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Undergraduate

Classics BA pathways for students without ancient languages

Are you fascinated by the languages, texts and cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome, but have never had the chance to study Latin or Greek before? Would you like to learn Greek and Latin from scratch to a high level, allowing you to read ancient texts in their original languages? 

Our Classics BA now has pathways open to students who have never studied ancient languages before, as well as to those who have. Or, if you start at King’s as a student of Classical Studies or Ancient History, and find that you really enjoy learning one language in your first year, you may switch to the Classics degree programme in your second year, and focus on the intensive study of Greek and Latin language and literature. 

Pathways through the degree programme

There are two ‘pathways’ through the Classics BA for students who have no prior experience of ancient languages.

A - students with no ancient languages who wish to start Latin AND Greek from scratch in year 1

  • If you are keen to start the study of both Latin and Greek from the beginning of your first year, you will take pathway ‘A’. You will enter King’s as a student of Classics.
  • We will provide you with intensive tuition in Latin and Greek in your first year, supported by a special module for this cohort only which introduces the comparative study of ancient languages. 
  • You will attend one of our intensive 3-week summer school modules in intermediate Latin or Greek in the summer between your first and second year, which will allow you to consolidate and advance your language learning, preparing you for the independent study of Latin and Greek texts in your second and third years of study.  

B - students with no ancient languages who wish to start Latin OR Greek from scratch in year 1

  • If you are not sure whether you are going to enjoy the study of ancient languages, and wish to try out language learning before you commit to the Classics BA, you can apply to one of other our degree programmes, in Classical Studies or Ancient History. 
  • You will start learning Latin OR Greek in your first year of this degree; if you then decide that you wish to transfer on to the Classics BA in year 2, you will attend one of our intensive 3-week summer school modules in intermediate Latin or Greek in the summer between your first and second year, which will allow you to consolidate and advance your language learning. 
  • You will also need to take another intensive 3-week summer school language module in the summer between your second and third year.
Entry requirements
As well as our formal entry requirements, we are looking for evidence of linguistic aptitude, which could be demonstrated by your competence in a Modern Language, or a good grade at Maths GCSE. Most important, however, is an informed enthusiasm for learning languages, which could be demonstrated by taking an online course. Have a look at this website for some more tips and information.

FAQs

Why study Latin and Greek?
  • Being able to read Latin and Greek texts in the original language is a thrilling experience. 
  • Learning ancient languages to a high level equips you to learn modern languages with greater ease.
  •  It is also an impressive achievement, requiring patience, rigour, good memory, an eye for detail, and intellectual flexibility, all of which are valued by prospective employers. 
Which degree programme should I apply for?
  • If you wish to study both Latin and Greek from your first year (pathway ‘A’), apply for the Classics BA (Q800).
  •  If you are uncertain about whether you wish  to pursue both languages, but would like to keep open the option of doing so, we advise that you apply for the Classical Studies BA (Q810) or the Ancient History BA (Q806), and study either Latin or Greek in your first year; you may then transfer into the Classics BA in your second year, and will progress along pathway ‘B’.
How much work will learning Latin and Greek from scratch involve?
    • This is a demanding degree programme, and you should be prepared to do a considerable amount of independent learning (e.g. memorization of grammatical structures and vocabulary, as well as grammatical and translation exercises) to support your learning in the classroom. 
    • You will need to be able to commit to taking a 3-week intensive summer-school language module between years 1 and 2; students considering the ‘B’ pathway will also need to take a 3-week intensive summer-school language module between years 2 and 3. 
What extra language learning support will I receive?
  • If you start both Latin and Greek in your first year, you will take a dedicated module in this year which has been designed specifically for all students on this pathway, and which will support and compare your learning of Latin and Greek. 
  • You will take a 3-week intensive intermediate summer school modules between years 1 and 2 (and, if you are on the ‘B’ pathway, between years 2 and 3).
Will I be able to focus on either Latin or Greek?
  • You will, if you wish, be able to focus on accelerating your learning of either Latin or Greek, and although you must take language and text modules in all three years of study, in your third year you may choose to focus on reading either Latin or Greek texts. 
Will I be able to study more than just Latin and Greek?
  • As well as taking a number of modules in Greek and Latin language and literature, in the second and third years you will also have the opportunity to choose a number of optional modules in Art and Archaeology, Ancient History, Philosophy, and Thought and Literature. 
  • Your linguistic development will thus be underpinned by a broader understanding of ancient culture.
How will my level of achievement compare with students who arrived with A-levels in Latin and/or Greek?
  • Given the intensive nature of the tuition you will receive in your first year, and the opportunities for ‘acceleration’ of your language learning offered by our intensive summer school modules, we judge that you will be able to reach a comparable level of linguistic proficiency with students who did an A-level in Latin and/or Greek by the end of your third year.
Will I do more work than other students doing degrees in Classics?
  • You will not be required to take more overall credits per year than your peers on the Classics BA who arrive with ancient languages, or than your peers on other degree programmes. 
  • These pathways have been designed to allow you to concentrate on the study of ancient languages, so the fact that you take an intensive summer school module has been factored into your overall first-year load, which is slightly lighter. 
  • The intensive study of ancient languages is, however, demanding, and you should be prepared to do a good deal of independent work during the academic year and over the summer.
Will the summer school modules cost me extra?

No. You do not have to pay extra tuition fees for the summer school modules. You will, however, have to factor in the costs of living in, or travelling into London for 3 weeks over the summer. 

 

 
If you have any further questions, please email classics@kcl.ac.uk

Further resources and links

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