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Postgraduate Study


Teaching for this course is provided in the form of seminars, classes and individual supervised study. Students are assigned an academic adviser; they work closely with the adviser or another appropriate supervisor on two pieces of work and a thesis. A student follows a course of study of their choosing, reflecting their own interests and specialisms. The two pieces of submitted work consists of either an essay or an examination in a classical or another ancient language, or an exercise in a specialist subject (eg numismatics). In addition, all students attend MPhil seminars in both research skills and subject areas within Classics. These teach new knowledge and skills, and enable them both to learn from academics other than their supervisor and to engage with their peers through presentation and discussion. Additionally, students taking a Classical language paper in place of an essay also attend several classes in Greek or Latin per week in preparation for an examination.

One to one supervision

Normally, a minimum of four hours per term.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual  Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Twenty-four hours per year.

All MPhil students will be expected to attend a series of six seminars on Research Skills for Classics postgraduates and must attend at least one MPhil Text and Topic seminar in Michaelmas Term and one in Lent.  They must also attend a single dissertation seminar in Easter Term.  These series change annually in accordance with the Faculty's research agenda.

They are also expected to attend one or more of the weekly speaker seminars organised by the various sub-disciplines of Classics.


There is no expectation that an MPhil student will attend any particular number of lectures. MPhil students are encouraged to take advantage of lectures provided both in the Faculty of Classics and more widely across the University.

Posters and Presentations

Presentations are required in the context of the seminars put on especially for MPhil seminars and at which attendance is compulsory.


Written report after each piece of work and termly online reports.


Thesis / Dissertation

8,000–12,000 words and an oral examination.


Two pieces of submitted work, either an essay of about 4,000 words or an exercise of comparable substance in another ancient language or an exercise, or a language examination consisting of  a timed exam in Greek or Latin translation and an exercise in translation and commentary .

Written examination

A language paper in Greek or Latin may be required.

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Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Classics

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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