Ancient History BA

Year of entry

2024 course information
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 reading in a museum

Explore diverse cultures and societies across the ancient world in this fascinating degree.

You’ll study the civilisations of ancient Greece, Rome, Persia and beyond, analysing their political, cultural and social histories, how they’ve been received and interpreted by other cultures, and how we understand their world today.

Alongside great historical figures, you’ll study the lives of ordinary people, including subordinate groups in the ancient world and think critically about the evidence available to us. You’ll gain knowledge of historical research methods, archaeology, literary analysis and life in ancient Greek and Roman society. Optional modules will allow you to focus on topics such as classical literature, early Islamic history or Ancient Greek and Latin.

Explore our libraries

Leeds has plenty of useful resources for Ancient History students. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wide range of scholarly material on the subject, and its Special Collections include manuscript, archive and early printed material, as well as coins and other materials from the ancient world. 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.

The University Library offers comprehensive training and support to help you make the most of these resources, and you'll also have the chance to visit other collections close by, such as Leeds City Museum.

Take a look around our libraries:

Course details

In your first year, you'll develop your historical skills and knowledge, gaining an understanding of concepts such as historiography and material culture analysis. You’ll study the development of Greek and Roman civilisation, politics and literature, learn about archaeology and ancient life writing, and choose optional modules on topics that interest you.

Over the next two years, core and optional modules will allow you to refine your knowledge, enhance your research skills, and study different aspects of the ancient world. You’ll develop an understanding of a range of imperial regimes and the experiences of under-represented and subordinate groups in the ancient world. You could also study the rise of Rome, read Herodotus’ Histories, explore and interpret our archives and special collections, study early Arab and Islamic civilisation, or develop your language skills.

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 so that you can learn Ancient Greek or Latin in every year of the degree, or continue with either language to Advanced level.

By your final year, you will have built a wide range of skills across disciplines, allowing you to research topics and think critically about what you find. You’ll conduct an independent research project on a topic of your choosing, to further develop your knowledge and interests.

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 (20 credits each)

  • Ancient Lives - The module will consider a range of biographies and life writings by different authors of classical antiquity, from more historical to more literary and fictionalising biographies.

  • Diverse Histories of Britain – This module provides you with the opportunity to explore the history of Britain afresh. It is an opening into the rich and diverse history of the places, people, and cultures that make up Britain and how they have changed from the medieval to modern periods. Drawing upon the skills and awareness you developed in the first semester, you'll explore overarching 'national narratives', considering who they include and exclude, and why.

  • The Greek World: An Introduction - This module provides a historical survey of events in the Greek world from the eighth to the fourth centuries BC, followed by a more detailed study of the social and cultural life of fifth- and fourth-century BC Athens.

  • The Roman World: An Introduction - The module is intended as a foundation for further study in all aspects of Roman civilisation. It will start with an introduction to the major periods in Roman history and the surviving ancient evidence which allows us to study them.

  • Introduction to Classical Archaeology - The aim of this module is to provide and introduction to the theory and practice of the archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 1)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 1)

  • Beginners Ancient Greek (Level 1)

  • Beginners Latin

  • Introduction to Arab and Islamic Civilisation

  • Muslim Beliefs: From Theology to Sunni-Shi'a Sectarianism

  • Early and Medieval Islamic History

  • China in East Asian History

Year 2

Compulsory modules (20 credits each)

  • Invisible Greeks and Romans - This module focuses on subordinate groups in classical antiquity: women, children, slaves, foreigners and others outside the privileged body of citizens in Greece and Rome.

  • 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.

  • Ancient Empires: Power and Control - This module provides an overview of the hegemonic and imperial regimes of the classical world, covering Greece, Rome and Persia, and focussing particularly on the hegemonic leagues of Sparta and Athens, the Achaemenid empire and the rise of Rome as an imperial power.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below, 20 credits each)

  • Classical Receptions in the Brotherton Archives and Special Collections

  • The Athenian Empire

  • The Rise of Rome: Myth and History

  • Augustus and his Legacy

  • Greek Religion

  • Screening Antiquity

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

  • The City in the Roman World

  • The Athenian Empire

  • The Image of Sparta

  • Black Europe

  • Global Environmental Humanities

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 2)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 2)

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, 20 credits each)

  • Herodotus and the Beginning of History

  • The Rise of Rome: Myth and History

  • The Image of Sparta

  • Greek Art and Society

  • Advanced Ancient Greek

  • The City in the Roman World

  • Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption

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

  • Intermediate Ancient Greek (Level 3)

  • Intermediate Latin (Level 3)

Learning and teaching

We use different teaching and learning styles to help you benefit from our tutors’ expertise. They include 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.

The University offers a variety of tailored support for ancient historians; 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; some modules will include group work, seminars and online discussion forums. This is to help you develop a wide range of skills, not only in your chosen subjects but for 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:

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 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.



Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall with 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: 75%

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.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year


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

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A degree in Ancient History gives you a wide range of knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines.

You’ll be an excellent problem solver, capable of researching complex topics from different sources and drawing your own conclusions. You’ll have highly developed communication skills and be able to present your views effectively.

All of this is valued by employers, and graduates from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures go on to a wide range of careers, including publishing, journalism, law, curatorship, the civil service, the armed forces, advertising and marketing, education, business and finance and the charity sector.

Many of our graduates also progress onto postgraduate study.

We do everything we can to help prepare you for your career. Student-run career groups allow you to meet other students who share your career ambitions. You could also become a peer mentor under our scheme or apply for one of the internships offered every year.

We are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. 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.

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

Careers support

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.

Ancient History and Classics 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 Ancient History and Classics 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.