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Study for a PhD in Classics

Classics and Ancient History is proud to have been awarded a Bronze Award on the Gender Equality Charter Mark (GEM) trial run conducted by the Equality Challenge Unit.

Postgraduate research

Exeter has one of the largest and most successful departments of Classics and Ancient History in the country, making it an ideal place to undertake an MPhil/PhD in Classics and Ancient History. The department has over 20 members of staff and three research centres (Centre for Connectivity in the Roman World; Centre for Knowledge in Culture in the Ancient World and Beyond; Centre for Hellenistic and Romano-Greek Culture and Society).

Get to know a few of our PhD students;

Classics at Exeter takes an interdisciplinary perspective and the department has close links to related fields including history, archaeology, philosophy, visual arts and linguistics. This unusually wide range means that there is very considerable scope for postgraduate supervision.

The department offers exceptionally broad expertise across the full range of the traditional fields of classics. There is a vigorous research culture, and the department is rated 6th in the UK for research power in Classics (REF 2014). Our excellent research enhances the experience of our students, and provides a stimulating environment for staff, postgraduates and undergraduate students alike.

Our academics are all active researchers who consistently attract funding from external sources including Leventis, Leverhulme, the Wellcome Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The department also holds an international conference at least once a year and hosts a wide range of research events, workshops and seminars.

Our wide range of expertise offers postgraduates the possibility of preparing for research degrees in one or more areas. We attach particular importance to the quality of research supervision and training in research methodology and to the integration of our postgraduates into the Department’s academic and research community. Scholars of international repute are frequent visitors.

Our research areas include;

  • Ancient and modern philosophy, especially ethics
  • Classical art and archaeology
  • Classics in the history of sexuality
  • Comparative philology and linguistics
  • Food in the ancient world
  • Greek and Roman epic, tragedy and comedy
  • Greek and Roman mythology, religion and magic
  • Greek and Roman social history, especially sexuality
  • Hellenistic history, especially the barbarian interface and the Greek culture of Asia Minor and dynastic studies
  • History of medicine in antiquity, especially Galen
  • Later Greek literature, including Lucian, Athenaeus, ecphrasis
  • Latin literature
  • Palaeography

Explore our research centres and research projects to find out more about our current research topics.

Visit our staff profiles for details on individual staff research interests and publications.

Our current PGRs

We're proud of the research carried out by our PhD students. There are currently around 15 PhD students in the Department, many of whom maintain an online personal profile detailing their research activities. Follow the links below to find out more about them and their research projects.

StudentResearch titleLead supervisor
Andrea Argenti Aristotle's Metaphysics Z from the Standpoint of his Theory of Definition Dr Gabriele Galluzzo
Luigi Barzini Frogs and Bacchae: civil violence, mystery rituals and theatre in the last year of the polis. Professor Lynette Mitchell
Paul Dean The parode less travelled: Parôidia and the discourse of Homeric reception Professor Matthew Wright
Taylor Fitzgerald The Use of Dynastic Connections in Representations of Imperial Legitimacy, AD 284-366 Dr Richard Flower
Maria Gisella Giannone Democracy in Fourth Century Oratory Professor Lynette Mitchell
Marcelina Gilka A Study of Colluthus, The Abduction of Helen Professor Daniel Ogden
Elisa Groff"> Sexual and Reproductive Health in the changing world of Christianity (300-700 CE) Professor Rebecca Langlands
Sam Hayes What's in a Libellus? Martial Book VII. Professor Rebecca Langlands
Maria Kneafsey Boundaries in Late Antique Rome. Professor Barbara Borg
Antonio Leonardis   Professor Elena Isayev

Supervisors - all students have a primary and a secondary supervisor who provide regular, high quality advice, support and direction in their academic endeavours. You will work closely with your supervisors over three to four years (full time PhD) or six to seven (part-time PhD) to develop, investigate and write-up a project at the cutting edge of theological research.

Visit our staff profiles for more information about individual research interests or use the search box on the right of this page to find a supervisor.

Mentor - each student will also be assigned a mentor who will take on a pastoral role and mediate on any problems that arise during the period of study. Your mentor will keep in regular contact and will provide background stability and support.

Graduate School Office - the College of Humanities has a dedicated Graduate School Office that supports our postgraduate research students during their study with us. The Office promotes intellectual and social contact between research students in all our disciplines to foster a vibrant research community within the College.

Funding opportunities available to students on our research degree programmes in English and Film:*

More information on the funding process.

AwardValueApplication deadlineDescription
China Scholarship Council and University of Exeter PhD Scholarship Full tuition fees and Living Allowance Mon 7th Jan 2019 The University of Exeter alongside the China Scholarship Council is pleased to offer fully funded studentship available for September 2019 entry.
PhD Studentships: Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health £19,919 per annum Mon 7th Jan 2019 The studentship will provide funding of fees and a stipend which is currently £19,919 per annum for 2018-19.
South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership AHRC PhD Studentship £14,777 plus UK/EU tuition fees for eligible students Fri 18th Jan 2019 £14,777 plus UK/EU tuition fees for eligible students
College of Humanities PhD Studentships UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate of £14,777 per year (2018/19 rate) Mon 11th Feb 2019 Exeter’s College of Humanities is offering up to 2 fully funded PhD studentships (open to UK/EU candidates only) for study commencing in September 2019, across any of its areas of research expertise.
Postgraduate Research Global Excellence Studentships - College of Humanities - PhD International tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate of £14,777 per year (2018/19 rate) Mon 11th Feb 2019 Exeter’s College of Humanities is offering up to 2 fully funded Postgraduate Research Global Excellence PhD studentships (open to International candidates only) for study commencing in September 2019, across any of its areas of research expertise.
Sanctuary Scholarship Full tuition fee waiver plus annual living cost grant Fri 17th May 2019 The Sanctuary Scholarship scheme enables individuals seeking asylum and refugees who are not able access student finance to study at the University of Exeter.
Sports Scholarship and High Performance Programme up to £2000 plus additional support services & coaching Fri 31st May 2019 Sports scholarships are awarded to students of outstanding sporting ability who show evidence of achievement at international level in their chosen sport. We also encourage applications from students who have achieved at national or regional level for consideration onto our High Performance Programme.
Cornwall Heritage Trust Scholarship £1000 Thu 15th Aug 2019 A one year award of up to £1000 for one or more postgraduate students producing dissertations/theses centred on an aspect of Cornwall's heritage who will be registered for the coming academic year.
Alumni scholarships for Doctoral-level study £750-£3,000 dependent on programme and fee status There is no application for this award. You will be automatically considered. A tuition fee discount is available to suitably qualified University of Exeter alumni starting a postgraduate research degree in the 2019/20 academic year.
University of Exeter Alumni Scholarship £750 - £3000 There is no application for this award. You will be automatically considered. A tuition fee discount for all University of Exeter alumni who start a postgraduate degree with us in September 2019.
Fulbright Scholarships: Postgraduate Student Awards Full tuition waiver for one year of Masters / PhD & living stipend Tue 1st Oct 2019 Our UK Partnership award with Fulbright is available for master's or doctoral students wishing to study at the University. The award takes the form of a tuition fee waiver for the first year of graduate study (either Masters or PhD) and a living stipend (of £13,200 in 2019/20). We also accept scholars in receipt of Fulbright 'Open Awards' (also referred to as the All Disciplines Award).
US Department of Education - Federal Student Loan Variable Tue 30th Jun 2020 The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs, including these loans, to help pay for your education.
Marshall Scholarships for graduate study Varies Deadline passed
(Mon 1st Oct 2018)
Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom.
*Please note that if you have submitted an application to one of our MPhil/PhD programmes you will not automatically be considered for funding. You must submit a separate funding application, including all required supporting documents, via the link provided in each award to be considered for that award.

The College of Humanities works closely with the University’s Career Zone to help you gain the skills, experience and expertise employers are looking for. There are a wide range of opportunities to enhance your employability, along with the support you need to make important career decisions.

We have our own Employability Officer who works to develop close links with employers and arranges careers events. 


Exeter School
Goodridge Ltd UK
Homerun Consulting
Met Office
National Museum Wales
Plymouth College

Stellenbosch University University of Exeter


Classics Teacher
Climate Change Communications Manager
English Foreign Language Teacher
Freelance Journalist
Production Supplier Analyst
Teacher in Ancient and Greek literature

*Employment destination information sourced from the DLHE surveys 2013/14 and 2012/13

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