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Greek MA (Hons) 2020 entry

Knowledge of 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. It will require you to engage with a wide range of texts from classical antiquity.

The course involves study of the many different genres of ancient Greek literature from tragedy and epic to historiography and philosophy. 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. 

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UCAS code


Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 June 2024

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

Entry requirements

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, including A in a foreign language
    • Minimum entry grades: AABB, including B in a foreign language
    • Gateway entry grades: BBBB, including B in a foreign language
    • 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

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.

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

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.

General entry requirements

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

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.


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 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. 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 ex-beginners.

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 be encouraged to delve deeper into a specialist topic of your choice in 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
  • Greek literature in the Roman Empire
  • Greek prose composition.

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 webpage

Find out more about studying Greek at St Andrews.


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). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

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: designed to follow Greek Language for Beginners, this module 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 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 (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:

  • Greeks and Barbarians
  • Greeks on Education
  • Greek Tragedy
  • Imagining the Symposium
  • Lies, History and Ideology
  • Narrating War in Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius
  • Texts and Objects in the Greek World
  • The Gods of Greek Literature
  • The History of Ancient Greek from Homer to the New Testament.

In fourth year, students may 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 available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

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.

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.

In addition to your studies in the School of Classics, 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 webpage.


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

  • research essays
  • literary criticism and commentary exercises
  • 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. 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 visit the common reporting scale webpage

Online visiting days

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join one of our online visiting days to learn about the town, find out about our courses and talk to University staff.


Upcoming online visiting days:

  • Wednesday 30 September 2020
  • Wednesday 7 October 2020
  • Wednesday 14 October 2020
  • Wednesday 28 October 2020
  • Wednesday 4 November 2020


Tuition fees for 2020 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £23,910

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

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.

Classics bursaries

The School of Classics offers bursaries for travel (including internships) to archaeological sites, summer schools, museums, and other institutions such as the British Schools in Athens and Rome, or to attend approved Latin or Greek summer schools.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Greek as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following listed subjects.

It is also possible to combine a degree in Greek with two modern languages. Any combination of FrenchGermanItalian, Persian or Spanish is available.

In taking a joint degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

Your future


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:

  • 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.

Study abroad

Students studying Greek may 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.

Student life

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.

Students of Greek 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 St Salvator’s Quadrangle. Students will attend tutorials, seminars, lectures and individual meetings with tutors in this building.

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. It is a lovely additional study space for students in the School. 

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 and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh makes it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

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


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2600

School of Classics website


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).