Greek, Latin, Ancient Middle East MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

UCL Greek & Latin has been ranked consistently among the top UK departments in the field over the last decade. Our flexible and interdisciplinary PhD programme prepares students for leading positions in the field, and we host international conferences several times a year.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The MPhil/PhD programme in Greek, Latin and the Ancient Middle East offers students the possibility to study in the heart of London in a large and exciting research community. Students will work with world-leading academics, developing skills to prepare them for careers both within and outside of academia.

What this course will give you

UCL has one of the largest bodies of expertise on the ancient world in the United Kingdom; students have access to staff from UCL Greek & Latin, UCL History and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, as well as to staff with related interests in UCL Anthropology, the UCL English Department, the UCL Film Studies programme and UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies. Major research libraries and institutes are a few minutes' walk away, including the Institute of Classical Studies, the Warburg Institute, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House Library, the British Library and the British Museum. UCL is part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, an AHRC-funded doctoral training partnership. This provides training for all PhD students in the consortium, whether funded by the AHRC or not: this includes intensive German and French language classes, for example, and facilitates collaboration at doctoral level with King's College London, the School of Advanced Study (University of London), and other major research institutions in London. For Ancient Middle Eastern Studies, the London Centre for the Ancient Near East is organised by staff at UCL and offers a rich programme of seminars and lectures. We have close connections with the British Museum, which houses an important cuneiform collection.

The foundation of your career

A PhD from UCL is recognised as a world-class qualification in research on the ancient Greco-Roman and Middle-Eastern worlds and their place in intellectual history. We have international staff who are well placed to advise and support students as they enter the academic job market, and we have a good track record in helping our graduates start their careers in research and academia.


UCL is a major research university, and most of our graduates seek a career in research and university teaching. We help students to apply for postdoctoral research fellowships, and in the academic job market. Recent graduates have won British Academy, Leverhulme and Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowships, and many have gone on to careers in leading UK and international universities (Athens, Bristol, Cambridge, Cyprus, Edinburgh, Exeter, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Swansea and St Andrews).


Each year we host several major international conferences to enable our students to hear and meet leading scholars from across the world.

Teaching and learning

The UCL Doctoral School offers a rich and varied programme of optional courses designed for research students. The Department collaborates with the Institute of Classical Studies, the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, and other departments within UCL to provide training opportunities tailored more specifically to the Arts and Humanities in general, and the study of the ancient world in particular.

Graduate students initially register for the MPhil degree, but upgrade to full PhD student status at the start of the second year, if progress is satisfactory. In addition to the upgrade review at the start of the second year, progress is also reviewed in June and January each year by the PGR tutor. Students who are making good progress will usually be offered opportunities to gain teaching experience from the second year onwards.

Full-time students can expect to meet their supervisors every two weeks during the academic year, and part-time students every four weeks. This is flexible, and will be agreed in advance (at some points in a student's research it may be necessary to meet more or less often).

PhD students should treat their research programme as a full-time job; part-time students should expect to dedicate around 15 hours a week to their research. 

Research areas and structure

Research environment

The future of the discipline depends on training the next generation of scholars in research methods and critical skills, so that you are equipped to become leaders in your field. Maintaining the pool of excellence is a challenge that requires long-term vision and commitment. Our PhD programme is a critical part of this vision. We advise you on formulating research projects that are cogent, innovative, and well-defined, we provide you with relevant and (if necessary) interdisciplinary supervision, and we support you in acquiring training that will facilitate your research. Your work will be presented at a Departmental seminar for all staff and research students: this takes place in a friendly and informal atmosphere and is designed to foster presentation skills. We host international conferences several times a year, and we will encourage you to play a leading role in the design and administration of these conferences. We also hold a large number of colloquia and workshops throughout the academic year. We encourage all research students to take part in conferences and seminars in London and elsewhere. The Institute of Classical Studies hosts a wide range of seminars and workshops in classical and near eastern literature and history, and is a short distance from the Department. In Ancient Middle Eastern Studies we collaborate closely with the History Department, home of the AHRC-funded Nahrein Network. A rich programme of seminars and lectures is offered by the London Centre for the Ancient Near East.

You will receive initial advice from your supervisors about the viability and originality of your topic. You will subsequently modify, revise and refine the research topic, gradually identifying the contents and direction of each chapter, as well as the overall thrust and argument of the thesis.

In the first year, you will work with your supervisors to establish the research project which will be the basis for your dissertation. You will take courses in the Skills Development Programme in the UCL Doctoral School. These may include reading in foreign languages (particularly French and German), bibliographic skills, using databases, writing and presentation skills, and many more.  You will also attend seminars and workshops in the Department and other research centres in London (the most important of these are the Institute of Classical Studies and the London Centre for the Ancient Near East).

All new research students entering UCL are required by the Doctoral School to maintain an online Research Log. You are required to fill in the Research Log at regular intervals: your supervisor and the Graduate Tutor have access to the Log and will check that this is done. The Log provides a flexible framework for recording details related to your research programme, including supervisory meetings and activities concerning the development of academic and key skills. The Log is designed to help you to assess your progress, plan the next stage of your research and to chart evidence of the development of specific and generic research skills.

In the second year, you will work with your supervisors in preparation for the upgrade procedure and be encouraged to teach for the Department, under supervision, in order to acquire teaching skills useful for an academic career. You will continue to take courses in the Skills Development Programme and attend seminars in the Department and at the Institute of Classical Studies. You will also be encouraged to attend national and international conferences in your field of study and may help in the organisation of conferences in the department

Upgrade Procedure

The upgrade to PhD normally occurs around thirteen months after registration for full-time students (in the third year for part-time students). For the upgrade, you will be asked to provide written evidence of your research progress, consisting of a draft chapter, a draft outline of the proposed dissertation and a bibliography. You will then be invited to discuss your research with a panel of members of staff.

The department has a range of exchange links across Europe through the Socrates/ Erasmus scheme, and an exchange scheme with Yale University. These are available to postgraduate research students and we will encourage you to consider these opportunities and will help in arranging them.

In your third year you will work with your supervisors on the final stage of your thesis. You would be encouraged to attend seminars and conferences in your field in London and elsewhere: these are an important part of research training. In and after the second year you may wish to offer a seminar paper at one of these events. UCL offers funding to PhD students to attend conferences, and for other necessary research purposes. You should submit your thesis by the end of your third year if you are registered full time.

Working hours and patterns for students enrolled part-time in the PhD programme are flexible, and not usually specified. You should expect to dedicate around 15 hours a week to work on your PhD (at certain stages you may need to put aside more time for intensive study or writing).

Upgrade procedure

Supervisors and students agree a pathway to upgrade, which usually takes place 20-24 months after the start of the programme.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

Additional costs

Students may need to visit archives or undertake field work as part of their research. Attending conferences and workshops is also an important part of a research career.

The Department has a dedicated fund to help subsidise the costs of necessary research visits, field work, and conferences; we also help students to apply for funding from educational charities which have funds for this purpose.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL is part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), a consortium of leading research universities and cultural institutions in London. Every year a number of studentships will be available to applicants in Classics and Ancient Middle Eastern Studies: please check the LAHP or Greek & Latin website for details

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Got questions? Get in touch

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