Birkbeck, University of London

Degree level: Postgraduate
Awarded by: University of London

Classical Archaeology (Taught)

Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Our MA Classical Archaeology allows you to undertake advanced study of the archaeology, history and cultural legacies of Ancient Greece and Rome. You will explore classical culture within the broader context of the ancient Mediterranean world and you will learn how to use material culture to better understand ancient societies. The course will also give you the key archaeological skills you need to retrieve and evaluate material evidence. You will learn in a culture of active research, with teaching and supervision from world-leading academics working at the cutting-edge in their fields. The course starts with an exploration of the broad themes of classical archaeology, including methodologies and interpretative approaches to the material past. While grounding you in the key theoretical approaches, the degree will also develop your practical skills, with an optional fieldwork module that covers major techniques and approaches to excavation. Another focus is on contemporary debates about the reception and interpretation of classical history and culture, particularly the meanings that have been attached to antiquities, which is a particular research strength in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. You will develop the research skills and knowledge you need to research and write a dissertation on the subject that particularly interests you, under the supervision of one of our academic experts. If you wish, you can go on to pursue archaeological research at MPhil/PhD level or professionally and independently. This course is ideal for anybody fascinated by the archaeology and history of the classical past and it could help you prepare for a career in archaeology, museology, heritage management, education and conservation. Highlights

  • Birkbeck was ranked in the top eight universities in the UK for its History research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • All master’s students are eligible to apply for our prestigious Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships, subject to availability. One of the most influential historians of the twentieth century, Eric Hobsbawm taught at Birkbeck for over five decades and embodied what is central to our teaching and research: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and public engagement.
  • Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
  • We are also at the heart of academic London with access to world-class research resources. We are five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, and the Institute of Historical Research - with its internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend - is nearby. The Museum of London is a short tube ride away.
  • Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Course details

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Entirely by coursework: a 5000-5500-word essay for each option module and a 15,000-16,000-word dissertation.


How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have achieved at least a second-class honours degree (2:2). We also offer a one-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


English language requirements


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £4515 Year 1
Northern Ireland £4515 Year 1
Scotland £4515 Year 1
Wales £4515 Year 1
International £8190 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Classical Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS