Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Ancient History BA

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

Key Information

Degree Programme
Ancient History BA
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Total intake (by subject area)
175 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
5 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

History, Ancient History or Classical Civilisation required.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C; Ancient European Language at grade B also welcomed. For UK-based students a foreign language at grade B is required.

IB Diploma

A score of 18-19 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

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23-28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D3,D3 - D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including History

A1,A,A-AAA at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including History at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades A*A-AA, 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

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

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

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

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 courses 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.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The programme includes three first-year core courses, a further core course and a 5,000-word research project in the second year, a final-year special subject, and options chosen from a range of full-year and half-year courses.

Credits can be chosen from the wide range of courses 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 course in modern, early modern and medieval history.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Concepts, Categories and the Practice of History
Making History
Writing Ancient History

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits of optional courses in ancient history or an ancient language. Options may include:

Ancient Greek, Latin, Akkadian or other ancient language (1.0 credit, level dependent upon ability)
Ancient and Medieval China
The Greek World c.800-386 BC
The Hellenistic World
The History of Political Thought
The Near East 3000-1200 BC
The Near East 1200 BC-336 BC: Empires and Pastoralists
The Roman Republic
The Roman Empire from Augustus to Theodosius I

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Evolving History
Research Seminar (5,000-word project)

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of optional courses, including at least 1.0 credit of ancient history options. Options may include:

Ancient Youth
Aristocracy in Ancient Greece
Roman Democracy: Myth or Reality?
Slavery in the Classical World
The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the End of the Attalid Kingdom
The Seleukid Empire, c.312-145 BC
Women in Antiquity

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

Final Year

Compulsory courses


Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of optional courses, including at least 1.0 credit of an Ancient History Special Subject. Options may include:

Ancient Near Eastern Religion
Citizens and Power in the Ancient City States
Mechanisms of Power: Running the Roman Empire (c.70 BC-AD 275)
The Assyrian Empire
The Fall of the Roman Republic
The Persian Empire in the 6th-4th Centuries BC
War and Society in Ancient Greece, 750-350 BC

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

Your learning

Many of our courses include lectures, but our approach to learning mainly places emphasis on active student participation in seminar discussion (usually in groups of 15). Essays you write will be returned to you in individual face-to-face tutorials to provide 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 (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Full-time student, MSt in Roman History at the University of Oxford (2013)
  • Head Hunter, Oxford Knight (2013)
  • Full-time student, MA in Ancient History at UCL (2012)
  • Assistant Auctioneer, Christie's (2011)
  • Technology Consultant, IBM (2011)

*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 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Student view

I loved the fact that UCL History places so much emphasis on using original sources, and encourages you to study the original languages (such as Latin and Ancient Greek) alongside the history courses. Oliver Miller - Ancient History BA (Third year)

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Cassell and Stein History Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

25,000 over duration of programme
Based on financial need

The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

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 2016


Promising applicants will be asked to supply further information to help us in determining whether to offer a place.

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