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Outline of Taught MA in Ancient Visual and Material Culture

Explore the visual and material culture of the ancient world, the ways in which it might be studied, and the questions that can be asked of it.

Course overview

The core module gives you an awareness of historiography and methodological issues affecting the study of the material culture of the ancient world as well as inviting you to consider the ways in which its study can contribute to our picture of antiquity.

Optional modules allow you to develop your interests in particular aspects of the subject (art, epigraphy, numismatics, or an approved external option) in more depth, while a core language component provides the linguistic skills necessary to conduct further research.

This MA provides a thorough preparation in research techniques if you are considering further research in the fields of art, numismatics or epigraphy, or are working on an historical topic that involves the consideration of material evidence. It will also provide a detailed understanding of ancient visual and material culture to prepare you if you are aiming to enter a career in museums and curatorial work, or in education.

This MA also provides a solid basis for independent research, and often leads students to engage in MPhil/PhD studies in Ancient Visual and Material Culture.

There are four taught elements, each worth 30 CATS points, in addition to a 15-20,000-word dissertation (worth 60 CATS).

Taught Elements

  • Core Module 'Approaching Ancient Visual and Material Culture': two hour seminar every week in term one, assessed by a 5,000 word essay on a topic of your choice.
  • Core Module in a Language: Ancient Greek or Latin; Italian, German, or French, at appropriate level, taught alongside undergraduates either within the Classics Dept, or in the Italian Dept or the Language centre, over the course of the whole academic year. Assessed by a final examination and a dossier of coursework.
  • TWO optional modules chosen from the following:

The modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.


  • Dissertation of 15-20,000 words. The topic for this will be finalised during term two in conjunction with your supervisor. The dissertation will be submitted in September.

Key facts

Qualification: Master of Arts (MA)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Next intake: September 2023

  • Course Code:
    Full-time: P-V301
    Part-time: P-V301P

Contact: Clare Rowan, Director of Graduate Studies

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