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Ancient History MA

The Ancient History MA is an intercollegiate degree programme of the University of London. It offers students the opportunity to focus on a specific period or topic, explore adjacent disciplines, and acquire technical skills in such areas as archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, and textual criticism.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,840 (FT) £4,970 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core modules

  • Sources and Methods in Ancient History

Optional modules

Options include the following (for a list of what is available in any given year please see our departmental website page):

  • Ancient Rome on Film
  • Change and Continuity in the Ancient Near East
  • The City of Rome (BA/MA), (Royal Holloway)
  • Economic and Social History of Archaic and Classical Greece
  • Economic and Social History of Rome (Royal Holloway)
  • Greek and Latin language at various levels
  • Greek Epigraphy
  • Greek Historiography
  • Greek Law and Lawcourts (Royal Holloway)
  • Greek Papyrology
  • Latin Epigraphy
  • Lived Religion in Ancient Greece
  • The Making of the Christian Empire AD 284-425
  • Persepolis (King's College London)
  • Propaganda and Ideology in Rome
  • Roman Britain (King's College London)
  • Roman Egypt


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. Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework essays, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Ancient History MA


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Jean Orr Scholarship

£7,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Wellcome Trust Scholarship

UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


This degree provides an outstanding foundation for those wishing to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career. It is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museums and heritage and the education sector.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Head of Admissions, Unspecified International School in London
  • Consulting Intern, Oracle Corporation
  • Editorial Assistant, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Senior Intelligence Analyst, British Transport Police
  • Senior Executive Officer, Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)


Students develop an enviable range of skills by taking this degree. Debates, small-group seminars and tutorials help students to acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. The analytical and research skills gained are also 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 UCL History alumni.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

This intercollegiate programme is taught jointly with King's College London and Royal Holloway, University of London, and students benefit from the international expertise and wealth of resources that the three colleges have to offer.

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 Institute of Classical Studies, the Warburg Institute and the Institute of Historical Research.

Department: History

Student / staff numbers › 38 staff including 6 postdocs › 95 taught students › 70 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: History
76% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


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.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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