Classics and Ancient History MPhil, PhD

Classics and Ancient History MPhil, PhD

MPhil - full time: minimum 12 months, part time: minimum 24 months
PhD - full time: minimum 36 months, part time: minimum 72 months


Our programmes cover a range of classical subjects. They include material culture and history, language and literature, philosophy and the history of science and medicine. We have strong links with related disciplines such as history, archaeology and modern languages. We welcome postgraduates in any of our areas of research expertise.

Classics and Ancient History at Newcastle has a long and distinguished international reputation. We deliver quality research and teaching. We have taught Latin and Greek since 1874. We have taught Ancient History since 1910 and Classical Archaeology since 1931.

Our staff include scholars of outstanding international reputation. Our research covers all major aspects of the study of the ancient world, with research strengths in:

  • rhetoric and historiography
  • ancient philosophy, science and medicine
  • reception and recreation of ancient texts
  • ancient concepts of divinity

Our research specialities include:

  • the ancient Near East
  • Greco-Roman culture and religion
  • early Christianity and patristics
  • Greek art and archaeology
  • Greek ethnography
  • history and archaeology of Roman Italy
  • Greek and Roman music
  • Greek language and literature, including Homer, tragedy, historiography and rhetoric
  • Latin language and literature, including historiography, rhetoric and Augustan poetry
  • reception of the classical tradition
  • ancient science and medicine
  • ancient Greek and Roman patristics and philosophy

MPhil and PhD supervision is usually available in:

Ancient history and classical archaeology

  • the history and archaeology of pre-Roman and Roman Italy
  • the late Roman Republic
  • Greco–Roman religion
  • the social and cultural history of the Roman Empire
  • Roman Greece
  • Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
  • history of the Jews
  • Greek art and archaeology
  • the history and archaeology of the ancient Near East

Classical language and literature

  • Latin language and literature
  • ancient oratory and rhetoric
  • Latin poetry
  • ancient historiography
  • Greek tragedy
  • Greek influence on later literature
  • Greek and Roman music

Philosophy and science

  • ancient and early Christian philosophy
  • the history of Greek and Roman medicine
  • Greek and Roman music
  • the exact sciences in Graeco-Roman antiquity

You can find a detailed list of classics research areas on our website.

There is a lively research culture in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. We have a seminar programme with contributions from:

  • academic staff
  • postgraduate students 
  • distinguished visiting speakers 

You will have the opportunity to get involved in our student-led Postgraduate Forum. Their activities include publishing an online peer-reviewed journal and organising bi-monthly seminars. At the seminars, students deliver papers to their peers and academic staff. There is also an annual postgraduate conference. Here you can present your research to other regional and national postgraduates and academics.

Our previous research students report high levels of satisfaction with their programme. They were also confident that they would complete their research on time (Postgraduate Research Student survey, 2013).


You will receive regular one-to-one supervision with a lead supervisor and a second supervisor.

In semester one of your first year, your supervisor will assess your skills training needs (eg languages, quantitative data management). We will review and discuss your training needs with you on a regular basis. We also track their efficacy yearly.

We run regular postgraduate and research seminars. We encourage all students to attend and to present papers. You are also encouraged to attend region-wide and national training events. Financial support is available from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. This is in addition to your annual research allowance.


Student Profile

I chose Newcastle primarily because of the interdisciplinary nature of the department of History, Classics and Archaeology.

Brianne's student profile

Related Degrees

  • Classics MLitt

    This course has been withdrawn for 2020 entry.

  • Classics and Ancient History MA

    Our Classics and Ancient History MA will build and expand on your previous studies. It enables you to specialise in either classics or ancient history.

All related programmes

Training & Skills

You will receive a tailored package of support from the University to ensure you maximise your research and future career. There are also opportunities to undertake your research at Newcastle within a Doctoral Training Centre, Centre for Doctoral Training or Doctoral Training Partnership.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Training Programme and Student Support

Our Faculty Research Training Programme is a community made up of postgraduates from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

It is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as a sound foundation for doctoral studies.

Our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. Staff and students from across a range of disciplines can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training.

You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite, a purpose-built facility for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences. There are also a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.

Postgraduate Research Student Support

Our Research Student Support Team will provide support and advice throughout your studies. The team can help you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.

Doctoral training centres and partnerships

Being part of a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) or Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) means that you can benefit from the research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics. You'll also be studying alongside a cohort of other PhD students.

These centres are often interdisciplinary, combining expertise and training from multiple subject areas. You may also be able to collaborate with an industrial or commercial organisation.

Your PhD will be funded. Normally the fees are covered and you'll receive a tax-free stipend or living expenses. Additional funding is sometimes available to cover things such as conference attendance and research materials.

The centres/ partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area.

Fees & Funding

2020-2021 fees

If your studies last longer than one year your fee may be subject to an annual inflationary increase.

The fees displayed here are per year.

MPhil, PhD


Full time: £4,327*
Part time: £2,164*


Full time: £4,327*
Part time: £2,164*

*The fees stated above are for 2019 entry only. We are aligning our 2020 entry tuition fees for UK/EU students with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Once these fees have been confirmed (typically February), we will update this page.


Full time: £17,340

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Fee ranges

Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.

Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.

If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2020 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree and a merit at Masters level, or international equivalent, in classics or a related subject. We will give specific consideration to any independent research you do as part of your studies.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.

You need to submit a research proposal with your online application. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.

Start dates

There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:

  • January
  • July

There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.

We interview applicants wherever possible.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.


If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.


Dr Federico Santangelo
Degree Programme Director
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7978