Classical Literature and English BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level including English and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview


Explore literature from the ancient world to contemporary Britain and beyond with this wide-ranging degree, which puts English literature into the context of its classical heritage.

Core modules will introduce you to key classical texts such as the Iliad and Aeneid, as well as poetry, prose and drama in English across literary periods. The range of diverse research interests at Leeds also means we can offer an impressive array of optional modules, allowing you to follow your interests in ancient literature alongside a full range of English topics.

You could study Herodotus and historical writing, Ovid or Greek tragedy, as well as how Dante and contemporary authors have engaged with their classical forebears. Then you could explore African literature, language in the media or folklore and mythology.

Explore our libraries

Leeds has plenty of useful resources for Classical Literature and English students. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections. You’ll be able to get hands-on experience of working with ancient manuscripts, coins and other artefacts, including one of the longest surviving inscriptions from ancient Britain. Our other library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a full training programme to help you make the most of them.

Take a look around our libraries:

Course details

A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but take fewer optional and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.

Year 1

You’ll spend your first year taking core modules that introduce you to Greek and Latin literature in translation, as well as taking a foundational module in English studies and choosing to study either poetry or drama. You’ll also have the chance to select discovery modules from a range of subjects across the University – an option that will be open to you throughout the degree.

Year 2

In the following year, you’ll build on this foundation. Core modules will allow you to study two of the foundational works of Western literature from the Greek and Roman worlds, the Iliad and the Aeneid, as well as literatures in English in a choice of historical periods. You’ll also choose from a variety of optional modules in both subjects, allowing you to tailor your degree to suit your interests.

Year 3

Your final year offers even more flexibility, as you choose core English modules and then select from an even more comprehensive range of options. You’ll also demonstrate the critical and research skills you’ve acquired when you undertake an independently researched final-year project on a topic of your choice.

Classical texts are taught in translation, so you don’t need to have studied an ancient language before you start your degree. However, we do offer optional modules in every year of the degree to learn Ancient Greek or Latin from Beginners to Advanced level.

The course information shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information, please read BA Classical Literature and English in the course catalogue.

Year 1

Compulsory Modules (20 credits each)

  • Greek Poets - This module provides an introduction for students to two Ancient Greek poets, Homer and Aeschylus, through detailed study of Homer's Odyssey, a seminal work in the Western literary tradition, and Aeschylus’ Oresteia, the earliest acknowledged masterpiece of European drama. The poems will be read in English translation.

  • Roman Poets - This module provides an introduction for students to two Roman poets, Catullus and Ovid, through detailed study of the lyric poetry of Catullus, whose treatment of themes such as love and friendship was a major influence on later love poets, and of Ovid’s epic poem, Metamorphoses, which in its presentation of famous classical myths remains a significant influence in European literature and art.The poems will be read in English translation.

  • Reading Between the Lines - This module equips students with a critical vocabulary for sophisticated literary study, introducing the creative, argumentative and exciting discipline of ‘English Studies’. Through close analysis of specific texts across a range of periods and forms, students will encounter some of the varied theories that have shaped and continue to underpin the discipline. Students will find out how an English degree might change the way we read and see the world, while developing their academic skills through guided critical reading, collaboration with peers in group presentations and seminar discussions, and a variety of assignments designed to introduce them to the different formats of assessment required throughout the degree.

  • Writing Matters - Writing and communication skills are vital to most professional careers, but they are especially valuable in the field of English studies. This module explores debates around a canonical literary text, examining theoretical approaches and rhetorical strategies used to write about literature. Students will hone their own writing skills by engaging ethically with the text and the ideas of others, developing structured arguments, expressing ideas clearly and concisely, working with feedback, and practising writing as a process. As a result, students will cultivate a deeper understanding of how writing works, learn how to share insights with greater efficacy and sophistication, and practice how to transfer this knowledge to future workplace contexts.

Optional Modules (Selection of typical options shown below)

  • Ancient Lives

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 1)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 1)

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 1)

  • Beginners Latin

  • Modern Fictions in English

  • Drama: Text and Performance

  • Poetry: Reading and Interpretation

  • Race, Writing and Decolonisation

Year 2

Compulsory Modules (20 credits each)

  • Evidence and Enquiry in Classics - This module is designed to build on and enhance the skills which you have developed at level 1, and to prepare you to pursue independent research at level 3 with the help and guidance of an academic supervisor. It offers a survey of Classics today, of classes of evidence, and of the various areas of classical research.

  • Writing Environments: Literature, Nature, Culture - This module examines what it means to live as human beings on a more-than-human planet. We’ll investigate how literary texts from different times and places have understood the relationship between nature and culture. We’ll address human impacts on the environment in relation to historical phenomena such as colonialism. And we’ll explore the insights that literature can offer at a time of concern about climate change and other environmental issues.

  • Body Language: Literature and Embodiment - This module explores the relationship between embodiment, language and representation across a range of literary forms, genres, and periods, addressing questions such as: what does it mean to be ‘human’? Can technology change who we are? How do we navigate the relationship between the body and the mind? It examines how critical theorists and creative writers and life writers have treated and imagined this relationship between material bodies and literary representation, in order to better understand both the possibilities and limitations of literary expression.

Optional Modules (Selection of typical options shown below)

  • Invisible Greeks and Romans

  • Virgil’s Aeneid

  • Homer’s Iliad

  • Ancient Empires: Power and Control

  • Traversing Time: the Voyage of Argo

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 2)

  • The Athenian Empire

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 2)

  • Herodotus and the Beginning of History

  • The Rise of Rome: Myth and History

  • Roman Comedy

  • Augustus and his Legacy

  • The Ancient Greek Novel

  • Screening Antiquity

  • Heroines: Representations of Mythological Women from Antiquity to the Present

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 2)

  • Beginners Latin (Level 2)

  • Introduction to Dante's Comedy (in Translation)

  • Black Europe

  • Medieval and Tudor Literature

  • Renaissance Literature

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

  • Major Research Project (40 credits) - The major dissertation requires the student to design their own 12,000-word project on any topic, subject to approval from a potential supervisor and the module coordinator.

Optional Modules (Selection of typical options shown below)

  • The Athenian Empire

  • Herodotus and the Beginning of History

  • Ovid the Innovator

  • The Rise of Rome: Myth and History

  • Augustus and his Legacy

  • The Ancient Greek Novel

  • Screening Antiquity

  • Heroines: Representations of Mythological Women from Antiquity to the Present

  • The Image of Sparta

  • Plato on Love

  • Greek Religion

  • Greek Tragedy

  • The City in the Roman World

  • Roman Comedy

  • Classical Receptions in the Brotherton Archives and Special Collections

  • Traversing Time: The Voyage of Argo

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 3)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 3)

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 3)

  • Beginners Latin (Level 3)

  • Restoration and Eighteenth Century Writing

  • Literature of the Romantic Period

  • Renaissance Literature

  • Modern Literature

  • Postcolonial Literature

  • Shakespeare

  • Forming Victorian Fiction

  • Adventures of the Imagination: Crime and the Fantastic Across Continents

  • Decolonial Approaches

  • Social Movements across Cultures

  • Beginners Latin (Level 3)

Learning and teaching

We use a number of different teaching and learning styles to help you benefit from our tutors’ expertise, including lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as workshops, practical sessions working with manuscripts and coins, and field trips. Independent study is also an integral part of the degree, allowing you to read widely and build your research and critical skills. There is plenty of support available: the University Library runs training programmes to help you make the most of our resources.

The University offers a variety of tailored support for classicists and philosophers; the University Library runs free classes and workshops so you can learn how to use them.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use diverse types of assessment designed to deliver key skills essential for the world of work: to think clearly and critically, to speak well, and to write persuasively. Exams and essays are a part of this, but we also use poster presentations, reflective commentaries and narrated slideshow presentations. In some modules, you may also be assessed on components such as group work, surveys, reports, or oral presentations. We aim to make sure you develop skills not only in your chosen subjects, but also ones which you can take into your future career.

We offer additional support in relevant areas – for example, we run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam techniques that you’ll be able to attend throughout your time at Leeds.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including A in English.

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be ABB at A Level including A in English and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. The Access course must include English modules.


We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M1 including D3 in English.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in English at Higher Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 in English

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers including A in English and AABBB in Highers, or A in English in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 80% including 85% in English.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level including English and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
School of English

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A joint honours degree in Classical Literature and English provides you with in-depth knowledge of a rich literary tradition, equipping you with deep cultural awareness. You’ll also leave with valuable transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers.

You’ll be a confident researcher who is capable of working both individually and in a team, and you’ll have analytical and problem-solving skills. You’ll be able to think critically about information from different sources, draw your own conclusions and present and defend them clearly using your advanced communication skills. Managing two subjects will also equip you with organisational and time management skills.

Graduates have gone into a wide range of careers, such as journalism, publishing, law, advertising and marketing, business and finance, the civil service, education and the charity sector. Others have gone on to pursue postgraduate study in related subjects.

We do everything we can to help you prepare for your career. You’ll have the choice to study one of our career development and planning modules as part of your degree, or you could apply for one of the internships we offer every year.

You can read more about the range of careers our Classical Literature and English graduates progress into, as well as the support we offer you throughout your degree.

The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies careers and employability support includes promoting internships, providing opportunities to work for the School and employer-led workshops and events.

Careers support

The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies regularly hosts employability events where you can listen to Leeds alumni talking about their careers and ask them for advice.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Classical Literature and English at Leeds has exchange links with Verona University (Italy) and modern language classes are available before you go to prepare you for the experience. There are also opportunities at our partner universities across the world where courses are taught in English.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

A work placement year is a popular choice with our students as it provides an opportunity to gain invaluable work experience as part of your degree. As with study abroad, you don't have to decide whether to pursue this before coming to Leeds.

You'll apply for the work placement year when you are already here and settled into your degree. If you are successful, you'll work in a graduate-level role and return to Leeds to complete your final year.

Hannah spent a year working for an integrated marketing group.