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Classics at Sidney

Classics at Cambridge

The Faculty of Classics in Cambridge is one of the most dynamic of its kind, with an exceptional reputation for teaching and research.

Our course encompasses the literature, history, archaeology, art, philosophy and linguistics of classical antiquity and the study of original texts and artefacts. You can either specialise in a particular field or retain the breadth with which the course starts. 

The Faculty’s facilities include a well-stocked library and our own Museum of Classical Archaeology. In addition, you have access to the holdings of the Fitzwilliam Museum, where some classes take place. There’s a thriving student society and the renowned Cambridge Greek Play, produced in the original language, is regularly staged by a professional director.

The three-year course is usually for students with A Level/IB Higher Level Latin (regardless of whether they have Greek). We offer an intensive Greek programme for those with little or no Classical Greek.

The four-year course is for those with little or no Latin, and offers a preliminary year which focuses on Latin language and Roman culture. Years 2, 3 and 4 are identical to the three years of the three-year degree.

If you have A Level/IB Higher Level Greek but not Latin, you may be advised to take the four-year degree (depending on circumstances – please contact the Faculty/a College admissions office for guidance).



Classics at Sidney

Sidney has a very long and distinguished tradition in the study and teaching of Classics, with notable alumni including Thomas Twining, son of the famous tea merchant Daniel Twining and celebrated eighteenth-century translator of Aristotle, and more recently, Peter Salway, the Romano-British historian, John Bennet, Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield and Director of the British School at Athens, and Roy Gibson, Professor of Classics at the University of Manchester. The college welcomes applications for both the three- and four-year courses.

Classics students at Sidney receive significant in-house teaching and support, especially for the language elements of the course. Reading classes for both Latin and Greek target texts are provided throughout the first two years, in addition to those organised by the Faculty, allowing students the opportunity to develop their language skills in small supervision groups. New undergraduates are encouraged to try out the range of different subjects that can be studied within Classics, including archaeology and art, ancient history, philosophy and linguistics. With a Faculty recognised internationally as one of the best in the world for the study of Classics, Sidney students get excellent teaching all-round: through lectures, classes and supervisions.


Academics

Director of Studies (DoS)

Dr Yannis Galanakis is a Director of Studies in Classics at Sidney, and is the Part 1B and II DoS in Classics. Yannis is the University Senior Lecturer in Classics (Aegean Archaeology) in the Faculty of Classics and Director of the Museum of Classical Archaeology. His work ranges from the archaeology and art of the Bronze and Early Iron Age Aegean to museum studies, collections and the antiquities trade in 19th-century Europe. Before joining Sidney, Yannis was Curator at the Ashmolean Museum in the University of Oxford, responsible for setting up the new gallery of The Aegean World, the Bronze Age Greek collections and the Sir Arthur Evans Archive. He is currently involved in fieldwork in Greece and welcomes the opportunity for student participation in his projects.

Dr Claire Jackson is the Director of Studies for IA Classicists at Sidney. She completed her PhD at King's College Cambridge in 2016, which focused on theories and practices of fiction in the ancient novel.

In addition to the Greek novel, she also works on Greek imperial literature more widely, including fictional letters, imperial Greek epic, and the reception of the novels in late antiquity and beyond. She teaches Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels, and also carries out a number of outreach activities designed to redress educational disadvantage.

Fellows

Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill is a distinguished Roman social and cultural historian, and was Master of the College from 2009-2013.

All of our undergraduate students are allocated a Director of Studies and learn from specialists in particular areas of their subject. From time to time, individual teaching staff may be away on leave.


Typical Intake

2 - 4

Standard Entry Requirements

A*AA at A Level, or 40-42 points in the IB, with 776 at Higher Level (please see the University website for standard entry requirements in other qualifications). Please note that offers are set on an individual basis using all of the information available to us in context of the entire field of applicants.

Three-year course: All Colleges require A-level/IB Higher Level Latin. At Sidney, we would accept A Level/IB Higher Level Classical Greek as a substitute.

Four-year course: No specific A-levels preferred.

Subjects that offer grounding in the skills required for the course, such as languages, essay-based subjects, history, history of art and literary criticism, are particularly useful.

Admissions Process

Written work

Two essays (on a Classical or related subject, where possible). We will send out more specific information about what is required after the UCAS deadline.

Admissions Assessments

At-interview assessment, comprising:

Three-year course: Translation exercise (60 minutes)

Four-year course: Language (or GCSE Latin) assessment after teaching session (60 minutes).

Read more about the admissions assessment on the University website.

Interviews

Three interviews, all with a focus on Classics. One interview will involve a discussion of a short piece of unseen Latin (with vocabulary) for those taking the 3-year course. The  third subject-related interview will take place in another College and is part of the Faculty of Classics' interview structure, in which applicants are seen by more than one College.

Find out more

Faculty of Classics

University website Classics course page