University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on reading.ac.uk to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

We provide you with well-rounded knowledge of the ancient world, not just by focusing on the main areas of classics, but also by finding new ways to make classics significant in the modern, multicultural world.

We are ranked 12th in UK for Classics and Ancient History. (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 )

Tailor your degree

On all our courses, you can choose from any of the optional modules we offer, so you can follow your interests as they develop.

You can create your own pathway through your degree by pursuing a specialism in Egypt, the Near East, or Late Antiquity, for example.

We have a unique strength in museum studies, and offer a number of opportunities to gain practical museum experience.

If you wish to diversify your studies, you can also study a joint degree or choose modules in other subject areas, for example in archaeology, philosophy or history.

Access unique resources

During your studies, you'll have access to a variety of historical resources of international importance held by the Department of Classics. 

These resources include the Ure Museum, which is based in the Department.

The wider University has two other on-site museums, as well as the Special Collections – a substantial collection of rare books, archives and manuscripts that we encourage students to explore during their studies.

A high quality student experience 

In 2021, 90% of our students agreed that staff are good at explain things in the Department of Classics in the National Student Survey (find out more by asking us a question).

In this video, BA Classical Studies student Leah talks about why she loves studying in the Department of Classics.

Learn a language

We offer the opportunity to study Latin and Ancient Greek  as a beginner or to extend your existing language knowledge. We have a dedicated languages coordinator who oversees our intensive teaching programme.

You can also opt to study Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs or a modern language during your degree.

Build travel into your studies

Enhance your classics degree by visiting the ancient sites you are studying. We offer incredible opportunities to travel and have the experience of a lifetime.

We organise an annual five-day trip to Rome, Athens or another city that features in your studies. You can also attend summer schools with the British Schools in Athens and Rome, which count as credit towards your Reading degree. 

We also run a Study Trip Abroad module with the Department of History where you can spend a week in a European city, exploring urban and national identities through the historical remains of material and visual culture.

Travel bursaries are available on a competitive basis; we try to help all students who want to travel for their studies.

You can also spend up to a year of your degree in another country with the University's Study Abroad scheme.

Find out more about Study Abroad

What I found very touching was the pride that Reading Classics graduates have of their time. I realised my experience and the things I took away and really enjoyed was not unique to me.  There are decades of graduates who have the same warmth towards the Department. 

Alex Heavens

BA Classics graduate

High quality, research-led teaching

Our internationally acclaimed academic staff provide expert supervision and teaching on topics ranging from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to the study of antiquity in the modern age. They are active researchers at the forefront of their disciplines. Their research-led teaching will provide you with access to current thinking and ground-breaking research.

Their excellence in research has been recognised through a number of prestigious awards and fellowships. Examples of staff who have recently been awarded fellowships include:

  • Dr Emma Aston – Margo Tytus Visiting Fellowship, University of Cincinnati (2021)
  • Professor Ian Rutherford – Research Fellow, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Bochum, Germany: "Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe" (2018–19)
  • Professor Katherine Harloe – British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2018–19): "Winckelmann's Love Letters"
  • Professor Rachel Mairs – British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2018–19): "Teach Yourself Arabic: Foreigners Learning Colloquial Arabic, 1850–1945"
  • Professor Annalisa Marzano – Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2017–2019): "'Grafting Glory': New Plants, the Economy and Elite Identity in Ancient Rome"
  • Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou – Gerda Henkel Foundation Research Scholarship (2015–2016): "Credit, Debt, and the Transformation of Rural Society in Egypt and Palestine from Constantine to the Abbasids"; ERC Award (2013 ff.): "The Cult of Saints: a Christendom-wide Study of its Origin, Spread and Development"
  • Professor Amy Smith – Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (2017): "Encountering strangers in Classical Athenian Art".

 
Our excellence in teaching and learning has been recognised through various awards, from both the Reading University Students' Union (RUSU) and external organisations.

  • Jackie Baines was awarded the 2017 RUSU Teaching Excellence Award.
  • Dr Emma Aston won the 2015 RUSU Teaching Excellence Award.

 

Learn more about our staff

Your future career

A degree in classics at the University of Reading prepares you for a wide range of careers.

You'll develop transferable skills such as critical thinking, analysing data and communicating confidently and concisely.

90% of our leavers are in work and/or study 15 months after the end of their course. (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19; First Degree responders from Classics)

From Classics to projects

Watch this video to hear former Reading student Meryt talk about the transferable skills she developed during her Classics degree and how these have supported her throughout her career.

We also run a dedicated employability module, and support you to seek out placements that will give you valuable work experience and expand your professional network.

Past graduate destinations include:

  • heritage and museums
  • libraries and archives
  • the government and civil service
  • law
  • publishing
  • teaching
  • finance
  • digital marketing and advertising
  • public relations and media.

 

Many of our graduates have pursued further postgraduate study, and several have started their own businesses.


Our research

We're ranked 6th in the UK for research overall* and 100% of our research has been recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014).

*Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked By Subject, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014 – Classics.

How you'll study

Take part in interactive seminars where you'll engage in stimulating debate and advance your own theories. We offer exciting opportunities to study abroad and undertake placements in the field.

Our stories

Our staff and students have amazing stories of dedication and discovery to share. Find out how your story could have a new chapter at Reading.