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Classical Studies BA (International Hons) 2021 entry

The BA (International Hons) in Classical Studies offers two pathways: Greek and Latin, or Ancient History and Archaeology. Both pathways allow you to explore the cultures of the Mediterranean world in great depth, from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity. You will also have the option to take courses from both pathways, giving you an all-round perspective on the Greek and Roman world. 

The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution. 

How to apply Register your interest

Key information

Course type

Bachelor of Arts (International Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 6 September 2021
  • End date: 30 June 2025

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

Admissions to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.

Find out more about Standard and Minimum entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

    • Standard entry grades: AAAAB
    • Minimum entry grades: AABB
    • Standard entry grades: AAA
    • Minimum entry grades: ABB
    • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6)
    • 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.

International applicants

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

You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply through the St Andrews direct application form or the Common Application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at William & Mary, you should apply through the William & Mary Common Application form.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of this subject is required.

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

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.

Timetables

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.

Course information

The BA (International Hons) in Classical Studies is a four-year course run jointly by the School of Classics at St Andrews and the Department of Classical Studies at the College of William & Mary. 

You will study for two years at both St Andrews and William & Mary, spending the first year of the programme at one institution and the second year at the other. You will then be able to choose where you wish to spend your third and fourth years of study and graduate from either university.

You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year.

What you will study

If you study a BA (International Honours) in Classical Studies, you will choose between two pathways: Greek and Latin, or Ancient History and Archaeology.

If you choose the Greek and Latin pathway, you will be able to take both Greek and Latin at complete beginners' level or at more advanced level if you have substantial previous experience.

If you choose the Ancient History and Archaeology pathway, you will be introduced to, and given advanced training in, the history and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean world. 

The BA (International Honours) is a single Honours degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects offered by both institutions. Find out more about the St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree.

Find out more about classical studies at St Andrews.

The coat of arms for the BA (International Honours) programme which features crossed keys, gold diamonds, a rising sun, an open book, a griffin, and a lion rampant
The BA International Honours coat of arms represents each university's unique heraldry and symbols. Find out more about the coat of arms.

About the BA (International Honours) programme

The BA (International Honours) is a four-year undergraduate degree that combines the best of the Scottish and American educational experience.

This programme offers an impressive range of modules that students can take without losing the depth of focus by following either a language or ancient history and archaeology pathway.

Working together, the classics departments from both universities offer a unique range of modules. For example, students are able to pursue coursework in Etruscan archaeology and Egyptology (at William & Mary) as well as modules in Late Antique and Bronze Age archaeology (at St Andrews): this unusual combination of modules is hard to find in any single department. The programme also provides Greek and Latin language students with a more flexible degree, one which can be tailored to your level of study between the two institutions. 

Undertaking a classics degree in both campuses will also allow students a wider range of postgraduate opportunities in North America and the United Kingdom. As a student on the programme, you will have the unique advantage of knowing the UK and US systems well should you wish to make postgraduate applications.

Modules

Students studying the Classical Studies BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.

The following modules are those offered at St Andrews. Find out more about module requirements at William & Mary.

Ancient History and Archaeology pathway

Students on the Ancient History and Archaeology pathway who spend their first year at St Andrews must take the following 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, to Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire. Alongside political and military history, the module tackles topics such as religious belief, slavery, 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 and the rise of the first emperor, Augustus.

Students on this pathway are strongly encouraged to take two modules of Latin or Greek alongside Ancient History in their first year. 

Greek and Latin pathway

Students on the Greek and Latin pathway who spend their first year at St Andrews must choose one of the following Latin or Greek module pathways:

  • Elementary Latin 1 and 2: provides an introduction to the Latin language for beginners, concentrating on morphology, vocabulary, and basic syntax.
  • World of Latin 1 and 2 (only available to students who have studied Latin to SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent): enhances understanding of Latin language and literature through study of both verse and prose set texts and regular language classes.
  • Greek Language for Beginners and Greek Literature for Beginners: provides a thorough grounding in the Greek language for beginners or near beginners, and prepares students for the challenge of reading and interpreting Greek literature.
  • Greek Language and Literature 1 and Greek Pastoral and Passion (only available to students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent): involves detailed study of a range of set texts as well as linguistic and translation exercises designed to enhance students' knowledge of Greek and confidence in reading Greek literature in its historical and cultural context.

Ancient History and Archaeology pathway

Students on the Ancient History and Archaeology pathway who spend their second year at St Andrews must choose two of the following compulsory modules:

  • 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 themes such as power, society, cultures, the army and the frontiers, cities, economies, and religions.
  • Mediterranean Communities: examines the history and archaeology of human settlement in the Mediterranean world throughout the whole of classical antiquity. From around 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.
  • Early Greek Poetry and Philosophy: studies the earliest phases of the Greek literary and philosophical tradition in the archaic and early classical Greek world. It explores the diversity of early Greek thought through the poetry and philosophy of the period, and explores themes of conflict, justice, love and the relationship between mortals and gods.
  • Culture and Thought in the Late Roman Republic: studies the art and literature of Rome in the Late Republic (first century BCE). Key literary texts, such as the passionate poetry of Catullus and the stylish rhetoric of Cicero, are set against the broader backdrop of Roman political, cultural and social life in this turbulent period of civil war and dictatorship.

Students on the Ancient History and Archaeology pathway are also strongly encouraged to take two modules in either Latin or Greek in their second year.

Greek and Latin pathway

Students on the Greek and Latin pathway who spend their second year at St Andrews continue their exploration of Greek and Latin language and literature by choosing one of the following Latin or Greek module pathways:

  • Latin in Progress 1 and 2: examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Republican and Imperial periods, and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes.
  • Latin Language and Literature 1 and 2 (only available to students who have studied Latin to SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent): builds on 'World of Latin 1 and 2'; examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Republican period and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes.
  • The Landscape of Greek Prose (B) and Poetry (B): examines a wide range of Greek prose texts and ancient poetry, and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes.
  • The Landscape of Greek Prose (A) and Poetry (A) (only available to students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent): examines a wide range of Greek prose texts and ancient poetry, and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes.

Students will spend either their third or fourth year in St Andrews. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of advanced options.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered at St Andrews in previous years:

Ancient History and Archaeology

  • From Pompeii to Aquileia: The Archaeology of Roman Italy (50 BCE – 300 CE)
  • In the Footsteps of the Ancients: Exploring the Archaeology and Topography of Greece
  • The Art of the Roman Empire
  • Greek Painted Pottery
  • Magic in the Greco-Roman World
  • Eight Scenes from the Life of Alexander the Great
  • Greek Tyranny
  • Persia and the Greeks
  • Religious Communities in the Late Antique World

Greek and Latin

  • Greek Tragedy
  • ‘Satire’, Sex and Society: Greek ‘Old Comedy’
  • The History of Ancient Greek from Homer to the New Testament.
  • The Gods of Greek Literature
  • Lies, History and Ideology
  • Roman Satire
  • Latin Oratory
  • Floating Words: Anonymous Writing in Ancient Rome
  • The Art of Translation: Ovid in English
  • Roman Epic

If at St Andrews for fourth year, students will have the opportunity to undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. 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 appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.

Teaching

Teaching format

Students who are at St Andrews for their first or second year will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, language classes and set-text reading classes.

In third or fourth year, all teaching is delivered through seminars (10 to 20 students), with a strong emphasis on students’ own contributions in informal class discussion and in group or individual presentations.

In addition to these classes, students at St Andrews are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:

  • reading Greek or Latin texts
  • practising language and translation skills
  • reading ancient source material in translation
  • reading journal articles and books
  • undertaking research in the library
  • working on individual projects
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

At St Andrews, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Greek, Latin, ancient history and archaeology. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of classes and seminars under the supervision of the module coordinator. 

You can find contact information for all classical studies staff on the School of Classics website.

In addition to your studies in the School, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page

Assessment

Modules in classical studies at St Andrews are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written exams. Coursework includes:

  • research essays
  • literary criticism and commentary exercises
  • class tests, including unseen translation and grammar exercises
  • source analysis
  • analysis of ancient sites and material evidence
  • learning diaries
  • oral presentations.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students.

Virtual visiting days

Undergraduates

Our spring 2021 visiting days have now passed. Dates for our Autumn 2021 visiting days will be available in early summer.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2021 entry

Fees for this programme will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Accommodation fees 

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation. 

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Careers

The Classical Studies BA (International Hons) provides international experience which will make students more competitive in a globalised job market. Students in Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology commonly pursue careers outside of the subject focus, including:

  • cultural resource management
  • foreign service
  • journalism
  • law
  • politics.

A Classics degree is highly valued for the skills that are built in critical thinking, research and broad understanding of the past.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills. 

Student life

Students are fully involved in student life at both universities. Find out more about the student experience at William & Mary.

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Classical studies students may be interested in joining the following student societies:

The School of Classics is housed in Swallowgate, an attractive building which overlooks the sea and is close to the University Library and main quadrangle. Students will attend tutorials, seminars and individual meetings with tutors in this building, while lectures are held nearby in St Salvator’s quadrangle.

The Swallowgate building also houses the School of Classics’ Class Library. The Class Library contains books that supplement the extensive holdings in the main Library and closely support the School’s undergraduate programmes.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings, parks and beaches, providing a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. Find out more about the town of St Andrews.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

Admissions
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2150
Email: admissions@st-andrews.ac.uk

BA International Honours

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).