University of Edinburgh

School of History, Classics and Archaeology

MSc Ancient History


Old College

South Bridge

Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9YL

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MSc Ancient History

Format: Campus

Program Description:

This programme gives you the opportunity to study ancient history at an advanced level, developing your interest in the ancient world and providing an excellent preparation for further graduate research.

Edinburgh is one of the leading centres in the UK for the study of ancient history, in the chronological, geographical and methodological scope of the research interests of our staff. The range and content of our courses reflect staff research strengths in Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique topics. Greek and Latin language courses are always offered. Our particular strengths lie in the legal, institutional, social and economic history of the Greek and Roman worlds, as well as in political theory and practice, Hellenistic history, and late antique history.

As a student on this programme, you will develop your skills in critical thinking, clear writing and research, verbal presentation and critical analysis. You will be part of a Classics department ranked 5th in the UK, for the combined size and quality of research, in the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.


Most teaching takes place in small-group seminars and the programme is designed to allow both breadth of coverage and specialisation. The specialised compulsory course will provide you with the key methodological and practical skills required of researchers in all classical subjects, while the option courses offer a large degree of flexibility, allowing you to develop or consolidate your language skills and explore a diverse range of historical topics in depth.

Independent research, in the form of a dissertation, forms a substantial component of the programme, challenging you to build on the material and approaches covered in the taught courses and develop your research skills.


Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced  qualification valued and respected by many employers; others are interested in pursuing long-term academic careers and therefore consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.

The combination of skills training courses, specialised seminars, and independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.


·         Our reputation for excellence

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. We’re a world top 25 university (QS World University Ranking 2018) and rank fifth in the UK for the combined quality and size of our Classics research (REF 2014).

·         Our diverse and welcoming community

In the School of History, Classics & Archaeology, our graduate community of over 300 students is international, making the School the ideal environment in which to share ideas, collaborate on research, gain new perspectives and meet like-minded individuals. We have an active academic and social life involving regular workshops, seminars, conferences and symposia across all three subject areas, as well as many informal gatherings and events.

·         Our historic city

Edinburgh offers a historical heart with a thriving, modern culture and is consistently voted the most desirable place to live in Britain. Based in the Old Town in a splendid historical building, our School is a thriving, vibrant hub of intellectual and cultural life.


The University of Edinburgh

Eligibility Requirements:

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline. If your first language is not English, you will also be required to meet English Language requirements.

Facts & Figures

Classification: Higher Education Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Midsize City

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