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Classics and Ancient History MPhil, PhD

We welcome postgraduate research students in any of our areas of research expertise.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year:

Start date(s):

  • September 2024
  • January 2025


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
  • philosophy
  • 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 our Classics and Ancient History research areas.


Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

Qualifications explained

Find out about the different qualification options for this course.

How you'll learn

Your 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.

You’ll cover:

  • techniques for effective research
  • methods for better collaborative working
  • essential professional standards and requirements

Your researcher development programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.

Find out more about the Researcher Education and Development programme

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 may be funded

Find out more about doctoral training and partnerships

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:

Your 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.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


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 2024 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Find out more about:

Search for funding

Find funding available for your course

Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB)
Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

How to apply

Using the application portal

The application 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 application portal.

Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.

Apply Online  

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
  • webinars

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

Visit our events calendar for the latest events

Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

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


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

Fill in our enquiry form

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You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.

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