Year of entry2017
Start dateOctober 2017
One year full-time or two years part-time
One to two evenings a week, October to June
Other entry years for this course2018
This Master's degree is devoted to the advanced study of the archaeological, historical and cultural legacies of ancient Greece and Rome within their broader Mediterranean contexts. It will provide you with the skills required to retrieve and evaluate archaeological evidence and use the material culture of the classical period to enhance your understanding of ancient societies.
This programme is ideal for anybody interested in the archaeology and history of the classical past who is preparing for doctoral or professional research, or specialist work in heritage management.
The programme starts with an exploration of the broad themes of classical archaeology, including methodological and interpretative approaches to the material past. While grounding you in theoretical approaches, the degree will also develop your practical skills with an optional fieldwork module that covers major techniques and approaches to excavation. Another focus is the contemporary debates on the reception and interpretation of classical history and culture, particularly the meanings that have been attached to antiquities.
You will also develop a critical understanding of archaeological research that will enable you to go on to complete a dissertation on a subject of particular interest to you and, if you wish, pursue archaeological research at MPhil/PhD level, professionally or independently.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
- We are located five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, while the Museum of London is easily reachable. The Institute of Classical Studies and the Institute of Historical Research, the Institute of Archaeology and the Warburg Institute are all located in Bloomsbury, near the main Birkbeck campus. All four institutes have internationally renowned library collections and run seminars you can attend.
- Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, delivering stimulating teaching. You will be taught by specialists engaged in cutting-edge research in the archaeology, history and culture of the ancient Mediterranean.
- The Department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
- The Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers a full fee-waiver for Home, EU and Overseas Master’s students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (part-time awards are pro-rata).
- Find out more about why you should study with us.
The compulsory module taken in the first year has a broad thematic range and integrates methodological and interpretative approaches to the classical material past with debates on its modern reception and interpretation.
You study three option modules (two in your first year and one in your second) from a diverse range of subjects.
You also write a dissertation on a subject of your choice in your second year, under the guidance of experienced academic staff.
Not all modules are available each year.
MA Classical Archaeology dissertation
Indicative option modules
- Archaeological Architecture
- Athens: Material Culture Approaches to the Classical City
- Between Words and Walls: Housing in the Graeco-Roman World
- Field School: Buried Humanities
- Frameworks for Archaeology: Curatorial Archaeology in England
- Material Worlds
- The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval
- The Edge of Empire: The Archaeology of Roman Frontiers
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Applicants are expected to have achieved a second-class honours BA.
We also offer a one-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Lectures, seminar discussions and one-to-one tutorials.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Entirely by coursework: a 5000-5500 word essay for each option module and a 15,000-16,000 word dissertation.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates go on to careers as archaeologists or in related fields such as in museums or galleries, building conservation or education.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
You should apply as early as possible.
Application to all September/October-start programmes at Birkbeck closes on Monday 16 October.
Interviews from January.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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