Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (MA)

Course Aims

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.

Course Description

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.

Available Modules

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

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

Skills Acquired

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.

Entry Requirements

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.

Contact Information

Dr Shaun Tougher

Position:Reader in Ancient History
Dr Shaun Tougher
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 76228Extension: 76228

Prof Josef Lössl

Position:Professor of Historical Theology and Intellectual History
Photo of Dr Josef Lössl
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75499Extension: 75499


Find Undergraduate courses

Find Postgraduate courses