Six Reasons to Study Classics & Ancient History

If you are toying with the idea of studying Classics & Ancient History at uni, but need a little coercing, we have compiled this list of reasons for studying the ancient period at a higher level:

1. It is still a relevant subject

Despite being based in an era which seems distant and enigmatic, the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome set into motion many societal practises and values which still exist in some form in today’s social climate. Democracy, effective sewage systems, straight roads. They all find their genesis in the archaic period, in the same way religions like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism came to fruition. It is clear that in order to understand the ‘here and now’ we must consult and explore the ‘there and then’.

2. It is a broad and global subject

Many of the institutions which teach Ancient History offer more than just Greece and Rome (as fascinating as they are). Everything from the Near East, India, Ancient America and Egypt are available as units, which helps to provide a more comprehensive view of the ancient world, not just ancient Europe.

3. It encourages independent study and research

As a course which typically has few contact hours, Classics & Ancient History enables and encourages students to go their own way in research. By reading several different views on a certain area of historical debate, a student can form their own developed and refined theory, thus improving their critical faculties and quality of work.

4. It is full of fascinating and fundamentally interesting stories and facts

As basic as this sounds, Ancient History (like Classics) is a stunningly complex and interesting area of study. In the nuances of the literature, and the evolution of the writing, lies beauty. For example, from the absurd and sadistic behaviour of Caligula, who threatened to make his horse a senator, to the common place use of slavery and secret cults in ancient Rome, it is hard to find anything in this subject which provides no intellectual stimulation. Even the topic of ancient letter writing will satisfy an appetite for wonderment.    

5. Combined courses

Like many degrees, Classics & Ancient History provides the option of combined courses. Whether it is Ancient History & English, Classics & Modern History, Classics & English, Ancient History & Economics or Ancient History with different modern languages, if you look hard enough you may be able to find a bespoke course which covers two seemingly different areas of study, providing freedom and variety in your degree. Search for Classics & Ancient History courses with our Course Chooser.

6. Open career opportunities

Like many other Humanities, Classics & Ancient History don’t confine a student to a narrow path of careers. Skills of analysis, writing and prioritising evidence are incredibly useful in so many areas. There is nothing to stop a successful graduate from going into a career in journalism, curating, law or advertising, among many others.