BA Classics / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

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Classics and Ancient History
Our BA Classics course will enable you to study Greek and/or Latin language and literature while also exploring the political, social and intellectual history of the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations. You can learn either or both ancient languages, and tailor your course unit options to focus on Greek or Latin language and literature together with Ancient History, depending on where your interests lie.

The programme is structured so that you begin your study of ancient languages at the right place for you, dependent on your previous experience. You can choose to study only Latin, only Greek, or both languages, the only constraints being that (a) you must continue with at least one language throughout the three years of the programme, and (b) you cannot take the year-long beginners' course in both languages in the same year, as experience shows that this is almost always detrimental to success. For example, if you have no or limited previous experience of either language, you could take our intensive beginners' Latin course in during your first year.

In the second year, you would progress to the Advanced Latin 1 unit and could, if you so choose, take the intensive beginners' Greek course at the same time. Another option would be to pick up the intensive beginners' course in Greek only in your third year, alongside Advanced Latin 2. If you have already gained A-level Latin or equivalent before arriving, you would take Advanced Latin 1 in your first year, reaching Advanced Latin 3 by your third year. Alongside Latin, you could (but are not required to) take the appropriate level of ancient Greek, starting at any stage.

All the possible routes described above can also be taken with the two languages the other way round, mutatis mutandis (‘with the things that need to be changed having been changed').

Where appropriate, the texts for literary and historical course units are studied partly in the original language.

Study with us and you'll also have access to exclusive resources such as the Special Collections of the John Rylands Research Institute and Library (home to papyri, medieval manuscripts and early printed books including very early copies of the Homeric poems) and the Manchester Museum (the University's own on-campus holdings), with its world-class Egyptology collections.

You'll be taught by experts in Greek and Roman language, literature, culture and history. You will be able to choose from course units covering topics such as Latin love poetry, Greek myth, ancient epic and the literature of exile. Optional units are also available in a wide range of topics in Ancient History and Archaeology and in areas as diverse as Greek philosophy and Egyptology.

Special features

Placement year option

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks. 

Study abroad

You may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during Year 2. Exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus Exchange scheme (in Sweden) and the Worldwide Exchange scheme (e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore).

Explore world-class collections

Enjoy unique opportunities to explore special archived material and carry out research in a wide range of archives, libraries, museums and other research institutions in Manchester and beyond.

You will have exclusive access to the special collections of the John Rylands Library, including papyri, medieval manuscripts and early printed books.

Teaching and learning

The core of most literary and historical course units is provided by lectures, which introduce and survey the main issues, and are supported by small-group tutorials and seminars.

Language classes are taught intensively, with group size capped to encourage participation.

You are encouraged to involve yourself, under guidance, in independent study and original research.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment practices in different course units vary, but our basic aim is to achieve a good balance between formal examinations, continuous assessment, and project work.

Written examinations are held at the end of most courses. The third-year dissertation provides 25% of the total marks for your degree.

Course content for year 1

You will begin your study of Latin and/or Greek at the appropriate level for you. Alongside your language units, you will take course units in Greek literature (such as Homer's Odyssey), Latin literature (such as Virgil's Aeneid), and either Greek or Roman history (such as Archaic Greece; The Roman Republic), or both.

Depending on your choices, you may add a further course unit from across a wide range of options, including Egyptology, Archaeology, History of Art, the history of ideas, and Religions and Theology.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Constructing Archaic Greek History CAHE10011 20 Optional
From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC CAHE10022 20 Optional
The Odyssey CAHE10101 20 Optional
The Making of the Mediterranean CAHE10132 20 Optional
The Story of Britain CAHE10141 20 Optional
Cities and Citizens CAHE10231 20 Optional
Virgil's Aeneid CAHE10422 20 Optional
Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt CAHE10651 20 Optional
Tomb and Temple: Religion and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt CAHE10702 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 1 CAHE20151 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 1 CAHE20171 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 1 CAHE30110 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 1 CAHE30120 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 2 CAHE30162 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 2 CAHE30182 20 Optional
Mapping the Medieval ENGL10051 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10262 20 Optional
New Testament Greek RELT10120 20 Optional
Bible in Ancient and Modern Worlds RELT10712 20 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Ice Age to Baroque: Artworks in History SALC10041 20 Optional
Living and Dying in the Ancient World SALC10602 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 23 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You will continue your study of Latin and/or Greek language and literature, and may choose to add the second language if you didn't do so in the first year. As you increase your linguistic skills, you will have more opportunity to use that knowledge when studying literary and historical texts partly in the original languages.

You will choose additional course units from across a range of course units, including classical philosophy, ancient history, archaeology, and Egyptology.

You can also opt to study a free-choice course unit which can be chosen from a wide range on offer across the University.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Through Cicero's Eyes CAHE20031 20 Optional
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20041 20 Optional
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age CAHE20052 20 Optional
Politics and Society in Classical Greece CAHE20061 20 Optional
Thinking Archaeology CAHE20112 20 Optional
Neolithic Britain CAHE20131 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 1 CAHE20151 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 1 CAHE20171 20 Optional
Ancient Medicine CAHE20381 20 Optional
Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE - 3 c. CE) CAHE20442 20 Optional
Doing Archaeology 2 CAHE20501 20 Optional
Roman Women in 22 Objects CAHE20532 20 Optional
Dealing with the Dead: The Archaeology of Death and Burial CAHE20722 20 Optional
The First Cities: The Archaeology of Urbanism in the Near East CAHE20911 20 Optional
The Archaeology of Ritual CAHE20992 20 Optional
Greek Epic Poetry CAHE21042 20 Optional
Finding Happiness in the Ancient World CAHE24402 20 Optional
Slavery in the Ancient Greek World CAHE24502 20 Optional
Aetiology and Euhemerism: Analysing Greek Mythology and Mythography CAHE24701 20 Optional
Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphs CAHE25561 20 Optional
Art and Technology in Ancient Egypt CAHE25762 20 Optional
Exile CAHE29252 20 Optional
Greece in Britain, 1750-1950: Discovery, Dialogue, and Modernity CAHE29352 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 1 CAHE30110 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 1 CAHE30120 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 2 CAHE30162 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 2 CAHE30182 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 2 CAHE30210 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 2 CAHE30220 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21151 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST21192 20 Optional
Silk Roads: Eurasian Connections from the Mongols to Manilla, 1200-1800 HIST21242 20 Optional
Revolutionary Cities: The Urban World of the Middle Ages HIST21251 20 Optional
Biblical Hebrew RELT20140 20 Optional
New Testament in Greek II RELT20150 20 Optional
Data Literacy in a Digital World SALC20081 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 36 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will continue your study of Latin and/or Greek language and literature. Even if you have only studied one ancient language for the first two years of your programme, it is still open to you to take the intensive beginners' course in the other language. By this stage, your fluency in your primary classical language will have reached a level at which you are able to engage with Latin or Greek texts in a sophisticated and intellectually rewarding way, creating wonderful opportunities for you to use this skill in the study of literary and historical material, and to enhance your research for your dissertation.

In addition to taking at least one literary course unit and up to two units on historical, philosophical, archaeological, or a free choice unit, you will research and write a dissertation on a subject of your choice - this thesis is your chance to carry out your own independent study of the classical past.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Egyptology Dissertation CAHE30000 40 Mandatory
Intensive Greek 1 CAHE20151 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 1 CAHE20171 20 Optional
Through Cicero's Eyes CAHE30031 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 1 CAHE30110 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 1 CAHE30120 20 Optional
Neolithic Britain CAHE30131 20 Optional
Intensive Greek 2 CAHE30162 20 Optional
Intensive Latin 2 CAHE30182 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 2 CAHE30210 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 2 CAHE30220 20 Optional
Advanced Latin Language 3 CAHE30310 20 Optional
Advanced Greek Language 3 CAHE30320 20 Optional
Ancient Medicine CAHE30381 20 Optional
Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (6th c. BCE - 3 c. CE) CAHE30442 20 Optional
Dealing with the Dead: The Archaeology of Death and Burial CAHE30722 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30881 20 Optional
The First Cities: The Archaeology of Urbanism in the Near East CAHE30911 20 Optional
The Archaeology of Ritual CAHE30992 20 Optional
Greek Epic Poetry CAHE31042 20 Optional
Finding Happiness in the Ancient World CAHE34402 20 Optional
Slavery in the Ancient Greek World CAHE34502 20 Optional
Aetiology and Euhemerism: Analysing Greek Mythology and Mythography CAHE34701 20 Optional
Exile CAHE39252 20 Optional
Greece in Britain CAHE39352 20 Optional
Seaborne State? Venice and the East 1150-1550 HIST31861 20 Optional
Culture in Ottoman Society, ca. 1300-1800 HIST31872 20 Optional
Becoming Christian in The Early Middle Ages HIST31952 20 Optional
The Normans in the Mediterranean World (1000-1200) HIST31992 20 Optional
Responses to Globalisation, 1500-1700 HIST32022 20 Optional
From Greed to Grandezza: A History of Capitalism from the Renaissance to Modernity (1250s-1900s) HIST32121 20 Optional
Science and Islam RELT30522 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 32 course units for year 3

Facilities

The John Rylands Library

At The John Rylands Library , you'll have exclusive access to our internationally significant collections, including papyri, medieval manuscripts and early printed books such as very early copies of the Homeric poems.

Manchester Museum

The UK's leading university museum has more than four million objects spanning millennia, including one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK. Go behind-the-scenes to handle, analyse and interpret rare artefacts, including exclusive material specific to ancient history.

Visit our facilities page to find out more.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk