MScR in Classics


Program Description

The MSc (by Research) in Classics supports your interest in this field to an advanced academic and professional in independent research.

The MSc (by Research) in offers you the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of supervised independent research in your chosen field.

In Classics, we can offer you a first-class experience in graduate education and research. Only candidates with a degree in a relevant field, who submit a strong and viable research proposal, will be considered for this degree.

The MSc (by Research) in Classics is a one-year degree. It provides a grounding in the methods and techniques of investigation while at the same time allowing you to pursue your own research and complete an extended thesis, with the guidance of supervisors who are experts in the field. We welcome applications from anyone keen to work on topics that overlap with the research interests of our academic staff, including Greek social history, Greek law, Classical literature and art, Hellenistic history and archaeology, Roman slavery, Roman art and architecture, the Roman economy, late antique and Byzantine literature, history and archaeology.

We provide you with opportunities to hear from distinguished speakers in the weekly classics research seminar series and to share your research with your peers at the Classics graduate seminar. You would be studying in Edinburgh, the Athens of the North, a stunningly beautiful city with a worldwide reputation as a cultural and academic capital!

International reputation

Studying in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology you will benefit individual supervision from nationally- and internationally-renowned classicists.

Programme structure

This programme aims to introduce students across the various sub-disciplines of Classics —Greek and Latin Literature and Thought, Ancient History, and Classical Art and Archaeology — to independent research.

You will be assigned two supervisors with expertise in your chosen area to help you to complete your thesis. This 30,000-word thesis is the sole assessed piece of work that you will be required to produce. However, you will also be provided with suitable training in research techniques and you will be able if necessary to attend classes to develop your knowledge of ancient and modern languages. You will also have the opportunity to attend other courses, whether because they are relevant to your project or simply because they interest you.

During the year you will meet regularly with your supervisors who will guide you as you research and write the thesis. The thesis itself will be examined by two examiners.

MSc by Research students will attend the Skills and Methods in Classics course and can choose to audit (i.e. attend but not for credit) other courses they are interested in (subject to availability), such as our language options.

Training in transferable skills is also available, both within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and through the Institute for Academic Development (IAD). MScR students are also expected to attend School research seminars and workshops.

Research dissertation

You will undertake a research project and produce a dissertation which is submitted on an assigned date in August.

Entry requirements

Find out about the admission criteria and required qualifications for the MSc (by Research) in Classics.

Degree Requirements

You will need a UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or another international equivalent, in a subject related to your programme.

Relevant experience or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.

Guidance on the equivalency of international qualifications is provided by Edinburgh Global. If you are unsure of the equivalency of your degree, Edinburgh Global 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 than 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.


This degree can form the stepping stone to many career options.

Museum work, cultural heritage, education, analysis and consultancy also present a range of professional options that require a degree such as this. In addition, after graduating, you will have the knowledge and skills in research methodologies that will put you in a good position to pursue doctoral research in related fields, and ultimately an academic career.

You’ll also have a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work.

Visit our Careers Service for advice on options with a master, moving on to a PhD, plus job search and application advice.

Last updated Nov 2018

About the School

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the great world centres for the study of the human past. The School comprises the three subject areas of Histor ... Read More

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the great world centres for the study of the human past. The School comprises the three subject areas of History, Classics and Archaeology, together with the Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict, the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Read less