The one‐year MSt (completed in nine months and over by the end of June) is designed to allow students a period of study of Greek and/or Latin Classical Literature which is both at a more advanced level, and more independent, than that normal in undergraduate courses, and at the same time more tightly‐structured and supervised than work for a doctorate. The majority of students take the course as preparation for a research degree, and for such students it might offer, for instance, linguistic training; the opportunity to become acquainted with an ancillary discipline such as papyrology or palaeography; and a first introduction, via the dissertation, to extended research and the extended presentation of a scholarly argument. The minority of students who treat this degree as a goal in itself can study a wide range of topics which they will not have covered as undergraduates.
A main aim in designing the course has always been flexibility, since students beginning graduate work at a major international university inevitably have very different backgrounds and needs. Every student takes a selection of options individually related to his or her requirements. Teaching is often in the form of one‐to‐one or two‐to‐one tutorials, but students are also encouraged to attend, and actively participate in, a wide range of seminars, some specifically directed to this course. In addition, all students attend a class on Research Techniques in Classical Literature, extending over the first two terms: this includes units on various topics in classical scholarship and on research resources, and provides a forum for students’ presentation of their own work to other students.
The MSt is the normal course for our Master's Students, and the one which we recommend unless there are particular reasons for preferring the two-year MPhil.
Nearly all students who take the two‐year MPhil (completed in 21 months and finishing by the end of June in the second year) do so as preparation for a research degree, and for such students it might offer, for instance, linguistic training; the opportunity to become acquainted with an ancillary discipline, such as papyrology, textual criticism of Greek and/or Latin, or reception; it also offers, through an obligatory dissertation, the first steps in actual research and the extended presentation of a scholarly argument. The minority of students who treat this degree as a goal in itself can study a wide range of topics which they will not have covered as undergraduates. The aims, objectives and methods of the MPhil are similar to those of the MSt, except that the expanded timescale of the degree enables MPhil students to study each of their options in greater depth, and the quantity of work submitted for examination is increased accordingly, with every MPhil student offering a thesis of up to 25,000 words.
The MSt and MPhil in Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature also offer opportunities for you to specialise in the study of reception. You will take ‘Reception: Theory and Methods' plus two other options, one of which may (and in the MPhil must) be a dissertation. A typical combination might be:
1) ‘Reception: Theory and Methods’
2) A dissertation on a freely chosen reception topic
3) A further option on a freely chosen reception topic (which may or may not be related to your dissertation topic).
Oxford Classics is a leading centre for reception studies, with regular seminars, conferences and guest lectures, and is home to the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama.
For further details of these programmes, entry requirements and application procedures, please see the Graduate Admissions website: MSt Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature
MSt MPhil Handbook
FAQs for Language and Literature