Welcome to Classics and Ancient History

We are delighted you are joining us. Here you can find all the information you'll need for your induction. To help you feel settled and ready to start a new and exciting chapter of your life you can find more information about arriving at Leeds from our For Students web pages.

Before you arrive, you might like to look at the student profiles of some of our alumni throughout this page. You can see what others have gained from their time at Leeds and what they have gone on to do afterwards.

You can also keep up with us on our Twitter feed and Facebook page for updates and latest news from the campus.

Independent Learning

Making the transition to being a successful undergraduate in an Arts subject is largely about developing your skills as an independent learner. As a Classics and Ancient History student you will need to spend a lot of time working independently – for example, reading, note-taking, thinking and writing. You will need to manage your own study-time and motivate yourself to keep up with your academic work. But don’t worry – we have lots of ways to help you with this!

Your personal tutor can provide help and guidance on how to improve your performance as an independent learner. We use the Leeds for Life system for personal tutoring.

Tutors will also be available for each of your modules to offer academic advice and feedback during your studies. You can visit them during their office drop-in hours for support and guidance, contact them via email, or arrange to chat online. Seeking feedback and advice on your independent learning from your module tutors is one of the best ways to enhance your studies.

Various courses are available to help you improve your independent learning skills. These include the tutorials and workshops on the Skills@Library page

If you want to get started on some reading for your core modules before you arrive, take a look at the preliminary reading suggestions we have put together for you.

Whether you are new to Classics and Ancient History, or have studied these or similar subjects before, we offer lots of support to help you with your studies.

Sacha Rines - Ancient History and English joint honours (going into her final year), writes about how she has embraced independent learning and deciding which area to base her final year project in.

Rebecca Capel - Classical Literature and English joint honours (2020 finalist), has enjoyed exploring new subjects at Leeds.

Making the grade

In Classics, the most common forms of assessment are essays and exams. But we also use a wide range of innovative forms of assessment which help to enhance your learning and encourage you to develop new and different skills. These include: working in pairs to produce posters or wiki pages; participating in online message board discussions; writing blog entries from the perspective of a character, critic or write; writing obituaries of famous characters from the ancient world; giving oral presentations; and writing reports on surveys conducted in Leeds city centre. We always provide help and guidance when you are undertaking a new form of assessment, so that you understand what is required and can perform well. Our overall aim is to make sure you develop skills not only in your degree subject, but ones which you can take into your future career.

We particularly like to link assessed work with direct engagement with the wider public, so that you can share your growing expertise and enthusiasm as a Classicist with others who are interested in hearing about the subject. For example, students on our Aeneid and Iliad modules are offered the chance to present their work to A-level pupils in local schools.

Feedback on your work is usually provided via written comments – both on the work itself and on a detailed feedback sheet. But you may also receive feedback in more informal contexts – for example, via class tests, module tutor office drop-in hours, seminar discussions or when you are working with other students. Written feedback helps you to understand the strengths and weaknesses in your work, and usually includes suggestions about what to do in future assessments in order to improve your grades.

Your personal tutor can also help you to make good use of feedback on your assessed work. It is a good idea to get into the habit of taking examples of written feedback along to your personal tutor meetings. You can then show your tutor what sort of feedback comments you have received and ask them to help you to understand what you need to do to improve your work in future.

Mike Golding - Classical Civilisation single honours (2020 finalist), describes how the structure of his degree has helped him to develop his knowledge.


Members of staff in Classics and Ancient History at Leeds have a wide variety of research interests, and this is reflected in the research-led teaching which they deliver. Throughout your course, you will have the chance to follow modules directly related to staff research and to participate in cultural activities and events organised by the staff. Our aim is for you to explore and contribute to the subject area yourself by conducting research and arguing your own points persuasively – skills we will help you to develop.

Discovery modules

As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you can choose something different to your main subject as a discovery module. Find out more about the Discovery Themes on the Broadening pages of the Leeds for Life website.

Christiaan Cumine - Classical Civilisation single honours (alumnus), was surprised at how easy it was to study other subjects alongside his major interests through Discovery modules.

Things to Look Forward To