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Ancient History MA



Advanced study of Greek, Roman and near Eastern history that develops skills in handling documentary evidence. Intercollegiate programme with a wide range of options taught at King's, UCL and Royal Holloway, with close links to the Institute of Classical Studies. Compulsory module: Sources & Methods in Ancient History. Leads to further research or careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.

Key benefits

  • One of the world's largest and most distinguished departments of Classics.

  • Unrivalled location for the study of the ancient world thanks to London's unique range of specialist libraries, museums and galleries.

  • Extraordinarily wide choice of modules, drawing on the resources of the whole of the University of London.

  • King's graduates enjoy one of the best employment rates and starting salaries in the UK. King’s is the Sunday Times ‘Best University for Graduate Employment 2012-3’. We were ranked third for graduate-level jobs and fifth for highest starting salaries in the 2012 Sunday Times University Guide.

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Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 15-20.

Course leaders

Professor Hugh Bowden

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2569 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Classics


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum academic requirements:

2:1 BA degree with honours (or overseas equivalent) in Classics, Classical Studies, Ancient History, Classical Archaeology, History or a closely related subject. 

High Desirable:

It is highly desirable for candidates to have had experience of learning one or more relevant ancient languages. This may be as part of school or undergraduate education, or through a summer school. The department runs a range of summer language 

The Department also offers a Graduate Diploma in Classical Studies, which can act as a conversion course for those with degrees in other areas who want to go on to take the MA Ancient History.

Application procedure

Your application will be assessed by the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor, and by other academics as appropriate. We do not usually interview applicants, but we do encourage you to visit the department before applying, or after we have made you an offer. Alternatively we can arrange to talk to you by telephone or Skype. We aim to process all applications within four weeks although this may take longer in February and March, and over holiday periods.

Personal statement and supporting information

In your personal statement, please tell us briefly why you want to undertake the MA in Ancient History, and what you are hoping to do afterwards. As part of the selection process we pay attention to transcripts of previous academic performance and to academic references, but can process applications more quickly if you tell us something about your previous study and future plans.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


The MA programme in Ancient History is organised on an intercollegiate basis, so that the programme offerings combine the expertise of staff in all three of the participating colleges - King's, UCL and Royal Holloway. It centres on the University's Institute of Classical Studies, which not only contains a world-class research library, but also hosts the richest programme of seminars, conferences, and occasional lectures for this subject area in the UK. 

The programme consists of a compulsory core module, Sources & Methods in Ancient History, two optional modules, and a dissertation. The first and last elements provide particularly concentrated training in research techniques and methodology. Modules are taught both with texts in the original languages, and with translated texts. Besides purely ancient historical topics, modules may also be taken from the syllabuses for the MAs in Classics, Classical Archaeology & Art, and Late Antique & Byzantine Studies. You may also be able to take appropriate modules from other MA programmes at King's. 

If you intend to pursue further research in ancient history, you will find particular value in the unique opportunities to acquire technical skills in the handling of documentary evidence provided by modules in Greek Papyrology, Greek & Roman Epigraphy, and Greek & Latin Palaeography. You may also take modules in Greek and Latin Languages for Research at beginners or intermediate level.


As well as the extensive library resources at King's, you will have access to the world-leading Classics library at the Institute of Classical Studies, as well as other University of London libraries.

Research seminars

In the Department of Classics we run a research seminar series (which MA students are encouraged to attend), where you will learn about the current research of our academic staff and PhD students. Further, the Department regularly hosts major research conferences with speakers from around the world. There are also University of London research seminars organized through the Institute of Classical Studies, for example in Literature, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, where you will be able to listen to and meet leading scholars from around the world. There is also the Late Antique & Byzantine Studies seminar, which is organized by the Centre for Hellenic Studies.

Personal tutor

You will be assigned a personal tutor in the Department of Classics, who will advise you and help you decide which modules to take, and can answer any questions or concerns you may have whilst at King's.

Dissertation supervision

During your first term at King's you will need to decide on your MA dissertation subject, if you have not done so before you arrive. The dissertation can be related to work you are doing for a taught module, or it can be in a completely different area. On the basis of your chosen subject area you will be assigned a supervisor within the Department of Classics who will discuss the topic with you, and oversee your work on it.

Greek Play

Every year (since 1953), students in the Department of Classics have produced and performed a Greek play - the only production in the UK to be performed annually in the original Greek. Read more about the Greek Play (and its history) at King's:

Course purpose

This programme offers advanced study of the history of the Greek, Roman and Near Eastern worlds; it is intended either as a further year's study after a first degree or as training in the technical disciplines needed to undertake doctoral research in the field of ancient history.

Course format and assessment

Full-time study: 4-8 hours of taught classes per week. Part-time study: 2-6 hours of taught classes per week. Modules are assessed by coursework and/or examinations. The 12,000 word dissertation enables students to research a topic of their choice, working one-to-one with an academic supervisor.



Career prospects

Research in the department; teaching, journalism, cultural management or the financial sector.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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