Classics MA (Hons) 2018 entry

To study Classics in the original languages of Latin and Greek is to engage with a literature which shaped the intellectual life of western Europe over many centuries and which continues to influence western culture profoundly today. The MA (Hons) in Classics will develop your Latin and Greek language skills. It will also develop skills of literary and cultural analysis which are powerful tools for understanding complex texts, arguments and problems in our own culture too.

The course will require you to engage in depth with a wide range of texts from classical antiquity. It involves study of the many different genres of ancient Greek and Latin literature from epic poetry and tragedy 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. During your time studying Classics at St Andrews there are opportunities also to study complementary subjects such as Ancient History and Archaeology.

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UCAS code

Q810

Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Classics MA (Hons) page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

SQA Highers AABB
GCE A-Levels AAA
IB points 36, including three at HL6

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.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No prior knowledge of Classics, Latin or Greek is necessary, but competitive applications will have previous experience of studying a modern or ancient foreign language at National 5 or GCSE level.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. 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 webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

St Andrews students must meet with their advisor 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 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 have not studied either language before, you may defer the start of your studies in one of the languages to your second year, and will then take special modules in Honours.

In 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.

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
  • Greek prose composition
  • Latin prose writing, including philosophical writing, oratory, letter writing and biography
  • Latin poetry, including didactic poetry, lyric, satire and epic
  • Late antique Latin literature
  • Latin prose composition
  • 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.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take three modules per semester: Greek, Latin and one other subject. Over the two Honours years, you will take at least two modules in each language. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take two Greek modules and two Latin modules. The modules you take are dependent on your knowledge of Latin and Greek prior to the course.

Greek

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. Prepares students for the challenge of reading and interpreting Greek literature.

Students who have studied Greek to SQA Higher level, 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 and linguistic/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. Involves detailed study of set texts and linguistic/translation exercises.

Latin

Beginners in Latin will take the following two 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 modules:

  • World of Latin 1: enhances understanding of Latin grammar and syntax and increases vocabulary for students who have studied Latin previously.
  • World of Latin 2: builds on work from World of Latin 1 and introduces students who have studied Latin previously to a wider range of Latin literature. 

Students will take two Greek modules and two Latin modules. The modules you take are dependent on your knowledge of Latin and Greek prior to the course.

Greek

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

  • The Landscape of Greek Prose (A): designed for students to follow on from Greek Pastoral and Passion. Examines a wide range of Greek prose texts, and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes.
  • The Landscape of Greek Poetry (A): follows on from The Landscape of Greek Prose (A). 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 (B): designed for students to follow on from Greek Literature for Beginners. Examines a wide range of Greek prose texts, and enhances Greek language skills through regular language classes.
  • The Landscape of Greek Poetry (B): follows on from The Landscape of Greek Prose (B). 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.

Latin

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

  • Latin in Progress 1: builds on work covered in Elementary Latin 1 and 2. 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: builds on work from Latin in Progress 1. 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 modules:

  • Latin Language and Literature 1: the Republic: builds on World of Latin 1 and 2. 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 Language and Literature 2: the Empire: builds on Latin Language and Literature 1. Examines a wide range of texts in both prose and verse from the Republican period, and enhances Latin language skills through regular language classes.

If you decide to take Classics in your third and fourth years, you will do a minimum of two modules in Greek and two in Latin, and then you can focus the rest of your Honours modules on one classical language or the other, or balance your programme with a mixture of both.

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

  • Greek poetry, including epic and tragedy
  • Greek historiography, including authors like Herodotus and Thucydides
  • Greek rhetoric
  • Greek philosophy
  • Greek history and ideology
  • Greeks and barbarians
  • Greek literature in the Roman Empire
  • Greek prose composition
  • Latin philosophical writing
  • Latin didactic poetry
  • Roman satire
  • Latin oratory
  • Late antique Latin literature
  • Latin prose composition
  • Senecan tragedy
  • Roman epic
  • Roman biography
  • Latin letters
  • Renaissance reception of Latin literature.

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 sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take 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 the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

Teaching at sub-honours level is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, language classes and set-text reading classes (10 to 40 students).

In addition to these classes, students are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom.

At Honours level, 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.

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

  • reading Greek and 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.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of 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 Classics 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.

Assessment

Almost all of the modules in Classics 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 of Classics provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

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.

Visit St Andrews

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

Undergraduates

Spring visiting days

Our spring visiting days will be announced shortly.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Rest of the UK £9,250 
Overseas £21,290

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

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out aboutaccommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

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 like 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 Classics as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

Your future

Careers

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

Recent Classics graduates have moved into careers in:

  • law
  • marketing
  • museums work
  • journalism
  • the theatre
  • civil service
  • teaching
  • finance
  • applied computing.

A degree in Classics 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
  • better understanding of modern languages
  • 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

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

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 Classics may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • History Society hosts talks with guest speakers on a variety of topics as well as social events including pub nights, garden parties and trips abroad.  
  • The Greek and Cypriot Society welcomes everyone with an interest in Greece, Greek history and Greek culture.
  • The Bacchae Society is the student society for everyone interested in all things classical.

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, 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.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around 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 make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

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

Contact

School of Classics

University of St Andrews
Swallowgate
Butts Wynd
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 25600
Email: classics@st-andrews.ac.uk

Classics website