If you are curious about how modern life has been shaped by ancient Greece and Rome and are looking to advance your skills in literary, historical and archaeological analysis, then this course, taught in the Department of Classics by world-renowned experts, is for you.
The history and culture of the Classical world, its art, literature politics and culture has been passed down to us through generations of thinkers and its legacy has shaped modern thought and the way we live today. This Masters programme leads you to explore that legacy and to develop skills in research and methodology in this fascinating and growing field of intellectual history.
Intended either as a further year's study after a first degree or as training in the technical disciplines needed to undertake doctoral research, the course is structured so as to provide you with advanced training in research skills. Not only will you acquire a detailed understanding of the role the Classical world has played in shaping the modern era but you will develop skills that are much sort after outside of academia, specifically:
- the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
- the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise content
- organisation and research skills
- problem-solving skills and capability
- the ability to innovate and think creatively
Our Classics department has an excellent track record in producing publications that advance the understanding of the ancient world. A thriving and internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching, the department is home to two College Research Centres - Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome (CRGR) and the Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric (COR). The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome hosts a varied and world-leading body of research and research events in Classical Reception.
Research in the department covers the whole range of Classical Studies, from Homeric Greece to the very end of the Roman Empire with particular interests in language, literature, history, ancient philosophy as well as Greek and Roman archaeology. Of particular note, in relation to this course, is our departmental expertise in literary-theoretical, philosophical and political receptions of the Classical world.
A global leader in Masters provision, Royal Holloway gives you the opportunity to take part in one of the most extensive programmes of research seminars and training programmes offered by any institution. During your time with us you will be under the careful supervision of our academic staff with access to not only the Royal Holloway library but also the word-class resources of: the Institute of Classical Studies, the Warburg Institute, the British Library, Senate House Library, and other specialised libraries in the School of Advanced Study.
Making the Classical Past - Myth, Politics, Philosophy and Poetics
The study of the reception of Greco-Roman antiquity is one of the most dynamic, influential fields in the discipline of Classics. The legacies of ancient Greece and Rome have been passed down to us through generations of thinkers, writers, artists and scholars. They have shaped Western and non-Western thought right up to the modern era, and are shaped by it. This module introduces you to a range of approaches to the field and is organised in three broad, inter-related strands: the Reception of Myth; Empire and City; and Philosophy, Poetics and Form. Individual sessions explore topics such as the classical tradition, social and political theory, critical theory and thought, history and literature, gender, postcolonial theory, urban design and theory, aesthetics, popular culture, cinema, children’s literature, electronic media, visual studies and fine art, radical politics, intellectual history, philosophy and the history of ideas. The module guides you in exploring the legacies of the ancient world and helps you develop your critical and research skills, to understand methodology and the craft of academic writing.
The dissertation of 30,000 to 35,000 words is the principal component of the MA by Research in Classical Reception. A two-hour workshop for all students in the first half of Spring Term provides key skills and guidance in developing the dissertation topic, gathering research materials, presenting work, preparing the text of the dissertation etc, and a second two-hour workshop for all students at the beginning of Summer Term checks on progress and provide space for work-in-progress presentation of the topics by the students as well as feedback. During Spring and Summer Term, dissertation supervisors arrange periodic meeting with you every two to four weeks, as needed, to discuss progress, solve issues etc. You will submit a draft of the dissertation to you supervisor by the end of Summer Term for feedback; the summer vacation is then spent making improvements, amendments, and revisions.
Assessment is carried out through coursework and a dissertation.
Part-time students normally take taught elements in their first year and the dissertation in their second year with preparatory work in year one.
UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) or equivalent.
Candidates with relevant professional qualifications and work experience in an associated area will also be considered.
English language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores. For equivalencies see here.
International and EU entry requirements
Please select your country from the drop-down list below
Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.
A successful application will usually have the following qualities:
- an openness to new themes and current interpretations of the classics
- an understanding of and interest in the many and diverse ways in which the classical has influenced the modern
- an ability to relate disparate areas of study and work with different frameworks
Graduates of classical degrees have much to offer potential employers having developed a range of transferable skills, both practical and theoretical, whilst studying with us. With up to 90% of our most recent graduates now working or in further study, according to the Complete University Guide 2015, it’s true to say our graduates are highly employable.
In recent years, PhD graduates, many of whom have progressed from our MA programmes, have taken up academic positions at Oxford, Bristol and Roehampton Universities. Outside of academia, our graduates have embarked on teaching careers in the UK and overseas, undertaken archaeological and museum work and pursued careers in journalism, finance, politics and the arts.
Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £7,000
Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £14,500
Other essential costs**: None
Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.
*The tuition fees given above apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee and information is available from the Royal Holloway Student Fees Office on Student-Fees@rhul.ac.uk. All fees are likely to rise annually in line with inflation but no more than 5 per cent per year.
For further information, please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.
** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.