From the shores of Roman Britain to ancient Byzantium, studying Ancient History at Kent takes you on a journey through the ancient world, with options to explore literature or archaeology.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you take compulsory modules on the civilisations of Greece and Rome as well as an introduction to archaeology. You choose further modules on topics such as empires and classical mythology. You also 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 a wide range of modules covering areas including archaic Greece, Greek and Roman medicine, Roman Britain, Hellenic history, and the Roman Empire.
Further options are available in classical literature and culture, archaeology, and higher levels of Latin and Greek.
In your final year, you take either the dissertation or the extended essay module, depending on your academic performance and interest.
You can also apply to take one of our placement modules, where you study museum or heritage studies, and spend time on a relevant internship. The placement modules are subject to a selection process.
Canterbury is an ideal place to study the ancient world. The city’s cathedral forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the area is rich in pre-Roman, Roman, post-Roman and Anglo-Saxon history.
Kent students Molly and Nathan talk about their experiences studying at Kent.
Year or term abroad
Working or studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you have the enthusiasm to succeed in a new environment. You can apply to spend a whole year or just a term abroad. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details.
It is possible to spend a year on placement in the UK, gaining valuable workplace experience and increasing your professional contacts. Have a look at the Course structure or the Placement Year information for more details.
You have access to our specialist laboratory for cleaning and sorting finds and our specialist equipment for geophysical surveys, photography, 3D laser scanning and microscopy. Our archaeology technician is on hand to help you as you work.
The University has an excellent library on campus, with journals as well as specialist collections. You can easily access international collections in London and local collections such as the Canterbury Cathedral Library.
The Kent Classical and Archaeological Society organises activities such as essay help sessions and lectures as well as social events and day trips to historical landmarks in the UK and Europe.
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.