Join world-leading experts, including practising archaeologists and historians. You’ll study history from the shores of Roman Britain to ancient Byzantium, in a journey through the ancient world, with options to explore literature or archaeology.
Located in the southeast of England, Canterbury is the home of classical scholarship in the UK, with ancient languages taught in the city since the seventh century. Benefit from our proximity to London and Europe, take advantage of all the resources on offer at Kent, such as close links with external organisations such as the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.
Why study Ancient History at Kent?
95% of final-year Classics students who completed the National Student Survey 2022 were satisfied with the overall quality of their course Ranked 3rd in the UK for student satisfaction in Classics by The Complete University Guide 2023 Study in historic Canterbury: the centre of major historical events from Julius Caesar’s first landing in Britain and the arrival of Saint Augustine, to the Norman Conquest and the rise of Chatham Dockyards as the engine of the British EmpireExplore beyond Greece and Rome: delve into the history and culture of Ancient Egypt, the Carthaginian and Seleucid Empires, the Celts, and the Mediterranean in antiquityTravel back in time: enrich your knowledge and see historic sites first-hand, led by world-leading experts. Immerse yourself in history on a tour of Hadrian’s Wall or a visit to Rome and Pompeii Get career-ready: work with local heritage organisations and cultural sites, or prepare for teacher training with our practical modules. Meet our graduates and find out where your Ancient History degree will take youOur Archaeology Laboratory is home to state-of-the-art equipment for geophysics, laser scanning and dating. You'll analyse ancient materials and develop technical expertise.
What our students say
“My favourite module has been the Crisis of the Late Republic, because I thoroughly enjoyed this subject area at A-Level and this module renewed my passion for the topic. The lecturer was super engaging!”
What you'll study
In your first year, you’ll take introductory modules on the civilisations of Greece and Rome as well as an introduction to archaeology. You choose modules on topics such as empires and classical mythology, and have the opportunity to study ancient Greek and Latin; the languages of the ancient texts you will encounter during your course.
In your second and final years, you choose from modules covering archaic Greece, Greek and Roman medicine, Roman Britain, Hellenic history, and the Roman Empire. Depending on your academic performance and interest, you might do a dissertation or the extended essay module.
You can also apply to take one of our placement modules, subject to a selection process, where you study museum or heritage studies, and spend time on an internship.
See the modules you'll study
Do you have a passion for modern history too? BA Ancient, Medieval and Modern history is also available.
All modules have a weekly small-group seminar, and most also have weekly lectures. We encourage you to take part in excavations and field surveys with staff and associated institutions, and student bursaries are available to support this.
Assessment at all stages varies from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- another culture, whether focused on literature, thought, art and religion, or on history and political and social organisation, or on material culture, with an informed sense of the similarities and differences between it and our own culture
- complementary subjects (literary, philosophical, historical, art historical and archaeological)
- selected themes, periods and regions within ancient history in the context of current debate
- an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials and of the appropriate methods of interpretation.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
- analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of types of evidence in an independent and critical manner
- select, gather and synthesise relevant information from a wide variety of sources to gain a coherent understanding
- deploy a range of techniques and methodologies of study
- use problem solving skills
- evaluate research in a critical manner
- study and reach conclusions independently.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- the ability to make a critical evaluation of a variety of sources for literary and historical and as appropriate archaeological study
- the ability to extract key elements from complex data and identify and solve associated problems
- select and apply appropriate methodologies in assessing data, such as bibliographical research, textual analysis, historical analysis, visual skills, collection and analysis of archaeological data, use of statistics, philosophical argument and analysis
- gather, memorise and deploy evidence and information, and show awareness of the consequences of the unavailability of evidence
- show familiarity with the basic concepts which underpin the different branches of the programme pathways
- marshal argument lucidly and communicate interpretations using the appropriate academic conventions.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
- take responsibility for your personal and professional learning and development
- evaluate and learn from your own academic performance
- manage time and prioritise workloads and assessments, and write and think under pressure
- use problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
- work creatively, flexibly and adaptably with others, and understand how groups function
- deploy a range of IT skills effectively, such as producing word-processed text with footnotes, basic formatting, using email, research using databases and text files, locating and exploiting websites.
The programme aims to:
- teach a congruent discipline within the framework of the European intellectual, cultural and historical traditions, interacting with other component disciplines
- treat the diverse societies and cultures of the Ancient World and their interaction, with a focus on history, but with the possibility of the inclusion of literature and archaeology
- study the history of ancient Greece and Rome, and the contemporary civilizations of ancient Asia Minor, Persia and Egypt, from ca.600BC to ca.AD600
- survey the main areas and genres of Classical Literature, both Greek and Latin
- make a study in depth of selected themes, regions and periods in history
- introduce key elements by which early Europe acquired its social, political, cultural and intellectual foundations
- explore different types of evidence: literary, historical, art-historical and archaeological, using primary source material wherever possible and focusing of different approaches and techniques
- examine the problems of interpretation in each type of source material through critical analysis of current studies
- equip students with a range of subject-based critical thinking and communication skills
- provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable, involve realistic workloads and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.