Ancient History & Archaeology MA (Hons) 2020 entry
The MA (Hons) in Ancient History & Archaeology explores the civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean through the evidence of their material remains. The course ranges across the whole of the ancient Mediterranean and deals with a period stretching from the early first millennium BCE to Late Antiquity. The Greeks and Romans are the main focus of the course, but there are opportunities to study the lives of their neighbours too, including peoples such as the Persians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Etruscans. This degree will take you to the heart of key debates on all areas of life in the ancient Mediterranean, including urbanism, religion, trade, warfare, colonisation, ecology and cultural identity.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 7 September 2020
- End date: 30 June 2024
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAA
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
You do not need previous knowledge of Archaeology or Ancient History to apply.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of Classics at St Andrews has an international reputation for the diversity of teaching programmes offered. The School has expertise in history and archaeology from the archaic Greek period to Late Antiquity, literature from the Greek classical and imperial periods to the Later Roman Empire, including the Greek literature of the Roman Empire, and later engagement with the Classics from the Renaissance to the modern day.
The School of Classics was ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2020 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.
The School was ranked best in Scotland and second in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the quality and impact of its research.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2019 as 95% of St Andrews final year students were satisfied with the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), there are no separate modules in Archaeology at this level, and Archaeology is taught as an integral part of approaches to understanding ancient and medieval societies. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- The Greeks in a Wider World: surveys Greek history from the origins of the Greek city-states in the Archaic period (ca. 800 BCE), through the heyday of Athens’ empire and democracy in the fifth century and the struggle for supremacy among the Greek cities in the fourth, to Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire. Alongside political and military history, the module tackles topics such as religious belief, sexuality, and Greek interactions with other peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world.
- Rome and the Mediterranean: traces Rome’s trajectory from a small settlement in central Italy to the centre of a Mediterranean empire. The module examines a wide range of topics, including politics, the family, religion, slavery, poverty and the economy. It exposes the links between the growth of Rome’s power abroad and the transformation and eventual collapse of its Republican government at home.
You will take the following second-year Ancient History modules, but may take second-year Classical Studies modules instead:
- The Roman Empire: explores the complex history of the Roman Empire from Augustus to Late Antiquity, an empire which, for the first and last time, united the whole Mediterranean and its diverse hinterlands. The history and archaeology of the empire are studied through the themes such as power, society, cultures, soldiers, cities, economies, and religions. How did an ever-changing imperial monarchy oversee a relatively stable, slave-owning domain? What powers of coercion and persuasion did Rome exert? How was Rome and its empire culturally transformed over the centuries?
- Mediterranean Communities: examines the history and archaeology of human settlement in the Mediterranean world throughout the whole of classical antiquity. In the course of the first millennium BCE and the first half of the first millennium CE (ca. 1000 BCE to 500 CE), the Mediterranean was transformed from a world of tiny peasant and tribal communities to a world of complexly connected cities, states and empires. This module brings together themes of ecology, economy, urbanism, networks and the state to ask big questions about how and why classical civilisation emerged when and where it did.
If you decide to take Ancient History & Archaeology in your third and fourth years, you will take the following compulsory third-year module:
- Principles and Techniques in Archaeology: provides an induction to the practical conduct of archaeology and how it affects the results of excavations and surveys, and an in-depth introduction to key archaeological topics and theories.
You will then choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate archaeology into the study of ancient civilisations and cultures, focusing on topics such as cities and urbanisation, networks, ancient art and sculpture, and the Bronze Age civilisations of the Aegean.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:
- Archaeological Methods
- Art of the Roman Empire
- Cities and Urban Life in Late Antiquity (300-700 CE)
- From Pompeii to Aquileia: The Archaeology of Roman Italy (50 BCE – 300 CE)
- Greek Painted Pottery
- In the Footsteps of the Ancients: Exploring the Archaeology and Topography of Greece
- The Archaeology of Roman Britain
- The Ancient City of Rome
- The Roman Army.
In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of about 10,000 words on an approved topic in Archaeology. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.
You can take Ancient History & Archaeology alongside the following subject:
- Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology