Department of Greek & Latin


Middle Eastern Studies

A pathway in the BA Classics and the Ancient World

  • BA Classics and the Ancient World: Middle Eastern Studies

  • BA Classics and the Ancient World: Middle Eastern Studies with Year Abroad

This page gives an overview of how the pathway Ancient Middle Eastern Studies works, with some sample modules. This pathway has a focus on the language, literature, history and archaeology the ancient Middle East (Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia), and the rich network of connections with neighboring regions. All students take one or more cuneiform languages (Akkadian, Hittite, Sumerian).

  • UCAS code Q802 and then select the pathway.

All students must take 90 credits in a cuneiform language (Akkadian, Hittite, Sumerian) during their degree.

  • They can take more if they want, and are free to specialise in ancient languages.

In the first year students must take

In the second year students must take 

In the third year students must take

  • the final-year Dissertation (30 credits).
  • 30 credits of a cuneiform language.

(The structure for the pathway BA Classics (Language and Literature) Year Abroad is identical, except that in their first and second years students study also need to take 30 + 15 credits in the language of the country they wish to visit unless they can demonstrate proficiency: note that this excludes otherwise allowed optional modules outside the field of Classics and the Ancient World in the first year. They spend their third year abroad, then take their final year at UCL in their fourth year.)

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Sample Module Choices

Ancient Middle Eastern Studies

Year OneYear TwoYear Three
Introductory AkkadianIntermediate AkkadianDissertation
Approaches to the Ancient World*Introductory HittiteIntroductory Sumerian
Texts in Archaeology*Assyrian Imperialism in ancient Iraq: Nineveh and NimrudHittite Texts
Babylon from Hammurabi to Alexander
The Late Bronze Age Aegean*
The Late Bronze Age Aegean*Understanding Complex Societies: Egypt and Mesopotamia*
Introduction to Egyptian & Near Eastern Archaeology*The Early Islamic World*Archaeology of Early South Asia*
Texts In Archaeology*  

Total 120 credits per year. An asterisk indicates a 15 credit module (usually one term); all others are 30 credits (usually two terms).

This student chose Introductory Akkadian, an ancient cuneiform language, for their 30 credits of compulsory language in the first year. Another 15 credits were taken up by the compulsory Approaches to the Studying the Ancient World module. Another 15 credits were taken up by the compulsory Texts in Archaeology Module, and further 30 credits were taken up by the history module Babylon from Hammurabi to Alexander.  With their remaining module, they pursued interests in archaeology. In their second year they continued with Akkadian, started Hittite, a cuneiform language from Anatolia, for the compulosory language modules. They pursued their interest in ancient middle eastern history and archaeology. In their final year they took Sumerian, the earliest cuneiform language, fulfilling their language requirement. They took the compulsory dissertation module. With the remaining options, they decided to continue their study of Hittite. Their remaining modules reflected their interest in archaeology (including a 15 credit module outside the area of the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East).


  • Note that text modules and thematic modules are rotated each year in order to provide maximum choice. Sample modules not running in the current academic year are without a link.
  • Your first year modules may include up to 30 credits, and your second and third year modules may include up to 30 credits altogether over the two years, of modules entirely outside the field of Classics and the Ancient World studies, which is defined as including all modules that relate to any aspect of Graeco-Roman antiquity, the Ancient Middle East, ancient Egypt, the ancient languages of this area, and other ancient Indo-European languages.
  • See the list of modules running in the current academic year in the Department of Greek and Latin, and all modules available in the Ancient World at UCL.
  • Information on our degree programmes with year abroad.