The one-year MSt is designed to allow students the opportunity for study of Greek and Roman History which is more advanced and more independent than is normal in undergraduate courses, and at the same time more tightly‐structured and supervised than work for a doctorate. Most students take the course as preparation for a research degree, and for such students it might offer, for instance, linguistic training (whether in an ancient or a modern language); the chance to become acquainted with a particular historical discipline such as epigraphy, numismatics or papyrology; and a first introduction, via the dissertation especially, to actual research and the presentation of a sustained scholarly argument.
Flexibility has always been one of the main aims of this course, 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. A set of options should not be very narrow in scope; it should, however, provide the opportunity for detailed study and the development of scholarly skills. The normal mode of teaching is through a mixture of one‐to‐one tutorials, classes and seminars, and students are also encouraged to attend a wide range of lectures and faculty research seminars.
The MSt is usually taken by students who wish to prepare for doctoral work but for whom a shorter course makes sense.
The two-year MPhil, a research training degree designed to equip students with a range of both knowledge and skills, is the course taken by the majority of our Master’s students. Its aims, objectives and methods are similar to those of the MSt, except that MPhil students offer a larger number of options and have the opportunity to write a more extended dissertation on the basis of several months of research.
The choice between the two degrees will be determined by your previous experience and by the character of the doctoral research to which you hope to proceed. The MPhil is particularly suitable where knowledge of ancillary disciplines is required, where knowledge of languages (ancient or modern) needs to be acquired or improved, or where a candidate needs grounding in an additional historical period or topic as a foundation for research.
For further details of these programmes, entry requirements and application procedures, please see the Graduate Admissions website:
MSt Greek and/or Roman History
MPhil Greek and/or Roman History
MSt MPhil Handbook
FAQs about Ancient History