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Classical Archaeology BA

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Overview

Discover the ancient world through its art, architecture and cultural landscapes. This degree focuses on the art and archaeology of Greece and Rome, and investigates the Near East and Byzantium beyond. Our location in the heart of London allows easy access to the capital’s world-class cultural institutions, such as the British Museum, Museum of London and V&A Museum.

Key benefits

  • One of the very best classics departments in the country, renowned for its quality of teaching, student experience and cutting-edge research.

  • King's Department of Classics is one of the third largest in the UK, offering unique coverage from the Bronze Age to Modern Greece.

  • Central location offers collaborations with the British Museum and other cultural institutions, which are incorporated into undergraduate teaching.

  • Our degree programmes combine focus and flexibility, allowing you to pursue your interests. Some archaeological modules are taught jointly with ancient historians for a wide coverage of study skills.

  • You will acquire analytical and presentational skills valued by employers, leading to careers in heritage-related professions, the media, education, civil service and the performing arts.

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Key information

UCAS code V414

Duration Three years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

DepartmentDepartment of Classics

Locations

 

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Classics and Byzantine & Modern Greek

Undergraduate study

Professor Jan Palmowski, from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and Professor Charlotte Roueché, Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies explain the unique opportunities King's can offer students studying Classics and Byzantine & Modern Greek.

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Course detail

Description

Our modules cover a range of art historical and archaeological approaches, such as chronological (e.g. ‘Art and power in the Age of Alexander’; regional (e.g. ‘Building Greece’); site-based (e.g. City of Rome); thematic (e.g. ‘The classical art of the body’); and museum-based (e.g. ‘Grand Tour: antiquities in London’). We also offer the opportunity to participate in a fully-funded trip associated with a classical archaeology module, courtesy of the Rumble Fund.

While you will focus on art and archaeological modules, you can also take modules in literary studies and philosophy, and you can learn Latin and/or Greek at a level appropriate to your prior knowledge, whatever that may be. Many historical modules are highly relevant, such as ‘Roman London’ and ‘Pompeii’, and there is even the opportunity to take a module from outside the department.

First-year students who flourish in Latin or Greek language may transfer to the Classics (Greek & Latin) BA in their second year of study via our 'Pathway B'. Such students will attend intensive summer school language modules between the first and second year, and between the second and third year of study.

Why study Classical Archaeology at King's?

The main reason is the variety of specialisms covered by the staff, from the more traditional foundations of Greek pottery and sculpture to the younger disciplines of Roman landscapes and mosaics. There is also a module (‘Grand Tour’) that contains several tours to local institutions in order to explore how classical material and visual culture has been collected and displayed in London. The chronological range covers the Bronze Age to the Byzantine periods, while the geographical journey will take you from the entire Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions through to Roman Britain. The fundamentals of archaeological and art historical skills and methods are introduced through these rich and vibrant cultures.

Staff are dedicated to exploiting the world-class opportunities that our position in the centre of London allows access to, including the British Museum, the Museum of London and Sir John Soane's Museum. For example, you will be able to take modules that offer the opportunity to handle Greek vases in the teaching room of the British Museum. If you are interested in maximizing the opportunities that our proximity to London's great cultural institutions allows, then this is the programme for you.

Teaching style

Teaching in the Department of Classics takes a wide variety of forms, including language-classes, large-group lectures, seminars, and individual supervisions. The particular mix will depend in part on your year of study and in part on the combination of modules you choose. A number of modules involve museum and gallery visits, field trips, and the use of study collections; a growing number have their own web resources and e-discussion groups. Seminar presentations and discussion are important in the first- and second-year modules. One-to-one supervision is a special feature of the third-year dissertation. This range of teaching will equip you with the transferable skills of analysis and presentation that employers value.

Structure of course and assessment

Our degree programmes combine focus and flexibility. In each programme you take a set number of modules directly related to the programme subject and then choose from a wide selection of optional modules.  Each year students will normally take modules totalling 120 credits.  A generous allowance of free choice means that you can explore much more widely all aspects of the cultures of Greece and Rome. The primary methods of assessment for this course are coursework, assessed essays, written examinations and individual and group presentations.

Location

London is a superb place to study and experience the Greek and Roman worlds, and all the major resources are within easy reach (and often walking distance) from the centrally located Department of Classics at King's. The British Museum houses one of the world's premier collections of not only Greek and Roman but also Egyptian and Mesopotamian archaeology and art, and is supplemented in this by the Soane Museum, the Museum of London, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. We collaborate closely with the British Museum in our undergraduate teaching.

The major London galleries are full of classically-themed work, just as central London is full of Neoclassical, Greek revival and other classically-inspired buildings. Classical and classically-inspired drama can be experienced first-hand more richly and more frequently in London theatres than anywhere else in the world.

For libraries, normal student needs are served by King's Maughan Library and Information Services Centre, as well as the University of London (Senate House) Library; for the investigation of special topics, there are the world-class research collections of the Institute of Classical Studies and the Warburg Institute.

Special notes

Greek Play

The King’s Greek Play has been 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.

Rumble Fund

In 2013 the Department of Classics created the Rumble Fund following a generous donation by a former student. This fund is used each year to pay for a group of students to visit classical lands as part of their degree programme.

Classics Society

Students run the Classics Society, which publishes the Satyrica newsletter and 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.

Study abroad
It is easier now than ever before to spend part of your time as a King's student studying abroad. Second year students have the opportunity to study abroad in the second semester of their second year or for the whole of their second year. Partner universities currently include:

  • University of Auckland
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Toronto (Full year only)
  • University of California
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Up to five places exclusively available for Classics students)
  • University of Sydney

Find out more about studying abroad

Our students also have opportunities to attend the annual summer schools at the British Schools in Athens and Rome, and participate in archaeological excavations in Greece and Italy, as well as further afield.

 

Structure

Year 1

King's reviews its optional modules on a regular basis, in order to continue to offer innovative and exciting programmes. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that any particular optional module will run in a given year and the options listed below are subject to change.

You have the opportunity to study abroad in the second semester of the second year or for the whole of the second year. Partner universities currently include:

  • University of Auckland
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Toronto (Full year only)
  • University of California
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Up to five places exclusively available for Classics students)
  • University of Sydney

First year students are required to take one compulsory module and a range of optional modules. With the approval of the programme convenor, students can also choose from any of the 15 credit Level 4 modules offered by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Global Institutes.

Required Modules
  • Art & Archaeology of Greece & Rome (30 credits)
Optional Modules

You will choose 90 credits from a wide range of optional 30-credit modules, which may typically include: 

  • Introduction to Ancient History (c. 1200 BC-AD 600)
  • Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
  • Greek & Latin Literature: An Introduction
  • Greek Language 1
  • Latin Language 1

And 15-credit modules, such as:

  • Introduction to Byzantium and Modern Greece: The Greek-speaking world from 330 AD to today
  • Receptions of the past: The Hellenic world from antiquity to today

Year 2

Required Modules

There are no required modules in Year 2. 

Optional Modules

You will take 60 credits of Art & Archaeology modules, plus a further 60 credits, of which 30 may come from another Department in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities or the Department of War Studies.

You have a broad range of options to choose from, which may typically include 30-credit modules such as: 

  • Greek Language 1
  • Latin Language 1
  • Greek Language 3A
  • Latin Language 3A
  • Roman Britain

Or 15 credit modules, such as:

  • Sex and the symposium: The evidence of Athenian painted pottery
  • Roman Art 1: Art, Power and Authority
  • Roman Art 2: Art in the Private Sphere
  • Romans and barbarians: cities in the Roman Mediterranean
  • Art and Power in the Age of Alexander (Hellenistic Art I)
  • The Art of Acquisition: Conquest, Collection and the Rise of Rome (Hellenistic Art II)
  • Grand Tour: Antiquities in London from the Enlightenment to the Present Day
  • Bread and Circuses: Roman Entertainment and Spectacle
  • Building Greece
  • Early Greece from Troy to Marathon
  • The World from Babylon: 911-ca.550 BC
  • Democracy, Empire and War: Greece 446-338 BC
  • Ancient Sexuality I
  • Mapping Society and the Past: Historians and Sophists

Year 3

Third year students take 60 credits of Classical Archaeology modules, plus a further 60 credits, of which 30 may come from another Department in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities or the Department of War Studies.

Required Modules
  • Dissertation
Optional Modules

You will take 60 credits of classical archaeology modules, plus a further 60 credits, of which 30 may come from another Department in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities or the Department of War Studies.

You have a broad range of options to choose from, which may typically include 30-credit modules such as:

  • Minoans and Mycenaeans
  • Archaeology of the Western Roman Provinces
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  • The Classical Art of the Body: Greek Sculpture and its Legacy
  • Augustus: Power & Propaganda
  • Alexander the Great
  • Pagans, Christians and Jews in the Roman Empire
  • The Rise of Rome, c.650-70 BC
  • Streetwise: narrating the city in classical literature
  • Neronian Literature and Culture
  • An Introduction to Classical Reception Studies in Sixteen Encounters
  • Dissertation

Or 15-credit modules, such as:

  • Persian Kings and their Territory in the Achaemenid Empire
  • Venice: history and art
  • Medieval Cyprus: Art & Architecture
  • Origins of Nations and Nationalism: Identity in the Hellenic world
  • Descent to the Underworld: transformations of a myth
  • Romanticism and Revolution: Byron, the Shelley’s and Greece

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis in order to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. The optional modules offered may therefore change. We suggest that you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements

 

Required grades:

AAB

Required grades:

35 points overall with three Higher Level subjects at 665

Required grades:

45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades:

D3 D3 M2

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

80% overall

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

Required subjects

None

Preferred subjects

Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or History preferred

Further information and other requirements

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

General Studies and Critical Thinking - College policy: Please note that AS/A level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted by King's as one of your A or AS levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer

Access to HE Diploma: Access to HE Diploma (for example, in Humanities) with 45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit. Preferred subjects at Level 3: Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or History.

Cambridge Pre-U: Three Pre-U Principal subjects at D3 D3 M2. Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered. Subjects relating to ancient history/classical civilisation preferred

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010): DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB or DDM with ten Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA. Preferred subjects: Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or History.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010): DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB or DM with four Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA. Preferred subjects: Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or History.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010): D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AB or M and two A levels at grades AA. Preferred subjects: Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or History.

Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers: AAB at Higher in one sitting and AB at Advanced Higher (we do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject). Preferred subjects: Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or History.

International Baccalaureate: Pass the IB Diploma with a total of at least 35 points, with three Higher Level subjects at 665 Preferred subjects: History or subjects related to classical civilisation .Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE.

Selection procedure

Application: Once an application has been submitted to UCAS, forms are sent to the Department for assessment. Members of staff then consider how far the applicant has shown evidence of the qualities of mind we most value in potential Classics, Classical Studies, Ancient History or Classical Archaeology students, and of aptitude for linguistic study. UCAS forms are also assessed on the basis of the information they contain concerning the applicant's actual or predicted performance at A-level and GCSE (or their equivalents), the personal statement, and the references provided.

Application deadline: January 15 2017.

Decision: In most cases, a decision will be reached, and the offer of a place made, on this basis. But where we feel that there are matters that need further discussion, an applicant will be invited to come to the Department for an interview. This may be because we feel we need more information about the applicant's previous academic experience, or because we want to make sure that the degree applied for really is what the applicant is looking for. A decision will then be made on the strength of the combination of the interview and the UCAS form.

Open Days: Applicants who are offered places on the basis of the UCAS form alone will also receive an invitation to a Department Open Day. The Open Day programme includes a welcome and description of the Department from the Admissions Tutor, a short sample 'lecture' from another member of staff, tours of the Strand Campus and Maughan Library, and the chance to talk to some current students and other members of the teaching staff. There will also be a complementary programme for accompanying parents.

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is £9,250 per annum.

Please note that the UK tuition fee may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

 

Full time tuition fees EU:

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

The UK tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is £9,250 per annum.

Please note that the UK tuition fee may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

 

Full time tuition fees International:

The International tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year is £22,800 per annum.

Please note that the International tuition fee is subject to annual increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.

 

For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

 

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our graduates go on to work in a range of professions, including law, banking, the civil service, information technology, librarianship, education, heritage industries, the media, journalism and the performing arts, while others choose to stay and pursue postgraduate qualifications at King’s.

Career destinations

Recent graduates have found employment as:

• Assistant Tax Advisor, Ernst & Young

• Human Resources Administrator, Health resources International

• Web Administrator, Intrico Products Ltd

• Illustrator, Self Employed Illustrator

• Marketing and Publishing Graduate scheme, the telegraph Media group

• Research Intern, Environment Agency

• Sales Operations Admin, Associated Press TV news

• Latin Teacher at a university

• Client Relations Associate, Fidelity Investment Managers

• Customer Management Executive, CMC Markets

• Senior Course Support Assistant, Coventry University

Testimonials

Next steps

View our undergraduate prospectus

Learn more about undergraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our prospectus in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 03 February 2017.