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Ancient History (MA)



The Ancient History (MA) offers students whose interests centre on the study of ancient history the opportunity to take a specialist higher degree tailored to those interests. 

If you wish to expand your knowledge of the history of Ancient Greek and Roman societies at a postgraduate level, then Ancient History (MA) is for you.

The Ancient History scheme allows you to study a wide range of modules covering not only fascinating figures like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, but also basic aspects of everyday life, such as warfare and the economy.

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Tuition Fees 2021/22:
Home: £7,500
Overseas (distance/online): £10,000
Overseas (on-campus): £15,000
Fees are for the whole course

Providing our students with a range of learning opportunities and excellent teaching is the primary aim of the master’s programme in Ancient History. We employ a range of innovative methods and approaches that enhance our students’ learning, thus preparing them for the world of work or for further academic research at doctoral level.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The Ancient History (MA) offers students whose interests centre on the study of ancient history the opportunity to take a specialist higher degree tailored to those interests.

Students are offered a balance of modules in both Greek and Roman history and may focus on one or other of the two societies in their dissertation module.

The Greek modules cover the archaic, classical and Hellenistic periods while the Roman modules concentrate on the imperial period, and the relationship between Rome and the East.

In Part One, each module is worth 30 credits and, in addition to the compulsory module HPAH7011 Theory and Methodology, students have a choice from the list of optional modules noted below (a brief description of each module is available in the ‘Modules’ section).

In Part Two, students are given the opportunity to research in detail a topic that has particularly appealed to them and write an extended dissertation (for 60 credits). They will be allocated a supervisor to help guide them through their dissertations.

Year A/Year B-System

We operate a Year A/Year B system which means that some modules are only offered every other year, while others are offered in every year.

This system allows students who wish to study full-time to plan their study start at the appropriate academic year, while part-time students can plan their studies according to the modules available in the course of their degree.

Modules taught in every academic year

  • HPAH7011 Theory and Methodology for the Study of the Ancient World (30 credits; compulsory)
  • HPAH7016: Art and Representation in the Ancient Near East (30 credits; optional)
  • HPHI7011 Screening the Past: Film and History – Ancient, Medieval, Modern (30 credits; optional)
  • HPLA7013 Intensive Latin I (30 credits; optional)
  • HPGR7013 Intensive Greek I (30 credits; optional)
  • HPLA7014 Intensive Latin II (30 credits; optional)
  • HPGR7014 Intensive Greek II (30 credits; optional).

Modules expected to be taught in Year A (2020/21; 2022/23; 2024/25)

  • HPAH7005 The Greek Economy in the Archaic and Classical Periods (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7008 Rome and the Indian Ocean: The Classical World in a Global Context (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7010 The History and Culture of Late Antiquity (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7019 Gender in the Ancient World (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7020 Aspects of Greek and Roman Religion and Cult (30 credits; optional).

Modules expected to be taught in Year B (2021/22; 2023/24; 2025/26)

  • HPAH7006 Life in the Eastern Desert of Egypt (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7007 Myth in Greek and Roman Epic (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7009 Textiles in the Ancient World (30 credits; optional)
  • HPAH7021 Power and Culture in the Hellenistic East (30 credits; optional).

Module offer depends on staff availability.

Module Topics

Part I (PG Cert, PG Dip & MA)

MODULES EXPECTED TO BE TAUGHT IN EVERY ACADEMIC YEAR:

Theory and Methodology for the Study of the Ancient World (30 credits; compulsory)

This module provides students with a critical understanding of the context of the ancient world from historical and archaeological perspectives and enables students to critically assess and evaluate differing theoretical and methodological approaches to interpreting the ancient world.

Art and Representation in the Ancient Near East (30 credits; optional)

This module explores ancient art from Mesopotamia to the Aegean. It enables students to critically evaluate how ancient societies perceived of and presented themselves and their environment in a variety of art forms and how these images are received and represented in the modern world. It draws upon art historical and anthropological definitions and interpretations of art.

Screening the Past: Film and History – Ancient, Medieval, Modern (30 credits; optional)

Film is one of the staples of modern culture, from indie productions to Hollywood blockbusters. In this module, you will explore how film has dealt with historical topics, covering films from silent film to today on different historical periods, figures and events.

The following language modules are also available every year:

  • Intensive Latin I (30 credits; optional)
  • Intensive Greek I (30 credits; optional)
  • Intensive Latin II (30 credits; optional)
  • Intensive Greek II (30 credits; optional).

MODULES EXPECTED TO BE TAUGHT IN YEAR A:

The Greek Economy in the Archaic and Classical Periods (30 credits; optional)

The module guides you through the different aspects of the economies of Greek and peri-Greek regions in the archaic and classical periods. Equally based upon an in-depth consideration of the sources and evidence and upon the discussion of theoretical and methodological perspectives, the module encourages students to create their own interpretation of the ancient economies.

Rome and the Indian Ocean: The Classical World in a Global Context (30 credits; optional)

This module explores Graeco-Roman engagement with the wider Afro-Eurasian world, looking at economic and cross-cultural exchange, transcultural adaptations, diplomatic contact, and the impact of wider world events on the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean. The module draws upon a wide range of sources (literary, epigraphic, archaeological, and iconography) to enable students to critically evaluate the cultural, religious, political, diplomatic, context of these exchanges.

The History and Culture of Late Antiquity (30 credits; optional)

On the cusp between the ancient and medieval worlds, Late Antiquity is a period full of contradictions. The module explores the political, social and cultural changes in this period, and their effects on literature and art.

Gender in the Ancient World (30 credits; optional)

This module provides students with a detailed and critical understanding of gender in ancient civilisations and drawing upon current theoretical approaches to this topic. Case studies are drawn from the Classical world and the Bronze Age Mediterranean. Students engage with a variety of archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic and literary sources as well as comparative evidence and methodologies.

Aspects of Greek and Roman Religion and Cult (30 credits; optional)

The module explores the religion and cults of the Greeks and the Romans, from theoretical and practical perspectives. You will explore the relationship between cult and mythology, cult and politics, cult and gender, as well as the cults of humans, from the Greek heroic cult to the Imperial Cult.

MODULES EXPECTED TO BE TAUGHT IN YEAR B:

Life in the Eastern Desert of Egypt (30 credits; optional)

This module considers the conditions of people, living, working and travelling through the Eastern Desert of Egypt (indigenous populations, travellers and the military. The module draws upon archaeological, textual and visual evidence.

Myth in Greek and Roman Epic (30 credits; optional)

Myth was an essential part of the way that the Greeks and the Romans perceived themselves and the world around them. In this module, you will study how mythology is presented in the greatest of literary genres: epic poetry. The module covers poets and works from Homer to late Antiquity, including the epylion.

Textiles in the Ancient World (30 credits; optional)

Textiles were essential in the life of people in the ancient world, yet it is one of the least understood aspects of material culture. In this module, you will explore how archaeology, experimentation, philology and craft-knowledge come together to illuminate the world of ancient textiles in the Greco-Roman period.

Power and Culture in the Hellenistic East (30 credits; optional)

In this module, you will explore the Hellenistic kingdoms and how power was expressed in the period. Covering a variety of topics, from religion and ruler cult, to the role of women in the courts of the Seleucids, the module guides students through one of the least researched periods of antiquity.

Part II (MA)

MA Dissertation (Ancient) (60 credits; compulsory)

In Part Two, students are given the opportunity to research in detail a topic that has particularly appealed to them and write an extended dissertation (for 60 credits). They will be allocated a supervisor to help guide them through their dissertations.

Assessment

An MA degree in Ancient History involves a wide range of assessment methods.

In addition to traditional essays, you will be assessed through bibliographic exercises, presentations — oral and PowerPoint based — creation of abstracts, in-house conference papers, article reviews, creation of project plans and, of course, the dissertation.

This variety of assessment helps develop skills in presenting material in clear, professional and a lucid manner, whether orally or in writing.

The assessment is on the student’s own subject of choice in relation to each module, always in consultation with the relevant tutor. Most modules are assessed by long essays, but some modules are assessed by alternative means, such as conference-style presentations.

Key Information

Entry Criteria

The traditional requirement for entry onto a Level 7 programme is a 2.1 or 1st class undergraduate degree.

In addition, we encourage students with an equivalent and appropriate professional qualification or significant and relevant professional experience to apply. Entry to the PG Diploma or the PG Certificate is a BA degree. 

Career Opportunities

The programme provides a broad foundation for postgraduate work by laying particular emphasis on the methodologies and research tools needed for independent advanced study, thus acting as training for students who intend to undertake an MPhil or PhD.

The course also provides a professional qualification for teachers or others seeking Continuing Professional Development.

Accommodation

Please visit our Accommodation pages for more information. 

Further Information

Residential Study

Students can study for any of our degrees residentially on the Lampeter campus. Classes take place between Monday and Friday during the teaching semesters. On average, a full-time student is expected to attend eight hours of classes every week. All non-linguistic classes are very small, usually not more than five students, while language class sizes depend on the level of study, hence beginners’ languages often attract some 15 students, while advanced languages have an average class-size of five students.

Distance Learning

All our degrees are available to distance learners, and indeed the greater part of our postgraduate cohort comprises distance learners. Every student has access to all module materials, including reading lists, on the Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). All modules are taught by our lecturers, and are designed to be accessible and friendly to learning at a distance. Many of the modules are delivered in a blended fashion with use of video and audio presentations by the lecturers on each individual topic.

It is essential that distance learners have a good internet access, as well as use of computer facilities; the University offers all distance students individual support in accessing material from home. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David Learning Resources Centre provides access to a variety of electronic academic material to distance learners, including more than 1,000 Classics e-books, 70 Classics e-journals, and a number of specialised Classics e-resources.