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Classics and Classical Studies

The University of St Andrews has been a centre for Classical studies since its foundation in 1413, and the School of Classics continues to build on its reputation for both teaching and research. Classics courses are wide-ranging as students can journey from Archaic Greece to the Late Roman Empire, all around the Mediterranean world and beyond.

The study of Classics explores concepts and issues which are fundamental still today. Looking back at ancient political, social and cultural life allows students to consider their modern selves. The School’s Classics courses combine the study of Greek and Latin literature and language, immersing students in two literatures of enormous richness that have provided inspiration for so many areas of later western literature, culture and thought. Classical Studies courses explore all aspects of the Greek and Roman world, including not just literature but also art, architecture, philosophy, religion and responses to the Greeks and Romans from the Renaissance to the modern world.



Classics MA (Hons)
Classical Studies MA (Hons)
Classical Studies BA (International Hons)
Greek MA (Hons)
Latin  MA (Hons)
You may also be interested in Ancient History MA (Hons) and Ancient History & Archaeology.

Joint degree options

You can take the Classics, Classical Studies, Greek and Latin MA (Hons) programmes with another subject as part of a joint degree.



Classics MLitt
Classics MPhil


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Student life

Over the years, several societies have been established to bring together students within the School of Classics:

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.


Booking for our autumn visiting days will open in early September 2017.

  • Wednesday 27 September 2017
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017
  • Wednesday 18 October 2017
  • Wednesday 25 October 2017
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017



  • November 2017 - date to be confirmed.

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Latest in Classics at St Andrews

Emma Buckley and Alice K├Ânig have won McCall MacBain teaching awards for research into the Latin language learning experiences of students from different educational backgrounds.


Jason Koenig has won a Leverhulme award to fund a three-year research project on mountains in ancient literature and culture and their postclassical reception.


Student volunteers are visiting local primary schools to teach Latin, Classical culture and ancient mythology.


Classics research areas

The Classics research community at St Andrews has come together from all over the world, attracted by the School’s position at the cutting edge in a number of fields, including:

  • Greek and Roman drama
  • Greek and Roman archaeology
  • historiography
  • literature and culture (both Greek and Roman) of the Roman Empire
  • ancient science and philosophy
  • Greek and Roman religion
  • late antique literature and history
  • the reception of Greek and Roman culture from the Renaissance to the present. 

Ancient history

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research in ancient history.

  • Dr Ralph Anderson: works on Greek religion and ritual, including divination, and magic.
  • Dr Jon Coulston: an archaeologist and historian specialising in Roman art, the Roman army and the city of Rome. 
  • Professor Tom Harrison: specialises in the history (and historiography) of archaic and classical Greece; and of the Achaemenid Persian empire; Greek religion and belief.
  • Dr Myles Lavan: works on the culture and society of the Roman principate. He has particular interests in slavery and imperialism and in quantitative methods. He is currently working on a new approach to quantifying the spread of citizenship in the Empire.
  • Dr Sian Lewis: areas of interest include ancient animals, Greek political history and women’s history. Recent work has been on the history of tyranny in archaic and classical Greece.
  • Dr Carlos Machado: areas of interest include the history and archaeology of the city of Rome, Roman cities and civic life, and the religious history of the Roman Empire.
  • Professor Rebecca Sweetman: works on Greek and Roman archaeology, especially the archaeology of Roman and Late Antique Crete and the Cyclades, the Late Antique Peloponnese (especially Sparta), with a particular focus on religious change in Late Antiquity.

Latin literature

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research in Latin literature:

  • Dr Emma Buckley: works on the Latin literature of the early imperial era, especially post-Virgilian epic and drama; and on the reception of Virgil and Ovid in the mediaeval, Renaissance and early modern periods.
  • Dr Emma Gee: works broadly on Latin literature, on ancient astronomy, and on ideas of the afterlife in ancient literature and culture; also on the reception of Latin literature and ancient astronomy in the Renaissance.
  • Dr Tom Geue: works on Greek and Roman imperial literature; Roman satire, especially Juvenal; authorship, autobiography, anonymity and pseudonymity in ancient literature; and on classical reception in the English Restoration.
  • Dr Alice König: works on the Latin literature and culture of the first century CE, with a particular interest in ancient technical writing (especially Vitruvius and Frontinus), in literary interactions between Flavian, Trajanic and Hadrianic authors, and in the interface between Latin literature and imperial politics.
  • Dr Giuseppe Pezzini: works on Roman republican literature and culture, especially comedy; Latin language and linguistics; history of classical scholarship; metre, textual criticism, and digital humanities.
  • Dr Roger Rees: works on Latin prose, poetry (including Virgil and Catullus) and later Roman history with a main focus on Latin panegyric and praise discourse in Roman society; also on the reception of Latin literature in modern English verse.

Greek literature

The following members of staff are currently undertaking research into Greek literature:

  • Dr Jon Hesk: works on Greek literature and culture, especially Homer, tragedy, comedy, Attic oratory and Greek and Roman rhetorical theory and education.
  • Professor Stephen Halliwell: one of the world’s leading interpreters of Greek literature with special interests in Greek comedy, especially Aristophanes; Greek tragedy and the theory of tragedy, both ancient and modern; Plato, especially the Republic and Platonic attitudes to poetry and art; Aristotle, especially the Poetics and Rhetoric; Greek literary criticism and aesthetics; classical traditions, especially in the fields of aesthetics and poetry.
  • Dr Alex Long: works on Greek and Roman philosophy, with special interests in Plato, political philosophy and the response to Plato in Hellenistic philosophy.
  • Professor Jason König: works broadly on the Greek literature and culture of the Roman Empire, including early Christian literature, with particular interests in the Greek and Latin novels, the literature of the symposium, the encyclopaedic and miscellanistic writing of the Imperial period and ancient athletic culture.
  • Dr Nicolas Wiater: main areas of research interest are Hellenistic and early imperial Greek literature and culture, especially historiography (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Polybius, Diodorus, Josephus) and literary criticism (Dionysius of Halicarnassus).

Classics research centres

The School of Classics currently has three research centres:

Centre for the Literatures of the Roman Empire

Members of the Centre work on the literatures and cultural history of the Roman Empire from the late Hellenistic period right through to late antiquity.

Centre for Late Antique Studies

Research activities focus on the rise and establishment of Christianity and Islam, the destruction of the Persian Empire, the progressive disappearance of the Roman Empire and the rise of smaller political units in the West, and the affirmation of Byzantium and Islam as major political and cultural players.

The Centre for Landscape Studies

The Centre for Landscape Studies is an interdisciplinary research centre that brings together researchers from across the University and beyond with interests in real and imagined landscapes. Research themes include memory and landscape, landscapes of myth, the aesthetics of landscape and landscape-viewing, the recording of the landscape and the reconstruction of lost historical landscapes. Current projects include work on mountains in ancient literature and culture and their modern reception, ancient conflict landscapes, and the landscapes of prehistoric Britain.

Classics research portal

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, taught postgraduates and PhD students. All applicants are sent a link to our funding catalogue, that will enable them to search and apply for relevant funding.


The University of St Andrews offers a range of scholarships for maintenance and fees. Accommodation awards of up to £3000 per year are available and determined on financial need.

The School of Classics offer bursaries for travel and attendance at language summer schools.

Undergraduate scholarships

Taught postgraduate students

The University of St Andrews offers a range of postgraduate funding opportunities. Accommodation awards of up to £3000 per year are available and determined on financial need.

All postgraduate students in the School have access to a travel fund for attending conferences.

Taught postgraduate scholarships

PhD students

The School of Classics sets aside funding each year for PhD scholarships to support applications from both the UK and overseas. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and research promise, to cover both fees and stipend.

The School supports suitable eligible applicants for AHRC funding disbursed through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.

The School supports suitable applicants for a variety of University administered scholarships, such as the Ewan and Christine Brown scholarship, which is worth £7,500 per year.

Accommodation awards of up to £3000 per year are available and determined on financial need.

All postgraduate students in the School have access to a travel fund for attending conferences.

Funding for PhD students

Careers for graduates in Classics and Classical Studies

Modern degree courses in Classics and Classical Studies are designed to equip students with a broad range of skills and abilities. Studying Classics at St Andrews can provide:

  • an understanding of different cultures and societies
  • language skills
  • the ability to research, collate and analyse materials.

These abilities and attributes provide students with a desirable mix of specific, practical, intellectual, theoretical and transferable skills. Consequently, there is an excellent choice of potential career opportunities available. 

Many graduates from the School of Classics have begun work in the following areas:

  • academia
  • journalism
  • politics
  • the civil service
  • local government
  • teaching in schools
  • librarianship.

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Work experience is invaluable when it comes to securing graduate-level employment. There are a number of Classics-specific opportunities at St Andrews for students to gain work experience:


The School of Classics at St Andrews has an international reputation for the diversity of teaching programmes offered. The School has expertise in classical to Renaissance history and literature, from classical and imperial period Greek literature to Roman Imperial literature, and late antiquity to later engagement with the Classics.

The School of Classics was ranked fourth in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2017, and first in Scotland and fourth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2017 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.

The School was ranked best in Scotland and second in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the quality and impact of its research.

The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top for student satisfaction in The National Student Survey 2016 as 94% of St Andrews final years gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2600

Classics website   Classics research portal