Ancient History MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Ancient History MA is an intercollegiate degree programme of the University of London. It offers students the opportunity to focus on a specific period or topic, explore adjacent disciplines, and acquire technical skills in such areas as archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, and textual criticism.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A basic knowledge of a relevant ancient language is a prerequisite.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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

Students gain a thorough grounding in the key aspects of and approaches to ancient history. They develop the ability to assess historical evidence critically and synthesise historical data from printed, manuscript, archaeological, numismatic, epigraphic, and papyrological sources, and are equipped with the tools necessary for further research in this field.

Most teaching is available inside UCL, but some is held at other London institutions.

The programme will introduce you to skills essential to or highly desirable for almost all fields of ancient history. You will be offered practical training in those skills and be introduced to specific aspects of the ancient world at an intellectually demanding level.

In summary, it aims to equip you with the tools for further research in ancient history by developing your critical and conceptual understanding of the field.

Who this course is for

The programme provides the ideal foundation for further research work, and will also appeal to students with a first degree in a relevant background who wish to extend their knowledge through a further year of study.

What this course will give you

UCL History enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

This intercollegiate programme is taught in collaboration with King's College London and Royal Holloway, University of London. Students benefit from the international expertise and wealth of resources that the three institutions have to offer.

Located in Bloomsbury, UCL History is just a few minutes' walk away from the exceptional resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Institute of Classical Studies, the Warburg Institute and the Institute of Historical Research.

The foundation of your career

Students develop an enviable range of skills by taking this degree. Debates, small-group seminars and tutorials help students acquire strong presentation and negotiation skills for their future career. The analytical and research skills gained are also highly valued by employers from a range of industries. There are many additional opportunities available, both within the department and the wider UCL community, for students to enhance their employability, by engaging in activities such as careers talks or networking events with UCL alumni. 


This degree provides an outstanding foundation for those seeking to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career. It is also popular with students wishing to go into journalism, the civil service, business, museums and heritage or education sectors.

Teaching and learning

Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework essays, and the dissertation.

It is expected that you will spend approximately 150 hours studying for a 15 credit module, and approximately 300 hours studying for a 30 credit module. These hours include contact time (usually two hours of staff-led time per week), private study and the undertaking of coursework assignments.


The MA has two compulsory modules:
Sources and Methods in Ancient History (30 credits)
M.A. Ancient History: Dissertation (60 credits)

For the remaining 90 credits, students can choose from a number of UCL and intercollegiate options.

Typically, in the first year, students take compulsory module Sources and Methods in Ancient History (30 credits) and 60 credits of optional modules. In the second year, they usually take the M.A. Ancient History: Dissertation (60 credits) and 30 credits of optional modules.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Ancient History.


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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Ancient History MA

UCL's Ancient History MA offers students the opportunity to focus on a specific period or topic, explore adjacent disciplines, and acquire technical skills in such areas as archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, and textual criticism. Join Dr Ben Dewar, Ancient History MA Degree Tutor, to find out more about the programme, the learning environment and making an application. The introductory presentation will be followed by the opportunity for you to ask your own questions.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA

UCL's MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MARS) is an intensive interdisciplinary programme run and taught by academics who are leaders in the field. Join Dr Patrick Lantschner, Medieval and Renaissance Studies MA Degree Tutor, to find out more about the programme, the learning environment and making an application. The introductory presentation will be followed by the opportunity for you to ask your own questions.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100 £7,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Students are expected to pay the entrance fee to any admission-charging exhibition or museum or archive visited by a class; the tutor will usually negotiate a group discount where this is significantly cheaper than the individual student discount. 

Students who are facing financial hardships can apply for UCL Financial Assistance Funds. 

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

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

Baxendale Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Up to £12,900 (1 year )
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Carol Chattaway Scholarship

Deadline: 15 May 2023
Value: £2,500 towards tuition fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Ancient History at graduate level
  • why you want to study Ancient History at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.

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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