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Ancient History BA (Hons)

Durham University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons)

  • Location

    John Snow College

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 Years

Course summary

This course focuses on the political, social and cultural history of the Greek and Roman world, and their interactions with neighbouring societies. In your first year, you study core topics in Greek and Roman history, as well as a module focusing on ancient historical writing. These courses prepare you for a wide range of more focused modules about politics, culture and society in the ancient world available in your second and third years. The course includes the option of beginning to learn Greek or Latin language (or continuing, if you have studied the languages already).**Year 1**You’ll take an introductory module on ancient historiography:The Craft of the Ancient HistorianYou’ll also take two interdisciplinary modules that serve to give you grounding in the central periods of Greek and Roman culture:Introduction to the Greek WorldMonuments and Memory in the Age of AugustusExamples of first-year optional modules include:Beginners’ Latin and GreekIntermediate Latin and Greek (if you have an A level or equivalent)The Lives of ObjectsEarly Greek PhilosophyLanguage, Translation, Interpretation**Year 2**Historical modules in the second year offer deeper and broader surveys of political and social history from the Greek and Roman worlds. You’ll take at least three ancient history modules in your second year. In addition, you can choose from a range of modules exploring literary, philosophical and cultural topics. If you choose to study Latin or Greek you may continue these courses in your second year. It’s also possible to begin the study of Latin or Greek in the second year.Historical offerings have previously included:The Hellenistic WorldCrisis of The Roman RepublicEmperors and DynastiesDeath in the Classical WorldAncient Political Thought and ActionLiterary, cultural and philosophical topics have previously included:Traditions of EpicInterpreting Greek Tragedy TodayCreation and CosmologyStoicismDialogues with AntiquityClassical Receptions & Contemporary CulturesTheatre & Spectacle in Ancient Rome**Year 3 (Year 4 if taking a Year Abroad)**You’ll write a Dissertation on a topic at the end of your second year in consultation with an adviser, with who you will meet regularly for guidance throughout Year 3. Third-year modules typically cover specific topics that arise out of the research interests of our members of staff. At least two of your third-year modules must focus on ancient historical subjects; you can also choose from modules which explore cultural, literary and philosophical themes. If you study Latin and Greek you can proceed to the next level, with the texts becoming more difficult or fragmentary.Historical modules have previously included:Greeks and PersiansRoman SyriaWriting AlexanderThe Life and Times of CiceroUrbs RomaThe Later Roman EmpireLiterary, Philosophical and Cultural topics have previously included:The Literature and Language of Ancient BabylonComedy and Tragedy, Laughter & SorrowHellenistic Poetry: Theory and PracticeRoman Law and Latin LiteratureLove and Sex in Ancient PoetryTechnologies of Knowledge in AntiquityKnowledge and Doubt in Hellenistic Philosophy**Study Abroad**This course includes an optional European Studies element, where you may spend the third year of a four-year course studying at a European university (for further details please see our website). We also participate in the University-wide overseas exchange programme, which offers the opportunity to spend your second year studying at one of our partner universities in North America or Australasia.We review course structures and core content every year and will publish finalised core requirements for 2022 entry from September 2021. Please note the list of optional modules available in any year vary depending on available teaching staff.

Application deadline

15 January

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 22,100per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

Entry requirements

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A level : AAA

Specific subjects excluded for entry:General Studies and Critical Thinking.Information:Applicants taking Science A-levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This refers only to English A Levels.


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University information

Durham University

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  • Campus address

    Durham University, The Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, England

By inspiring students to do outstanding things at Durham, the university believes they will do outstanding things in the world.
Durham's famous cathedral and castle are at the heart of the city – and the heart of the university – forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Beyond studies, Durham offers a student experience and college life that is truly unique.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 24 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    182 91%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    90 90%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.22 84%



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