Study ancient history at an advanced level and develop your interest in the ancient world, whilst receiving excellent preparation for further graduate research.
Edinburgh is one of the leading centres in the UK for the study of ancient history, in terms of the chronological, geographical and methodological scope of the research interests of our staff. The range and content of our courses reflect staff research strengths in Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique topics. Greek and Latin language courses are always offered. Our particular strengths lie in the legal, institutional, social and economic history of the Greek and Roman worlds, as well as in political theory and practice, Hellenistic history, and late antique history. As a student on this programme, you will develop your skills in critical thinking, clear writing and research, verbal presentation and critical analysis.
Breadth of expertise
The department boasts one of the largest concentrations of Greek and Hellenistic historians in the world and has additional strengths in Roman Republican, late antique and Byzantine history. Specialists in Greek and Latin literature regularly work on historical topics, while the department also contains a significant number of Classical archaeologists.
This programme is modular, designed to allow both breadths of coverage and specialisation.
You will take several courses across two semesters of teaching, including a compulsory course and a range of optional courses.
You will undertake a research project and produce a dissertation which is submitted on an assigned date in mid-August.
Find out about the admission criteria and required qualifications for the MSc in Ancient History.
You will need a UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or another international equivalent, in a subject related to this programme, normally Classics, Classical Civilization, Ancient History or Classical Archaeology. We will also consider an honours degree in another subject if your personal statement demonstrates how you are equipped to undertake the programme.
Relevant experience or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.
Equivalency of international qualifications
Guidance on the equivalency of international qualifications is provided by the International Office. If you are unsure of the equivalency of your degree, the International Office provides information by country.
English language requirements
If you do not come from a majority English-speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.
- IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
- TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
- PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
- CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
Your English language qualification must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Alternatively, we may also be able to accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country for entry (as defined by UK Visas & Immigration), provided the degree is no more three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. In such cases, we may additionally require you to take the University’s Test of English at Matriculation (TEAM). This test is designed to highlight any weaknesses you may have with your English and tuition will be provided for you free of charge.
Find out where your degree can take you.
The MSc will provide you with the knowledge and skills essential to pursue doctoral research in ancient history or a related field (whether at Edinburgh or elsewhere).
The transferable skills you will acquire will be invaluable for a range of related careers, including museum work, cultural heritage and conservation, library or archive work, as well as for careers outside the field. You’ll also develop the skills and confidence to pursue a career outside of the field.