Classics (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in Classics is an intensive taught programme, designed primarily as a preparation for further research. The MLitt in Classics allows you to specialise in a wide range of areas of study, including: Greek or Latin literature, ancient history, classical archaeology, reception studies, and ancient philosophy.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
The minimum formal requirements for entry to the MLitt in Classics are a first-class or high 2.1 degree (UK), a GPA of 3.6 or above, or equivalent. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
In reviewing applications for the MLitt, the School of Classics looks especially at:
- your statement of your plans for the MLitt and for future study or careers (see guidelines on the letter of intent below)
- your academic background and level of performance (especially in courses relevant to the MLitt, and in any research projects or dissertations that you may have completed)
- evidence of your ability to complete a high-level MLitt dissertation and of potential to progress to further research degrees (particularly evidenced by your sample of written work)
- whether St Andrews is a good match for your specialist interests. The MLitt Convenor talks to all applicants individually as part of the admissions process to discuss your plans in detail and to ensure that St Andrews is the best place for you to pursue a Masters degree.
If you have any queries concerning the programme or your suitability for it, you are encouraged to make contact in advance of your application.
Non-native English speakers must also demonstrate English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £7,500
- letter of intent, including:
- why you wish to study for an MLitt in Classics at St Andrews
- your suitability for the programme
- the areas that you are keen to specialise in
- possible areas for dissertation study (please note, the School does not expect clearly worked-out proposals, or even that you have identified a single area for your research project, just an indication of your particular areas of interest)
- any future plans for further research or careers beyond the MLitt
- sample of academic written work (between 2,500 and 5,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
The MLitt in Classics is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Classics. The courses embraces the study of all aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman world: Greek and Latin literary culture, ancient history, archaeology, classical philosophy, and the reception of antiquity in later periods.
- Includes a unique and intensive core course, including training in the use of a range of literary sources and material evidence; resources and how to access them; theoretical approaches and key themes in the study of antiquity; and training in practical skills (e.g. presentation skills, digital humanities, outreach and public engagement).
- Provides a wide foundation in key debates in the study of antiquity.
- Offers the opportunity to focus on a wide range of specialist areas, with one-to-one supervision from leading researchers.
- Allows students to develop their skills in Greek or Latin or to begin ancient languages from scratch, and to develop reading skills in relevant modern languages.
The MLitt degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, with an average of four to five hours of staff contact per week (more if you choose to do language modules). The modules are taught through group seminars (with the whole MLitt cohort or in smaller groups) and through one-to-one supervision in your areas of specialization. Additionally, the core component includes class trips.
The assessment for the taught modules is primarily based on coursework including:
- a portfolio comprising a selection of tasks including book reviews and commentaries on different forms of evidence
- research papers
- a presentation on the proposed topic of your dissertation
- a take-home exam for the Themes and Methods in Classical Research 1 module.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
- Themes and Methods in Classical Research 1: focuses on the sources for the study of the classical world, how to access them (that is, the resources available for classical research), and how to use this material sensitively and appropriately.
- Themes and Methods in Classical Research 2
Classics students have the opportunity to choose two of the following four overarching modules, one per semester. These modules are designed to give you both a familiarity with the key debates in a given subject area and the opportunity to develop a topic of your own choice with one-to-one supervision. The choice of modules allows you flexibility to develop a range of pathways and to focus, for example, on history, literary culture, or archaeology, or to focus on Greek (or Roman) history and literature in combination.
Semester 1 (choose one)
Semester 2 (choose one)
All students have the opportunity to study Greek or Latin from beginners’ level, or to improve their language skills through more advanced language courses.
The list of sub-honours modules includes a variety of modules with GK (Greek) and LT (Latin) prefixes. Students will discuss with their advisor which of these modules best meets their needs.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
Each student undertakes a dissertation of 15,000 words on a specialist subject chosen in consultation with the MLitt convenor and a dedicated supervisor who responsible for guiding you through the research process and commenting on draft sections. The completed dissertation must be submitted by mid-August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of a MLitt.
School of Classics
If you undertake the MLitt in Classics at St Andrews, you will benefit from the unique range of expertise of the School's staff. The School of Classics is one of the major centres for Classics and Ancient History in the United Kingdom, ranked second for research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, and first for teaching in the National Student Survey.
Distinctive areas of expertise include:
- Greek and Roman tragedy and comedy
- Platonic and post-classical philosophy
- ancient literary criticism
- visual culture
- the archaeology of Rome and the Roman provinces
- the literature of the Roman empire
- Late Antiquity
- Achaemenid Persia
- Renaissance and later engagement with the Classical past.
For the full range of expertise within the School, explore the interests and publications of Classics' staff.
Conferences and events
Students on the MLitt are a core part of the School of Classics' scholarly community and benefit from a range of other activities in the School, including:
- a weekly research seminar at which visiting researchers discuss their research
- regular work-in-progress seminars organised by and for postgraduates
- workshops and masterclasses run by distinguished visiting scholars as part of the activities of the School's research centres
- related lectures and seminars in areas of overlap such as Late Antiquity, classical philosophy, and Persian history in other Schools
- lectures, social events and trips organised by the Archaeological Society and the local branch of the Scottish Hellenic Society
- a regular reading group in which students of mixed linguistic ability read and discuss a text in Greek or Latin (additionally, there is an ancient philosophy reading group organised within the Department of Philosophy)
- a range of one-off conferences and workshops
Students on the MLitt may – in addition to the teaching provided as part of the MLitt – be allowed to audit survey courses or more specialist modules run for St Andrews undergraduates. This is particularly appropriate for those students with a less developed background in Classics and Ancient History.
After the MLitt
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere, and preparation for application to PhD programmes forms a key component of the MLitt.
The School sets aside funding each year for PhD scholarships, which cover both fees and stipend and are awarded on the basis of academic merit and research promise. The School also supports a number of applications for PhD funding each year to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, and works closely with all applicants to develop their proposals for this competition.
Postgraduates from the School of Classics go on to pursue careers in a diverse range of professional careers including teaching, law and museum curatorship, as well as successful academic careers in the UK, North America and internationally.
Advice on academic and other career paths is integrated into the MLitt. Additionally, the Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).