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Classics BA

UCAS code Q800
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Classics »

This course is perfect if you have a knowledge and love of either Latin or Greek and want to add that second ancient language to your repertoire, while learning more about the classical world through the study of texts in the original as well as artefacts, ideas and past-deeds.

Enrol on BA Classics at Royal Holloway and you will spend at least half your time studying Latin and Greek, reading texts in the original words of the author. The remainder of your time will be spent understanding the minds, hearts and actions of the ancient Romans and Greeks through the study of ancient philosophy, history, classical archaeology as well as Latin and Greek literature in translation.

As a Classicist you will be part of our Classics Department, where the quality of research that informs our teaching and a friendly, individual approach which shapes the way we guide our students combine to create an unbeaten academic experience.

  • A centre for excellence in both teaching and research, 98% of our research is recognized as world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognized (REF 2014).
  • Top in the UK for overall student satisfaction, scoring 100% in The National Student Survey of 2015.
  • A thriving Classics Society that contributes to the friendly and sociable atmosphere of our department.
  • A vibrant, stimulating environment in which to learn, producing graduates with an outstanding record for employment or further study. 

Core modules

Year 1

All modules are optional

Year 2

All modules are optional

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Greek Literature

Roman Literature of The Republic

Individual and Community

Greek History and the City State

Key Themes in Roman History

Introduction to Greek Archaeology

Introduction to Roman Archaeology

Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

Year 2

The Built Environment in Classical Antiquity

Pompeii and Herculaneum

Gender in Classical Antiquity

Greek History to 322 BC

Greek Law and Lawcourts

Augustus: Propaganda and Power

The Roman Republic - A Social and Economic History

The Rise of the Roman Empire: An Economic and Social History

Homer (in Translation)

Virgil (in Translation)

Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Art and Power in Augustan Rome

Perspectives on Roman Britain

Virgil’s Aeneid - The Empire in the Literary Imagination

Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 1

The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy

Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

Hellenistic Epic - Apollonius of Rhodes

Imperial Greek Poetry - Epic and Epigram

Catullus and Horace

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

The Roman Empire from Augustus to Commodus

The Later Roman Empire

Year 3

Greek Erotic Poetry (in Greek)

Hadrian's Wall

Archaeology of Athens and Attica

Roman Oratory

Gender in Classical Antiquity

Alexander the Great

Greek Law and Lawcourts

Roman Army

The City From Augustus to Charlemagne

Religion and the Ancient Greeks

Greek Lyric, Eros and Social Order

Nature and the Supernatural in Latin Literature

Ancient Greek Emotions

Tacitus - The Making of History

Perspectives on Roman Britain

The Philosophy of Aristotle

Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 2

The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

Philosophy Under the Roman Empire

Further Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

Christians and Pagans from Constantine to Augustine (AD 306 to 430)

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four whole units per year. Two units per year must be either Latin and Greek language units or units studying Latin and/or Greek literature in the original language. The remaining units are elective, thereby offering flexibility and choice.

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials, depending on the subjects studied. Outside classes, you will undertake group projects and wide-ranging but guided independent study, including completing language exercises and reading prescribed and open material. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

In your final year the Classics department provides ongoing support for your dissertation work, which usually includes:

  • Lectures and practical sessions on Dissertation Research Methods e.g. planning your topics, carrying out research, using specialist resources, finding information in print and online, and managing your search results and references. These sessions are run in conjunction with the Library Service and are generally also open to second year students.
  • Short departmental writing ‘surgeries’, in which academic staff offer general writing support if you are experiencing problems and/or if you have specific queries.

Assessment takes place by a combination of ongoing language tests, written assignments for non-linguistic course units and end of year exams.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels AAB-ABB 

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic
     achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is 
    being taken
Required/preferred subjects

Required subjects: 

  • Latin or Greek A level grade B or grade A GCSE if not taken to A level and at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English 

 Preferred subjects: any Arts or Humanities A levels

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including 5 at Standard Level Latin or Greek with a minimum of 32 points overall    
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject PLUS GCSE grade A in Greek or Latin, or AS/A-level in Greek or Latin grade B   
BTEC National Extended Diploma DD in a related subject and A-Level grade B PLUS GCSE grade A in  Greek or Latin, or AS/A-level in Greek or Latin grade B 
BTEC National Extended Certificate D and A-Levels grade BB PLUS GCSE grade A Greek or Latin, or AS/A-Level in Greek or Latin grade B 
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
Scottish Advanced Highers AB plus AABBB at Higher Level including B in Greek or Latin   
Scottish Highers

AABBB including B in Greek or Latin plus AB at Advanced Higher Level   

Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H3 in either Greek or Latin at Higher Level   
Access to Higher Education Diploma  Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit in a relevant subject area, PLUS GCSE grade A Greek or Latin, or AS/A-Level  in Greek or Latin grade B. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

 IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

  • For equivalencies please see here

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Studying Classics involves analysing the cultural, social and political context of the ancient world. By choosing to study this intellectually demanding discipline you will develop a broad range of skills which are highly prized by employers, including:

  • the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
  • the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise content
  • time management and the discipline to meet deadlines
  • organisation and research skills
  • problem-solving skills and capability

Being able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing is why many Royal Holloway classicists become employed in law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers like Channel 4, multinational law firm SJ Berwin, The Guildhall (City of London), accountancy firm KPMG, the Natural History Museum, Customs and Immigration, London Advertising, Broadstone Pensions and Investments and the Armed Forces have all recently recruited Royal Holloway alumni from the Department of Classics. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £14,000

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees 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.

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