Classics

Explore the seminal literature of Greece and Rome in the original languages, from exciting and contemporary perspectives.

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).

Classics courses for 2023

Single Honours

Classics at Bristol

Our classics degree combines an emphasis on traditional language skills, literature and historical understanding with an in-depth exploration of the continuing influence of Greek and Roman writing.

As a classics student you will focus on reading ancient texts in their original language, working closely with written material and discussing literature. You will develop new skills for analysing old and new texts, and explore how ancient cultures have been received by later writers, thinkers and artists.

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, an exhibition area and a range of social spaces.

You might also be interested in Ancient History or Classical Studies.

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

Two people looking at a book together.

The skills you will gain in critical thinking, persuasive writing and self expression 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, commerce and teaching.

Many graduates go on to postgraduate study in classics and other humanities subjects.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

A close up of some clay pots.

You will concentrate on Greek and Latin language and literature, with appropriate Greek and Latin classes based on your experience. You do not need any previous knowledge of ancient languages, and you can start one or both languages from scratch. Higher-level language units will introduce you to more sophisticated critical approaches to classical literature.

You will gain confidence in translating, understanding and discussing ancient texts. You will have the flexibility to explore further areas that interest you, such as topics in history, religion, art and archaeology. We encourage you to gain experience of the many different methods and approaches involved in the study of classics today.

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. You may take one of your optional units elsewhere in the University in a subject you're interested in.

You may study 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, with a member of staff acting as adviser.

Interdisciplinary community

A sociable study space on campus with a number of students working independently throughout the 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.

Classics

Classics courses for 2023

Single Honours

Bristol is one of the world’s most exciting locations to study classics and our academics have been at the forefront of developments in the field. Our department is internationally renowned for its innovative research on antiquity.

Why study Classics at Bristol?

The Department of Classics and Ancient History covers many areas of Graeco-Roman civilisation, from politics, poetry and philosophy to sculpture, architecture and archaeology.

Our classics degree combines an emphasis on traditional language skills, literature and historical understanding with an in-depth exploration of the continuing influence of Greek and Roman writing.

You will focus on Greek and Latin language and literature, gaining confidence in translating, understanding and discussing ancient texts. You will have the flexibility to explore further areas that interest you, such as topics in history, religion, art and archaeology. We encourage you to gain experience of the many different methods and approaches involved in the study of classics today.

Teaching methods include guided translation classes, lectures, small-group seminars and a research project. These will allow you to develop valuable transferable skills in critical thinking, formal and informal writing, discussion and presentation.

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course will suit those who are fascinated by the literature and languages of ancient Greece and Rome and want to focus on reading ancient texts in their original language.

You should enjoy working closely with written material and discussing literature and be eager to develop new skills for analysing old and new texts. You should also be interested in ancient cultures and how they have been received by later writers, thinkers and artists.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching methods for this course include guided translation classes, lectures, large- and small-group seminars and personal consultations. These will allow you to develop valuable transferable skills in conducting research, formal and informal writing, discussion and oral presentation.

Assessment is primarily by coursework, including 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, with a member of staff acting as adviser.

What are my career prospects?

The skills you will gain in critical thinking, persuasive writing and self expression 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, commerce and teaching.

A significant number go on to postgraduate study in classics and 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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