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MA in Classical Studies

This degree course is for those who want to develop their research and analytical skills and upgrade their qualifications. It will suit anyone with appropriate entry qualifications who has a passion for classical studies and is looking for an intellectual challenge.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

Studying an MA in Classical Studies at the OU is challenging but fun. You will learn about the many different aspects of Greek and Roman worlds - their literature, history, philosophy and material cultures - and the various ways one can approach them through a scholarly tradition that is both fast-moving and long-standing. As well as giving you the opportunity to explore an area of that world which particularly interests you, by means of developing your critical ability and independent thinking the MA in Classical Studies can help benefit your career and even be the first step towards a PhD. Above all, it will lead to a better understanding of where we come from and who we are today.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this masters degree you require:

180 credits from the following compulsory modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Postgraduate foundation module in classical studies (A860)

Study the ancient world through four interdisciplinary topics - social history, ideas and values, literature and archaeology - honing your research and analysis skills in the process.

See full description.

60 Feb FINAL
The Greek theatre (A861)

Study all aspects of Athenian drama in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, from tragedy to comedy, including staging, contemporary audience and later critical debates.

See full description.

60 Feb
The classical studies dissertation (A867)

Complete your MA in Classical Studies with a dissertation of 16,000-18,000 words, on a subject of your choice, with the guidance of your course tutor.

See full description.

60 Feb

Educational aims

This taught postgraduate programme in classical studies will:

  • build upon and develop your existing knowledge of, and interest in, the subject of classical studies
  • provide you with an advanced academic training for the practice of classical studies at postgraduate level
  • provide you with experience of independent research and scholarly presentation in classical studies.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of the programme are described in four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this degree you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • basic research methodologies relating to a range of different areas within the classical studies discipline, acquired during your study of the foundation module
  • have a more specialised knowledge of one subject area, acquired during your study of the subject module which forms the second element in the degree
  • have a detailed, specialist knowledge of a selected topic, acquired during the research and writing up of your dissertation, which forms the final element in the degree.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this degree you will be able to:

  • analyse critically and integrate evidence from ancient sources with modern scholarly interpretation
  • analyse critically current ideas and debates
  • construct an effective scholarly argument on a range of topics/issues.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this degree you will be able to:

  • identify and critically discuss key issues relating to the discipline of classical studies
  • handle primary and secondary sources with confidence
  • have a familiarity with some of the problems and opportunities involved in original research and writing
  • design a research proposal according to specific guidelines
  • apply an appropriate scholarly referencing system to your work.

Key skills

When you have completed this degree you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:


You will be able to:

  • communicate effectively in writing to a specialised audience
  • be aware of the tools which can help you in the task of effective communication
  • vary your means of communication according to the specialised task at hand.

Improving your own learning experience

You will be able to:

  • design a programme of research and writing with minimal support from a tutor
  • use feedback from your tutor and from fellow students effectively to modify this programme of work
  • use other resources, such as libraries and ICT resources, to improve your learning experience.

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