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Classics (MLitt) 2022 entry

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.

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 September 2023

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

Course duration

One year full time or two years part time (subject to approval)

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.

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Tuition fees

Home: £10,395
Overseas: £21,390

Application deadline

8 July 2022; earlier deadlines may apply for some scholarships and for international visa purposes. If you expect to receive helpful results part-way through the academic year in which you make your application, it may be worth considering delaying your application until these results are available.

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 2,500 and 5,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

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


Course information

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 Director of 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 a range of literary sources and material evidence; resources and how to access them; theoretical approaches and key themes in the study of antiquity; and training in practical 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.

Teaching format

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. Additionally, the core component includes class trips.

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. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2021–2022 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2022 entry.

  • 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 four 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, 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

Language modules

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.

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).

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 modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2022 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

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. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Online information events

School of Classics

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, ranked second for research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

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
  • Classical Reception Studies
  • visual culture.

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

Conferences and events

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 Archaeological Society and the local branch of the Scottish Hellenic Society
  • a regular reading group in which students of mixed linguistic ability read and discuss a text in Greek or Latin (additionally, there is 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.


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

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MLitt

Research degrees

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.

PhD in Classics


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. Additionally, the Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills. 

"The Friday postgraduate seminars are a great way to learn informally about a topic someone else is researching and for testing the water with your own ideas. The best part about studying here is the support of the lecturers and the opportunities for professional development as well as a lot of help in applying to scholarships for a PhD."

- Essex, England


School of Classics
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2608

School of Classics


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

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

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.

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.

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