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Latin BA

UCAS code
Year of entry
Course length
3 years full time
Classics »

Do you love Latin? Are you a fan of Roman literature? Would you like to further your mastery of the language by studying original texts as well as the artefacts, ideas and past-deeds of ancient Rome? If so, then this course is for you.

You will have already studied classical Latin to A-level standard and are now looking to hone your expertise in the language and literature of ancient Rome. As one of only five universities in the UK to offer this course, studying at Royal Holloway will enable you to delve into a wide range of non-linguistic subjects too, including: classical archaeology and ancient philosophy as well as ancient history and classical literature in translation.

With half your time devoted to studying and reading Latin texts in the original, this course is designed to develop your Latin language skills beyond your advanced level. Over three years you’ll become a specialist in both the language and literature of the ancient Romans with the opportunity to add Greek into your skillset too. The remainder of your time will be spent studying subjects available to Classics and Classical Studies students to broaden your horizons into Roman politics, economics and gender issues.

As a student of Greek 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

Beginners' Latin

Intermediate Latin

Latin Language and Reading

Intensive Latin

Latin Prose Composition

Latin Verse Composition

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

Virgil’s Aeneid - The Empire in the Literary Imagination

Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

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

Tacitus - The Making of History

The Philosophy of Aristotle

Philosophy under the Roman Empire

Further Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

Advanced Latin

Christians and Pagans from Constantine to Augustine, 306 to 430 AD

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four units per year. The second year project unit and the third year dissertation are compulsory but all other the end of each year. Your final year dissertation will also count towards your degree award.

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.

Most modules contain an element of assessed coursework, such as an essay, presentation and/or assessed seminar participation marks, which contributes to the final examination mark awarded. The results of the first year exams qualify you to progress to the second year but do not contribute to your final degree award. The second and final year results do contribute to the final degree result, with the final year work counting double that of the second year.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 18% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 82% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 13% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 87% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 14% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 86% in guided independent study.


Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 77% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 23% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 60% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 40% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 45% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 55% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers

How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects
A level Latin at grade B or grade A or grade 7 GCSE if not taken at A level and at least five GCSE passes at grades A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 5,5,5 at Higher Level including 5 in Higher or Standard Level Latin with a minimum of 32 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject PLUS GCSE Latin grade A or grade 7, or AS/A-Level Latin grade B  
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject and A-Level grade B plus GCSE Latin grade A or grade 7, or AS/A-Level Latin grade B
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction and A-Levels graded B,B PLUS GCSE Latin grade A or grade 7, or AS/A-Level 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 ABB-BBB  including B in Latin 
Scottish Highers AABBB including grade B in Latin 
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H3 in Latin at Higher Level    
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit, PLUS GCSE grade A or grade 7 Latin, or AS/A-Level in 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 minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores

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.

Specifically, studying Latin takes discipline and application, develops analytical and verbal reasoning skills and promotes both the expansion and use of a rich and varied vocabulary. 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 both verbally and in writing
  • 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*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: There may be an option for participation in a field trip abroad which will incur extra cost of approximately £500.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates starting their degrees in 2018 is controlled by Government regulations, and details are not yet known. The UK Government has also announced that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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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