Classics BA


Fact file - 2018 entry

Classics  | BA Hons
UCAS code
3 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
No more than one fine art or performance subject
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This course offers the opportunity to study both Greek and Latin language at an advanced level. You will use your language skills to think about the ancient world, its culture and history.
Read full overview

This course offers the opportunity to study both Greek and Latin language at an advanced level. Students entering the course with A levels in the languages will do so from year one, while those with no background in either language can begin with intensive study, which will take them to advanced level by year three. As well as reading some of the greatest achievements in Western literature, from Homer to Lucian, from Horace to Apuleius, and engaging with these texts in the complexity and richness of their original form, you will use your language skills to access the culture and history of the ancient world.

Year one 

You begin a programme of language study at the level appropriate to your background. You also study two core survey modules which give you an integrated introduction to the history and culture of Greece and Rome and their reception. Other modules are chosen from a range of first-year introductory modules going into more depth in the areas of history, literature or art.

Year two

You will either continue with both Greek and Latin, or start the second language in this year if you began the course with no background in either language. You also choose from a wide range of optional modules on the literature, art, history and society of the ancient world.

Year three

You would normally expect to continue with both languages into your third year, although if you began the course with A Levels in both languages, you can continue with advanced study of just one language and take a dissertation or a special subject instead. A choice of further optional modules completes the year.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAB-ABB

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

We recognise that potential students have a wealth of different experiences and follow a variety of pathways into higher education, so we treat applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate) as individuals, and accept students with a range of less conventional qualifications including:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

This list is not exhaustive, and we consider applicants with other qualifications on an individual basis. The entry requirements for alternative qualifications can be quite specific; for example you may need to take certain modules and achieve a specified grade in those modules. Please contact us to discuss the transferability of your qualification.

For more information, please see the alternative qualifications page.


Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


Typical year one modules


Studying the Greek World
This wide-ranging module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from 1600BC-31BC, from the Bronze Age to a point when Greece had become part of the Roman Empire; no prior knowledge of the Greek world is required. You will consider major chapters of Greece’s history, such as the Mycenean Period, the rise of the city-state in the Archaic period, and Alexander the Great. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture and as consider aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week over the course of 10 weeks.
Studying the Roman World
This module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. You will examine many important aspects of Rome’s history such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome. At the same time you will explore developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. In addition, you will examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world, to complement the Autumn semester module ‘Studying the Greek World'. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week.


Interpreting Ancient Literature
Ancient literature from Homer to late antiquity is studied in this module by focusing on a representative theme. Recent themes have been 'Perfomance and Persuasian' and 'Love and War'. Issues treated have included: the relationship of literature and society, oral culture, performance, genre, gender, religion and literature, style, and artistry in historical writing. For this module you will have eight 1-hour seminars over the year and two 1-hour lectures each week.
Beginner's Greek: 1

In this module you will be provided with an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of classical Greek; no previous knowledge is assumed. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the ability to read Greek, rather than on writing or speaking it. You will have four 1-hr classes every week, enabling you to keep improving steadily over the course of 10 weeks.

Beginner's Greek: 2

This module is a continuation to the study of classical Greek begun in Beginner’s Greek 1. You will continue to study the structure of the language, and reading skills are further developed until almost completely unadapted passages from classical Greek texts are read. For this module you will have four 1-hour classes each week.

Latin Texts: 1

This module is targeted at those students who have a good A-level grade in Latin. It studies a Latin literary text and begins the systematic revision of grammar to be completed in Latin Texts 2. This module will reinforce your knowledge of the Latin language and develop your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. Examples of texts read: Lucretius 1, Virgil Eclogues, Propertius 4, Tacitus' Agricola. For this module you will have one 2-hour class and three 1-hour classes each week.


Typical year two modules


Extended Source Study
This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for your third year dissertation. You will write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how to approach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches, from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary effects, relationships with other material, discussion of context or reception. For this module you will have a mixture of lectures and four 2-hour seminars over a period of 10 weeks.
Latin Texts: 3

This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. In recent years, themes have included: Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius); Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); the emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus). Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. The module will not just be about literature: you will also explore the text's relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will receive four hours of classes each week.

Intermediate Greek: 1

In this module you will study classical Greek from the level reached in Beginners Greek 2. This will complete instruction in the basic aspects of the Greek language and enables students to undertake the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Greek text, such a Lysias 1. In this module you will have four 1-hour classes each week.

Independent Second-Year Project
This module is your opportunity to expand your knowledge of the Classical world in an area which interests you, and to experiment with a method of communicating that knowledge which is different from the usual assessment practices of essay-writing, exam-writing and seminar -presentation. You might undertake research that leads to the construction of a database, or the reconstruction of a Greco-Roman artefact. You can select a communication method tailored to a future career, e.g. by constructing a teaching plan and testing it in a school, by writing in a journalistic style, or by designing a museum exhibit. You might choose to experiment with making a video or a website. A supporting portfolio documenting your research forms part of the assessment. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, seminars, computing training and workshops.
Virgil and the Epic Tradition

This module involves a detailed study of Virgil's Latin epic poem, the Aeneid, in English translation, and focuses on its interactions with the epic genre. The Aeneid was immediately characterised as a 'great' poem: how does Virgil react against his predecessors to carve out his own literary territory? How is the Aeneid received and re-used by poets and other artists down the ages? Themes will include: career and poetics, Homer and Apollonius, reception in later epic (later Roman, Renaissance Latin, Milton), politics and identity, games and reality, gender and genre, and vision and spectacle. For this 20-credit module you will have 6 hours of lectures and one 2-hour seminar each fortnight across a ten-week semester.


Typical year three modules


Imperial Biography
This module considers the genre of literature known as Imperial Biography: that is, biographies written about the Roman Emperors. In particular, it will focus on Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars and the anonymous text known as the Historia Augusta. The module will not only look at the limitations of the genre as a whole in relation to its structure and sources, but it will also look at major themes within the lives and key case studies of specific examples - ranging from discussion of physiognomy, to gender and sexuality, omens and portents, religion and philosophy, administration and empire-building, birth and death scenes and so on. For this 10-credit module you will have 3 hours of lectures and one 1-hour seminar each fortnight across a ten-week semester.
Latin Texts 5

This module examines, in the original Latin, a range of texts representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying special attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of the original Latin. The position of the texts in the development of the genre will be explored, as well as their relationship with their social context. A recent example is to focus on a selection of Martial’s epigrams and Statius Silvae 2, studying the poems as part of life in Flavian Rome. Themes include: the emperor, patronage, daily life, gender and sexuality, genre, satire, the city of Rome.

Advanced Greek: 1

In this module you will do detailed guided study of a prose or verse text in Greek. Those who have taken Greek A-level and third-years who began the study of Greek in their first year at Nottingham are taught together. Attention is paid to the development of translation skills, but the focus of the module will not be merely linguistic as you will be encouraged to explore the set text’s interrelation with its literary tradition and its socio-political background, as well as to appreciate style and imagery through your access to the text in the original language. You might study a book of Homer, a tragedy of Euripides or Sophocles, a selection from the works of Lucian, a speech by Demosthenes or a book of Herodotus. For this module you will have five hours of classes per week.

Jason and the Argonauts

A cross-medium, cross-genre, cross-cultural perspective on one important myth: Jason and Medea, the quest for the golden fleece, the journey of the first ship. The myth that pre-dates Homer brings together the famous fathers of Homeric heroes (Peleus, Telamon), in a gathering of the marvellous, the semi-divine and the ultra-heroic. For this module the central text will be the Argonautica of Apollonius but a wide range of texts, images and films, Greek, Roman and beyond will be part of the module. Themes include: the Greeks and the other; civilisation and colonisation; Jason and Medea; gender and sexuality; the nature of heroism; monsters, marvels and magic. For this 20-credit semester-long module, you will have two 1-hour lectures each week and one 2-hour seminar each fortnight.

Greek Comedy
In this module you will consider the structures and techniques of Athenian Old and New Comedy and how they reflected and influenced the society of their respective periods. Particular attention is paid to the problems of reconstructing the performance from a bare script (often, in the case of New Comedy, a script with considerable gaps). A representative selection of Aristophanes' and Menander's plays are studied in translation. For this 20-credit module you will have 6 hours of lectures and one 2-hour seminar each fortnight across a ten-week semester.


The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.



By graduation, you will have developed your language skills to advanced level and gained a broad knowledge of ancient literature and culture. You will also have developed transferable skills including the ability to think independently, communicate effectively orally and in writing, and construct a logical argument, and to understand the grammar of foreign lagnuages.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015 90% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Classics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,027 with the highest being £30,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2014/15. 

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further, by assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


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