The MA (Hons) in Classics is a four-year course run by the School of Classics. You can take this degree whether or not you have studied Latin or Greek before. There are beginners’ courses in both Greek and Latin for those who have not studied the languages before or who have only studied them a little. These courses quickly build a solid foundation in each language so that you will rapidly become confident in analysing literature.
If you have already studied one or both languages at a higher level, you will undertake more advanced study in your first year in both language and literature, in modules that integrate analysis of literary texts with linguistic and translation exercises. If you are starting one or both languages at beginners’ level, you will spend your first year intensively studying the language to build your confidence and ability to read original texts.
In the second year, all students are brought together to take modules that extend and refine their knowledge of Latin and Greek literature and its background, covering both prose and poetry from the archaic period right through to late antiquity, while continuing to incorporate progressive work on Greek and Latin language skills in preparation for Honours-level study.
If you have not studied either language before and will be starting both languages as a beginner, you may defer the start of your studies in one of the languages to your second year. Students who take this option go on to take specially-adapted modules in their third year. These allow them to complete their linguistic training while studying literature at Honours-level.
In addition to studying Greek and Latin, you have the opportunity in your first two years to take another subject each semester. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.
The skills you gain in analysing original Greek and Latin texts in your first two years 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. Examples of recent topics 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
- Latin prose writing, including philosophical writing, oratory, letter writing and biography
- Latin poetry, including didactic poetry, lyric, satire and epic
- Late antique Latin literature
- Renaissance reception of Latin literature.
There is a wide choice of other modules available to complement Classics and suit your interests. Popular choices include Classical Studies, Ancient History, English Literature, Modern Languages, Medieval and Modern History, Philosophy and Divinity.
Graduates in Classics from St Andrews can expect to have developed a wide knowledge of Greek and Latin literature and culture and a high level of competence in Greek and Latin 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 Classics at St Andrews.