The MA in Ancient History has a focus on research training that will place you in a strong position for further study for a PhD or for careers outside academia that require research skills.
The major civilisations of the ancient world, including those of Egypt, Greece and Rome, still shape global culture today. Our MA in Ancient History enables you to gain an advanced understanding of ancient culture, whether you focus on literature, thought, art or religion. The MA gives you an opportunity explore the history, political and social organisation, or material artefacts of ancient cultures, to demonstrate a critical engagement and develop an informed sense of the similarities and differences between them and our own culture.
The programme allows you to develop your research skills and to become by the end of the degree an independent researcher, well equipped for future work for a PhD or to undertake research outside academia. The programme begins by focusing on research skills, which you study alongside either an option module or a language module (in ancient Greek or Latin). For the Spring Term, you choose two option modules that reflect the research interests of staff within the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies.
In the summer, you write a dissertation of up to 15,000 words with advice from one of our experts to demonstrate the skills that you will have gained during your 12 month MA.
This is an ideal programme for graduates of history, ancient history, classics or the wider humanities, wanting to gain practical experience in applying their expertise.
This programme is taught at our Canterbury campus. There is also a version of this programme which allows you to spend a term in Rome. This gives you direct access to Roman sites, museums and architecture, in order to see how the Roman Empire has shaped the city to this day.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- a complex range of disciplines, cultural relationships and varied geographical regions
- the research skills associated with the use of ancient evidence to produce historical narratives and analyses that engage with the most recent development in research in ancient history
- to come to terms with philosophical issues by thinkers of very different cultural and linguistic assumptions from our own
- to understand the nature of the societies and political systems of antiquity
- be familiar with an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials, epigraphy, papyrology, literature, visual material, and history
- a broad and systematic knowledge developed within a coherent framework of complementary subjects, including religion, history and ancient languages.
You develop intellectual skills in how to:
- apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
- evaluate research and a variety of types of information and evidence critically
- synthesise information critically from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice
- apply strategies for appropriate selection of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
- utilise problem-solving skills
- analyse, evaluate and interpret the evidence underpinning historical, linguistic and literary evidence critically.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- having an advanced understanding of another culture, whether focused on its literature, thought, art and religion, or its history and political and social organisation, or its material culture, demonstrate a critical engagement with it, develop an informed sense of the similarities and differences between it and our own culture
- have a broad knowledge, developed within a coherent framework, of complementary subjects, drawn from such fields as language, literature, linguistics, philosophy, history, art and archaeology, or theme-based topics which cross the boundaries between them (eg religion, gender studies), and periods
- be familiar with and able to evaluate an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials, eg literary, philosophical and historical texts, art objects, archaeological evidence and inscriptions
- command a range of techniques and methodologies, such as bibliographical and library research skills, a range of skills in reading and textual analysis, the varieties of historical method, the visual skills characteristic of art criticism, use of statistics (eg in archaeology), philosophical argument and analysis, and analytical grasp of an ancient language.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
- the ability to evaluate your own academic performance
- the ability to manage change effectively and respond to changing demands
This programme aims to:
- provide research training in the subject area of ancient history
- expand your depth of knowledge of key subject areas in ancient history
- attract outstanding students, irrespective of race, background, gender or physical disability from both within the UK, and EU, and also from overseas
- develop new areas of postgraduate teaching in response to the advance of scholarship
- provide you with the skills to equip you for a further career either for doctoral research in ancient history, or in employment, with the use of these transferable skills
- develop your competence in applying skills to analysis of a diverse body of ancient evidence
- develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to the ancient material
- provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change
- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills to prepare you for graduate employment
- enhance the development of your interpersonal skills
- provide you with opportunities for shared multidisciplinary learning with archaeology, religious studies and philosophy
- assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.