BA Ancient History and Anthropology


A Joint Honours programme in Anthropology and Ancient History offers students the opportunity to study an innovative inter-disciplinary course that combines two highly popular Humanities subjects. Students will be able to select from a range of topics covering both areas.

Key Facts

UCAS Code: LV61
Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
3 years full-time; part-time study available

Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts
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Anthropology explores the fundamentals of what it means to be human. It takes the whole world as its point of interest and brings one face to face with the eye-opening variety of human behaviours both in the present and from the past.  Anthropologists examine the daily and mundane, the rare and ‘exotic’, and the local alongside the global to help address the pressing social issues our world faces nowadays. Doing a degree in anthropology forces you to question ideas and assumptions about right and wrong and good and bad by giving ethically sophisticated consideration to the sustainability of human practices. This makes anthropology the most dynamic, challenging and rewarding discipline one can study in the humanities.

The other part of your degree  in Ancient History allows students to study a wide range of modules covering not only fascinating figures like Alexander the Great, but also basic aspects of everyday life, such as ancient myths, politics, warfare (both on land and at sea) and the economic and trading networks of Ancient Greece. You can also explore broader questions about how Rome grew into an empire, how Sparta became the legend that it is today and how religion shaped everyday life two thousand years ago. In the first year of study, modules can be taken on a wide range of periods and themes; in the second and third years, the School offers specialised modules on all aspects of Greco-Roman history so that you can gain in-depth knowledge in areas of particular interest to you. Options are also available to select modules in ancient Chinese History, Classical Archaeology or Theology. The culmination of the degree is the dissertation, where you are free to pursue a topic of your choice in line with the research interests of your tutor.

Typical modules include:

  • Greek and Hellenistic History
  • War in History
  • Rise of Rome
  • Armies and Navies
  • The City of Rome
  • The Legends of Alexander the Great
  • Infamous and Damned: Nero and the Julio-Claudians
  • The Empires of Iran
  • Chinese Religion and Culture
  • The Body, Culture and Society
  • Imagining the Other
  • Anthropology in Context
  • Approaches and Methods in Anthropology
  • Materiality of things
  • Material Worlds: Approaches to Economic Relations
  • Reading Cultures
  • The Body, Culture and Society
  • Sacred Journeys and Holy Sites
  • Water and Society

Reasons to choose this course include:

  • Students are able to draw comparisons and differences over a large time stretch and between what seem on the surface to be fundamentally different societies and cultures.
  • Fieldwork opportunities are available in Kenya and Canada.
  • Teaching is done in small groups.
  • Volunteering opportunities

A degree in Ancient History and Anthropology involves a wide range of assessment methods. In addition to traditional gobbet work, essays and exams, you will be assessed through bibliographic exercises, presentations – oral and Powerpoint based, at both individual and group level – creation of abstracts, reflective reports, in-house conference papers, article reviews, take-home exams, group wikis, creation of project plans and, of course, the dissertation. This variety of assessment helps develop skills in presenting material in a clear, professional and a lucid manner, whether orally or in writing.

This breadth of assessment type creates variety in the student experience, allowing you to explore the subjects in different ways, and also embeds within the programme the specific employability skills desired, indeed required, by employers today. 

Grades are important; however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to their chosen subject area and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we normally arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your qualifications.

Our graduates go on to a variety of careers, including:

  • Media and Publishing
  • Business and Commerce
  • Teaching
  • Volunteering
  • Social work
  • Advocacy and law
  • Legal aid
  • Library and Information Services
  • Further Study
  • Administration
  • Civil Service
  • Local Government 

There is no one path for our Ancient History and Anthropology graduates. The traditional routes of teaching, museum and heritage, the civil service and research – governmental, academic and media – are still pursued by our graduating cohort.

However, the programme of embedded employability ensures that our graduates have the skills set and confidence to explore a wide variety of career paths. Indeed, our graduating students have explored options from outdoors sports instructors to prison superintendents, from the Armed Forces to careers in the medical environment, with a good selection of entrepreneurial spirits applying what they have learnt to the creation of their own companies. Taking all that they have gained from studying Ancient History and anthropology with us and combining it with a dedicated Careers Service, our graduates are equipped to follow their passions wherever they may lead.

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU: £9,000

International: £14,900

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3% for International students and at the capped fee rate as set by the UK Government for UK/EU students.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our Student Finance pages.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's Bursaries and Scholarships page

There is an optional field trip connected to a module for second and third year students to the Mediterranean to allow students to visit ancient sites first hand. The Faculty subsidises this trip but the cost each year is dependent on airfare, location, and currency exchange rates. The Faculty aims to keep the cost in the range £400-£700.

For the Field trip modules, a deposit is usually required in September/October to ensure a place with the full cost due in December/January. Payment is made to the Finance Office on campus or through the online payment facility. 

Our students enjoy the use of an excellent suite of subject-specific resources, both electronic and hard-copy at the Learning Resources Centre. All our modules are taught with the support of innovative e-learning techniques via our Virtual Learning Environment. The School of Classics makes great use of its VLE: we podcast and/or vidcast every lecture, post all Powerpoints and handouts and utilise the space for links, discussions and group work. Our VLE is a live forum through which students and staff can interact. The VLE also helps students to revise and explore difficult topics and access the electronic resources available in the virtual world.

All our modules are taught by specialists and active researchers. The influence of our research on our teaching offers our students the opportunity to learn from the best in the subject and follow the latest scholarly trends and discoveries, while our independent study modules allow you to explore your passion in its entirety. There are also opportunities available for study abroad.