Our MA in Ancient History is an opportunity to see the ancient past as familiar yet provocative, a world as multifaceted as our own. We will guide you in forming your own critical judgements of classical antiquity, together with its living legacies.
We invite you to join our thriving, creative, and supportive community of scholars beyond the classroom in regular postgraduate social meetings, weekly seminars, and site visits. This degree allows you to develop a wide range of skills in interpreting source materials and data related to ancient history, and teaches you how to ask the most important questions. With this qualification, you will be equipped for future work involving independent research skills, either in academia or beyond.
Our MA in Ancient History is designed to give you a thorough training in the theories, methods, and concepts now shaping the study of the ancient world. You can also gain the skills of the ancient Greek or Latin linguist and the historian, through hands-on learning in the classroom and in museums and archives.
By taking your choice of optional modules, you will enhance your analytical skills and broaden your knowledge of ancient Mediterranean cultures including Greece, Rome and Egypt. All of these options are taught by friendly, internationally-recognised experts whose cutting-edge research informs their teaching. They will provide personalised supervision as you develop your own research specialisms.
On a campus overlooking the heart of Roman Canterbury, the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies is advantageously situated just one hour by train from London’s British Museum and British Library. We are also the UK’s closest university to Europe, and less than two hours away is another capital city, Paris, with its Louvre Museum and Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
Our nearness to these world-leading resources, combined with our own excellent laboratory and library collections, form an attractive setting for your research on a dissertation topic. In the summer term, one of our experts will guide you to explore your own interests in a substantial independent research project, using all the skills that you have gained during your 12 month Master's degree.
This is an ideal degree for graduates of History, Ancient History, Classics or the wider humanities, who want to engage intellectually with the ancient Mediterranean and develop the skills of an independent researcher. This course is also available part time (24 months).
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.