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BAClassical Archaeology and Ancient History

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If you are fascinated by the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome and keen to develop transferable skills such as critical analysis then this course is for you.

Taught by a variety of internationally recognised experts, Ancient History offers the opportunity to study the history of Greece and Rome in the Classical period (600 BCE to 700 CE). Over three years you will delve into the politics, events and developments underpinning our understanding of many aspects of historical societies and, indeed, our own culture. You will explore themes, key periods and problems in Greek and Roman history, such as the emergence (and fall) of democracy and the rise, decline and fall of Empires.

You will build skills and knowledge from day one. In year two, the experience of historical periods will be deepened and widened and you will develop skills in research and concentrate on your individual interests, which will culminate in specialist studies and individual research projects in year three. As you build knowledge and understanding of a formative and fascinating period of world history, you will have the opportunity to study in other areas of the curriculum, notably: archaeology, literature, philosophy and language.

There is also the possibility of spending a year abroad, experiencing the profound effect these classical cultures have had on history, culture and politics.

As a student of Ancient History you will be part of our Classics Department, where the quality of research that informs our teaching and a friendly, individual approach which shapes the way we guide our students combine to create an unbeaten academic experience.

Programme structure

Year 1

Greek History and The City State
In this introductory module you will examine Greek history, society, and institutions from the 6th to the late 4th century BC, with particular attention being paid to the problems and methods of reconstructing the past from ancient sources, and the development of the city-state as a form of political organization.

Key Themes in Roman History
This module covers the full chronological range of Roman historiography from the Republic to the Empire to establish certain broad characteristics of periods. You will be taught to understand the relationship between particular events and the development and maintenance of social and political forms.

Studying Classical Antiquity
In this module you will be provided with essential skills necessary for academic study at university, thus ‘bridging the gap’ from school / college-level study. You will be taught by a team of experienced academic staff, and each session will focus on a specific study skill (e.g. making the most of lectures/seminars, avoiding plagiarism, etc). You will also be shown how different academic disciplines combine to give a fuller picture of classical culture. Through the module, you will build your self-confidence as a student, and will be made aware of the transferable employability skills you will gain from your degree programme.

Year 2

Greek History to 322BC
In this module you will study Greek political and social history from Homer to Alexander, from the emergence of classical Greek civilisation and institutions in the 9th century BC to the break-up of the classical Greek world at the hands of Macedon.

Greek Historiography
This module aims to explore the genre of Greek historiography from Hecataeus to Diodorus Siculus (early 5th to 1st Century BC), and addresses issues and problems of interpretation, and ways of handling fragments of Greek historiography preserved in various other genres of later Greek literature. In it, you will develop a broad understanding of the field and methods of Ancient History, and improve your understanding of the field and skills in approaching sources.

Historiography of the Roman World
In this module you will study the full chronological range of Roman historiography from the Republic to the Empire, and be educated in the broad sweep of Roman historiography and Roman history.

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
This module covers the history of the Roman Republic from the foundation of Rome to the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Lectures and seminars will trace the rise of Rome from city-state to world power and examine the pressures that drove Rome to conquer her Mediterranean empire and the consequences of that expansion for the Romans and for the peoples they conquered.

The Roman Empire from Augustus to Commodus
This module traces the history of the Roman Empire from the achievement of sole power by the first emperor, Augustus (31 BC to AD 14), to the murder of Commodus in AD 192. You will assess the political, social and cultural developments under the emperors and explore fundamental themes including imperial frontier policy and administration, the process of Romanisation, and the nature of Roman religion.

Year 3

Extended Essay
The Extended Essay is a unit of independent study under the supervision of an expert member of staff. You will be required to write between 8,000 and 10,000 words.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Studying Ancient History requires research, assessment, reasoning, organization and self-management often on your own or as part of a team.

Being able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing is why many Royal Holloway classicists become employed in law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers like Channel 4, multinational law firm SJ Berwin, The Guildhall (City of London), accountancy firm KPMG, the Natural History Museum, Customs and Immigration, London Advertising, Broadstone Pensions and Investments and the Armed Forces have all recently recruited Royal Holloway alumni from the Department of Classics.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States