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The Department of Classics has been undertaking pioneering research for over 100 years. We are renowned for our insights into the cultures, histories, societies, languages and religions of classical civilisation, and their relevance to the modern world. 

At Reading we're working to extend the boundaries of the subject. We're developing new approaches that explore previously understudied areas across a range of ancient societies and cultures. Our research embraces a wide variety of cutting-edge methodologies and disciplines.


Our expertise

Our core areas of expertise include ancient history, Greek and Latin language and linguistics, literature, archaeology, philosophy, art, and culture. Within these areas, we have particular strengths in:

  • ancient languages – Latin and Greek of all periods, Middle Egyptian, Coptic, Luwian – and ancient linguistics
  • ancient oratory and rhetoric
  • digital approaches to antiquity
  • early Christian literature
  • Egypt from the Bronze Age to early Islam
  • Greek art and archaeology
  • Greek history
  • Greek literature from the Archaic period to the Roman Empire – especially Archaic poetry, tragedy, comedy, historiography, biography, and Plutarch
  • Latin language and literature
  • Middle Eastern history and archaeology
  • papyrology, textual criticism and epigraphy
  • Religions of Greece, Rome and other parts of the ancient Mediterranean
  • the reception of antiquity


For more information about studying a PhD with us, please contact Professor Timothy Duff by emailing

PhD supervision

When you undertake a PhD with us, you'll be assigned a supervisor with expertise that aligns with your research topic.

Our expert academics are leaders in their areas of research, and will work closely with you to ensure your time with us as a PhD student is as rewarding as possible.

Find out more about our staff and the areas of doctoral research they supervise

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Types of doctoral degree

We offer several routes to a doctoral qualification, so you can find the one that suits you and the topic you wish to study.

Female student sitting in library making notes at a desk with a pile of books next to her

Part-time study

Part-time PhDs are available as well as full-time, so you can choose a mode of study that suits your circumstances.

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PhD by Distance

Our PhD by Distance programme allows you to benefit from the expertise of a Reading-based supervisor, while conducting your research in a different location.