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Introduction to Ancient Greek

Our Introduction to Ancient Greek short course is a study of the Ancient Greek language for complete beginners. Teaching will be based on a combination of grammar and translation, allowing you to understand the inner workings of the language and providing you with the necessary tools to read and translate simple passages. There will be new grammar points to be learned every week, as well as translation practice and simple English into Greek composition.

The aim of the course is to introduce you to the basic principles of Classical Greek. It provides a firm basis of grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary of the language, through which you will be able to read and translate into English simple passages of Greek prose. By the end of the module you will have gained sufficient knowledge of the language to be able to approach and successfully translate adapted passages of Greek prose.

Teaching is varied and interactive, including practice in reading and translating Greek in each class, using texts in the textbook and, later, taken from actual Greek documents, with some further practice on points of grammar and vocabulary. You will be encouraged, especially later in the course, to suggest Greek texts for use in class.

No prior knowledge of the language is necessary. This module is open to anyone with an interest and enthusiasm for the subject. However, all modules are taught at university level, and you must be able to read, write and speak English fluently to benefit from your studies.

This short course can be taken as a stand-alone course or it may be available as part of a Certificate of Higher Education.


  • Reading Greek, Text and Vocabulary and Reading Greek, Grammar and Exercises (Cambridge University Press, 2007). NB: this is the latest edition.

Indicative General Reading

  • N. Marinone, All the Greek Verbs (Duckworth, 1998).
  • J. Morwood, Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek (Oxford University Press, 2001).
  • J. Morwood, The Pocket Oxford Greek Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2000).

30 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students. You may have to fulfil specific prerequisites for some intermediate-level or advanced-level courses, but these will be specified where relevant.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You enrol directly onto the classes you would like to take, using the Enrol Now link below. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then enrol onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.

First class: Fri 09-Oct-20 6pm-8pm

Class location Central London
Class code SSHC299S4ACB