Classical Literature and Philosophy BA

Year of entry

2024 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
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Student in library

This wide-ranging joint honours degree allows you to combine the study of thinkers from the ancient world through classical literature with the big ideas in contemporary and historical philosophy.

Classical Literature gives you the chance to explore some of the most important texts in western literature. You’ll combine core and optional modules to appreciate works by writers such as Homer, Virgil, Aeschylus, Apuleius, Aristotle and Ovid – all read in English translation – offering a window into ancient Greek and Roman culture and history. You'll explore poetry, prose, comedy and tragedy in the ancient theatre and discover how later writers from the ancient world to the present day have been inspired by the classics.

With Philosophy at Leeds, you’ll explore key concepts such as argument construction, moral and political philosophy, the history of modern philosophy, the nature of knowledge and reality, as well as applied philosophy in topics including bioethics, race, gender, and war.

Explore our libraries

Leeds has plenty of useful resources for Classical Literature and Philosophy 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 you’ll take fewer optional and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects. You’ll also undertake a major research project in either subject in your final year.

Your first year will introduce you to topics such as moral philosophy, the history of Western Philosophy, and teach you to construct and analyse philosophical arguments. You’ll study core modules that introduce you to ancient Greek and Roman literature, as well as starting to develop the skills required to analyse them.

You’ll develop those skills by exploring in-depth Homer’s Iliad and/or Virgil’s Aeneid, and choosing from optional modules in Classics in 20th and 21st-century literature or Greek and Roman drama.

You’ll be expected to maintain a balance over a few key areas of philosophy such as value philosophy, the history of philosophy, or theoretical philosophy (such as theories of knowledge and being). But you’ll also be able to specialise in topics that interest you through optional modules such as feminist philosophy, Plato’s Republic, ancient philosophy, continental philosophy, and philosophy of language. Some of these modules are undergoing revision, but the list below will give you a flavour of what is likely to be available on this course.

By your final year, you will also have highly developed research and analytical skills and continue building your diverse literary portfolio. You can also take optional discovery modules in other areas of Classics such as ancient history, and archaeology.
You’ll also be able to showcase the critical and research skills you’ve gained when you undertake an independent dissertation on a topic of your choice in your final year in either of the two disciplines.

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.

Course structure

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

Year 1

Compulsory Modules (each 20 credits)

  • 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.

  • How to do Philosophy - This introductory module offers you a foundation in some of the formal and informal reasoning skills used in philosophy.

  • Introduction to the History of Western Philosophy - This introductory module aims to provide you with an understanding of how western philosophy has developed as a distinct approach to philosophical enquiry by examining a selection of thinkers who influenced its development, potentially going back as far as the Ancient Greeks and extending to the 18th century.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Ancient Lives (20 credits)

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 1) (20 credits)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 1) (20 credits)

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 1) (20 credits)

  • Beginners Latin (20 credits)

  • The Mind (10 credits)

  • Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (10 credits)

  • The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong (20 credits)

  • Knowledge, Self and Reality (20 credits)

  • Philosophy Meets the World (10 credits)

  • How Science Works (10 credits)

  • Thinking about Race (10 credits)

Year 2

Compulsory Modules

  • 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.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • The Rise of Rome: Myth and History

  • Virgil’s Aeneid

  • Homer’s Iliad

  • Ancient Empires: Power and Control

  • Ovid the Innovator

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 2)

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 2)

  • Beginners Latin (Level 2)

  • Traversing Time: The Voyage of Argo

  • The Athenian Empire

  • Herodotus and the Beginning of History

  • Invisible Greeks and Romans

  • Augustus and his Legacy

  • Plato on Love

  • Greek Tragedy

  • The City in the Roman World

  • Introduction to Dante’s Comedy (in Translation)

  • Black Europe

  • History of Modern Philosophy

  • Introduction to Metaphysics

  • Introduction to Epistemology

  • Moral Philosophy

  • Political Philosophy

  • Philosophy of Science

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

  • Final Year Project in either Classical Literature or Philosophy (40 credits) - You'll design your own project on any topic, subject to approval from a potential supervisor and the module coordinator.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Traversing Time: The Voyage of Argo (20 credits)

  • Major Research Project (40 credits)

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 3) (20 credits)

  • The Athenian Empire (20 credits)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 3) (20 credits)

  • Herodotus and the Beginning of History (20 credits)

  • Ovid the Innovator (20 credits)

  • The Rise of Rome: Myth and History (20 credits)

  • Augustus and his Legacy (20 credits)

  • The Ancient Greek Novel (20 credits)

  • Heroines: Representations of Mythological Women from Antiquity to the Present (20 credits)

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 3) (20 credits)

  • Beginners Latin (Level 3) (20 credits)

  • Introduction to Dante’s Comedy (in Translation) (20 credits)

  • Adventures of the Imagination: Crime and the Fantastic Across Continents (20 credits)

  • Kant (20 credits)

  • Philosophy of Mind (20 credits)

  • Philosophy of Language (20 credits)

  • Free Will (20 credits)

  • Feminist Philosophy (20 credits)

  • Bioethics (20 credits)

  • War, Terror and Justice (20 credits)

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their own cutting-edge research informs their teaching.

We use various teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as workshops, practical sessions working with manuscripts and coins, and field trips. However, independent study is also central to this degree since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You will be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a Final Year Research Project on a topic of your own choice.

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. You may also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. We work hard at Leeds to make other innovative and inclusive assessment options available, too. Our aim is 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: ABB

Other course specific tests:

When 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 BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

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.


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M1

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall including 16 at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or AABBBB 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: 77%.

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: BBC at A Level 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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

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 Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree as broad as Classical Literature and Philosophy equips you with a wide range of transferable skills that are highly valuable to employers.

You’ll have advanced communication skills, enabling you to present and defend your ideas confidently and clearly, as well as strong independent research skills and the ability to think critically about the information you find. You’ll also have the teamwork and organisational skills needed to handle two different subjects.

Our graduates are in a great position to succeed in diverse careers – they’ve gone into publishing, law, journalism, education, advertising and marketing, business and finance, the charity sector, and the civil service. Many have also continued to postgraduate study.

You can read more about the range of careers our Classical Literature and Philosophy 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 Philosophy 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.