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Course summary

BA Classical Studies allows you to explore the culture, history, archaeology, philosophy and literature of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Choosing from a range of options, you can study Greek and Roman societies across the Mediterranean and Near East, from the Archaic period to the Roman imperial period and Late Antiquity, and the reception of Classical culture in later periods of history You will be encouraged to engage in wider debate on how we interpret the Classical world and why this matters. You will investigate both the admirable and the disturbing facets of Greek and Roman cultures, as we delve into:

  • democracy
  • slavery
  • sexuality
  • empire.
The nature of our knowledge about the past and the way in which histories and texts are written is a key concern. You will assess ancient source material (textual and archaeological) and question accepted histories and traditions about the past, so that you develop the ability to construct and present a convincing argument.   At Birkbeck we are firm believers that the study of the Classical world should be accessible to all. We attract a wide range of motivated and intellectually curious students of many different ages and backgrounds who enjoy learning and discussion in evening lectures and seminars. Many of our students have no prior knowledge of either Greek or Latin. As part of this Classical studies degree you will take at least one language option at a suitable level, often beginner level, and you will have the opportunity to develop your language skills over the duration of your degree. If you opt for the Foundation Year route, this will fully prepare you for undergraduate study. It is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree. Highlights
  • Birkbeck was ranked in the top eight universities in the UK for its History research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • Situated in historic Bloomsbury, we are at the heart of academic London with access to unparalleled research resources. Situated very close by are: the Institute of Historical Research and the Institute of Classical Studies, with their specialist libraries, training facilities and seminars; the British Museum and other world-class galleries and museums; and the British Library, the largest national library in the world.
  • The 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.
  • Get a flavour of the department through the wide range of free online and in-person seminars, workshops and tasters; check out our Discover the Past and taster courses as well as events at the Raphael Samuel History Centre, a leading centre for public history which the department co-directs.
Careers and employability Graduates can pursue career paths in museums and galleries, research and archiving, or education. Possible professions include:
  • archivist
  • editorial assistant
  • higher education lecturer
  • museum/gallery curator.

Modules

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

Assessment method

Each module is examined at the end of the academic year in which it is taken (usually by three-hour papers) and you must write a dissertation of 7000 words on a subject of your choice. Every module you take includes some form of assessment and, in addition, an attendance requirement, so you will need to attend at least 60% of classes in order to pass.


How to apply

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

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. We also accept other English language tests.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
76%
Student satisfaction
50%
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
80%
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £16020 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 Studies with Foundation Year at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS