Subject Guide

Classics Degree

Uni Compare  · Dec 7th 2023

Classics isn’t just the study of ancient literature; it is one of the most interdisciplinary courses that institutions offer.


Students - and their parents - sometimes wonder, ‘Is classics a good degree for getting a job?’, because, after all, the Roman Empire haven’t been hiring for quite a while. So, no, you may not get a job in a call centre’s Latin-speaking customer service department, but that’s not how academia works. The study of something - especially something so fundamental in the foundations of our society - will always be relevant. Having a degree in classics or even a distance learning classics degree can be a great asset, and here’s why…

Classics Degree

What to do with a classics degree

Firstly, it shows that you are passionate about the subject, which is essential for working in historical areas and bringing the past to life.

Secondly, it demonstrates your commitment, organisation and motivation to complete the degree. And in addition to that, there are a whole host of skills you've developed on the course itself, such as translation, interpretation, analysis, historical expertise, synthesis of information, and patience. These are all cornerstones of the working world.

What is classics degree employment like and what classics degree jobs are available? Almost a quarter of classics graduates go into clerical roles, which could be the entry point for longer-lasting careers in museums, galleries, and archives. Many classics grads hope to become museum education officers, designing activities for young people and delivering talks and tours, even with an online degree classics.

Or they might be interested in curation, where they actually acquire, select, organise and display artefacts in a museum. Tour guides need to have historical expertise so they can inform, entertain, and answer visitors’ questions. And archivists work behind the scenes at museums, categorising and storing artefacts and documents.What about the other three quarters of classics graduates? Read on to find out…

What can I do with a degree in classics?

So, other than working in a museum or gallery, what is a classics degree useful for? Around 11% of people with a classics degree work full time in management, through public or private sector roles. This could be a role in local government, retail, leisure and tourism (you know all the best castles to visit!) or as a heritage manager, looking after the visiting and conservation of historically significant sites.

Some classics degree graduates choose to study a PGCE or other teacher training qualification, so they can go on to teach History or Latin in secondary schools. Additionally, you could take a year long law conversion programme and consider work as a barrister, solicitor, or a paralegal.

If you enjoy writing, conquering deadlines, and have good communication skills, your cultural knowledge could be helpful in becoming an editorial assistant with a publishing company, a newspaper journalist, or taking on a role in PR, such as a public relations account executive. Having a degree in classics or an online classics degree can be the starting point for many interesting online degree classics, so read on to find out more about studying classics at uni.

Classics Degree

A degree in classics will allow students to study languages, history, literature and philosophies of the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome. Ancient Greece and Rome have had an influence on the cultures that have come after them, and the study of classics gives individuals a better understanding of our identities within the global community.

Classics may be the ideal subject for those students who cannot choose between studying literature, philosophy, history and sociology, especially if you're thinking of doing a master's degree classics, which covers all four of these and more.

There are plenty of jobs with a classics degree available and there is plenty of help provided by classics degree universities as well.

What A Levels do I need?

Where certain institutions won’t request specific A Levels for classics degree for entry, it may prove useful to have studied classics subject, or history, or a modern language beforehand to show that students have acquired similar skills. University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge will ask for high-grade requirements, generally AAB-AAA. However, other institutions offer flexibility ranging from BBB and upwards.

Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and degree courses to establish the classics degree entry requirements stated for successful admission and the classics degree A Levels that might help.

What are my study options?

A degree in the classics will be available as standalone degree programmes as well as offered as a joint programme. Certain universities will have specialised programmes in Greek or Latin for those interested in the ancient languages.

Alternatively, candidates may choose to study a joint honours degree including; History, Philosophy, Linguistics, English Language, English and Classics degree or a Modern Language.

This type of degree is a three-year course when studied full-time at university; however, some universities offer a longer course with an extra preliminary or foundation year – this extra year is beneficial for those who have not previously studied Latin.

A Foundation degree offers students a year before starting their degree to gain a grounding in the language before starting the degree officially and become familiar with the kinds of careers from a classics degree that can arise.

What should I expect from Classics?

Each Classic degree will differ in the modules that they have on offer; however, students may expect to study Greek or Latin, or another language.

Classics Degree

Studying this degree allows students to study a broad range of subjects, from the drama of Euripides, the history of the Athenian, the poetry of Homer or Virgil, Roman and Persian empires, or the art and archaeology of the Roman Empire.

How will I be assessed?

Candidates will learn through tutorials, lectures and independent study. Assessment will typically include written examinations, coursework, group work and presentations.

What skills will I learn from Classics?

Graduates of classics are equipped with transferable skills such as the ability to analyse and solve problems, to present clear and persuasive arguments and able to interpret information critically and further develop your classics degree skills, even if you study a classics degree online or a classics degree distance learning.

Why study Classics?

Classics isn’t solely the study of ancient civilisations but also includes how ancient cultures have shaped the way society lives today. This degree will appeal to individuals who want to explore both the past and the present and is ideal for those who don’t want to limit themselves and their studies to just one or two subjects.

What happens after I graduate?

Although a classics degree doesn’t necessarily offer a direct route into any particular career, there is still a range of different employment opportunities which graduates can apply their skills to. Classics graduates use their knowledge of history and ancient culture to begin their careers in the art gallery and museum management and curation industries, as well as work as inspectors or conservationists for the English heritage and the National Trust.

Other graduates may use their language skills to work in Journalism, PR, or become authors. Furthermore, students may wish to study further and become a teacher of philosophy, history, Latin or classics itself, especially since it comes with various reading materials for students and with a varying classics degree reading list.

A degree in classics will allow students to study languages, history, literature and philosophies of the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome. Classics Degree

Will it help me get a job?

Classics offer a wonderful perspective and a historical awareness to graduates, although no direct job route. A degree classics will be helpful in certain careers as listed above, or even in archaeology or a museum, the same for a masters degree in classics.

What types of jobs can I apply with studying Classics ?

There are plenty of jobs with a classics degree available and there is plenty of help provided by classics degree universities as well.

Classicists become Teachers, Heritage Professionals, Archivists, Librarians and Museum Curators. However, these employment areas are competitive, and students are advised to conduct research into the career sector of their choice to ensure a classics degree will aid their aspirations. Also, graduates with work experience or specialisation within a certain area may find themselves able to secure employment better.

What can I study after Classics?

A variety of postgraduate opportunities is available for those wishing to continue their studies, from Classics, Ancient History, Classical Art and Archaeology, Classical Reception studies, and to study even further at PhD level thereafter.

Famous Classics studies alumni

C.S Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia, studied Classics, as well as John Layfield (WWE wrestler) who studied Ancient History at Abilene Christian University. Porter Goss, who was the former head of the CIA had a degree in Ancient Greek from Yale University. J.K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, studied Classics at the University of Exeter!

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