Classics focuses on the languages of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, as well as their literature and culture. In this 3-year BA degree, you’ll study both ancient Greek and Latin, each at the level appropriate for you: we offer four levels—Beginner’s, Intermediate, Further, and Advanced—and by the end of the degree you will be reading unabridged works in the original language. Recently, texts taught at the Further and Advanced level have included letters by Cicero and Pliny the younger, Plutarch’s How to Study Poetry, Plato’s Phaedrus, extracts from epic poetry such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Virgil’s Aeneid, Euripides’ tragedy Helen, Aristophanes’ comedy Thesmophoriazusae, and Herodotus’ and Tacitus’ Histories.
Your Classics degree will be attractive to employers who can see that you have applied yourself to mastering challenging languages that require logical thinking, intellectual rigour, and creative adaptability. Your English grammar and syntax are likely to improve, making your written work more accurate, confident, and persuasive. And nothing compares to the thrill of being able to read texts in an originally unfamiliar language or deciphering artfully constructed arguments for yourself without the filter of a translation.
Why Classics at Swansea?
Based at our stunning Singleton Park campus, in parkland overlooking Swansea Bay on the edge of the Gower Peninsula, a Classics degree at Swansea University will be highly regarded:
- Ranked 6th in the UK for career prospects - Guardian University Guide 2020
- Department ranked 12th overall in the UK - Guardian University Guide 2020
We give you the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience in local schools through our Schools Placement module in your second or third year; if you are considering a career as a teacher this might be attractive to you, as instructing others in the basics of the ancient languages is also a good method to consolidate your own learning.
If you so desire, you will have the option to study a semester abroad in a location such as the USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, or Singapore, during your second year, or to spend a full year abroad after your second year.
Your Classics Experience
Through the three years of the degree, you’ll be taking Latin and Greek modules at the appropriate level out of Beginner’s, Intermediate, Further, and Advanced, depending on your prior experience. Further and Advanced levels read increasing amounts of prose and verse literature in the original languages.
In the first year, you’ll be doing two modules each of Latin and Greek, unless you’ve done neither before, in which case you’ll take 2 modules of either one at Beginner’s level and start the other in your second year. At Further and Advanced level, you’ll be reading texts with scholars who research their language and meaning: for instance, you might be reading a speech by Cicero or a comedy by Aristophanes with a staff member who published an article about it. You could also study either Greek or Latin in a Joint Honours degree with Ancient History or Classical Civilisation.
Swansea is an established centre for the study of narrative, especially the ancient novel, under the auspices of our research group KYKNOS. As part of that, we have a guest speaker programme and a reading group, as well as a dedicated MA.
Through the course of your Classics degree, in our close-knit community, you will each have an academic mentor from among the teaching staff to lend academic support. The Society for Ancient Studies organises social and cultural events, including museum trips.
To enhance your career prospects, we offer the opportunity to sign up for various employability and engagement-related placements, such as the Week of Work.
Classics Employment Opportunities
The department of Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology was ranked 3rd in the United Kingdom for graduate prospects by the Complete University Guide 2019.
94% of Classics, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History and Egyptology graduates are employed or in further study within six months after graduating (National Student Survey, 2018).
Students on this course typically develop excellent writing skills, as well as strong abilities in problem solving. You’ll learn how to manage your time effectively in your preparation and how to respond effectively when asked questions in public settings.
Our Classics graduates enter careers in a wide variety of sectors including:
- Education (secondary and tertiary)
- Heritage and museums
- Media and public relations
- Public service