Classical Studies BA (International Hons) 2020 entry
The BA (International Hons) in Classical Studies offers two pathways: Greek and Latin, or Ancient History and Archaeology. Both pathways allow you to explore the cultures of the Mediterranean world in great depth, from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity. You will also have the option to take courses from both pathways, giving you an all-round perspective on the Greek and Roman world.
The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.
If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Classical Studies BA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
Admissions to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
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
You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.
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.
The School of Classics at St Andrews has an international reputation for the diversity of teaching programmes offered. The School has expertise in literature and history from the Greek classical period to Late Antiquity, including the literature of classical Greece, Greece under Roman rule, Roman republican and imperial literature and the literature of Late Antiquity, as well as later engagement with the Classics from the Renaissance to the present day.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2019 as 95% of St Andrews final year students were satisfied with the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
The BA (International Hons) in Classical Studies is a four-year course run jointly by the School of Classics at St Andrews and the Department of Classical Studies at the College of William & Mary.
You will study for two years at both St Andrews and William & Mary, spending the first year of the programme at one institution and the second year at the other. You will then be able to choose where you wish to spend your third and fourth years of study and graduate from either university.
You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year.
What you will study
If you study a BA (International Honours) in Classical Studies, you will choose between two pathways: Greek and Latin, or Ancient History and Archaeology.
If you choose the Greek and Latin pathway, you will be able to take both Greek and Latin at complete beginners' level or at more advanced level if you have substantial previous experience.
If you choose the Ancient History and Archaeology pathway, you will be introduced to, and provided advanced training in, the material culture of the ancient Mediterranean world.
The BA (International Honours) is a single Honours degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects offered by both institutions. Find out more about the St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree.
The BA (International Honours) is a four-year undergraduate degree that combines the best of the Scottish and American educational experience.
This programme offers an impressive range of modules that students can take without losing the depth of focus by following either a language or Ancient History and Archaeology pathway.
Working together, the Classics departments from both universities offer a unique range of modules. For example, students are able to pursue coursework in Etruscan archaeology and Egyptology (at William & Mary) as well as modules in Late Antique and Bronze Age Archaeology (at St Andrews): this unusual combination of modules is hard to find in any single department. The programme also provides Greek and Latin language students with a more flexible degree, one which can be tailored to your level of study between the two institutions.
Undertaking a Classics degree in both campuses will also allow students a wider range of postgraduate opportunities in the North American and United Kingdom. As a student on the programme, you will have the unique advantage of knowing the UK and US systems well should you wish to make postgraduate applications.
Students studying the Classical Studies BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.
At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in first year are:
The Greeks in a Wider World: surveys Greek history from the origins of the Greek city-states in the Archaic period (ca. 800 BCE), through the heyday of Athens’ empire and democracy in the fifth century, to Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire. Alongside political and military history, the module tackles topics such as religious belief, sexuality, and Greek interactions with other peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Roman History from Foundation to Empire: focuses on the rise of Rome to world power from humble beginnings, examining the political, cultural and economic consequences of imperialism.
You must also choose one of the following Latin or Greek module pathways:
Elementary Latin 1 and 2: provides an introduction to the Latin language for beginners, concentrating on morphology, vocabulary, and basic syntax.
World of Latin 1 and 2 (only available to students who have studied Latin to SQA Higher, GCE A-level or equivalent): enhances understanding of Latin language and literature through study of both verse and prose set texts and regular language classes.
Greek Language for Beginners and Greek Literature for Beginners: provides a thorough grounding in the Greek language for beginners or near beginners, and prepares students for the challenge of reading and interpreting Greek literature.
Greek Language and Literature 1 and Greek Pastoral and Passion (only available to students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher, GCE A-level or equivalent): 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.
At St Andrews, you must take two of the following compulsory modules in second year:
The Roman Empire: explores the Roman empire with particular reference both to social, religious and economic changes as well as to political and military history.
Mediterranean Communities: examines the human settlement and material culture of the entire Mediterranean world throughout classical antiquity.
Early Greek Poetry and Philosophy: explores the diversity of early Greek thought at the crossroads of poetry and philosophy, starting with Hesiod’s struggle to reorder the world of gods and humans.
Culture and Thought in the Late Roman Republic: sets the main literary texts of the Late Roman Republic against the broader backdrop of Roman art, culture and social life. All prescribed texts will be studied in translation.
You must also choose one of the following Latin or Greek module pathways:
Latin in Progress 1 and 2: examine a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Republican and imperial periods, and enhance Latin language skills through regular language classes.
Latin Language and Literature 1 and 2(only available to students who have studied Latin to SQA Higher, GCE A-level or equivalent): build on World of Latin 1 and 2; examine a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Republican period, and enhance Latin language skills through regular language classes.
The Landscape of Greek Prose (B) and Poetry (B): examine a wide range of Greek prose texts and ancient poetry, and enhance Greek language skills through regular language classes.
The Landscape of Greek Prose (A) and Poetry (A)(only available to students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher, GCE A-level or equivalent): examine a wide range of Greek prose texts and ancient poetry, and enhance Greek language skills through regular language classes.
Students will spend either their third or fourth year in St Andrews. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of advanced options.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered at St Andrews in previous years:
Alexander the Great
Art of the Roman Empire
Greek Painted Pottery
Greek Rhetoric and its Representation
Latin Philosophical Writing
Persia and the Greeks.
If at St Andrews for fourth year, students will have the opportunity to 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.
Students at St Andrews for their first or second year will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, language classes and set-text reading classes.
In third or fourth year, 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 at St Andrews are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:
reading Greek or 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.
At St Andrews, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Greek, Latin, 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.
In addition to your studies in the School, 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.
Modules in Classical Studies at St Andrews are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written exams. Coursework includes:
literary criticism and commentary exercises
class tests, including unseen translation and grammar exercises
Examinations are 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.
The tuition fee for all students on the BA (International Honours) is the same regardless of domicile, and will always be the pound sterling equivalent of the US dollar amount per year, as converted on 1 June preceding the start of each academic year.
If you commence your studies at the University of St Andrews, you will pay your tuition each year to St Andrews regardless of which institution you are studying at for that year.
Further information regarding scholarships available to students on the BA International Honours can be found in the fees and funding section of the BA International Honours web page.
The Classical Studies BA (International Hons) provides international experience which will make students more competitive in a globalised job market. Students in Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology commonly pursue careers outside of the subject focus, including:
cultural resource management
A Classics degree is highly valued for the skills that are built in critical thinking, research and broad understanding of the past.
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.
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 Classical Studies may be interested in joining the following student societies:
The History Society hosts guest speakers on a variety of topics as well as social events including pub nights, garden parties and trips abroad.
The School of Classics is housed in Swallowgate, an attractive building which overlooks the sea and is close to the University Library and main quadrangle. Students will attend tutorials, seminars and individual meetings with tutors in this building, while lectures are held nearby in St Salvator’s quadrangle.
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.
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.
“While there may be some trepidation in hopping around the world for university, the challenge of adapting to new academic systems and social cultures reaps a series of rewards. Two homes are forged, leading us to make unforgettable memories and lifelong friends from around the world.”
Alyssa (California, USA)
Admissions University of St Andrews St Katharine's West The Scores St Andrews KY16 9AX
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).