Postgraduate research in Classics

Postgraduate research in Classics

We provide a supportive environment to our students in a number of ways:

  • Postgraduates play a full role in the research culture of the subject, with a regular programme of seminars, workshops and reading groups;
  • Individual postgraduate review panels are held each April/May at which the Postgraduatel Convener and individual supervisors meet to discuss progress with each student 
  • Postgraduates may get teaching experience;
  • A dedicated postgraduate study space is available, which makes available an extensive research collection (now augmented by a bequest from the late Professor Douglas MacDowell)

There are a number of attractions to studying for a postgraduate degree in Classics at Glasgow, from the very well-stocked University Library, to the Hunterian Museum (with its notably fine coin collection), to a major centre in humanities computing (also part of the School of Humanities). 

Staff members would be delighted to supervise in any of the areas set out above, or any others where they have research interests (see their respective list of publications).   Other areas supervised recently include Greek scientific and medical writing, Roman eschatology and numismatics (in conjunction with the Hunterian Museum). Please do not hesitate to contact members of staff to discuss potential research projects.‌

The postgraduate experience

‘I studied Classics at Glasgow for seven years: first as an undergraduate, and then as a doctoral candidate. Without a doubt, they were the fullest and most rewarding years of my life: not only because of my own interest in the subject and the top-drawer resources provided to cultivate that interest (including a library with two million books!), but also because of the truly nurturing and warm character of the Classics department.

By far the highest point in my Ph.D. was my work as a graduate teaching assistant, in which capacity I usually spent about three or four hours a week in the classroom; just enough to keep me on the ball and keep my routine structured, but not so much as to be overwhelming. It was fantastic: when classes were voluble and well-prepared, I left the seminars buzzing and have formed some genuinely fun and fulfilling friendships with some of my former students. The way in which Classics at Glasgow makes teaching an integral part of the Ph.D. programme – unless one really doesn’t want to do it – is really distinctive to Glasgow and encouraged me to do things of which I never would have believed myself capable. Standing at the front of a lecture theatre for the first time and speaking for an hour about Plato, with a video recorder and fifty students watching you, is absolutely terrifying, but truly thrilling and rewarding.

As such, the Ph.D. programme Classics at Glasgow has helped me to grow unrecognisably in confidence and self-awareness. Recently, I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to put this new-found self-confidence to good use: having finished my doctorate, I now work as an editorial assistant on a research project within the university, and in September I’ll be taking up a post as Lecturer in Roman history at Durham. I am absolutely convinced that this would have been impossible without the opportunities and experience offered to me in Classics at Glasgow and without the close networks of support and advice created by my colleagues and research supervisors. The only thing I really dislike about Classics at Glasgow is the fact that I have to leave!’

Christopher Burden-Strevens, Glasgow alumnus 2016


Current PhD students

Francesco Grillo Hero of Alexandria and his Theatrical Automata
Ianto Jocks  The Compositiones Medicamentorum of Scribonius Largus - Context, Translation, Commentary, and Reception
Joel Leslie Valentinian, His Sons and Decline in the West (364-392)
James McDonald  Augustine and Apuleius: The Christianisation of Pagan Values
Gardner Moore Reverse Reception: Inferring Christian undertones in Virgil's Aeneid through readings of Paradise Lost and Beowulf
Sarah Wolstencroft The Reception of Lucilius in Horace’s Satires

Recently awarded PhDs

  • Christopher BURDEN-STREVENS, Dio the Rhetorician: Studies in Rhetoric and Rhetorical Education in Cassius Dio’s ‘Roman History’ (2016)
  • Jennifer HILDER. A New Study of the Rhetorica ad Herennium (2015)
  • Nicola McCONNELL, How did society create the Greek hoplite? (2015)
  • Eric GOWLING, Translation into English of, and commentary on, Books 9 and 10 of Galen's CML (2015)
  • Finlay McCOURT, Alexandria "Automatopietike (2014)