The Classics Course at the University of St Andrews is a four year course studying Ancient Greek and Latin texts in the original languages. Like most degrees at St Andrews the course is split into two parts; the first two years are known as sub-honours and the final two years as Honours. In the first two years of a classics degree at St Andrews you take two modules each year in both Latin and Ancient Greek. These modules are different depending on your prior experience with each language and you can study Classics having never studied either Greek or Latin before. I had studied Latin at school but I had not studied any Greek so I took beginner’s Greek modules for the first two years alongside the more advanced Latin modules.
One of the benefits of studying in the Scottish honours system is that during the first two years of sub-honours you have some flexibility to study subjects beyond the requirements for your degree. In my first two years I studied Ancient History along with Latin and Ancient Greek as I was also interested in the political and cultural dynamics of Greece and Rome as well as the language and literature. This was a fantastic experience and it really rounded out my understanding of the ancient world.
During the Honours years of the course there is much more freedom in the modules you can study within the Classics department. You still study both Latin and Ancient Greek texts but you can specialise more into one language or the other and there is a wide range of texts and authors to focus on. I ended up taking more Latin modules and had the opportunity to read some of the most amazing works of poetry and prose in their original languages. I finished my course at St Andrews with a dissertation on Book Three of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria where the poet instructs young Roman women on how best to find a man. Going into such depth on one text and crafting my own ideas and arguments into an original thesis was the most rewarding experience of my time at university.
For anyone interested in the ancient world I would highly recommend a course in Classics. It will develop your skills of literary and cultural analysis while the beauty of the language and the stories told by the ancient writers are a joy to read and analyse. While studying the subject itself is a fantastic experience, a degree in Classics is also highly sought after by employers. The intellectual flexibility and analytical skills you gain through engaging with a wide range of challenging subjects are highly prized in sectors such as law, journalism and the civil service among many others.
So what are you waiting for? Learn more about where you can study a Classics degree on the UCAS website here!