Classical Studies

Classical Studies courses for 2018

Single Honours

Joint Honours

Bristol's Department of Classics and Ancient History is internationally renowned for its innovative work on classical civilisation and its legacy. The department includes specialists in many areas of Greco-Roman civilisation, with areas of focus including poetry, philosophy, history, politics, art and architecture.

We also specialise in the reception of the ancient world in modern film and theatre and by later writers, thinkers and artists, such as Shakespeare, Camus, Picasso, J. L. Borges and Ted Hughes.

Why study Classical Studies at Bristol?

The Bristol Classical Studies degree focuses on the literature, art, myth and philosophy of the classical world as well as its reception in later centuries. It is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge of Greco-Roman civilisation, while instilling also the analytical and creative abilities needed to interpret its culture, history and philosophy with sophistication and enjoyment.

In your first two years you will explore core topics in the literary and artistic culture of the ancient Greco-Roman world and consider its legacy in the modern world. You will also choose optional units on literature, philosophy, art and history, some of which may be taken in other departments such as archaeology or theology. You may choose to study an ancient language, such as Greek, Latin or Sanskrit. There is also the possibility of study abroad in your second year.

In your third year you will choose seminar-based special subjects and write a dissertation on your own specialist research project.

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course will suit you if you have broad intellectual interests in the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome and you recognise the continuing influence of classical civilisation on the modern world.

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?

Teaching methods include lectures, small-group seminars, personal consultations and a guided research project. These methods allow you to develop valuable skills in formal and informal writing, impromptu discussion and oral presentation. You will develop also a basis for thinking about the literature, art and culture of other periods and of modernity.

Assessment is primarily through coursework and exams, but you may encounter a variety of other modes, such as portfolios, group projects and blogs. In your third year you will also research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choosing.

What are my career prospects?

The interdisciplinary nature of classical studies hones your skills in critical thinking, persuasive writing and clear self-expression, skills that 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 industry, and teaching.

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

Read more about what students from Classical Studies 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.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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