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The literature of ancient Greece has profoundly influenced later western culture. It has shaped modern thinking on politics and philosophy. It has provided models for all the major genres of modern literature, in both verse and prose, including epic, comedy, tragedy and the novel. At the same time ancient Greek literature is in some ways alien to modern experience: to understand it we need to understand the culture that produced it. The study of Greek thus confronts students not just with the challenge of learning the language and producing literary analyses, but also involves them in learning about the history, social values, religion and philosophy of the ancient world more broadly.

Greek has been taught at St Andrews since the foundation of the University in the 15th century. Courses cover a variety of areas from a period of more than 1000 years, from the archaic period through to late antiquity. At undergraduate level students can study Greek as an independent discipline, or as a joint degree option and study Greek alongside Latin (as part of a Classics degree), history (ancient and modern), modern languages, English literature, philosophy or social anthropology.



Greek MA (Hons)
Classical Studies (Greek and Latin pathway) BA (International Hons) 
Classics MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take both Greek MA (Hons) and Classics MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree.



Classics MLitt and PG Dip
Classics MPhil


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

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 Greek at St Andrews

Applications for the summer 2017 Laidlaw undergraduate internship programme in research and leadership will close 2 December 2016.


Professor Halliwell's book, The Aesthetics of Mimesis, has been selected for translation into Chinese by Yilin publishing house.


Student volunteers from the School of Classics will visit local primary schools in Fife to teach P6 and P7 pupils Latin, Classical culture and ancient mythology.


Greek research areas

The School of Classics has an outstanding record of research in many different fields. Current areas of particular strength include Greek and Roman drama, archaeology, historiography, literature and culture of the Roman Empire, ancient science and philosophy, late antique literature, history and archaeology.

The Centre for the Literatures of the Roman Empire at St Andrews is a major centre for the study of Roman imperial literature and cultural history, from the late Hellenistic period to late antiquity. Several of the Centre’s recent research projects have involved staff working on the Greek literature of the Roman Empire:

Supervising staff

Research in Greek literature is undertaken by the following members of research staff:

  • Professor Stephen Halliwell is one of the world's leading interpreters of Greek literature. His interests include Greek comedy, Greek tragedy and the theory of tragedy, Plato and Platonic attitudes to poetry and art, Aristotle, Greek literary criticism and aesthetics, and Classical traditions.
  • Dr Jon Hesk works on Greek literature and culture, inlcuding Homer, tragedy, comedy, Attic oratory, and Greek and Roman rhetorical theory and education, and with a special focus on ancient political thought. He is also interested in the culture, history and historiography of classical Athens and the use and abuse of these in Classics and other disciplines.
  • Professor Jason König works broadly on the Greek literature and culture of the Roman Empire with particular interests in Greek and Latin novels, the literature of the symposium, Imperial encyclopaedic and miscellanistic writing, early Christian narrative, ancient athletic culture, and ancient ideas about landscape and environment.
  • Dr Alex Long works on Greek and Roman philosophy with special interests in Plato, ancient Greek political philosophy, and the response to Plato in Hellenistic philosophy, especially Stoicism, and on ancient ideas about death and immortality.
  • Dr Nicolas Wiater focuses his research on Hellenistc and early imperial Greek literature and culture, especially historiography and literary criticism. He works particularly on Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Polybius.

Careers for graduates in Greek

Greek graduates have entry to a wide range of careers and positions as their intellectual flexibility and rigour makes them highly sought after by employers.

Graduate destinations include:

  • financial services
  • law
  • marketing
  • management
  • civil and armed services
  • journalism
  • museums
  • galleries
  • libraries
  • teaching.

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Work experience

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

Funding opportunities

A range of funding opportunities is 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 postgraduates

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


REF 2014

‌The School of Classics was ranked second in the UK and first in Scotland in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. 92% of the School's research was rated world leading and internationally excellent.

University league tables

Classics and Ancient History at St Andrews were ranked third in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2017, and fourth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2017 and the Guardian University Guide 2017.


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2600

Classics website  Classics research portal