With BA Classics explore the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome through the study of their languages, Greek and Latin. Read ancient texts in the original and learn how languages – ancient and modern – develop and function.
Whether you have any experience of studying ancient languages or not you can develop an advanced knowledge of Latin and Greek, learning to read the words written by ancient authors. We offer core modules in both languages at all levels, from absolute beginner through to advanced, in all three years of the degree. Each week you will receive an impressive three to four hours of language teaching in small class groups, working on grammar, vocabulary and translation.
In addition to your core language learning, this course allows you to study the ancient world from a range of perspectives, including political, social and cultural. The wide range of expertise within the Department of Classics also gives you the option of studying other cultures such as ancient Egypt; we can even teach you hieroglyphics.
As with all our degrees, we offer you the flexibility to choose modules from other departments such as Archaeology, English Literature, and Philosophy. You can also choose to take a modern foreign language – Classics students often find this complements their study of Latin and Greek.
You can apply to study abroad on all our degrees, with bursaries for independent travel available, as well as popular departmental trips. The British School at Athens and the British School at Rome both offer summer school opportunities. We also have close links to overseas institutions in Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia. You can apply to spend one term or one academic year abroad as part of your degree.
We encourage you to undertake placements as part of your course. You will receive professional training to help you secure a top-quality placement and prepare you for the experience. Placements provide the chance to put your newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice and to gain valuable real-world experience. Students can transfer to a four-year degree in order to benefit from a Professional Placement Year, or you can apply to spend a full academic year studying abroad.
Students in previous years have gained work experience in charities, barristers' chambers, the government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, in foreign countries, and in commercial units such as Oxford Archaeology. The University's museums, including the Department's own Ure Museum, also provide a number of voluntary work placements, ranging from helping with school visits to preparing displays and exhibitions.
The enthusiasm of Reading’s staff and students creates a unique atmosphere conducive to challenging and varied study. Looking back it is remarkable how studying Classics contributed to both my personal and academic development. It teaches you to value not only individual thought, but also the thought of communities and cultures. It taught me how to love a song, a poem, a language. These are the greatest gifts I’ve ever known, and I’ve used them every day.