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About us

Classics at King's

SapphobyFerdinandSeeboeck,madein1893The Department of Classics has a track record of excellence in delivering world-class teaching and research. In our 2012-13 National Student Survery (NSS) results 93% of students said they were satisfied with teaching on the course, and we were ranked 7th in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2015.

Our research has been given top ratings in the 1992, 1996 and 2001 Research Assessment Exercises (RAE), and the 2008 RAE rated 65% of our research activity is world-leading or internationally excellent.

The Department

We are a Department of Ancient History and of Classical Art and Archaeology, as well as of Greek and Latin language, literature and thought, with a tradition stretching back nearly 180 years. We are one of the largest and best in the country, with 250 undergraduate students and 20 full-time academic staff. We are located on the historic Strand in the heart of London.

Our history

Classical subjects have been taught at King's since the College opened its doors to students in the autumn of 1831. The College's first Professor of Classical Literature, Joseph Anstice is commemorated in a handsome marble inscription now located over the door of the Dean's Office, but originally placed in the College Chapel. Since Professor Anstice's day, the scope of classical teaching at King's has expanded to embrace Greek, Roman and Near Eastern history, and Greek and Roman archaeology and art, as well as Greek and Latin language and literature.

Student life

  • Greek Play - an annual tradition since 1953 and it is the only production in the country to be performed every year in the original Greek. Students (with all levels of Greek) participate in the direction, production and performance of the play, bringing to the stage playwrights from Aeschylus to Aristophanes.
  • Classics Society - The student run society publishes the Satyrica newsletter organizes regular lectures, theatre outings, themed parties, private tours around museums, nights out and trips abroad – in recent years, group expeditions have been made to Italy and Turkey.
  • Iris Project - The department also promotes teaching Latin in disadvantaged primary schools through the Iris Project; this offers students a highly unusual experience that is both enriching and will impress future employers.
  • The Rumble Fund – This fund pays for at least one B.A. and/or M.A. Classical Archaeology module per year to be partly taught in Classical lands. The fund covers all the costs for a group field trip to e.g. Greece, Italy or Turkey: students are guided around sites and museums by their King's module leader (as well as by one other department lecturer). The department acquires licenses to visit sites that are normally closed to the public and to handle objects in museum storerooms or private collections. The destination (and host module) for the annual Rumble trip usually changes on an annual basis. 

Vibrant research community

We have a thriving graduate community of around 50 MA and PhD students, and send our undergraduates on to careers in everything from law to broadcasting, via heritage management, publishing, teaching and accountancy, as well as to further study. Six different nationalities are represented among our staff, and our student body too is increasingly international at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Have a look at our video introduction.

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