Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2019

Ancient History BA

Studying history at UCL gives you opportunities to explore the subject which are unrivalled anywhere else in the UK or Europe. This degree focuses on the history of ancient Greece, Rome, the Middle East and Egypt from the third millennium BC to late antiquity.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

History, Ancient History or Classical Civilisation required.
(contextual offer)
ABB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A in History, Ancient History or Classical Civilisation required
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5; Ancient European Language at grade B or 6 also welcomed. For UK-based students a foreign language at grade B or 6 is required.

IB Diploma

A score of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in History, with no score lower than 5. A minimum of 5 is required at standard level in a modern or ancient European language.
(contextual offer)
34 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in History, with no score lower than 5. A minimum of 5 is required at standard level in a modern or ancient European language.

UK applicants qualifications

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including History.

AAA at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), including History at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, including History, Ancient History or Classical Civilisation.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • UCL's exceptional strength and formidable range of expertise in ancient history means that students on this degree programme are offered great scope for choice.

  • Whilst this degree programme has an emphasis on ancient history, students are also encouraged to take advantage of the range of expertise in the department and explore later historical periods.

  • Drawing upon UCL History, related UCL departments and relevant University of London colleges, the programme offers a wide variety of modules spanning extraordinary chronological breadth and geographical range.

  • Exceptional resources, including the British Museum and British Library, are within walking distance, and other London-based museums and organisations provide unrivalled opportunities for accessing primary source material.


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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The programme includes three first-year core modules, a further core module and a research project in the second year, a final-year special subject, and options chosen from a range of full-year and half-year modules.

Credits can be chosen from the wide range of modules in ancient history, archaeology and classics as appropriate. Students are strongly encouraged to gain maximum benefit from the chronological range of expertise in the department by choosing at least one module in modern, early modern and medieval history.

Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. All seminar groups are capped at a maximum of 15, final-year dissertation subjects at a maximum of 10.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Approaching History
Making History
Writing Ancient History

Optional modules

You will select 60 credits of optional modules in ancient history or an ancient language. Options may include:

Ancient Greek, Latin, Akkadian or other ancient language (level dependent upon ability)
Ancient and Medieval China
The Greek World c. 800-386 BC
The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the end of the Attalid Kingdom 
The History of Political Thought
Bronze Age States in the Ancient Middle East
The Near East 1200 BC-336 BC: Empires and Pastoralists
The Roman Republic, c.350-44BC

Core or compulsory module(s)

Research Seminar

Optional modules

You will select 90 credits of optional modules, including at least 30 credits of ancient history options. Options may include:

Understanding the Early Mesopotamian World
Cities and Kings in the Hellenistic World
Roman Democracy: Myth or Reality
Ancient Anatolia Through Material Culture
'Aristocracy' in Ancient Greece

Remaining credits can be selected from a wide range of options in history, ancient languages, or from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate module.

Core or compulsory module(s)


Optional modules

You will select 90 credits of optional modules, including at least 30 credits in an Ancient History Special Subject. Options may include:

Slavery in the Classical World
Religious Conversion in the Fourth Century: The Confessions of St Augustine
Rome, AD 300-1000: Portrait of a City, Reflections of a Changing World
Competitive Men: The Politics of Competition in Ancient Greece
Temple Life in Assyria and Babylonia

Remaining credits can be selected from a wide range of options in history, ancient languages, or from another approved interdepartmental or intercollegiate module.

Your learning

Our approach to learning places emphasis on active student participation in seminar discussion (always in groups of fifteen or fewer). Some modules, particularly in your first year, will also include lectures. Essays you write will always be returned to you in individual face-to-face tutorials in which you will receive constructive, personal feedback.


Your work will be assessed by a mixture of examinations and written coursework. Significant weight is given to an extended essay based on original sources produced in your final year.


The programme is designed to teach many transferable skills: how to gather and organise evidence; how to analyse it and present a structured argument; how to express yourself clearly, both in writing and orally.

UCL's History graduates have excelled in a wide range of occupations, such as lawyers, financial advisers, stockbrokers, television producers, diplomats, journalists, bankers, teachers, and in the health service, the police and overseas development programmes, as well as in progressing to further study.


First destinations of recent graduates of this programme include:

  • Company Owner, Houndly
  • Platform Developer, CloudCredo
  • Account Executive, Infectious Media
  • MA Ancient History, University College London (UCL)
  • Masters in International Public Management, Sciences Po

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2014-2016 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)


Overseas fees for the 2019/20 academic year are expected to be available in July 2018. Undergraduate UK/EU fees are capped by the UK Government and are expected to be available in October 2018. Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

Each candidate's profile is considered as a complete picture, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree, as shown in your personal statement and referee's report, as well as achieved and predicted grades. Your ability to present an argument, evidence of intellectual curiosity and your enthusiasm for and commitment to studying history will also be assessed.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2019


We are keen to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds, finding this helps to maintain an intellectually and socially stimulating community. Applicants will normally have studied History and/or Ancient History; Classical Civilisation or a language taken to a higher level is also an advantage.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.