Classical Studies MA (Hons) 2021 entry
The MA (Hons) in Classical Studies is a degree of remarkable range and depth. It includes not only the study of Greek and Roman literature but also the social and cultural history of the classical world, its philosophy, religion and art, and the reception of Greek and Roman culture in the modern world. Classical studies at St Andrews will allow you to discover and debate – among many other things – the power of Greek tragedy, the imposing beauty of Roman sculpture and the twists and turns of Platonic dialogue. The course encourages new ways of seeing both the classical world and the world of today.
All classical texts are studied in English translation. There is no requirement for ancient languages. There are opportunities to learn both Latin and Greek at beginner’s or more advanced levels and to take them further if you wish to. You will also be able to supplement your classical studies courses with complementary subjects such as ancient history, archaeology, and ancient philosophy.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
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.
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?
No prior knowledge of classical studies is necessary.
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.
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, through the Roman Republic and Empire, to Late Antiquity, and in Greek and Latin literature from archaic Greece to the Later Roman Empire. The School also has expertise in the reception of classics, that is, the study of later engagements with Greek and Roman culture and history from the Renaissance to the modern day.
The School of Classics was ranked first in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2021 and first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2021 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for 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.
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.
Find out more about classical studies at St Andrews.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in classical studies alongside modules in at least one other subject. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
The classical studies programme is very flexible and can incorporate modules in Ancient History, Latin and Greek alongside or even in place of specialist classical studies modules (though there are some minimum requirements), so that you can pursue your interests in the Greeks and Romans wherever they lead.
In the first year, most students take:
- Myth and Community in Ancient Greek Literature and Culture: explores some of the most dynamic literary and artistic achievements of archaic and classical Greek culture, from Homeric epic to Athenian tragedy, comedy and philosophy.
- Images of Augustan Rome: studies the works of art and literature that were produced during the lifetime of the first emperor of Rome, Augustus, and that react in different ways to the new regime that he established.
You can also choose from first-year modules in Ancient History, Greek and Latin.
In the second year, most students take:
- 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.
- Early Greek Poetry and Philosophy: early Greece was an era of beautiful poetry, cutting-edge philosophy and daring social experiment. This module 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.
You can also choose from modules in Ancient History, Greek and Latin.
If you decide to take classical studies in your third and fourth years, you will choose further modules for more advanced study of ancient texts, discourses and images.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:
- After Virgil: The Aeneid and its Reception
- Animals in Greco-Roman Antiquity
- Art of the Roman Empire
- Classics for the Modern World: interventions and applications
- Gender and Sexuality in Greek Literature
- Greek Painted Pottery
- Greek Theatre
- Modern Classics: Classics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
- Pleasure, Goodness and Happiness: Hellenistic Ethics
- Religions of the Greeks
- Roman Praise
- Travel and Marvels in the Graeco-Roman World
- Women in Ancient Societies.
In fourth year, students also 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.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Classical Studies as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following listed subjects.
"I enjoyed how broad the degree structure was in the first two years. I was able to enhance my knowledge of the ancient world with modules in Ancient History, Biblical Studies and Hebrew. The St Andrews experience is truly unique and I cannot imagine anywhere else that balances such a strong community with top-tier academics so well."
Joel (Herefordshire, England)