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Taught MAs in Ancient Visual and Material Culture

We offer three taught MAs in Ancient Visual and Material Culture which share a common core subject and allow you to focus on your particular interests. These could also form the first year of the Master of Fine Arts programme.

Taught MA in the Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Rome (V302)

This involves two months' study in Rome with a detailed programme of visits and seminars, as well as core and optional modules studied in Warwick.

Taught MA in the Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Greece (V303)

Involves 2-3 weeks' study in Athens or Crete at the British School at Athens with a detailed taught programme of visits, seminars and study of primary material, as well as core and optional modules studied in Warwick.

Taught MA in Ancient Visual and Material Culture (V301)

This MA is studied entirely at Warwick and offers a range of options focusing on the art, inscriptions and coins of Greek and Roman Antiquity.

Why take an MA in visual and material culture?

  • Are you interested in the art and archaeology of the Ancient World, or the history and archaeology of Ancient Rome and/or Ancient Greece?

  • Looking for research training prior to a PhD?

  • Do you want a grounding in ancient material culture as a step to a future career in museums work or education?

If so, one of these MAs could be for you.

All courses focus on the visual and material culture of the ancient world, the ways that it might be studied, and the questions that can be asked of it.

There are three routes:

  1. The MA in Ancient Visual and Material Culture is studied entirely at the University of Warwick.
  2. The Rome route (MA in the Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Rome) is based mostly at Warwick but includes one module taught by the British School at Rome and focuses especially on the history and material culture of Ancient Rome. Students go to Rome for April and May before returning to Warwick to complete their dissertations.
  3. The Ancient Greece route (MA in the Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Greece) is based mostly at Warwick but includes one module taught at the British School at Athens, which focuses on a different skill set for handling ancient Greek material culture from year to year (numismatics, epigraphy, pottery, art). Students go to Athens in the late spring/early summer before returning to Warwick to complete their dissertations.

Taught MA modules and course outline


All students take the core module Approaching Ancient Visual and Material Culture. This looks at the historiographical and methodological issues affecting the study of the material culture of the ancient world as well as the ways that the reception of ancient culture has affected our broader picture of antiquity.

All students also take a language option, to develop the linguistic skills necessary to conduct research. This can be Latin or ancient Greek, or a modern language (French, German, Italian), depending on research needs and interests. Those taking the 'Rome' route will usually take Italian.

You will then choose two options, allowing you to develop your interests in art, numismatics, epigraphy (all taught at Warwick) or the visual and material culture of ancient Rome (taught by the British School at Rome), or the courses offered by the British School at Athens. You will give seminar papers and write a 5,000 work essay for each option you take.

The final element of the course is a 15-20,000 word dissertation on an aspect of ancient culture. Those taking the Rome or Greece route will start their research while in Rome/Athens, and for the Rome course are expected to develop further an area of research they have encountered during the British School at Rome course. Those taking the Ancient Greece or non-Rome route have a free choice of dissertation topic, usually arising from their optional modules or from their time spent in Greece.

The MA provides a thorough preparation in research techniques for those considering further research in the fields of art, numismatics or epigraphy, or 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 those intending to entering a career in museums and curatorial work or in education.

Part-time study

The degree is available both full-time and part-time (though seminars will usually run during the day-time). Both the Rome and Ancient Greece courses can be taken part-time, so long as you are able to attend the relevant courses in Athens and Rome in their entirety.

Master of Fine Arts

The taught MA courses can be taken as the first year towards the Master of Fine Arts (MFA), which includes a second year of research. The MFA is designed to provide students with an opportunity to take their MA study to the next level. The first year comprises a taught MA course. The second year is project-based and takes the form of an independent project undertaken with full supervision but normally without residence, at the level of a PhD, and focused on an area of creativity and practice. The MFA thus combines both taught and research elements over the course of study. The MFA is designed to produce graduates who will form the next generation of creative practitioners, cultural-policy makers and educators. As a qualification that goes beyond the MA, the MFA will ensure that these graduates are of an advanced standard and that the ideas they then take out into the workplace are grounded in study and practice of the highest academic and professional rigour.

To apply online, please go to: warwick.ac.uk/go/pgapply.

For further information contact C dot C dot L dot Petit at warwick dot ac dot uk.
Ashmolean trip

On-site MA seminar at the Ashmolean


Admissions enquiries

Dr Caroline Petit

Director of Graduate Studies
c dot c dot l dot petit at warwick dot ac dot uk

Taught MA in Ancient Material and Visual Culture:
Read a student view from Elspeth Levitt, 2005-06
Taught MA in Visual and Material Culture of Ancient Rome:
Read a student view from Ersin Hussein, 2008-09