Our BA Archaeology and Classical Studies course offers an in-depth study of the Ancient World and its literature.
The Classical Studies element of the course provides a broad exposure to the literature, history, and culture of the Greek and Roman worlds, which sit at the heart of modern Western civilisation. Your literary modules, studied in translation, include poetry, tragic and comic drama, and cover broad themes such as love, loss, duty, war and peace. There is also the opportunity to discover how the ancient world has influenced modern literature and culture, and to study other aspects of the ancient past such as its art – including through first-hand access to our own unique collection of Greek and Egyptian antiquities. In 2020, the Department of Classics achieved a 88% overall satisfaction score in the National Student Survey, and 100% of our Department's research was judged to be of international standing in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Our expertise in Archaeology starts with the earliest humans and spans up until the medieval period. We focus mainly on British, European and Near Eastern Archaeology, but explore other regions across the world. You will learn about Burial Archaeology, Material Culture, Bioarchaeology (including human remains), Forensics, Past Environments (including Geoarchaeology), Museums and Gender Archaeology. Benefit from our dedicated Archaeology Building and specialist equipment, and learn in purpose-built laboratories. We have an outstanding track record for student satisfaction, with scores consistently between 90-100% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, 2010-2021.
If you are interested in studying abroad, you have the opportunity to spend a term at one of our partner universities in your second year, getting to know a new academic and cultural environment. 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.
This degree programme is also available as a four-year course, giving you the option of spending your third year on a placement or studying for one year at a University abroad, gaining valuable professional and international experience. You can also combine the two options by spending one semester studying abroad and then undertaking a half-year professional placement abroad or back in the UK.
We provide opportunities for you to undertake placements in a variety of contexts. Placements are an excellent way to enhance your work-related skills and develop a network of contacts, as well as strengthen your employability prospects.
Past students have undertaken work placements in a charity, a barristers' chambers and within a division of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Opportunities are also available working across the archaeological, heritage, planning and museum sectors including: research institutions, government organisations, local planning authorities, archaeological consultancies, field units, specialists and archivists. Alternatively you can choose a placement in a non-related business or industry, exploring different career options and enhancing your employability by drawing on the many non-vocational, transferable skills you obtain from an Archaeology and Classical Studies degree.
Previous placement examples include:
- Traineeship with Oxford Archaeology
- Traineeship at the Field School
- Archaeological science placement at QUEST, the University of Reading’s scientific consultancy company
- Volunteering at the Ure Museum, Cole Museum of Zoology and the Museum of English Rural Life
- Human remains placement
- Mediterranean Palaeoclimate Project placement
- Hominin Skeletal Morphology placement
- Archaeological Graphics placement
- Lithics Reference Collection placement
- “Developing Experimental Archaeology for Research and Training” placement
- “The Ecology of Crusading: Isotope Analysis and Faunal Remains” placement
- Summer Enterprise Experience and Discovery internship scheme
Both the Archaeology and Classics Departments have a dedicated member of staff in charge of placements, who can provide you with advice and support.
Students opting to undertake a standard three-year degree course will also have the opportunity to take a fully-credited placement or to spend a single term at one of our partner Universities abroad. Current options include the Universities of Malta, Aarhus (Denmark), Torún (Poland) and the University of Florida in Gainesville (U.S.A).