Postgraduate taught 

Classics & Ancient History MSc

Theories and Methods for Ancient History and Classics CLASSIC5077

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

During the course we will look at a variety of important theoretical movements of the 20th and 21st Century and the impact they had on the study of Ancient History and Classics. The course will also expose students to the variety of evidence used in the field and the range of techniques and methodologies that have been applied to its analysis.

The course is team-taught by a variety of members of staff and so the themes covered might vary from year to year. They may include the Annales School, the impact of Marxism, feminism, structuralism, postmodernism, network theory, prosopography, critical theory, hermeneutics, emotions theory, palaeography, codicology, and narratology. One or two sessions (depending on the number of students) will be devoted on how to formulate research questions and the writing of research proposals. 


10x2 hr seminars over 10 weeks of a semester

Excluded Courses





Essay (3.500 words) 70%

Research proposal (1000 words) 30%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Expose students to a variety of seminal works of the discipline each representing a different approach to the writing of Ancient History

■ Develop students awareness of the range of theories used by Ancient Historians and Classicists

■ Familiarise students with a variety of sources of evidence in the field and methodologies that have been applied to them

■ Prepare students for work on their Masters dissertation by acquainting them with a range of potentially appropriate theories, sources and methods.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Analyse modern scholarly works situating them within particular systems of thought

■ Critically evaluate the pros and cons of these approaches

■ Identify and apply different methodologies to the evidence

■ Apply different theoretical and methodological approaches to their own research

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.