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Department course units - Classics

All University of London undergraduate degree courses are organised by course units. This means that the work for each course is completed and examined in the year in which it is taught.

Each course is valued at half a unit, one whole unit, or two whole units. Each year's work (full-time) consists of the equivalent of four whole units with a three-year degree course consisting of twelve course units. Part-time students take two units a year and complete the BA in six years. Certain courses may not be taken unless a previous unit has been passed, while others are introductory first‑year courses, and others again may only be taken in the second and third years. Joint Honours students take the equivalent of two units each year in this department, and two in the other.



Our students talk about the second/third year 'Gender in Classical Antiquity' course

Visit Pompeii


Classics students talk about studying archaeology and their field trip to Pompeii



Hear our students' thoughts on their final year dissertation

The first year is designed to provide a broadly-based introduction to the study of the ancient world. Second- and third-year courses enable you to study particular areas in greater depth, while the dissertation and special subjects at third-year level encourage you to work independently on topics of your own choice.

Not all courses are available every year.

Course Units for Classics, Classical Studies, Ancient History

All first-year courses other than language courses are half-units. Most of our students take six of these half-units, normally three in each term. They are all designed as introductions to a wide range of classical topics, assume no previous knowledge, and as a basis for further study.

At present the following are available:

  • 1530 Introduction to Greek Literature
  • 1531 Introduction to Roman Literature
  • 1541 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
  • 1550 Greek History and the City-state
  • 1560 Roman History and Society: the Julio-Claudians
  • 1562 The Birth of Christian Europe (not available 2002/3)
  • 1580 Introduction to Greek Archaeology
  • 1581 Introduction to Roman Art
  • 1582 Materials and Methods in Classical Archaeology

All second- and third-year courses are 1 unit unless otherwise stated.

Courses numbered 2*** (except 2200) are open to both second- and third-year students; courses numbered 3*** are open to third-year students only.


Group A: Language-Testing Author Courses

Note: The Language Courses listed below also count as Group A for 2nd/3rd Year.

The courses to be taught will be chosen by agreement with students wishing to take these options.

  • 2810 Homer
  • 2812 The Tragedy of Euripides
  • 2813 Greek Comedy
  • 2814 Herodotus
  • 2815 Plato
  • 2821 Cicero
  • 2823 Lucretius and Virgil
  • 2825 Roman Historiography
  • 2826 Roman Satire


Group B: Literature Courses

Note: These courses are taught in translation.

  • 2436 Homer
  • 2438 Virgil
  • 2443 Ovid
  • 2442 Greek Drama
  • 2444 Studying Ancient Myth
  • 3430 Ancient Literary Criticism (Special Subject: 2 units) (can count for Group D)
  • 3431 Roman Drama
  • 3437 Greek Literature under the Roman Empire (Special Subject: 2 units)
  • 3460-1 Culture and Identity from Nero to Hadrian (Special Subject: 2 units) (can count for Group C)


Group C: History Courses

Note: These courses are taught in translation.

  • 2350 Gender in Classical Antiquity (can count for Group B)
  • 2352 Greek History to 322 B.C.
  • 2353 Greek Law and Lawcourts
  • *2355 Periclean Athens
  • 2361 Egypt in the Roman Empire
  • 2364 Roman Britain (can count for Group E)
  • 3357-8 Roman Army (Special Subject: 2 units)
  • 3361-2 The City from Augustus to Charlemagne (Special Subject: 2 units)


Group D: Philosophy Courses

Note: These courses are taught in translation.

  • *2652 The Philosophy of Aristotle
  • *2653 The Dialogues of Plato
  • *2661 Stoics, Epicureans & Sceptics
  • 2663 Logic and Rhetoric
  • *3662 Neoplatonism & Christianity


Group E: Classical Archaeology Courses

  • 2190 The Built Environment in Classical Antiquity
  • 2191 Greek and Roman Art in Context
  • 2193 Near Eastern Art and Archaeology
  • 2194 Archaeology of the Black Sea
  • 3182–3 Pompeii (Special Subject: 2 units)
  • 3184–5 Athens and Attica (Special Subject: 2 units) (can count for Groups B or C)
  • 3192 The Greeks Overseas (can count for Group C)


Group F: Research Courses

Note: These courses count for the relevant Group A to E.

  • 2200 Special Topics (2nd year only)
  • 3200 Extended Essay (3rd year only; prerequisite: 2200)


Group G: One course from another degree

Note: All courses selected from another degree are subject to departmental approval.

Study of Latin and/or Greek is, of course, the core of our Honours programmes in Classics, Latin and Greek. An an element of basic language study is also warmly encouraged as an option in our Single Honours degrees in Classical Studies, Ancient History and Classical Archaeology.You do not need any previous experience of studying these languages and ee cater for beginners from all backgrounds. Everyone is carefully placed in courses that suit their level.



Beginners' Latin is a first-year course, taken by most of our students. We use our own coursebook "Veni Vide Vince", designed specially for adult learners. The course provides experience of Latin tailored to suit the needs of Classical Studies and Ancient History students, by studying both literary and inscriptional material. Even if you have never learnt a foreign language before, with the help of a dictionary, you should be able by the end of the course to work out the meaning of any simple Latin passage.


Designed for students starting another language in the second year (but may be taken by appropriately qualified students in other years). Typically, students who wished to start both languages would take Beginners' Latin in the first year, followed by Intensive Greek in the second.


Follow on from Beginners/Intensive. Appropriate for first-years with a GCSE in the language.

Language & Reading

Language & Reading Courses follow on still further, developing detailed study of texts in the original. Students who arrive with A levels in the languages may start with this level before proceeding to specific, author-based courses in the original languages.


Composition in both Latin and Greek prose and verse may be studied as third-year options.

Available language courses (normally available every year)

Note: These courses count as Group A for students on the Q810 Classical Studies programme in their 2nd/3rd year.

  • 1705 Beginners Greek
  • 1715 Intermediate Greek (prerequisite 2705 or O-level/GCSE)
  • 1726 Greek Language and Reading (prerequisite 1715 or A/AS level)
  • 2705 Intensive Greek
  • 3740 Greek Prose Composition (prerequisite 1715 or 1726)
  • 3741 Greek Verse Composition (prerequisite 1715 or 1726)
  • 1755 Beginners Latin
  • 1765 Intermediate Latin (prerequisite 1755/2755 or O-level/GCSE)
  • 1776 Latin Language and Reading (prerequisite 1765 or A/AS level)
  • 2755 Intensive Latin
  • 3790 Latin Prose Composition (prerequisite 1765 or 1776)
  • 3791 Latin Verse Composition (prerequisite 1765 or 1776)


*Units marked with an asterisk are taught wholly or in part in central London.





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