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 socio-cultural 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 have 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 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 sought 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
This course draws on the department’s Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome, and the thriving and internationally recognised research and teaching expertise of the Classics department. The Centre brings together the department’s wide range of research expertise on areas as wide as political and literary philosophy, urbanism, literary receptions, science fictions, and popular culture.
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 world-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.
This module, delivered in the autumn term, will introduce you to a broad range of approaches to the field of classical reception, one of the most dynamic, influential fields in the discipline of Classics. The module is organised into three, broad interrelated strands that draw on the expertise of staff and the interests of students. Individual taught 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.
You will produce a dissertation of 30,000 – 35,000 words as the principal component of this MRes. Students are supported by a series of workshops in the autumn, spring and summer terms which provide key skills and guidance in developing the dissertation topic, gathering research materials, presenting work, preparing the text of the dissertation and so on. During the spring and summer term, you will meet with your individual supervisor on a regular basis to discuss progress, submit work and develop your ideas. You will work on drafting and refining your dissertation over the year until submitting it in September.
All modules are core
Teaching & assessment
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.
A successful applicant 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.
Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in relevant subjects but we will consider a high 2:2 or relevant work experience. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area may be considered. Where a ‘high 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
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.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £
International students tuition fee per year**: £
Other essential costs***: None, but should you decide to take modules which are delivered in Central London, travel will be required.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the programme via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** 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, have not been included.