If you are fascinated by the history of the Greeks and Romans, this is the course for you. We will introduce you to the world of the ancient Greeks and early imperial Rome, and their interactions with neighbouring societies. In your first year you will focus on core topics in Greek and Roman history, as well as studying a module focusing on ancient historical writing. This will prepare you for a wide range of more specific historical modules about politics, culture and society in the ancient world in your second and third years. At least half of your course in your second and third years will concentrate on historical topics. The course includes the option to start learning Greek or Latin, and if you have prior knowledge of these languages you can choose to study higher level modules. And if you wish, you can broaden your degree by selecting modules about ancient art, literature or philosophy, or by choosing other topics that interest you from other departments. In the first year, you take an introductory module on ancient historiography: The Craft of the Ancient Historian. You will also take two interdisciplinary modules that serve to give you grounding in the central periods of Greek and Roman culture: Introduction to the Greek World Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus. 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 will 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 is also possible to begin the study of Latin or Greek in the second year. 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 Persians Roman Syria Writing Alexander The Life and Times of Cicero Urbs Roma The Later Roman Empire Literary, Philosophical and Cultural topics have previously included: The Literature and Language of Ancient Babylon Comedy and Tragedy, Laughter & Sorrow Hellenistic Poetry: Theory and Practice Roman Law and Latin Literature Love and Sex in Ancient Poetry Technologies of Knowledge in Antiquity Knowledge and Doubt in Hellenistic Philosophy Year 3 (Year 4 if taking a Year Abroad) You will write a Dissertation in your third year. You will choose 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. This course includes an optional European Studies element, where students may spend the third year of a four-year course studying at a European university.
Year 1 Core modules: Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus gives you an introduction to Roman history and culture and Latin literature. You will investigate a central, transitional epoch in the history of ancient Rome, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Introduction to the Greek World examines ancient Greek history, society and thought, by focusing on how the classical Athenians engaged with their past. It will introduce you to the central themes, topics and terminology in the study of Archaic and Classical Greece, and equip you to use the intellectual resources available to assist that study. The Craft of the Ancient Historian gives you an introduction to ancient Greek and Roman historiography. This will help you develop critical skills in handling the information conveyed in ancient texts. Examples of optional modules: Beginners Latin or Greek Intermediate Latin or Greek Early Greek Philosophy Language, Translation, Interpretation Lives of Objects – Greek and Roman Antiquity. Year 2 Core modules: Historical modules offer deeper and broader surveys of political and social history from the Greek and Roman worlds. Living in the Classical World explores everyday life in ancient Greece and Rome, and especially the variety and development of the social structures of the two civilisations. You will examine the relationship between different social structures within a society, and the ways in which individuals encounter and experience them. Examples of further ancient history modules: Ancient Political Thought and Action Emperors and Dynasties The City of Athens Crisis of The Roman Republic. Examples of optional modules: Traditions of Epic Interpreting Greek Tragedy Today Alexandria Classical Receptions and Contemporary Cultures Dialogues with Antiquity Further Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced Greek and/or Latin language. Year 3 (Year 4 if taking a placement or year abroad) Dissertation. The dissertation is a significant piece of work in which you research and analyse a topic in depth. Examples of further ancient history modules: Greeks and Persians (c. 560-336 BC) The Later Roman Empire The History of Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean. Examples of optional modules: Roman Law and Latin Literature The Origins of Civilisation Comedy and Tragedy, Laughter and Sorrow Lives and Afterlives of The Greek and Roman Poets Sing Me, O Muse Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or Higher Greek and/or Latin language.
We use various types of assessment, designed to test the different skills you have gained through your studies: essays, commentaries, translations and (in some modules) presentations or projects. In your final year, you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills in independent learning and research and your ability to tie together your learning from across the entire course.
How to apply
This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.
Republic of Ireland
This is the deadline for applications to be completed and sent for this course. If the university or college still has places available you can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered.
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
Our contextual offer for this programme is A level BBB (or equivalent). To find out if you’re eligible, please visit: https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/how-to-apply/what-happens-to-your-application/contextual-offers/
Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course
English language requirements
Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.
English language requirements
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Fees and funding
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