Classics and English

classics and english

Ancient Greek relief. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have taken Ancient Greek and/or Latin to A-level or equivalent, Classics and English is a three-year course in most cases (see also below). If you have not had the opportunity to study either ancient language to A-level or equivalent, you take a four-year course (Classics and English with Beginners’ Latin or Greek). This begins with an intensive introductory year in which you learn either Greek or Latin alongside some study of classical literature. Both three-year and four-year courses lead to the same final examination.

(Please note that most applicants who have studied either Greek or Latin – but not both – to A-level or equivalent choose to take the three-year course and to continue to work in the language which they have studied before. On this route you can, if you wish, take up the other ancient language in your second year. If you are very keen to learn the other ancient language from the beginning of your course, it is also possible to apply for the four-year course, in which case you would learn the new language during your qualifying year.)

Either version offers a well integrated (and truly ‘joint’) course, which, alongside both English literature and classical literature studied independently, also explores the rich connections between ancient and modern literature. Among the highlights of the course are the ‘Link Papers’ studied for the final examination. In these, through topics such as Epic, Tragedy and Comedy, the twists and turns of literary genres can be traced from Homer to Milton and Walcott, or from Aeschylus to Webster and beyond.


UCAS Course Codes:  QQ38 (Classics and English), QQH8 (Classics and English with Beginners’ Latin or Greek)

Course length: 3 years (Classics and English ) or 4 years (Classics and English with Beginners’ Latin or Greek)

Course requirements: English Literature or English Language and Literature to A-Level (or equivalent) for both versions of the course; Latin and/or Greek to A-Level (or equivalent) for the three-year course only. Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or a modern language can also be helpful, but are not required.

University Prospectus: