Greek MA (Honours) 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.

Knowledge of ancient Greek is the key not only to a literature of enormous richness but also to in-depth understanding of a fascinating culture. The MA (Hons) in Greek will develop your Greek language skills and will also develop skills of literary and cultural analysis which are important for understanding complex texts, arguments and problems in our own culture too. 

The course involves study of the many different genres of ancient Greek literature, from tragedy and epic to lyric poetry and philosophy, historiography and oratory. It also explores themes and concerns which were central to Ancient Greek writing, from gender, identity and sexuality to religion, power and violence. You will be required to develop skills of reading and understanding these texts in the original language. In the process you will also gain a broad understanding of ancient social, cultural and political history. 

UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2028
Four years full time
School of Classics
“Taking Ancient Greek has made my understanding of both the classical world and the foundation of European culture so much better. The language contact time has been fast-paced but very enjoyable. The teaching is of a high quality and the lecturers’ enthusiasm and enjoyment of their subject is infectious!”
- Berkshire, England

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. 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.

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 entry requirements as outlined on their pages.

  • Standard entry grades:
    AAAB, including A in a foreign language.
    Minimum entry grades:
    AABB, including B in a foreign language.
    Gateway entry grades:
    Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
  • Standard entry grades:
    AAA, including A in a foreign language.
    Minimum entry grades:
    ABB, including B in a foreign language.
  • Standard entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,6,5), including HL6 in a foreign language.
    Minimum entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL5 in a foreign language.

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

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

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.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No prior knowledge of Greek is necessary, but you must have studied a modern or ancient foreign language at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, or equivalent.

Alternative study options

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:

Gateway programmes

Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades but meet the University's contextual criteria may be interested in the Gateway to Arts programme.

Study abroad

Students studying Greek can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MA (Hons) in Greek is a four-year course run by the School of Classics. In the first year, if you have not studied Greek previously, you will be introduced to Greek language and literature from scratch through our intensive language courses. If you have already studied Greek at a higher level, in your first year you will undertake more advanced study in language and literature in modules that integrate the study of literary texts with linguistic and translation exercises. 

Alongside Greek, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually continue to study at least one of these subjects. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

In second year, all students are brought together to take modules that extend and refine their knowledge of Greek literature and its background, covering both prose and poetry from the archaic to the imperial period, while continuing to incorporate progressive work on Greek language skills in preparation for Honours-level study. Extra support classes are provided for students who began Greek at St Andrews. 

The skills you gain in analysing original Greek texts will prepare you for exploring an even wider range of texts at a more advanced level in your third and fourth years. You will also delve deeper into a specialist topic of your choice by writing a dissertation during your fourth year. 

All of the School’s Honours modules are inspired by the research expertise of the members of staff who teach them, and expose you to the latest debates and developments in the discipline. They cover a wide range of genres and themes. Topics may include: 

  • Greek poetry, including epic and tragedy 
  • Greek historiography, including authors like Herodotus and Thucydides 
  • Greek rhetoric 
  • Greek philosophy 
  • religion in Greek literature 
  • Greek comedy 
  • Greek literature in the Roman Empire. 

A wide choice of other modules is available to complement Greek and suit your interests. Popular choices include classical studies, ancient history, English literature, modern languages, medieval and modern history, philosophy and divinity. 

Students wishing to study both Greek and Latin should consider choosing Classics MA (Hons) instead. 

Graduates in Greek from St Andrews can expect to have developed a wide knowledge of ancient Greek literature and culture and a high level of competence in Greek language. 

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Greek alongside modules in at least one other subject. 

You will take one Greek module per semester during your first two years, and usually two modules per semester during your third and fourth years (known as Honours).

Students will take two first-year modules depending on their knowledge of Greek prior to the course. 

Beginners in Greek will take the following two compulsory modules: 

  • Greek Language for Beginners: provides a thorough grounding in the Greek language for beginners or near beginners. 
  • Greek Literature for Beginners: prepares students for the challenge of reading and interpreting Greek literature. 

Students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher, GCE A-level or equivalent will take the following two compulsory modules: 

  • Greek Language and Literature 1: 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. 
  • Greek Pastoral and Passion: introduces students to the thematic connections between bucolic or pastoral poetry and the Greek novel and involves detailed study of set texts and linguistic and translation exercises. 

Students will take two second-year modules depending on their knowledge of Greek prior to the course. 

Ex-beginners in Greek will take the following two compulsory modules: 

  • The Landscape of Greek Prose (B): designed for students to follow on from 'Greek Literature for Beginners', this module examines a wide range of Greek prose texts and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes. 
  • The Landscape of Greek Poetry (B): following on from 'The Landscape of Greek Prose (B)', this module covers a diverse range of ancient poetry in the original Greek, starting with Homer’s Iliad, and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes. 

Students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher, GCE A-level or equivalent will take the following two compulsory modules: 

  • The Landscape of Greek Prose (A): designed for students to follow on from 'Greek Pastoral and Passion', this module examines a wide range of Greek prose texts and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes. 
  • The Landscape of Greek Poetry (A): following on from 'The Landscape of Greek Prose (A)', this module covers a diverse range of ancient poetry in the original Greek, starting with Homer’s Iliad, and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes. 

If you decide to take Greek in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options. 

Here is a sample of Honours modules that have been offered in previous years: 

  • Diversity and Transformations: The Greek Language from the Hellenistic to the Early Modern Period
  • Greeks and Barbarians 
  • Greeks on Education 
  • Greek Tragedy 
  • Lies, History and Ideology 
  • 'Satire', Sex and Society: Greek 'Old Comedy' 
  • The Gods of Greek Literature 
  • The Greek Novels: Identity, Desire and Literary Transformation
  • The Rest of the Story: Greek Epic after Homer 
  • Violence in Early Greek Poetry. 

In fourth year, students may undertake an 8,000-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 at sub-honours level is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, language classes and set-text reading classes (10 to 30 students). 

At Honours level, 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 are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve: 

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

Almost all modules in Greek are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination. Coursework includes: 

  • research essays 
  • literary criticism and commentary exercises 
  • linguistic analysis 
  • class tests, including unseen translation and grammar exercises. 

In addition, most modules include a written examination 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. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Greek and classics. 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 Greek staff on the School of Classics website

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.



England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Channel Islands, Isle of Man

EU and overseas

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

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.

Joint Honours degrees

You can also take Greek as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.

Course name UCAS code
Master of Arts (Honours) Ancient History and GreekQV71
Master of Arts (Honours) Art History and GreekQV73
Master of Arts (Honours) Biblical Studies and GreekQV76
Master of Arts (Honours) Classical Studies and GreekQQ87
Master of Arts (Honours) Comparative Literature and GreekQ291
Master of Arts (Honours) English and GreekQQ37
Master of Arts (Honours) French and GreekQR71
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Greek (With Integrated Year Abroad)RQ17
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and HebrewQQ74
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and Modern HistoryQ7V1
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and PersianQT70
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and PhilosophyQV75
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and Social AnthropologyQ7L6
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and SpanishQR74
Master of Arts (Honours) Greek and Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad)Q7R4

Joint degrees taken with French and with Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.


Traditional classical Greek courses have provided an entry to a wide range of careers and positions since employers have placed a premium on the combination of intellectual flexibility and rigour of Greek graduates. 

Students who graduate with classical Greek degrees typically do well in the graduate employment market, while some choose to continue their academic careers via a postgraduate training degree to doctoral study either in St Andrews or at another university. 

Graduate destinations include: 

  • financial services 
  • law 
  • marketing and management 
  • civil and armed services 
  • journalism 
  • museums, heritage and conservation 
  • libraries and information management 
  • teaching  
  • further research or study. 

A degree in Greek will provide you with transferable skills that will equip you for a future career in many sectors. These skills include: 

  • flexible thinking 
  • understanding a range of viewpoints and critical approaches 
  • exercising reflection and critical judgment 
  • gathering, memorising, organising and deploying information 
  • time management 
  • project planning 
  • independent work 
  • group work 
  • oral and written expression. 

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.

What to do next

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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.

Undergraduate visiting days

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

Contact us

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

School of Classics website

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