Classics (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time (EU and non-EU students) / 2 years part-time (EU/UK/EEA students only)
 15 Places


Course Overview

Aimed at students who intend to proceed to doctoral research and those who wish to round off their undergraduate studies by taking their encounter with the Classical world to the next level or to explore a nascent interest in ancient Greece and Rome, the M.Phil. in Classics offers a range of taught modules at high level and the opportunity to write a dissertation on a subject of your choice. 

The course provides students with an excellent grounding in postgraduate research skills in Classics. It also hones the sort of analytical, written, and verbal communication skills highly valued and effective in careers outside the university and education sectors. Since its establishment in 2008, the M.Phil. in Classics has attracted students from all over the world. Many have gone on to doctoral studies at Trinity College Dublin and other universities internationally.

Is This Course For Me?

The M.Phil. in Classics is designed both for those who are already fully trained in the Classical languages, and for those who have completed non-language-based degrees. While the Research Skills modules offers instruction in the methodologies and approaches to the study of the ancient world, the taught modules and the dissertation offer students the opportunity to begin to specialise in a particular strand of Classical scholarship, literary, philosophical, historical or archaeological. This course thereby provides an essential basis for further research in the discipline.

Career Opportunities

The M.Phil. helps prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers including in the museum and heritage sectors, libraries and archives, public policy and administration, archaeology, law, teaching, and media. It also provides invaluable training in research for those planning to pursue a doctorate and / or career in research.

Course Structure

Taken as a full time course, the M.Phil. lasts for 12 months, starting in September. Teaching is spread over 24 weeks from September to the following April. The course consists of a combination of compulsory and optional components that together make up the 90 ECTS expected for full-time study over one academic year at Masters level.

Students taking the course on a part-time basis do so over two years. Part-time students must pass taught modules carrying 40 ECTS, including the compulsory module Classics Research Skills (20 ECTS), in their first year in order to progress to the second year. In their second year, they must pass taught modules carrying 20 ECTS and submit a dissertation by the end of August.

Course Content

The course has two compulsory elements. The weekly core module Research and Methods runs throughout the year and communicates core research skills and knowledge across the main strands of classical scholarship.

In addition, students also choose four electives (or two with beginners’ Greek or Latin), which likewise allow them to build specific skills and follow their individual interests. Recently taught electives include: Greek Language; Latin Language; Classics and European Identity; Textual Criticism; Gender and Genre in Augustan Poetry; Greeks and Barbarians; Ancient Drama, Adaptation and Performance; Curiosity and Crisis in the Late Fifth Century: Receptions of the Sophists; The Eternal City: The Archaeology of the City of Rome; Lost in the Labyrinth? 'Reading' Aegean Bronze Age Art; Rulers and Image-making in the Hellenistic World.

For students with intermediate and advanced Greek and Latin, a range of author- and topic-based modules are available.

All students also write a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on an agreed topic, individually supervised by a member of staff. The dissertation offers an opportunity to begin to specialise in a particular strand of scholarship, whether literary, philosophical, historical or archaeological.

Click here for further information on modules/subject.

Study Classics (M.Phil.) at Trinity

Introduction to the postgraduate programme in Classics by Dr. Shane Wallace at Trinity College Dublin.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

 15 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Dr. Shane Wallace 

Closing Date

28th June 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should normally have at least an upper second class (2.1) Honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent (for example, GPA of 3.3) in a relevant area. Knowledge of Greek or Latin is not required, but students hoping later to pursue a research degree in fields where the written record provides our main sources will be strongly encouraged to acquire language skills in the course.

Since places on the course are limited, applicants may be interviewed or asked to submit a writing sample for assessment.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 896 1208

Dr Shane Wallace (course director):


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

Between the extensive library, word-class faculty, and engaging modules, I cannot think of a better place to study the classics than Trinity. To know your way around the ancient Mediterranean world through history, art, and literature is to enter into a millennia-old conversation about humanity, society, ethics, politics, love, and what makes a meaningful life.

Aidan Gray


I moved to Ireland from the UK in 2016 to undertake the M.Phil. in Classics. Although three years had passed since I completed my undergraduate degree, any worries that I had about moving abroad and pursuing further study were soon alleviated. The M.Phil. was not only intellectually stimulating, but the world-class lecturers and vibrant social environment of central Dublin made the experience of studying in Trinity truly unique. The M.Phil. itself is designed to accommodate students from a diverse range of backgrounds and approaches. Compulsory modules like Research & Methods gave us the opportunity to get hands-on experience with diverse areas of the Classical discipline, such as papyrology and epigraphy, while the unique elective modules enabled us to comprehensively develop our knowledge in specialist areas: whether in languages, history, literature, philosophy, material culture or reception studies. Yet what made the M.Phil. truly distinctive in my experience was the emphasis placed on thinking critically about the discipline of Classics and its transforming role in the modern world. The insight of the lecturers as well as their comprehensive knowledge of theoretical apparatuses opened my eyes to a totally new perspective on my studies, and the experience developed me into a more reflective and critical thinker. The staff themselves are exceedingly generous both with their knowledge and their time. It was clear that they genuinely cared for our progress and we were often encouraged to take the lead of discussions in seminars, as well as to undertake independent research. My overwhelmingly positive experience with the Classics M.Phil. not only encouraged me to pursue a Ph.D. in Classics at Trinity, but was invaluable in informing how I engage with the world.

Susannah Ashton