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Ancient history and archaeology (TSM)

B.A.; 23 places

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What is Ancient History and Archaeology?

Ancient History and Archaeology are both concerned with understanding social, political and cultural experience in the past. This course offers you the opportunity to range across these two broad disciplines. You will study the Greek and Roman worlds by working with historical and literary documents alongside the material remains of ancient sites and artefacts. All material is studied in translation and no knowledge of Greek or Latin is required, but there are opportunities to take introductory modules in the languages.

Ancient History and Archaeology: The course for you?

You will enjoy this course if you are interested in studying the history and culture of the Greeks and Romans – their achievements and their profound influence on the modern world – through the complementary study of history and archaeology. You will have the opportunity to get practical experience and take part in Study Tours.

Ancient History and Archaeology @ Trinity

The Department of Classics has a world-renowned reputation. Its courses are taught by academics at the top of their fields. Ancient History and Archaeology offers you the opportunity to learn about the ancient world in a fun and friendly environment and learn not only about the past but also about its significance to the present. There are opportunities to participate in archaeological fieldwork in Ireland, the UK and the Mediterranean and in study tours to classical sites, for both credit and non-credit. The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, practical classes and small-group seminars, which encourage lively discussion and the development of independent thinking. It is also possible to study abroad for a semester or a whole year.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Recent graduates have entered many fields including archaeology, archaeological consultancy in Ireland and the UK, heritage and museum work (for example the National Museum of Ireland), art restoration, teaching and higher education policy, publishing, business, computing, accountancy, government and social work. Recent graduates are working for companies as diverse as McKinsey and Co and Cambridge University Press. Each year some of our graduates also opt to pursue a research career in history or archaeology beginning with postgraduate study in Ireland or abroad.

Your degree and what you’ll study

Over your four years you will develop a broad understanding of the ancient world through its history and archaeology, moving from introductory courses in the first year, to more focused thematic topics in the second and third years, and choosing from a range of specialised options in your final year. In these modules, you will explore not only the Greek and Roman worlds specifically but also their relationships with neighbouring cultures, such as Egypt and the Near East, and their place within the Mediterranean and beyond. A combination of end-of-year examination and continuous assessment (e.g. essays, seminar presentations and team projects, artefact studies and short commentaries on texts) is used to assess your progress, and a thesis is written in the final year.


In first year you will take three modules which give you a solid introduction to the Greek and Roman worlds and to the skills and approaches of the two disciplines. There are approximately six hours of classes in the first year.

  • Greek and Roman history
  • Greek and Roman Art
  • Sources and Methods in History and Archaeology


Modules in the second and third years offer the opportunity to focus on specific themes and periods in the history and archaeology of the Mediterranean, develop a deeper awareness of methods and theory, discuss key themes of relevance to both the ancient and modern world, and to work with artefacts. Over the two years you will study topics in: Greek Archaeology and History, Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology, Roman Archaeology and History, and the History and Archaeology of Roman Britain. There are also options to do practical archaeological work or an approved study tour to the Mediterranean in place of a taught module in these years. It is also possible to take introductory modules in Greek or Latin.


If you decide to study Ancient History and Archaeology in the final year you will be able to choose two special subjects from a range on offer. Modules offered recently include Ancient Cyprus; Egypt; Entertainment and Spectacle in the Greek and Roman Worlds; Goddesses of the Ancient Mediterranean; Anthropology and the Greeks; Kings and Cities; Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion;

You will also write a dissertation on a subject of your choice. This is an opportunity to carry out research which will allow you to develop independent ideas and acquire critical skills while investigating in greater depth an area that particularly interests you.

Study abroad

Trinity has strong links with many Classics departments abroad, including active participation in the Erasmus exchange programme. The Department has valuable Erasmus links with the Universities of Cyprus, Udine (Italy), Edinburgh, Geneva, Bordeaux, Freiburg, and Koç (Turkey). Students are also able to avail of University-wide exchanges, for example, to North America and Australia. These opportunities allow students the option of spending a year or part of a year abroad.


Tel: +353 1 896 1208


What our graduates say

Nicholas Morgan Ancient History and Archaeology (2015). Recruitment Consultant with Reed Specialist Recruitment, London

“Transferring from Law to AHA was a bold choice, but once I started, I never looked back. Both the class and the department are small which enables you to really get to know your lecturers and classmates through all four years. AHA allowed me to do everything I wanted; from analysing the historical accuracy of Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’, to a yearlong exchange in Australia, even a thesis on the law and practice of Ancient Athenian Marriage. I’ve taken the lessons in analysis, research, report writing and seminar work through into my career, and now I have first class honours in a degree that always piques people’s interest.”

What our current students say

Jennifer Moffat, 3rd year Ancient History and Archaeology and History of Art and Architecture, Dublin

“The ancient Greek and Roman worlds never cease to amaze me and the last three years have been an exhilarating experience, building up my skills and knowledge in this fascinating subject. In response to the mentoring and enthusiasm of my lecturers, I have travelled to Greece, partaking in practical summer study tours. This on-hands experience has been invaluable. Above all, it is the Department of Classics’ lecturers and the close friends that I have made that makes my Trinity experience so rewarding and I look forward to pursuing AHA further in my fourth year.”


Course Options



Number of Places



Ancient History and Archaeology must be combined with one other TSM subject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects.

For subjects that combine with Ancient History and Archaeology see TSM: possible combinations.

See also:
TR001/TSM subjects:
Classical civilisation
Classical Languages
TR021: Classics

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here


Click on the links below to see the available options

+ EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO

+ Non-EU Applicants

+ Mature Student – Supplementary Application Form

Read the information about how to apply as a mature student, then select the relevant link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.

+ Advanced Entry Applications


Ancient History and Archaeology must be combined with one other TSM subject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects.

For subjects that combine with Ancient History and Archaeology see TSM: possible combinations.

See also:
TR001/TSM subjects:
Classical civilisation
Classical Languages
TR021: Classics