Department of Greek & Latin

Text Reception

MA in Reception of the Classical World

Our MA in the Reception of the Classical World makes extensive use of the unique features of UCL: its central location, diverse international expertise, interdisciplinary outlook, and close relationship with its sister classics departments in Royal Holloway and Kings College. We provide research tours of nearby research resources, such as the British Museum, the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Sir John Soane’s Museum, and the British Film Institute.

We have a large staff of experts in Greek and Latin literature and its reception, ancient history, and classical art and archaeology; all are available to supervise or advise MA students in their research. A wide range of courses is available to students - from within our Department, from other departments in UCL, and from the intercollegiate MA programme in Classics.


Aims of the programme

The programme aims to provide graduate students with a thorough grounding in key aspects of and approaches to the reception of classical culture – understood broadly as its interpretation, appropriation, representation or reconstruction, and/or revision. It also aims to equip students with the tools for further research in the reception of the classical world by developing their critical and conceptual understanding in the field.

Course Structure

Students take 180 credits divided as follows:

(1) An introductory core course on Approaches to Reception of the Classical World (40 credits). The course is taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and research visits to relevant institutions, such as the British Museum, Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, and Sir John Soane’s Museum. The course is designed to provide training in research techniques and resources for postgraduate study in the reception of antiquity, and to introduce students to relevant methods and theories of classical reception studies, as well as offering an overview of different kinds of reception in action from within antiquity to the twenty-first century.

See the Moodle page for this course (not at UCL? Choose the Log in as a guest option)

(2) & (3) Taught courses to the value of 120 credits (each course carries 40 or 20 credits). You select these from a wide range of courses, either dedicated to reception, focused on the classical world and its languages, or from within related disciplines (see box below). The programme tutor will advise you on your selection.

Optional courses

Courses dedicated to reception include Homer's Legacy (which examines the ways in which the Iliad and the Odyssey, foundational texts of western literature, have been appropriated by subsequent ages); Rome on Film (which analyses cinematic representations of Roman history from the silent era to the twenty-first century); Ancient Greek Theatre and its Reception (which examines the ways ancient Greek theatre has exerted its influence throughout history); The Classical Past in Modern Greece (which explores the ways in which modern Greece has responded to its classical past, in poetry and prose, theatre and film); Julius Caesar and his Afterlife (which considers how the life of Caesar became quasi-mythic and influenced not just his later re-presentations, but also individual political events and people).

See the Moodle page for Rome on Film  (not at UCL? Choose the Log in as a guest option)

Individual options may also be taken from within the intercollegiate MA Programme in Classics (which ranges over the ancient languages and literatures, ancient history, art, archaeology, religion and philosophy; from Beginners’ Greek to Medieval Latin, Greek Tragedy to the Ancient Novel, Greek Law to Byzantine Egypt, Sculpture to Mosaics).

Students may also take a maximum of one course from within another UCL MA programme such as History, Archaeology, Film Studies, Medieval Studies, and Renaissance Studies, or Language, Culture, and History (which includes Italian, French, German, Spanish studies and much more).

(4) A dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words (60 credits) on an aspect of the reception of the classical world that you choose in consultation with the programme director.

The MA programme can be studied full-time over one year or part-time over two years.


Entry Requirements

To undertake our MA, you normally need a minimum of an upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline (Classics, Classical Civilization, History, Art, Archaeology, Modern Languages, or Comparative Literature) from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin is not required.

How to Apply

For help and information please visit the Graduate Prospectus page.

Your completed application is submitted to UCL Admissions (not to the Department).
Links to further information:

For any other information about the Reception MA programme, contact the programme director Professor Maria Wyke.