Classics and Ancient History
The Department of Classics and Ancient History has an international reputation for outstanding and innovative research. We are particularly well known for reception studies, which we pioneered in Britain, and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of antiquity. As a research student, you will be a member of a thriving and dynamic community.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from taught programmes if they are relevant to their research.
PhD: a research project undertaken across four years (full-time, minimum period of study three years), culminating in an 80,000 word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be opportunities for PhD students to gain teaching experience from their second year of study onwards.
All research students attend a core unit on Theories and Approaches in their first year or two, as well as training run by the School of Humanities and the fortnightly departmental seminar.
The MPhil and PhD can be studied via distance learning.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £4,665 per year
- UK: part-time
- £2,332 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £20,100 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2023/24
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2023. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
A large number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of classics and ancient history; some graduates go on to careers in museums, education, and journalism.
Meet our supervisors
The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.
Members of the department carry out research across the whole range of classical studies: Greek and Latin literature, ancient history and historiography, visual culture, philosophy and reception. Our work is characterised by a particular focus on interdisciplinary approaches and theoretical questions, and by an interest in the globalisation of classics.
A special resource is the Bristol Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition, which provides a focus for collaborative and interdisciplinary work and support for conferences and other research activities. The institute encompasses research from many fields, including history, art history, archaeology, literary studies and philosophy, with a particular interest in exploring links between the ancient and modern worlds.
Individual members of staff are involved with research groups across the faculty and University, such as medieval studies, early modern studies, colonialism and the Cabot Institute for the Environment. They have run Faculty of Arts research clusters on topics such as ‘The Embodied Mind’ and ‘Tragedy’. Members of the department currently hold, and have recently held, major research fellowships from the Alan Turing Institute, the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Research Admissions
- +44 (0) 117 428 2296