Ancient History and Archaeology (JH)

B.A. Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)
4 Years Full-Time
25 Places
CAO Points 451-509 (2023)


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.

Do you enjoy…

  • Learning about Greek and Roman life?
  • Studying archaeological sites and objects?
  • Exploring political, social and cultural history?

    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 at 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.


      The pathways available are Single Honours, Major with Minor and Joint Honours. It is also possible to take this subject up as a New Minor Subject from second 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 in 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-semester examination and continuous assessment (such as essays, seminar presentations and Ancient History and Archaeology team projects, artefact studies and short commentaries on texts) is used to assess your progress, and a thesis is written in the final year.

      First 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 per week in the first year.

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

      Second and third years

      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, engage with ethical issues concerning cultural heritage, discuss key themes of relevance to both the ancient and modern world, and to do ‘hands on’ work with artefacts. Over the two years you will study topics in: Greek and Roman Archaeology and History, Late antiquity, the archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age, Minoan Crete, Southern Italy, and 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

      Fourth year

      If you decide to study Ancient History and Archaeology 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; Constantine; How to be Happy; the Ancient Novel; Roman Satire; The Art of Persuasion; Early Christianity .

      You will also write a thesis 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.

      There are QQI/FET routes available for this course. Please see for details.

      Click here for further information on modules/subject.

      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. For more information on study abroad destinations and requirements visit:

      Course Details


      B.A. Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)

      CAO Information

      CAO Points 451-509 (2023)

      Number of Places

      25 Places

      Next Intake

      September 2024

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      Course Fees

      Click here for a full list of undergraduate fees.

      Get in Touch


      Register Your Interest

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

      Register Your Interest

      I chose my course because I knew already that I wanted to be involved in archaeology and Trinity allowed me to study archaeology as well as history. Furthermore, the staff that I would be engaging with are some of the leaders in their field. I would highly recommend Trinity because of the outstanding education I received.

      Eleanor Neil


      Trinity offered the best quality and most fitting course for my interests and potential future career choices. It has always held a special place in my aspirations growing up, as 'the place to go' to study Classics, and when my hopes tailored down to actually course-hunting, I was ecstatic to see that Trinity had the perfect course for me. Ever since I was small I always had a fascination with history. Beginning with 'The Land Before Time' and 'The Sword in the Stone', I always knew I wanted to be involved with the past. As I got older, this developed from tales and dinosaurs to having a real fascination with history. From the Napoleonic era, the American Civil War, the Renaissance, the Native American tribes and the Middle East, I was fascinated by all things cultural. But it was always Ancient Greece and Rome that really held my heart. So when I found out that I could possibly be involved in this for the rest of my life, it really fuelled my desire to press on. Trinity offered the clearest, most fulfilling and arguably most aesthetic setting for such a journey to begin. But aside from the impartiality of hindsight, its courses in my area were the most content-rich, most well-rounded and definitely the most well-taught in the country. So pulling all of this together, there really was no decision to make at all! The department is a small family and the quality of the teaching is excellent. It is as small as possibly can be to benefit learning, with well-structured seminars and chronological and thematic lectures. The student community on the 5th and 6th floors are very close, and the vast period of time in both departments is made less daunting by having a wide range of specialised modules available for everyone’s taste. I encourage getting involved with the two main societies of the Classics department, DU Archaeological Society and DU Classical Society. As head of Arch-Soc for the last two years, I can vouch for the inclusivity and overall friendliness of the societies and how much they truly add to student life. I really found my place in college through the society and I encourage you all to come and find us (I’ll be dressed as Julius Caesar) in front square during Fresher’s week!

      Stephen Smith