Ancient History MA

The Ancient History MA is an intercollegiate degree programme of the University of London. It provides the opportunity to explore disciplines useful to ancient historians and to investigate auxiliary techniques which cannot usually be learned in a first degree, including archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, and textual criticism.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students gain a thorough grounding in the key aspects of and approaches to ancient history. They develop the ability to assess historical evidence critically and synthesise historical data from printed, manuscript, archaeological, numismatic, epigraphic, and papyrological sources, and are equipped with the tools necessary for further research in this field.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL History enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

UCL has one of the world's strongest traditions of research in Ancient History, from the Ancient Near East to the fall of the Roman Empire. Students benefit from individual supervision from leading historians.

Located in Bloomsbury, UCL History is just a few minutes' walk away from the exceptional resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg Institute and the Institute of Historical Research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (40 credits), between two and four optional modules (80 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Sources and Methods in Ancient History
  • Dissertation in Ancient History


  • Options include the following (for a full list please see our website below):
  • Greek Epigraphy
  • Latin Epigraphy
  • Greek Papyrology
  • Change and Continuity in the Ancient Near East
  • Economic and Social History of Archaic and Classical Greece
  • Territory and Identity in Ancient Greece (King's College London)
  • Roman Egypt
  • Economic and Social History of Rome (Royal Holloway)
  • Roman Britain (King's College London)
  • The City of Rome (BA/MA), (Royal Holloway)
  • The Economy of Classical Athens
  • Roman Britain
  • Propaganda and Ideology in Rome
  • Ancient Rome on Film


All students undertake an independent research project in the field of Ancient History, which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures and museum visits. Most teaching is available inside UCL, but some is held in other London colleges; certain subjects are taught by staff at the British Museum. Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework essays, and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:


History Department Graduate scholarships may be available for this programme.

Scholarships available for this department

Jean Orr Scholarship

For prospective Master's students in the Department of History, and the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (studying Dutch, French or Italian). This award is based on academic merit. There is no application procedure for this scholarship; all eligible students will be automatically considered.

Carol Chattaway Scholarship

This award is for prospective graduate students in medieval historical studies. Particular consideration will be given to mature students and female students.

Furlong Bursary for MA Study in the Ancient Near East

The Furlong Memorial Trust will award a bursary each year for the best application to the MA Ancient History with an interest in studying the near east.

MARS Studentship

Arnaldo Momogliano Studentship

Margaret Drower Studentship

James Henderson Studentship

History Overseas Bursary

For prospective overseas students admitted for MA studies by 1 April, will automatically be considered for funding.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Knowledge of a relevant ancient language (e.g. Latin, Hebrew, Akkadian) is a prerequisite (minimum GCSE or one year's study as part of a BA degree).

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Advanced

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme provides the ideal foundation for further research work, and will also appeal to students with a first degree in a relevant background who wish to extend their knowledge through a further year of study.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Ancient History at graduate level
  • why you want to study Ancient History at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.


Top career destinations for this programme

  • Advent International, London Executive, 2009
  • UCL, PhD Student, 2010
  • Sotherby's, Internship, 2010
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Diplomat Desk Officer, 2011
  • Price Waterhouse Cooper, Management Consultant, 2011


This degree allows students to develop an enviable range of skills which not only provide an outstanding foundation for those wishing to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career but is popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museums and heritage and the education sector. Debates, small group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. Likewise the analytical and research skills gained by students on this programme are highly valued by employers from a range of industries. There are many additional activities available, both within the department and the wider UCL community, to help students focus on employability skills whilst they are here, for example, departmental careers talks and networking opportunities with history alumni.

Next steps


Miss Joanna Fryer

T: +44 (0)20 7679 1340



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Prospectus subject


Faculty overview

Social and Historical Sciences


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Staff View

"The UCL History of Art Department appealed to me because of its long-standing commitment to critical theory, a willingness to embrace interdisciplinary approaches and a research culture in which period isn’t the chief organising factor."

Dr Robert Mills

Reader in Medieval Art

Subject: History of Art, Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences

Alumni View

"I was able to develop my research interests into a more focussed package, which then helped me enormously when drafting my PhD research proposals."

John-Paul Salter

PhD Candidate, UCL School of Public Policy, 2011

Subject: Political Science, Faculty: Social and Historical Sciences