Department of Greek & Latin


BA Ancient World

Athenian tetradrachm.jpeg

The Ancient World degree is one of the most flexible degree programmes covering the Ancient World in the UK. A range of options is offered from across three departments:

  • the Department of Greek and Latin,
  • the Department of History, 
  • the Institute of Archaeology.

The field of study of the degree is also defined more broadly than most degrees in this area: the ancient world of the Mediterranean and Near East, since the beginning of written records. It is possible to take modules relating to this field from any of the three participating departments. It is also possible to take a number of "elective" modules on any subject from across the university: students often use this option to study a modern language, the archaeology or history of a different period or place, or any other subject they are interested in (art history, anthropology, English literature, etc).

The degree is open to those who have no previous experience of Latin or Greek languages, but all students must take 45 credits in an ancient language during their degree. This is because we believe that the cultures of the ancient world can best be appreciated through exposure to ancient languages, as well as to their literature, history, and archaeology. All students are given the opportunity to reach intermediate level in at least one ancient language, and to experience the diverse approaches to the ancient world offered by the different disciplines of history, archaeology and literary studies. The first year core module Approaches to the Ancient World is intended to introduce the methodologies of these different disciplines. The final year Extended Essay, involving independent study of a topic chosen by you, is the culmination of the degree.

The breadth and variety of the degree means that you can make of it what you will. In the first year, students must study the full range of disciplines offered by the degree (Classical language/literature, ancient history, archaeology). Beyond the first year, it is largely up to you how you structure your degree.

Many students enjoy taking the full range of disciplines across their three years. Others prefer to concentrate on one discipline.

  • You can plan your modules so that they complement and support each other: thus, if you particularly enjoy studying the Greeks, you could take modules in Greek history, Greek archaeology and Greek literature.
  • Or you might enjoy a more "pick and mix" approach, and want to combine modules on the Near East, Egypt and the Greco-Roman world.

Your first year is the time to experiment and find out where your interests lie. You should talk over your module choices with your Personal Tutor, and of course you are always most welcome to contact the Ancient World Degree Tutor if you have any questions or concerns.


Dr. Peter Agocs
All staff at UCL (Ancient World)