The University of Southampton

V1V6 BA BA Ancient History with Year Abroad (4 years)

Introducing your degree

The ancient world has profoundly influenced subsequent generations of history, and studying antiquity offers you a way of understanding the foundations of today’s world. Ancient History at Southampton accompanies you on a journey through the ancient world: from ancient Egypt to the rise of Islam in the Middle East; from the conquests of Alexander the Great to the end of the Roman Empire; from the shores of Roman Britain to the pre-Colombian Americas; from ancient philosophy to Hollywood’s Cleopatra. Southampton is home to world-leading scholars in the study of the ancient world. We are passionate about teaching, and our Faculty team provides a supportive and stimulating environment that puts a premium on engagement, discussion and debate.


This BA programme will enable you to pursue your interests in Ancient History and the ancient world in depth. You will have the opportunity to study and research to a high level, equipping yourself with specialist knowledge in your chosen areas of study. Studying the ancient world at Southampton offers you the opportunity to learn in an engaging, supportive and highly successful research environment. Southampton’s Faculty of Humanities contains leading experts in a wide range of fields related to the ancient world and its reception (History, Archaeology, ancient and modern languages and literatures, philosophy and film). From ancient Egypt to Minoan civilisation, from the conquests of Alexander the Great to the Roman empire, from Roman Britain to the ancient Americas and the Middle East, from ancient philosophy and the biblical world to the rise of Islam, studying Ancient History at Southampton affords you the chance to study topics about which you are already passionate, or to try something entirely new. Whatever you choose, Ancient History at Southampton will enable you to gain invaluable skills and study topics about which both you and staff are passionate. The study of ancient languages is optional, but you are strongly encouraged to make the most of the opportunities on offer at Southampton to study Latin and Ancient Greek.

Programme Structure

The programme is normally studied over four years full-time, but may also be taken on a part-time basis. Study is undertaken at four levels (each corresponding to one year of full-time study). There are 30 study weeks in each year. The programme is divided into modules.

During the years of full-time study, students take modules worth 60 ECTS (120 CATS) credits at each level, normally 30 ECTS (60 CATS) in each semester; part-time students take modules worth 30 ECTS (60 CATS) at each level, normally 15 ECTS (30 CATS) in each semester. Single modules have a credit value of 7.5 ECTS (15 CATS), while double modules have a value of 15 ECTS (30 CATS). Each level has a total credit value of 60 ECTS (120 CATS).

Key Facts

Students can choose to study in Europe or beyond. In Europe, our Erasmus partners are: Rennes, Caen and Paris in France; Potsdam and Bayreuth in Germany; Crete and Thessaly in Greece; Cyprus; Malta; Groningen in Netherlands; Bergen in Norway; Wroclaw in Poland; Coimbra in Portugal; Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona in Spain and Zagreb in Croatia. Our non-European partners for Study Abroad are based in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. More details on these destinations can be found on the University website under ‘Faculty-wide programmes’ and ‘University-wide programmes’.

The interdisciplinary nature of Ancient History means that a range of further special features are available to you. Depending on the optional modules you choose, you can gain experience of archaeological fieldwork, fieldtrips and take part in study tours.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB to ABB including a Humanities subject*.

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 in higher level in a Humanities subject*
* Humanities subject

Includes subjects such as English, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Classical Civilisation or other humanities based essay writing subjects.

International Applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.5 in Writing and Reading and no less than 6.0 in Speaking and Listening or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB from three A levels including a Humanities subject* or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admission pages for more information.

Selection process:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Modules offered in Ancient History are listed on the following page. In addition to these, and subject to the approval of their personal academic tutor, students may take up to 15 ECTS (30 CATS) of modules offered in other disciplines in each year. Compulsory modules for the programme are shown below; all other modules are optional. Details are altered from time to time, so for current information consult the Faculty student handbooks, which can be downloaded from:


Learn a Language

You also have the option of taking either Ancient Greek or Latin as a Language.


Year 3

Your third year will be spent at one our partner institutions. More details can be found here: 

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Studying Ancient History at Southampton will help you to acquire the critical thinking and communication skills that are vital as you embark on your career, opening up an extremely wide variety of career options. Such invaluable transferable skills include the ability to weigh up evidence and arguments, to express your opinions coherently and concisely, to work independently, and to manage your time and workload effectively. These skills will demonstrate to employers that you are uniquely equipped to respond positively to the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow’s workplace. Our graduates specialising in ancient history and ancient world studies have succeeded in careers as diverse as law; the media; IT; the Civil Service; the armed services; advertising, film and television; business and finance; teaching; politics; numerous roles in the public sector and NGOs; publishing; teaching; museums, galleries and libraries – to name but a few.

Learning & Assessment

Learning and teaching

Students at Southampton learn in a variety of ways. Lectures introduce students to the outline of a topic and the debates within it. Small-group seminars offer students the chance to interact with academics and other students in collaborative discussions. Such discussions can help inform and shape the ways in which students then go about writing their essays. Feedback on performance is given through formal and informal one-to-one discussions and through oral and written feedback after submission of a piece of work. Students also get the opportunity to work together collaboratively, such as in Level Two when undertaking their Ancient History Group Project, and to undertake substantial pieces of individual research, most notably with the Level Three Ancient History dissertation.


The multidisciplinary team offering Ancient History uses a range of assessment methods to ensure that students are able to demonstrate they have achieved intended learning outcomes. The most common means of assessment is an essay. Essays offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their use of skills in research and analysis to make their own arguments. Longer pieces of writing, allowing for a greater development of argument, become more common as an undergraduate progresses through his or her studies, and these allow students to formulate their own lines of historical enquiry, using archival material to create significant contributions to historical knowledge. Because source analysis (textual and material) is so fundamental to the understanding of the ancient world, we put a strong emphasis on developing skills in analysing primary sources through a variety of commentary exercises and take-away gobbet examinations (e.g. in Year One compulsory modules). Although they account for less than 50% of the overall degree mark, exams are also taken, in order to assess students’ ability to formulate clear, focused and engaging pieces of writing in test conditions. Individual and group oral presentations feature in some modules, including the compulsory Year One Introduction to the Ancient World module, and in Year Two, the Ancient History Group Project assesses students on their presentation skills and ability to engage with the wider public. Language modules will focus primarily on assessing skills in reading ancient sources and applying those skills to source analysis.

Study Locations

Student life

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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