BA Ancient History
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With our BA Ancient History degree, immerse yourself in the rich cultures of ancient Greece and Rome - their history, societies, achievements, beliefs and values - and discover how these ancient civilisations have influenced the modern world.
Ancient history is the study of the Greek and Roman worlds over a period spanning from 2000 BC to around 600 AD and covers parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. You will learn about these ancient cultures in their political literary, social, cultural and religious contexts.
This flexible course allows you to pursue your own interests and choose from a wide range of research-led subjects. Our Classics Department has a wide range of specialist subjects, from the Bronze Age to late antiquity, and we are ranked third in the UK for our research output. (Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked by Subject, based on its analysis of Research Excellence Framework 2014 - Classics.)
As per the 2021 National Student Survey results, 93% of our students agreed that staff are good at explaining things in BA Ancient History.
You can enhance your knowledge of the ancient world by studying Latin or Greek, or gain an understanding of the ancient past through hands-on experience with artefacts from the Ure Museum – the University's internationally important collection of Greek and Egyptian antiquities. You can also explore ancient Rome through our unique digital model of the city.
Your first year will be one of discovery and experimentation. Core modules will provide you with a solid grounding, while optional modules let you explore the different approaches, periods, and cultures that interest you. In your second year you will be encouraged to become more independent, proposing your own areas of study and setting your own essay questions. You can refine your interests in your final year and focus on your dissertation.
You will be encouraged to gain direct experience of ancient sites through independent travel, for which scholarships are available. You can also apply to study at the British School at Athens and the British School at Rome, which both offer summer school opportunities to University of Reading students.
All students are encouraged to undertake a work placement and the Department benefits from a dedicated placements officer to help with CV writing and letters of application. Students in previous years have gained experience in charities and barristers' chambers, and within a division of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The University's museums can also provide a number of voluntary and work placements.
If you would like to gain first-hand experience of life in another culture you can choose to study abroad for part of your degree through our Erasmus+ programme. The Classics Department also has close links to overseas institutions including the University of Malta.