Ancient civilisations laid the foundations of the modern world, and shaped how we perceive all elements of our society, including power, sexuality, ethics, migration, identity, globalisation and religion.
Classical Studies allows you to build a perspective of classical cultures as living traditions, with the opportunity of learning ancient languages.
You study the literature and art of the ancient world, developing a cultural understanding of the ancient civilisations of Greece, Rome and Egypt, and how these civilisations have continued to shape the world.
In your first year, you take compulsory modules on archaeology and the civilisations of Greece and Rome. You can also study Latin and Greek, and choose from other literature or history modules.
In your second and final years you can broaden your studies and delve into more specialist areas such as Greek plays, the literature of early Christianity, Greek philosophy, Egypt and the classical world and the Ancient Celts. In your final year, you also take a dissertation or extended essay.
You can also apply to take one of our placement modules, spending time on an internship in a heritage organisation or a museum. The placement modules are subject to a selection process.
Dr Rosie Wyles talks about the role of theatre in ancient Greek society.
Year abroad/placement year
You can apply to spend a year working or studying abroad as part of your degree programme. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you can succeed in a new environment. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.
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 in English and other languages, and many specialist collections. You can also easily access local collections and international collections in London.
The Kent Classical and Archaeological Society organises essay help sessions, lectures and social events, such as day trips to historical landmarks in the UK and Europe.
All modules have a weekly seminar, and most also have weekly lectures. Archaeology modules sometimes include museum and site visits. We encourage students to take part in excavations and 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 to read both critically and empathetically literary, philosophical, historical and other source materials, while addressing questions of genre, content, perspective and purpose
- selected themes, periods and regions within ancient literature and history in the context of current debate
- an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials and the appropriate methods of interpretation.
You will be able to:
- 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
- utilise problem-solving skills
- evaluate research in a critical manner
- study and reach conclusions independently.
You gain subject-specific skills to enable you to:
- make a critical evaluation of a variety of sources for literary and historical study (eg texts, inscriptions, and other data)
- 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, 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
- marshal argument lucidly and communicate interpretations using the appropriate academic conventions.
You gain transferable skills to enable you to:
- communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
- evaluate and learn from your own academic performance
- manage time and prioritise workloads and assessments, and write and think under pressure
- utilise problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
- work creatively, flexibly and adaptably with others; 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 within the framework of ancient literature, providing flexibility and a multidisciplinary approach as outlined in our mission statement
- treat the diverse societies and cultures of the Ancient World, its interaction and influences, with a focus on literature
- make a study in depth of selected themes, regions and periods in antiquity
- introduce key elements by which early Europe acquired its social, political, cultural and intellectual foundations, in accordance with our statement on building on close ties within Europe
- explore different types of evidence – literary, historical, and archaeological – using primary source material wherever possible and focusing on different approaches and techniques based on research-led teaching as outlined in our mission statement
- examine the problems of interpretation in each type of source material through critical analysis of current studies.