Classics (MLitt) 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

The MLitt in Classics is an intensive taught programme, designed primarily as preparation for further research. The course allows you to specialise in a wide range of areas, including: Greek or Latin literature, ancient history, classical archaeology, reception studies, and ancient philosophy.

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2025
One year full time
School of Classics

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

“The University has a phenomenally supportive and inclusive postgraduate community that is dedicated to both academic and personal growth. There is a great balance between a rigorous and diverse curriculum, and a real sense of camaraderie and a passion for the subject by both students and lecturers. ”
Katrina Bolman (photo by Christian Wiggins)
- Texas, USA

Entry requirements

The minimum requirements for entry to the MLitt in Classics are a first-class or high 2.1 degree or equivalent. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

In reviewing applications for the MLitt, the School of Classics looks especially at:

  • your statement of your plans for the MLitt and for future study or careers
  • your academic background and level of performance (especially in courses relevant to the MLitt, and in any research projects or dissertations that you may have completed)
  • evidence of your ability to complete a high-level MLitt dissertation and of potential to progress to further research degrees (particularly evidenced by your sample of written work)
  • whether St Andrews is a good match for your specialist interests. The MLitt Convenor is happy to be contacted and, if necessary, to set up a meeting in person or virtually so that you can discuss your plans and to ensure that St Andrews is the best place for you to pursue a Masters degree.

If you have any queries concerning the programme or your suitability for it, you are encouraged to make contact in advance of your application.

Non-native English speakers must also demonstrate English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV 
  • letter of intent, including: 
    • why you wish to study for an MLitt in Classics at St Andrews 
    • your suitability for the programme 
    • the areas that you are keen to specialise in 
    • possible areas for dissertation study (the School does not expect clearly worked-out proposals, or even that you have identified a single area for your research project, just an indication of your particular areas of interest) 
    • any future plans for further research or careers beyond the MLitt (not essential, but you may wish to include some detail on that if it explains your motivation for applying). 
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (between 2,000 and 5,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates 

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.  See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MLitt in Classics is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Classics. If you are interested in part-time study, you should contact the School's Director of Postgraduate Teaching by emailing in the first instance to request approval. 

The course embraces the study of all aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman world including Greek and Latin literary culture, ancient history, archaeology, classical philosophy, and the reception of antiquity in later periods. 


  • A unique and intensive core course, including training in the use of literary sources and material evidence and exposure to a range of theoretical approaches and key themes in the study of antiquity. 
  • A range of optional modules, including Greek and Roman literary cultures, material cultures, and ancient philosophy.
  • Training in practical research and transferable professional skills (e.g. presentation skills, digital humanities, outreach and public engagement). 
  • Provides a wide foundation in key debates in the study of antiquity. 
  • Offers the opportunity to focus on a wide range of specialist areas, with one-to-one supervision from leading researchers. 
  • Allows students to develop their skills in Greek or Latin or to begin ancient languages from scratch, and to develop reading skills in a relevant modern language. 


The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

  • Themes and Methods in Classical Research 1: focuses on the sources for the study of the classical world, how to access them (that is, the resources available for classical research), and how to use this material sensitively and appropriately. 
  • Themes and Methods in Classical Research 2: a series of seminars structured around themes in classical research (e.g. the environment, performance, reception). 

Classics students have the opportunity to choose two of the following five overarching modules, one per semester. These modules are designed to give you both a familiarity with the key debates in a given subject area and the opportunity to develop a topic of your own choice with one-to-one supervision. The choice of modules allows you flexibility to develop a range of pathways and to focus, for example, on history, literary culture, philosophy or archaeology, or to focus on Greek or Roman history and literature in combination. 

Semester 1 (choose one) 

  • Greek History and Material Culture 
  • Latin Literary Culture 

Semester 2 (choose one) 

  • Greek Literary Culture 
  • Roman History and Material Culture 
  • Themes in Greek and Roman Philosophy

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development). 

All students have the opportunity to study Greek or Latin from beginners’ level, or to improve their language skills through more advanced language courses. 

Students who take Greek or Latin language modules take alternative versions of the optional modules which follow the same course of study but with a reduced workload and fewer credits. 

Each student undertakes a dissertation of 15,000 words on a specialist subject chosen in consultation with the MLitt convenor and a dedicated supervisor who is responsible for guiding you through the research process and commenting on draft sections. The completed dissertation must be submitted by mid-August. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of a MLitt. 


The MLitt degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, with an average of four to five hours of staff contact per week (more if you choose to do language modules).

The modules are taught through group seminars (with the whole MLitt cohort or in smaller groups) and through one-to-one supervision in your areas of specialisation.


The assessment for the taught modules is primarily based on coursework including: 

  • research papers  
  • book reviews  
  • draft research proposal on your dissertation topic  
  • presentation on your dissertation topic  
  • take-home exam for the Themes and Methods in Classical Research 1 module.  

If you undertake the MLitt in Classics at St Andrews, you will benefit from the unique range of expertise of the School's staff.

The School of Classics is one of the major centres for Classics and Ancient History in the United Kingdom.

Distinctive areas of expertise include: 

  • Achaemenid Persia 
  • ancient ecology and landscape studies 
  • ancient literary criticism 
  • ancient philosophy 
  • ancient religion 
  • the archaeology and art history of Rome and the Roman provinces 
  • Classical Reception Studies 
  • Greek and Roman tragedy and comedy 
  • Hellenistic and imperial Greek literature 
  • Greek and Roman historical writing 
  • Late Antiquity 
  • the literature and culture of the Roman empire 
  • military history 
  • representations of war and battle in antiquity and beyond 
  • visual culture. 

For the full range of expertise within the School, explore the interests and publications of Classics staff


Students on the MLitt are a core part of the School of Classics' scholarly community and benefit from a range of other activities in the School, including: 

  • a weekly research seminar at which visiting researchers discuss their research 
  • regular work-in-progress seminars organised by and for postgraduates 
  • workshops and masterclasses run by distinguished visiting scholars as part of the activities of the School's research centres 
  • related lectures and seminars in areas of overlap such as Late Antiquity, classical philosophy, and Persian history in other Schools 
  • lectures, social events and trips organised by the  Student Archaeology Society.
  • reading groups in which students of mixed linguistic ability read and discuss a text in Greek or Latin (for example, an ancient philosophy reading group organised within the Department of Philosophy) 
  • a range of one-off conferences and workshops

Students on the MLitt may – in addition to the teaching provided as part of the MLitt – be allowed to audit survey courses or more specialist modules run for St Andrews undergraduates. This is particularly appropriate for those students with a less developed background in Classics and Ancient History. 




Application fee

Before we can begin processing your application, a payment of an application fee of £50 is required. In some instances, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Details of this, along with information on our tuition fees, can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.

The School of Classics offers a small number of scholarships paying a maximum of half the home-fee rate for which all students admitted to the programme will be considered.

15% Recent Graduate Discount

If you have graduated from the University within the last three academic years, you may be eligible for a 15% discount on postgraduate taught tuition fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree


Postgraduates from the School of Classics go on to pursue careers in a diverse range of professional careers. For example, recent graduands have gone on to work in: 

  • publishing 
  • law 
  • finance 
  • teaching 
  • university administration 
  • museum curatorship 

Others have gone on to successful academic careers in the UK, North America and internationally.  

Advice on academic and other career paths is integrated into the MLitt.

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

Further study

The two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Greek and Latin may be particularly appropriate for those wanting to pursue further work in Greek or Latin language.

The MPhil is identical to the MLitt degree in the first two semesters. MPhil students then proceed to write a 40,000-word dissertation over the next year, but they may (in consultation with the course coordinator) audit further taught modules in the course of their second year. 

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere, and preparation for application to PhD programmes forms a key component of the MLitt. 

The School sets aside funding each year for PhD scholarships, which cover both fees and stipend and are awarded on the basis of academic merit and research promise.

The School also supports a number of applications for PhD funding each year to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, and works closely with all applicants to develop their proposals for this competition. 

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate online visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2600
School of Classics
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

School of Classics website