Classics and Ancient History

Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Arts
Awards available PhD, MPhil
Programme length MPhil: one year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2020
January 2021

This research degree is also available via distance learning.

Programme overview

The Department of Classics and Ancient History has an international reputation for outstanding and innovative research. We are particularly well known for reception studies, which we pioneered in Britain, and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of antiquity. As a research student, you will be a member of a thriving and dynamic community.

Fees for 2020/21

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2020/21

The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2020. For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.

PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

Members of the department carry out research across the whole range of classical studies: Greek and Latin literature, ancient history and historiography, visual culture, philosophy and reception. Our work is characterised by a particular focus on interdisciplinary approaches and theoretical questions, and by an interest in the globalisation of classics.

A special resource is the Bristol Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition, which provides a focus for collaborative and interdisciplinary work and support for conferences and other research activities. The institute encompasses research from many fields, including history, art history, archaeology, literary studies and philosophy, with a particular interest in exploring links between the ancient and modern worlds.

Individual members of staff are involved with research groups across the faculty and University, such as medieval studies, early modern studies, colonialism and the Cabot Institute. The department has recently hosted a major AHRC-funded research project, Thucydides: Reception, Reinterpretation, Influence.

All new research students attend a core unit on Theories and Approaches, as well as the fortnightly departmental seminar.


A large number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of classics and ancient history; some graduates go on to careers in museum education and journalism.

Staff profiles

Dr Lyndsay Coo, (Lecturer), Ancient Greek tragedy, with particular focus on Sophocles; the representation of women (particularly sisters) in Athenian tragedy; Troy and the Trojan War in ancient thought and literature.

Professor Esther Eidinow, (Professor of Ancient History), Ancient Greek social and cultural history, esp. religion and magic; cognitive humanities; historiography, esp. Herodotus and Thucydides; history of emotions; myth

Dr Shelley Hales, (Senior Lecturer), Ancient art and its reception; reception of Pompeii; Roman cultural history; Roman provincial identities.

Professor Yasmin Haskell, (Professor of Latin), history of emotions; Latin literature (especially poetry); medical humanities; the reception of classical texts in the Renaissance and later

Dr Laura Jansen, (Lecturer), classical tradition and its reception in the 20th century; classics and comparative literature; Latin literature; paratextuality

Dr Silke Knippschild, (Senior Lecturer), classical reception; Greek and Ancient Near Eastern history and visual culture.

Dr Kurt Lampe, (Senior Lecturer), ancient philosophy; Greek poetry; modern continental philosophy; reception of classical antiquity

Dr Genevieve Liveley, (Senior Lecturer), Augustan literature; critical theory; gender theory; narratology; the classical tradition.

Dr Pantelis Michelakis, (Reader), critical theory; cultural transmission; Greek literature and theatre, especially tragedy,; the classical tradition

Dr Nicoletta Momigliano, (Reader), Aegean prehistory; classical reception; history of Aegean Bronze Age scholarship

Dr Ellen O'Gorman, (Senior Lecturer), Latin poetry and prose literature, especially Neronian, Flavian and Trajanic; Roman historiography and its reception in political thought; theories of ideology and reading, especially psychoanalysis.

Dr Isabella Sandwell, (Senior Lecturer), early Christianity; late antiquity; Roman religion.

Dr Vanda Zajko, (Reader), feminist theory; psychoanalysis; the reception of classical myth and literature, particularly in the 20th century.

How to apply
Application deadline:

September 2020 start: 2 August 2020
January 2021 start: 2 December 2020

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • Classics:
  • 29% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 48% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 23% of research is recognised internationally (2*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Open days and visits

Find out more about opportunities to visit Bristol.

Register to attend our postgraduate open day, 20 November 2019.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 8458 Email:

Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
3-5 Woodland Road


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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