Ancient Philosophy Summer School

  • 30 hours
  • 5 days (over 1 week)


This intensive five-day summer school is open to anyone who wants to learn about ancient philosophy and its protagonists.

You'll study texts by Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics.

You'll consider topics such as ethics, metaphysics, and theories of knowledge.

The course aims to demonstrate how critical perspectives on the world around us are dynamic and multifaceted, and that the questions and issues raised by ancient philosophers are still relevant today.

The Summer School is run by UCL Department of Greek and Latin.

Who it's for

The summer school is open to anyone over 15 - including GCSE and A level students, university students and mature learners who want to expand their knowledge of ancient philosophy.

You don't need any prior knowledge of ancient philosophy or philosophy.

Course content

You can choose to study one of the following courses:

  • Introduction to ancient philosophy (texts will be in English)
  • What is reality? Ancient theories on metaphysics (texts will be in English)
  • What is happiness? Ancient theories on ethics (texts will be in English)
  • What can we know? Ancient theories on epistemology (texts will be in English)
  • Plato’s symposium (texts will be in ancient Greek)

Teaching, structure and certificates

The summer school takes place over five days.

There will be five classes each day (including a debate session), between 10:30am and 3:30pm. Classes will consist of lectures, close reading of texts, and debates. 

For classes, you'll be assigned to a teaching group of about 15 to 20 people. Groups will be made up of students of roughly the same level of experience (beginners, intermediate or advanced).

There's no formal assessment. You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completing the course.

Learning outcomes

Depending on your chosen level, after completing the course you'll be able to:

  • understand the major thinkers and themes of ancient philosophy
  • read and engage with ancient philosophical texts
  • identify and reconstruct philosophical arguments
  • understand the continuing importance of ancient philosophy today

Further information

Further information is available on the Department of Greek and Latin's Summer School website.

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Course team

Dr Nicolò Benzi

Nicolò is a Teaching Fellow in Classical Philosophy at the Department of Greek and Latin at UCL. Nicolò was born and educated in Bologna, Italy. After completing a BA in Electronic Engineering, he took a BA and an MA in Philosophy at the University of Bologna. He completed a PhD in Classics at Durham University with a dissertation entitled Philosophy in Verse: Competition and Early Greek Philosophical Thought. Before coming to UCL he spent a year at Trinity College Dublin as the Newman Research Fellow in the Trinity Plato Centre.

Course information last modified: 13 Jul 2018, 14:56