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BA Ancient History and History
Join our BA Ancient History and History degree and explore the past, from ancient Greece through Medieval Europe to Cold War Britain.
Choose BA Ancient History and History at the University of Reading
- Explore the richness of the classical world alongside the wide variety of human history around the globe, combining two complementary subjects to enhance your understanding of both.
- The Department of History’s expertise covers political, social and cultural history across a wide range of regions from the medieval period to the present, from the Crusades to the 1960s. In the National Student Survey 2023, 100% of our students said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (100% of respondents studying in the Department of History).
- In the Department of Classics you can examine the fascinating cultures and societies of the Greek and Roman worlds, from c. 2000 BC to AD 600. In the National Student Survey 2023, 100% of our students said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (100% of respondents studying BA Ancient History).
A wide-ranging curriculum with a global reach
In this three-year course, you’ll address important modern questions and trace them back to their roots, exploring different periods of history through both literary and material sources. In your first year, you will develop your research and analytical skills. During your second and final years, you will be able to select modules that best fit your interests, choosing from a wide range of subjects, such as:
- ancient civilisations of Greece, Rome, Anatolia and Egypt
- medieval magic and the origins of the witch craze
- the making of modern South Asia.
We place a strong emphasis on small group learning within a supportive environment, encouraging discussion and debate with academics and peers.
Tailor your degree to fit your own interests
You will enhance your knowledge of the ancient world through:
- ancient history core modules, such as Greek History or Roman History
- optional Latin and Greek language modules
- hands-on experience with artefacts from the Ure Museum – the University’s collection of Greek and Egyptian antiquities.
Conversely, the history segment of the course covers the last thousand years, giving you the chance to explore different historical periods before pursuing your own interests choosing from a wide variety of modules, including:
- The Colonial Experience: Africa
- Anarchy in the UK: Punk, Politics and Youth Culture in Britain, 1976-84
- Doomsday Dystopias: Nuclear Disaster in the Cold War Imagination
- Women in American History.
You will also write a dissertation on a specialist topic of your choice, and you will receive expert help from your supervisor in managing your research and writing the final thesis.
Additionally, the University offers all students the chance to learn a modern language alongside their core subjects.
Work placement opportunities
During your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to take a work placement and apply your skills and knowledge in real-world settings. Both departments benefit from links with the Careers Centre, offering help with potential employers, CVs and letters of application.
History’s second-year module, Going Public: Presenting the Past, Planning the Future, gives students the opportunity to work with external partners in museums, and heritage and media organisations. In your final year, two optional history modules also offer placements of 10 working days in local archives and secondary schools.
Employability modules in Classics are built into your degree. You can gain valuable experience and insight in a relevant workplace through our five-day Work Experience Scheme, or work with an academic on their research through our Academic Placement module. The Department’s Ure Museum also provides voluntary placements.
Study abroad opportunities
You will be encouraged to gain direct experience of ancient sites through both independent travel, which you might finance through our annual travel bursary, and by applying to study at the British School at Athens or Rome, both offering summer school opportunities to University of Reading students.
Additionally, field trips in the UK and abroad will enable you to access new areas of history within their historical surroundings. Past examples include the National Trust in Winchester and Westminster, and further afield in Paris and Berlin.
You can also choose to spend a term in your second year at one of our partner universities in Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia. We encourage all our students to seize the opportunity to study abroad, as it can help you develop skills such as independence, knowledge of different cultures, adaptability and the ability to communicate internationally.