Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (MA)
The MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies is designed to provide students with the advanced knowledge, understanding and skills needed to carry out independent research into the history and culture of late antiquity and Byzantium. It takes advantage of the concentration of expertise in late antique history, culture, religion and archaeology in the Centre for Late Antique Religion and Culture (CLARC), which is based in the School.
The MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies is designed to be flexible, enabling students to pursue their own interests whilst gaining a solid foundation of research skills. The MA can serve as a basis for doctoral research, but it also provides transferable skills, which will be valuable for a career in any field.
The taught element of the MA runs from October to May, and combines research training modules, study of an ancient language, and a choice of specialised options (listed below). During the taught stage of the MA, students lay the foundations for the second part of the course, which is an individual research project, carried out between May and September, leading up to a dissertation of 20,000 words. The course can be taken full-time in one year, or part-time over three years.
Students on the MA select a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:
- 40 credits of core skills modules (Group 1)
- 20 credits of language modules (Group 2)
- 60 credits of option modules selected by the student (Group 3)
- 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff)
Group 1: Core modules
HST900 Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
HST946 Themes and Approaches in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies
Group 2: Language modules
All students take a 20 credit language course, tailored to their level of competence (from beginners upwards):
HST022 Postgraduate Latin I
HST023 Postgraduate Latin II
HST024 Postgraduate Greek I
HST025 Postgraduate Greek II
RTT303 Postgraduate Hebrew I
RTT304 Postgraduate Hebrew II
RTT301 Postgraduate Arabic I
RTT302 Postgraduate Arabic II
RTT305 Postgraduate Byzantine Greek
RTT306 Postgraduate Patristic Latin
RTT307 Postgraduate Aramaic and Syriac Texts
Group 3: Optional modules
HST018 Gender, Sexuality and Society in Ancient Greece and Rome
HST029 Eunuchs of the Empire
HST531 Post-Roman Britain and Ireland (40)
HST928 Late Roman Society and Culture (40)
RTT134 Religion & Culture in Late Antiquity
RTT140 Religion & Culture in Late Antiquity 2
RTT309 Rhetoric and Philosophy in Late Antiquity
HST934 Archaeology of the Latin East
HST038 Special Topic: Julian the Apostate
HST039 Special Topic: Medicine and Society in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
HST941 Special Topic: Aspects of Late Antiquity and Byzantium 1
HST942 Special Topic: Aspects of Late Antiquity and Byzantium 2
HST945 Special Topic: The Golden Age of Byzantium
RTT310 Special Topic: War in the Late Antique and Byzantine Period
RTT311 Special Topic: Syriac Christianity
RTT312 Special Topic: Augustine of Hippo and his Times
RTT313 Special Topic: Celtic Christianity
RTT314 Special Topic: Christians and Muslims under the Caliphate
RTT315 Special Topic: Magic and Religion in Late Antiquity
HST943 Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Dissertation
In addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical knowledge of their chosen area of late antique or Byzantine history, the MA offers them the chance to acquire and perfect valuable skills that are applicable to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for them to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.
Upon completion of the MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, students will have acquired the following skills:
Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation, and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.
Language skills, including the ability to read and interpret texts in Latin, ancient Greek, Arabic, Hebrew or Syriac.
Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional manner; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.
Information technology skills, including the ability to use electronic resources for ancient historians and classicists; to find, manage and utilise information and data.
Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals, and to adapt to changing circumstances.
Above all, by the end of the MA, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.
The programme is suitable for graduates in ancient history, history, classics, archaeology and related disciplines. We are happy to discuss applications from graduates in related disciplines, especially if applications are from a non-UK institution.
A 1st or 2.1 UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject is normally required.
Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.