Ancient History

Ancient History courses for 2018

Single Honours

Just a few miles from the World Heritage Site that was once Roman Aquae Sulis in Bath, Bristol is the ideal place to study ancient history. Our internationally renowned Department of Classics and Ancient History teaches many specialist areas of Greco-Roman history and civilisation, covering a broad chronological range - from the archaeology of Bronze Age Greece to the religions of the later Roman Empire.

You will also have plenty of opportunity to study other aspects of these ancient cultures and their reception by later writers, historians, politicians and popular culture.

Why study Ancient History at Bristol?

Our course is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge of the politics, economy and societies of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It aims to equip you with the skills necessary to locate, decipher and evaluate a range of historical sources, and to develop a sophisticated understanding of historical theory.

You have the flexibility to combine core units on Greco-Roman culture with more specialised topics, such as Ecology and History in the Ancient World, units on the reception of Greece and Rome and the study of ancient languages.

Teaching methods include lectures, small-group seminars, personal consultations and a guided research project. These allow you to develop valuable skills in formal and informal writing, impromptu discussion and oral presentation. Our teaching also provides you with a basis for thinking about the economy, politics and culture of other periods and of modernity. There is also the possibility to study abroad for one semester during the second year of the degree.

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course would suit anyone with a fascination for ancient Greece and Rome, who recognises the continuing influence of ancient history on the modern world. It will also appeal to you if you enjoy the challenge of analysing different source materials and evidence from antiquity, from written texts to archaeological finds.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our innovative approach to teaching ancient history has earned high praise from external examiners and leading UK experts in the subject.

Teaching methods include lectures, large and small group seminars, and personal consultations. These allow you to develop valuable skills in conducting research, formal and informal writing, discussion and oral presentation.

Assessment is primarily by coursework portfolios, essays and exams. In your third year, you will research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choosing.

What are my career prospects?

The interdisciplinary study of ancient history develops skills in critical thinking, persuasive writing and clear self-expression, which are transferable to a wide range of careers.

Our graduates are highly employable and have found positions in research, administration, media, museums, art galleries, heritage management, the civil service, law, accountancy, computing, commerce and teaching.

A significant number of graduates go on to postgraduate study in ancient history or other humanities subjects.

Read more about what students from Ancient History go on to do after graduation.

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.


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