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Ancient History

About the major

A major in Ancient History invites you into the worlds of ancient Greece and Rome, using their myths, images, inscriptions, artefacts, written history and literature as evidence. You can study the ideas, politics and cultures of the Classical world by looking at political systems, religion, law, mythology, slavery, refugees, science and late antiquity. You can read (in translation) ancient epic, drama and poetry in its social and historical contexts and appreciate the impact of these works on later ages (including modern media). You will be encouraged to ask important questions about leadership, democracy and the rule of law, human rights, religions and the role of myths, poetry and story-telling in human communities. You will be inspired to think about how and why history is written.
Our world is full of the memories and monuments of Classical Greece and Rome. Many ideas and concepts that we value were developed by communities whose similarities and differences from our own demand reflection and critique. Your major begins with 1000 level units that lay the foundation by providing key training and skills. You then progress to 2000 and 3000 level units that treat particular themes or periods in detail and develop your skills in the discipline of history. A major in Ancient History is designed to equip you to understand the historical and cultural importance of the Classical world and to evaluate its legacy.
The major opens careers in government, law, policy, teaching, curating, tourism and the media among others.

Requirements for completion

The Ancient History major and minor requirements are listed in the Ancient History unit of study table.

Advanced coursework

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the Advanced coursework units of study page.


An extra year of Ancient History allows students to specialise in a particular field and to write a major piece of research. The honours year can be the culmination of your study of Ancient History or a pathway to further research in our postgraduate program. It develops worthwhile transferable skills of analysis and critical argumentation. Our program consists of two seminars, 'Research skills in Ancient History’ and ‘Breakthroughs in the Humanities’, and a thesis of 20,000 words on a topic decided by you in consultation with your supervisor.

Full details of the program, its prerequisites and its relationship to other majors taught may be found on the Discipline of Classics and Ancient History website.

Honours admission requirements

If you are considering an honours year in Ancient History, it is best to seek early advice on all the pathways open to you and the skills you will need to do your best.

Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies or Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and requires the completion of a major in Ancient History with an average of 70 percent or above.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and, where the Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) is being undertaken, a second major.

The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Ancient History at honours level recommends that you have learned at least the basics of the ancient language most relevant to your thesis topic. This can be done by undertaking two semesters of Latin or Ancient Greek. You should seek advice from the Discipline's Undergraduate Coordinator in order to help you plan your language study.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Ancient History honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information

More information and current contact details for academic coordinators may be found at the Discipline of Classics and Ancient History website.
The Discipline of Classics and Ancient History is administered by the School of Humanities.