Latin 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 Latin is the key both to an enormously rich body of literature and to in-depth understanding of a complex and influential culture. The MA (Hons) in Latin will develop your Latin language skills and your literary and cultural analysis skills which are important for understanding complex texts, arguments and problems in our own culture too. 

The course will require you to engage with a wide range of texts from classical antiquity. It involves study of the many different genres of ancient Latin literature from epic poetry and elegy to historiography and letter-writing. 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
“The lively debates and discussions both inside and outside of class pose both a welcome academic challenge as well as foster a real sense of community. I started Latin and Greek as a beginner and am now confidently studying both at Honours.”
- Glasgow, Scotland

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 Latin 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

Latin students 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 Latin is a four-year course run by the School of Classics. In the first year, if you have not studied Latin previously, you will be introduced to Latin language and literature. If you have already studied Latin 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 Latin, 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, sometimes both. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.  

In second year, all students take modules that extend and refine their knowledge of Latin literature and its background, covering prose and poetry from the Republic, Imperial period and Late Antiquity, while continuing to incorporate progressive work on Latin language skills in preparation for Honours-level study. 

The skills you gain in analysing original Latin texts will prepare you to explore 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: 

  • Latin prose writing, including philosophical writing, oratory, letter writing, historiography and biography 
  • Latin poetry, including didactic poetry, lyric, satire and epic 
  • Late antique Latin literature 
  • Renaissance reception of Latin literature. 

A wide choice of other modules is available to complement Latin 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 the Classics MA programme instead. 

Graduates in Latin from St Andrews can expect to have developed a wide knowledge of Latin literature and culture, a high level of competency in Latin language and many transferable skills. 

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.


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

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

Beginners in Latin will take the following two compulsory modules: 

  • Elementary Latin 1: provides an introduction to the Latin language for beginners, concentrating on morphology, vocabulary, and basic syntax. 
  • Elementary Latin 2: builds on work from 'Elementary Latin 1' and develops knowledge of Latin language and enables the reading of Latin texts for beginners. 

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

  • World of Latin 1: enhances understanding of Latin language and literature through study of verse and prose set texts, including non-canonical and popular texts, and regular language classes. 
  • World of Latin 2: builds on work from 'World of Latin 1' and introduces students to a wider range of Latin literature.  

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

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

  • Latin in Progress 1: building on work covered in 'Elementary Latin 1 and 2', this module examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Republican period, and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes. 
  • Latin in Progress 2: building on work from 'Latin in Progress 1', this module examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the imperial period, and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes.  

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

  • Latin Language and Literature 1: building on 'World of Latin 1 and 2', this module examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse taken mostly from the Republican period, and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes. 
  • Latin Language and Literature 2: building on 'Latin Language and Literature 1', this module examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Roman Imperial period, and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes. 

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

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

  • Constantinian Latin 
  • Latin Letters 
  • Roman Biography 
  • Roman Comedy 
  • Roman Epic 
  • Roman Literary Criticism 
  • Roman Satire 
  • Africa in Latin Literature 
  • Ritual and Religion in Latin Literature 

In fourth year, students also 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 and seminars (20 to 35 students), complemented by tutorials (15 to 20 students) and reading support classes (under 15 students). 

At Honours level, all teaching is delivered through seminars (15 to 20 students), with a strong emphasis on students’ own contributions in informal class discussion and in group or individual presentations. 

When not attending lectures, seminars and reading support classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • reading Latin 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 of the modules in Latin 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 assessments and coursework 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 leading researchers in the field with an emphasis on research-led teaching. 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 classics 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 Latin 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 LatinQV61
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and LatinQT66
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and Latin (With Integrated Year Abroad)TV74
Master of Arts (Honours) Classical Studies and LatinQQ86
Master of Arts (Honours) Comparative Literature and LatinQ293
Master of Arts (Honours) English and LatinQQ36
Master of Arts (Honours) French and LatinQR61
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Latin (With Integrated Year Abroad)QRP1
Master of Arts (Honours) International Relations and LatinQVR1
Master of Arts (Honours) Italian and LatinQR63
Master of Arts (Honours) Italian and Latin (With Integrated Year Abroad)RQ36
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and MathematicsGQ16
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and Medieval HistoryQVP1
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and Modern HistoryQVQ1
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and PersianQR65
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and PhilosophyQV65
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and RussianQR67
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and Russian (With Integrated Year Abroad)QRP7
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and Social AnthropologyQL60
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and SpanishQR64
Master of Arts (Honours) Latin and Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad)QRP4

Joint degrees taken with French, Italian, Russian, Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'. 


Latin students at St Andrews have traditionally progressed into a very wide range of careers on graduating. Some continue their academic careers via a postgraduate training degree to doctoral study either in St Andrews or at another university. Other students have progressed to postgraduate qualifications in teaching, law or finance. 

Recent Latin graduates have moved into careers in: 

  • law 
  • museums and heritage 
  • journalism 
  • the theatre 
  • civil service 
  • teaching 
  • finance 
  • applied computing. 

A degree in Latin 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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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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