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Ancient History (MRes)

The Ancient History (MRes) offers students whose interests centre on the study of ancient history the opportunity to take a specialist research-intensive degree tailored to those interests and to pursue their own independent research to a further extent than in an MA.


You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 

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Contact Name: Dr Angus M Slater

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home: £7,800
Overseas (distance/online): £10,400
Overseas (on-campus): £15,000
Fees are for the whole course

Why choose this course?

The Ancient History (MRes) is designed to provide students with a penchant for independent research the opportunity to pursue research into a subject of their own choice. The subject of the dissertation is discussed and agreed in advance, and it is expected that the choice of taught modules will relate to the research subject chosen.

The main general areas of research supervision in the School are:

  • Greek and Roman epic
  • Latin poetry of the late Republican and Imperial periods
  • Literary uses of mythology
  • Greek and Roman Africa
  • Hellenistic Asia Minor and the Near East
  • Identity, ethnicity and ethnogenesis in the Roman empire
  • Roman religion
  • Ancient Economy, particularly of the Greek Classical period and of the Roman empire
  • Greek and Roman historiography
  • Sex and Gender in the ancient world
  • Health and healing in the ancient world
  • Graeco-Roman relations with India

The above are general subject areas. Please contact us to discuss your specific ideas and interests.

Providing our students with a range of learning opportunities and excellent teaching is the primary aim of the School of Classics. We employ innovative methods and approaches that enhance our students’ learning throughout their studies.

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, whilst our independent study modules allow you to explore your passion in its entirety.

Our programme is designed to help learners both on campus and at a distance. Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a live forum through which students and staff can interact, through which students are able better to revise and explore difficult topics and through which students are better able to access the electronic resources available in the virtual world.

Studying Ancient History with us here at Trinity Saint David means research-led teaching and research-active learning in an environment that allows for both full use of the virtual world and the personal approach of expert tuition.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The MRes is a degree best suited to students with a proven penchant for independent research. The MRes includes 60 credits (two modules) of taught modules, but the main focus of the degree is on a longer piece of individual research (30,000 words).

Applicants are required to discuss their proposed research with the School before application, and the proposed research must be in one of the areas of supervision offered by the School of Classics.

The Ancient History (MRes) begins with a specialist Research Methodology module introducing students to the multiple sources, materials, theories and methodologies for the study of ancient Greek and Roman civilisations.

Students then have the opportunity to choose two modules according to their own interests in the ancient world, with the option to specialise in a particular aspect of ancient history, whether in chronological terms, such as Greek or Roman history, or in terms of themes, such as the ancient economy.

The choice of taught modules gives students not only the opportunity to explore areas that they might not have had the opportunity to study before, but also to specialise in a specific aspect of the ancient world in preparation for the MRes dissertation.

The dissertation is the greater part of the Ancient History (MRes), as students have the opportunity to conceive and research a topic of their own design of greater length and depth than the MA dissertation.

This will enable those students with a greater preference for independent research, and perhaps with a clearer sense at the start of the programme of what they would like to base their research upon, to undertake in-depth research within a structured programme of study.

It will also provide students with an excellent introductory pathway into further study at MPhil or PhD level.

Module Topics

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.

Screening the Past: Film and History (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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Writing the History of Power: From Democracy to Dictatorship (30 credits; optional)

This module looks to prepare students to become independent and reflective researchers by introducing them to current debates, applying appropriate methodologies by looking at a number of paradigmatic case studies and exploring the most important types of primary sources useful in writing the history of power.

MRes Dissertation (Ancient) (120 credits; compulsory)

The dissertation is the greater part of the Ancient History (MRes), as students have the opportunity to conceive and research a topic of their own design of greater length and depth than the MA dissertation.


An Ancient History (MRes) 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.

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

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, the School encourages students with an equivalent and appropriate professional qualification or significant and relevant professional experience to apply.

Applicants are required to discuss their proposed research with the School before application, and the proposed research must be in one of the areas of supervision offered by the School of Classics.

Proficiency in English of candidates whose first language is not Welsh or English is normally evidenced by a minimum IELTS score (or equivalent) of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component.

Career Opportunities

The programme provides a broad foundation for postgraduate work, by laying particular stress 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.

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 5 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 5 students.

Distance Learning

All our degrees are available to distance learners, and indeed the greater part of our postgraduate cohort is comprised of 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.

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. 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 Trinity Saint David Learning Resources Centre provides access to a variety of electronic academic material to distance learners, including more than 1000 Classics e-books, 70 Classics e-journals, and a number of specialised Classics e-resources.