Stephen Mitchell

The British Academy sponsors a group of overseas institutes and societies, which promote archaeology and related subjects in several countries and regions in the Mediterranean, the Near East, East Africa, and SE Asia. Their web-sites can all be accessed conveniently through the British Academy at This digest of information most likely to be of direct interest to university-based Classicists (staff, postgraduates, undergraduates) has been compiled directly from the web-sites of the Institutes, where the details may be checked.

The schools sponsor lectures, colloquia and other activities in the UK, provide funding and logistical support for archaeological projects overseas, and offer a range of scholarships, grants and travel awards for researchers at levels ranging from undergraduates to senior and established scholars.

Each of the schools and institutes publishes its own journal and other publications, and offers reduced subscription rates for students. All of them offer some form of residential or hostel accommodation, although this is for the most part designed for their own scholars and award holders, and others engaged on specific research projects. Each has its own library, and the collections in Rome, Athens and Ankara are notably strong and designed to support advanced research needs. All the libraries have good coverage of local archaeological and historical literature, which is not easily available outside the host country. The schools also house reference collections of archaeological and historical materials, which are accessible to researchers. Details of these are available on the web sites.

The Schools mount archaeological research projects (usually surveys or excavations) directed by their own staff. They also operate as the umbrella bodies, under which other UK-based research activity in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Jordan takes place. Any student or scholar who intends to undertake archaeological research in these countries should contact the schools at an early stage for guidance and advice.

Study courses

Although they are not formally part of the UK University system, the Schools at Athens and Rome offer courses designed for UK undergraduates and postgraduates. Participants on these programmes need to be sure that their home universities recognise the course and will allow appropriate credit to fulfil the requirements of their modular degree programmes.

The School at Athens organises a three-week course for undergraduates on 'The Archaeology and Topography of Greece'. The programme includes lectures, excursions to major sites in the Peloponnese and central Greece and visits to museums. Limited financial assistance is available to participants in cases of need.

In alternate years the Athens School offers a two-week course for teachers of classics and classical civilisation in British schools in association with JACT. This comprises a series of lectures, seminars and excursions to major sites and museums relating to a specific topic of classical antiquity. The next course is scheduled for 2003.

In the other alternate years the School offers a 10-week course for postgraduate students. The subject is the history and archaeology of Athens and Attica. This is next due to run in 2004. Most universities will recognise the tuition for this course as equivalent to part of an MA programme in ancient history or classical archaeology.

The School at Rome offers an 'Ancient Rome' Undergraduate Summer School. This annual 12-day course is intended for undergraduates studying classics, ancient history, classical archaeology and related subjects. It offers an intensive programme of visits to the sites, monuments and museums of ancient Rome and its vicinity, with a series of evening lectures. The aim is to provide a stimulating introduction to the topography of the city, its architecture and art, the latest discoveries and new developments in archaeological approaches. Course fee (excluding travel to Rome): £500. Bursaries are available.

The Rome School also runs the 'City of Rome' Postgraduate Programme. This is an annual 8-week course for postgraduates at Masters or early Doctoral level studying classical archaeology, art history, ancient history (both Greek and Roman) and the transformation of antiquity in the middle ages and the modern period. It is designed to be equivalent to one quarter of one year's full-time postgraduate MA course. The course tutorial fee (normally paid via fee transfer from student's university) is £701.25. Course residential fee: approx. £850 for shared room. Fees exclude travel to Rome.

The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara hosts an undergraduate field course for students of prehistoric archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, run by the BIAA's former director, Dr Roger Matthews. Similar programmes at postgraduate level are under discussion between the current director, Dr Hugh Elton, and departments at the universities of Bristol, Exeter, and Liverpool.

Travel and study grants for students

The School at Athens has an extensive range of bursary schemes aimed at postgraduate and postdoctoral funding, including two specifically designed for Greek nationals. Most of these are aimed to support designated research projects, and are not appropriate for general archaeological travel.

The School at Rome administers a scheme of Rome Awards and Scholarships for research on the archaeology, art history, history and literature of Italy, from prehistory to the modern period. These are designed both for established scholars and researchers without an academic post. Applicants will normally have begun a programme of research in the general field for which the Award is being sought, whether or not registered for a higher degree.

The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara offers a number of annual travel and study grants for postgraduate (and in some cases final-year undergraduate students) to enable them to visit sites and museums in the country, undertake small-scale research projects and use the Institute's excellent library and study collections. A new project, located in the Institute, is the British Academy Black Sea Initiative. If funding continues this may be able to support small and medium scale proposals for work in the entire Black Sea region.

The Council for British Research in the Levant, based in Amman but covering work in the whole Near East, supports individual scholars as well as projects. Travel grants are also available to help students conduct smaller research projects in the region. Applications are invited from either British citizens or those ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.

Contact addresses

In addition to the Schools and Institutes based in Rome, Athens, Ankara and Amman, the British Academy also oversees the activities of several other societies whose work may be direct or indirect interest to Classicists, Ancient Historians and Classical Archaeologists. These include the Egypt Exploration Society, the Society for Libyan Studies, and the British institute of Persian Studies. Details are available through the British Academy web-site.

Stephen Mitchell

University of Exeter

CUCD Bulletin 31 (2002)
© Stephen Mitchell 2002

Bulletin ContentsCUCD HomeRoyal Holloway Classics Dept