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.

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 and Garstang Museum of Archaeology.

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Supporting your learning

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

Why Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at University of Liverpool?

  • Fantastic on-campus facilities such as the Garstang Museum with its outstanding archaeological collections and GIS suite for archaeological drawing
  • Our extensive laboratories used for conservation, lithics, geomagnetism, stable isotope, trace elements, finds processing and sample preparation
  • An enviable library which has been built up since the Ancient World and Archaeology has been studied at Liverpool since the 1880s
  • Opportunities to learn ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, Akkadian, Sumerian, Egyptian and Coptic
  • Archaeological projects based internationally, in Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa, as well as in the British Isles

Careers and employability

The programme provides academic training for those seeking a career in the HE sector.  It also forms a good background for careers elsewhere in education and in the heritage industry. Graduates will have enhanced skills suitable to a wide range of employment, especially where communication, critical thinking and research are key components of the role.  The required module ‘Research Event’ (CLAH854) fosters skills such as event organization, teamwork, leadership and management, which will be transferrable to many future work environments.

Career planning

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Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

With the Classics and Ancient History MA you are well equipped for a wide variety of jobs in sectors such as:

  • Higher Education
  • Heritage industry
  • Museums
  • Archives management
  • Travel and tourism
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Civil service
  • Finance
  • Marketing.

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 £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

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

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. 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 that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.


  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.


  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HLC Scholarships for Postgraduate Study

  • Home and international students

The competition is open to all students who have applied for a relevant HLC programme by 3 July and commence study in the course in the first semester of 2023.

The HLC School comprises the following Departments:

  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Languages, Cultures and Film
  • Politics

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit:

Postgate Scholarship for Postgraduate Study in Classics and Ancient History

  • Home and international students

The Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is pleased to invite applications for one scholarship to support one Master’s-level student in Classics and Ancient History.  The successful candidate will receive a one-off fee reduction of £4,000.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Women in STEM
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

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

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

A 2:1 or equivalent undergraduate degree in Classics, Classical Studies/Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or other relevant discipline.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MA, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Standard Level (Grade 5)

TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, writing 19, reading 19 and speaking 20
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

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 application 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.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Classics and Ancient History MA

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.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.