Classical Studies

Study Greek and Roman culture through art, myth and literature, and explore the history of its reception and its relevance today.

Study abroad

In the second year you have the chance to spend an unforgettable semester studying in Canada, Australia or the US.

Passionate community

The Classics and Ancient History Society brings together like-minded students with a packed calendar of social and academic events, including an annual play.

Esteemed department

Bristol is ranked 11th in the UK for the study of Classics and Ancient History (QS World University Rankings by subject 2022).

Classical Studies courses for 2023

Single Honours

Joint Honours

Classical Studies at Bristol

Classical studies at Bristol focuses on the literature, art, mythology and philosophy of the classical world as well as its reception in later centuries. You will familiarise yourself with a wide range of classical literature and culture as well as a variety of contemporary approaches to the classical world.

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is internationally renowned for its innovative research on antiquity. We cover many areas of Graeco-Roman civilisation, from politics, poetry and philosophy to sculpture, architecture and archaeology.

You'll study in our recently renovated Humanities Hub, home to new lecture theatres, flexible teaching spaces, a screening room, exhibition area and a range of social spaces.

You might also be interested in Classics or Ancient History.

My degree and studies have helped me to develop critical thinking and the ability to research and present ideas in essay form. I have had opportunities to express thoughts and debates in tutorials with peers.

Emma, BA History and Classics

Career prospects

Three students talking around a table.

The breadth of material studied in a classical studies degree will help you to develop critical thinking 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 and teaching.

Many graduates go on to postgraduate study in classical studies or other humanities subjects.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Selection of ancient clay pottery.

You will focus on Greek and Roman culture: the art, myth and literature of the classical world, the history of its reception, and its continuing relevance. You will also have the opportunity to explore the legacy of Graeco-Roman culture in the works of later thinkers and artists across different media, including literature, theatre and film. You may also choose to learn an ancient language.

You will take four core units and two optional units for each of your first two years, allowing you to pursue your own interests in classics and beyond. One of the optional units may be taken elsewhere in the University in a subject you're interested in.

There is the possibility of studying abroad for one semester in the second year. For more information visit Global Opportunities.

Your third year will include a larger research project on a topic of your choosing. You will also plan, promote and execute a project aimed at presenting the ancient world to the wider public.

Interdisciplinary community

Students studying in the School of Humanities common room.

The department's research is brought together by the Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition. It hosts distinguished scholars to give seminars and lectures, holds symposia and conferences, and cultivates international links with other scholars and organisations.

The institute embraces research from many fields, including history of all kinds, archaeology, literary studies, art history and philosophy, and has a particular focus on research that explores the links between ancient and modern.

Professor Mary Beard, who was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 2012, is a vice-president of the institute.

Classical Studies

Classical Studies courses for 2023

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. Our areas of focus include poetry, drama, mythology, religion and art. We also specialise in the reception of the ancient world in later cultures.

Why study Classical Studies at Bristol?

Classical studies at Bristol focuses on the literature, art, mythology and philosophy of the classical world as well as its reception in later centuries. Our course is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge of Graeco-Roman civilisation, while instilling the analytical and creative abilities needed to interpret its culture, history and philosophy.

You will familiarise yourself with a wide range of classical literature and culture as well as a variety of contemporary approaches to the classical world. You will also have the opportunity to explore the legacy of Graeco-Roman culture in the works of later thinkers and artists across different media, including literature, theatre and film.

The course combines core units on Graeco-Roman culture and its reception with more specialised subjects. You can pursue areas that particularly interest you by selecting optional units on literature, philosophy, art and history, some of which may be taken in other departments, such as History or Theology. You may also choose to study Greek or Latin.

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course will suit those who have broad intellectual interests in the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome and in the continuing influence of classical civilisation on the modern world. You should enjoy looking closely at literary texts and other materials. thinking analytically about them and discussing your ideas.

How is this course taught and assessed?

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. You will also develop a basis for thinking about the literature, art and culture of other periods and of modernity.

Assessment is primarily by coursework in a variety of different formats and exams.

Your third year will include a larger research project on a topic of your choosing. You will also plan, promote and execute a project aimed at presenting the ancient world to the wider public.

What are my career prospects?

The interdisciplinary nature of a classical studies degree hones your skills in critical thinking, persuasive writing and clear self expression, skills that are transferable to a wide range of careers.

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

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

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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 (LLB Law)

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