MRes in the City of Rome

Coliseum in RomeThe MRes in The City of Rome is a multidisciplinary degree taught by academic experts in the School of Humanities at the University of Reading and distinguished staff of the British School at Rome. It provides a unique opportunity for students to develop research skills in the study of ancient Rome and to develop students' existing academic skills. It examines the city as a whole: its history, topography, demography, and art and architecture from antiquity to the present.

British School at Rome

Established in 1901, British School at Rome is Britain's leading humanities research institute abroad and one of the most prestigious foreign academies in Rome. As a centre of interdisciplinary research excellence in the Mediterranean, it promotes knowledge of, and deep engagement with, all aspects of the art, history and culture of Italy. Its library holds approximately 60,000 books and 600 periodicals, including access to a wide range of electronic resources. During your stay you will have opportunities to interact with the academic staff of the School and the resident community, which includes a considerable number of postgraduate students, visiting senior scholars in a wide range of academic areas, as well as scholars in architecture and the visual arts.


Students take a total of 180 credits over one year (from October to September) if studying full-time, or over 24 months if studying part-time. For detailed information about the course structure please refer to the introductory page first.

CLMAR - Approaches to Rome (30 credits)

A series of seminars introduces students to the primary sources for the study of ancient and post-antique Rome as a city, and the methodologies and interpretations found in modern scholarship. The second half of the module is devoted to thematic and interdisciplinary case studies examining different approaches to and perspectives on the city of Rome. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, Rome's early history; specific monumental complexes, such as the imperial fora; the political history of archaeological excavation in Rome; the urban image of Rome; visual reconstructions. This module is across the autumn and spring terms, and is assessed by a book review, a presentation, and an essay.

CLMBSR City of Rome (30 credits)

This module is taught at the British School of Rome in April and May. The course begins with a discussion of the topography and infrastructures of the city, and continues with a detailed study of the most important monuments of the Roman period. Students learn to analyse these, in terms of their structural history, their architectural characteristics, their place in the development of the urban plan, their social, economic or religious function and their subsequent use and influence. It concludes with a discussion of the relation of the city to its suburbium, including Ostia and the Port of Rome. One half of the 8-week course is devoted to site visits led by the Course Director and tutors (approximately 100 hours), supplemented by 12 hours of lectures and seminars given by distinguished, often world-famous, guest speakers. The other half is reserved for individual study supervised by the Course Director. Please note that a separate application to the BSR is required for admission to this module. Staff in Reading will assist you with this.

Reading-based optional modules

It is possible to substitute the CLMBSR module for two specialist options, taught in Reading, from a list which includes ancient history, literature, language and archaeology.

Additional Costs to Consider

In addition to the Tuition Fees, you should budget for living costs. For Reading, detailed information can be found here. In Rome, you will have accommodation and full board at BSR facilities, which are covered by an additional charge of ca. 2,100 Euros (for a shared room), payable to the BSR. You are also responsible for your own travel arrangements to and from Rome.

Course Tutors

The programme draws primarily on the research expertise of academic staff within the Departments of Classics, but draws upon the academic expertise of staff in other Arts and Humanities departments, for example History and Italian Studies, as appropriate. CLMBSR module is taught in Rome by an academic co-ordinator and also calls on the knowledge of visiting scholars and other established academics in the City.



Programme Director Dr Matthew Nicholls (

Enquiries may also be addressed to:

Department of Classics
University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6AA, UK


Things to do now

  • See our research
  • Take a self guided tour of the University

Find out more

For PhD enquiries, contact:

Page navigation

See also

  • The School of Humanities
  • Studying at Reading
  • Research at the University
  • Life at Reading
  • Money matters
  • Information for international students


Search Form

A-Z lists