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Classical Civilisation (JH)

B.A. ; 4 years full-time ; 29 places ; CAO points: 339-506 (2018)

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+353 1 896 1208

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What is Classical Civilisation?

The study of Classical Civilisation is concerned with the literature, thought and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome. Through the examination and contextualisation of literary works and the analysis of the main aspects of ancient history and art, you will develop a thorough knowledge of the classical world and a critical approach to Greek and Roman literature. All texts are studied in translation and no knowledge of Greek or Latin is required, but there are opportunities to study the languages at an introductory level.

Classical Civilisation: The course for you?

If you enjoy literature; if you want to acquire an understanding of the past and its influence; if you would like to engage with the mythology, poetic imagination, depth of thought and historical value of two civilisations that shaped the western world, this may be the course for you.

Classical Civilisation @ Trinity

The Department of Classics has a world-renowned reputation and courses are taught by academics at the top of their fields. Classical Civilisation 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 study tours and summer schools to classical sites for both credit and non-credit. The course is taught through a mixture of lectures 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

Business, librarianship, museum work, publishing, teaching and theatre are some of the many fields recent graduates have entered. Recent graduates are working for companies as diverse as Smurfit Communications, Blackwell Publishing and the Gare St. Lazare Players. Students who opted to undertake further study have selected courses ranging from law and marketing to teacher training and international peace studies.

Your degree and what you’ll study

Over the four years you will develop a broad understanding of the classical world, primarily through its literature. You will move from introductory modules in history and art in the first year to the study of specific authors, genres and themes in the second and third years. In your final year you will choose from a range of specialised options. All modules are taught by lectures and small-group seminars. A combination of end-of-semester 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 Capstone research project  is written in the final year.


In first year you will be introduced to the critical study of ancient history, art and architecture, myth and religion, with a view to acquiring a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on classical culture. There are approximately six hours of classes per week in first year. There is the option of taking an introductory module in either Greek or Latin.

  • Greek and Roman History
  • Greek and Roman Art and Architecture
  • Greek and Roman Mythology and Religion


In each of these two years you will take four or five modules which focus on specific authors (e.g. Homer, Virgil, Herodotus), genres (e.g. tragedy, comedy, philosophy) or themes (e.g. gender and sexuality, identity and self-image). In these modules you will analyse ancient texts both as literature and as gateways into culture and thought, discuss key themes of relevance to both the ancient and modern world, and refine your analysis of texts in their literary and cultural context through more specialised skills and methodologies. It is possible to take options which will provide an introduction to Greek or Latin. All the modules are taught through lectures and small-group seminars.

You will explore, for example, how the Greeks and Romans saw themselves and other cultures; how they tried to make sense of the world around them through philosophy and religion; how they thought about politics and ideology, ethnicity and identity, life and death.


If you decide to study Classical Civilisation in the final year, you will be able to choose from a range of special subject options on offer. Modules offered recently include; Ancient Cyprus; 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 thesis on a subject of your choice. This is an opportunity to do 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), Geneva, Bordeaux 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.

Jerie Macapagal, 2nd year Classical Civilisation From Lucan, Co. Dublin

“The Classical Civilisation course so far has been, in my humble opinion, a great experience. The first year, although general, is a necessary comprehensive foundation for further study. You learn about the big moments of Classical civilisations, war and its aftermath, social change, alongside material history, myth and religion. Second year builds expansively upon this, from looking critically at sources like Herodotus and Cicero, to the social identity of Greeks and Roman in Memory and Commemoration. This course truly allows the breathing space for students to find what they’re really interested in as well as giving them a solid understanding of what it meant to exist in the Classical World.”


Course Details



CAO Points Required

339-506 (2018)

Number of Places


Minimum entry points required are 339-506 (2018)
More information on minimum entry points

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Get In Touch

Telephone Number

+353 1 896 1208

Website  |