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Why Study Classics?

So why choose Classics subjects within your degree? Are you interested in the origins of western civilisation? Do you want to learn how to present cogent, evidence-based written arguments?

Feedback from our students is clear, Classics courses are interesting and thought-provoking. Be challenged while you learn about the origins of much of European culture: its art, its buildings, its concepts, philosophy and of course, literature.

Completing a Bachelor of Arts will train you in research skills, the close analysis of both texts and objects as evidence, and producing high-quality, written presentations of a well-developed argument. These skills are all useful for increasing your career prospects. Recent research has shown that employers value such communication skills even above technical skills.

You will not need to know Latin before taking any of our courses, however Latin is especially useful if you are also learning modern French, Italian or Spanish. Where applicable, you will study ancient texts in translation. Classics courses can also be studied as electives in other Bachelor programs.

The Department also run a Museum of Classical Archaeology, in which our archaeology students take regular classes.

The information below provides a summary of each area of study within Classics:

  • Archaeology

    Explore the origins of Rome, and the process of Romanisation across the Mediterranean world, up to the 5th century AD. The origins of Roman civilisation are explored in Art and Architecture of Rome. This includes a detailed look at the culture of the Etruscans, their connections with Phoenician and Greek cities and their own strong influence upon the early history of Rome. We also explore Pompeii and Herculaneum in depth.

  • Ancient History

    You can learn about the development of Greek city-states, with a focus on the political evolution of both Athens and Sparta, and explore what is known of the reality behind the myth of Alexander the Great. Or you can learn about the end of the Roman Empire, and the transformation of the western provinces into the core of mediaeval Europe: invasions, Vikings, monks and murderous royal intrigue are only part of this exploration of cultural changes.

  • Classical Cultural Studies

    If you have ever wondered how the ancient Greeks and Romans viewed and coped with death or what they believed happened after people died, you can explore this topic with us. Or you can study in depth the ways in which the myths of Greece and Rome were used in their cultures for religious, political and social uses, and how they still resonate in popular culture today.

  • Classical Languages and Literature

    Study at least a semester of Latin with us, to achieve basic proficiency of the grammar and reading vocabulary; you can also extend your study of Latin online with the University of New England (or even pick up Ancient Greek) and have it counted towards your Classics major here. Here in Adelaide, we also offer a course on ancient emotions and how they were expressed and explored in the poetry and prose of the ancient world, in which all texts are studied in English translations. You can also study ancient literature in translation in our first year courses and in our Classical Mythology course. You will need proficiency in either or both ancient languages to specialise in literature at Honours or postgraduate level in the Classics Discipline.

Department of Classics, Archaeology
& Ancient History

Level 7, Napier Building


T: +61 8 8313 4249
School of Humanities