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, ancient history since 1910 and classical archaeology since 1931.
Our programmes cover a range of classical subjects. They include:
- material culture and history
- language and literature
- history of science and medicine
We have strong links with related disciplines such as history, archaeology and modern languages.
Our staff include scholars of outstanding international reputation. Our research covers all major aspects of the study of the ancient world.
Classics and Ancient History PhD and MPhil supervision is usually available in:
Ancient history and classical archaeology
- Archaeology of religion and ritual from the Bronze Age to the early Classical era
- Greco–Roman religion
- Greek ethnography
- Late Classical and Hellenistic periods: Alexander the Great and Hellenistic empires; kingship and royal ideology
- Contact and interaction between Greeks and non-Greeks
- The history and archaeology of pre-Roman and Roman Italy
- The late Roman Republic
- Institutions of the Roman world
- The social, economic and cultural history of the Roman Empire
- Roman Greece
- Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
- The era of the tetrarchy and Constantine
- Pagan-Christian relations
- Late Roman/early mediaeval legal history
- Slavery in the ancient world
- Greek art and archaeology
Classical language and literature
- Greek poetry from Homer to the imperial age
- ‘Presocratic’ and ‘Hippocratic’ writers
- Greek tragedy, including its reception
- Ancient didactic poetry
- Second Sophistic
- Ancient linguistic thought, especially etymology
- Greek influence on later literature
- Greek and Roman music, including harmonic theory; instruments and their place in the development of Greek musical science; music and Graeco-Roman society; the representation of musical instruments.
- Greek and Roman oratory and rhetoric
- Cicero: rhetoric, philosophy, politics
- Latin poetry
- Literature and religion in Latin epic
- Time in ancient literature
- Flavian literature and culture
- Ancient historiography
- History of Classical Scholarship
- Reception of the ancient world
Philosophy and science
- Ancient philosophy, particularly epistemology and ethics,
- The exact sciences in Greek and Roman antiquity
- The history of Greek and Roman medicine
- Hippocratic medicine and the history of its reception up until the 20th century
You can find a detailed list of classics research areas on our website.
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Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
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Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
You'll receive regular supervision with a lead supervisor and a second supervisor.
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
We offer a wide range of projects for the thesis. These will be provided by our academics. You can also propose your own topic.
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.
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
There is a lively research culture in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. You'll have the opportunity to get involved in our student-led Postgraduate Forum. Their activities include publishing an online peer-reviewed journal.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD will normally be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
The School of History, Classics and Archaeology has its own postgraduate suite. This provides a centre for our growing community of over 100 full and part-time postgraduate scholars.
The Great North Museum: Hancock houses a renowned collection of over 1,000 Greek and Etruscan artefacts. There is a wealth of museums and archaeological sites in the North East, including Hadrian's Wall.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
For 2022-23 entry, we will be aligning our standard Home research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2022 by UKRI.
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- Campus tours
- On-campus open days
- Virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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