About us

Relief of Greek Soldiers

The Department of Classics is one of the original departments of the University of Reading. Currently we have thirteen research-active full-time members of staff, several teaching fellows and sessional lecturers, a vibrant and growing postgraduate and postdoctoral community and, of course, a diverse, enthusiastic and open-minded studentship. The Department of Classics promotes its international impact by regularly welcoming students from abroad, by encouraging home students to study abroad, and by fostering international research and teaching collaborations.

The Department of Classics at Reading is a friendly, energetic, and stimulating place for you to learn and develop your skills. Whether you choose to pursue an undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research degree, you will be fully supported by our dedicated and knowledgeable staff. Research interests in our department cover ancient Egypt, Anatolia, Greece and Rome, and span from the Bronze Age to the twenty-first century. Our teaching is informed by our research at all levels.

A short history of the Department can be found here.

What is Classics?

Classics, as a discipline, focuses on the ancient world, its peoples, cultures, literatures, societies, economies, languages, interactions, and its intellectual, historical, and linguistic heritage. Almost by definition, Classics is a multidisciplinary subject, drawing on historical, politico-economical, linguistic, archaeological, sociological, and anthropological methods and research. Examination of the roots of contemporary civilisations provides the key to an understanding of the modern world, its heritage, its guiding principles, its conflicts and indeed its future. Classics, thus, is a discipline of global and lasting relevance in an ever-changing and ever-evolving world.

Our vision and mission

Reading's Department of Classics aims to become the strongest and most exciting Classics Department in the UK, attractive and internationally recognised for its prolific, ground-breaking, and wide-ranging research as well as its inspirational teaching. Students and researchers alike would like to come to Reading because it is among the world-leading centres for the study of the ancient world and its legacy.

We are dedicated to providing excellence in research and teaching of the ancient world, firm in our belief that only a culture-centred, integrated, and holistic approach as it is pursued at Reading, can be successful in growing and cultivating the body of Classical knowledge.

Facts and figures

  • In the most recent Subject Review, the Department was rated 'Excellent', receiving 22 points out of a maximum of 24.
  • The Research Assessment Exercise 2008 assessed 90% of our research output as of international excellence. This result places Reading in the top ten Classics departments outside of London, Cambridge and Oxford.
  • The department has consistently scored high in the National Student Survey (NSS), a survey measuring the student experience at British Universities. In 2012, for the second year running, the Department achieved an overall satisfaction rating equal to the University of Cambridge.
  • Our external examiners have consistently praised the wealth of opportunities available to our students to pursue their own interests within the framework of our competitive degree programmes, but well beyond the traditional confines of Classics as a discipline.
  • Our teaching excellence has been recognised many times, most recently by the award of an Early Career Teaching Fellowship of the University of Reading to our colleague Dr Matthew Nicholls.

Facilities that enrich the student experience

Vase from Ure MuseumThe department houses a fine collection of Greek vases and Egyptian antiques in the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology. We also benefit from our close links to Reading's award-winning Department of Archaeology, the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, the Centre for Hellenic Studies, and a highly successful modern languages section at Reading. Finally, the Department of Classics at Reading and its members are well-connected and participate in a wide range of collaborative research projects. The department promotes its international impact by regularly organising international conferences, by welcoming students and academic visitors from abroad, by encouraging home students to study abroad, and by fostering international research and teaching collaborations. In addition, we enjoy a range of activities outside the syllabus, including visits to museums, sites and plays. Our student-led Classics Society is active in organising these and other social events such as film showings (follow this link for their Facebook page). 

Things to do now

Contact  us: 

UG & PGT Programme enquiries:


+44 (0) 118 378 8420


Post Graduate Research enquiries:

Catherine O'Hare

+44 (0)118 378 5799


Student Support: 

Patrick Holmes

+44 (0)118 378 5443


Karon Curran

+44 (0) 118 378 4243


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