emmageddon
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Hello there,
I’m an American student applying to a few UK universities for postgraduate study. I was wondering if some current students (from any university) could tell me a little about what their Ancient History/Classics education looks like right now in terms of reading, testing, research, etc?
Thanks!
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Edminzodo
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(Original post by emmageddon)
Hello there,
I’m an American student applying to a few UK universities for postgraduate study. I was wondering if some current students (from any university) could tell me a little about what their Ancient History/Classics education looks like right now in terms of reading, testing, research, etc?
Thanks!
Hi, I did Egyptology at Liverpool (which is in the same department as Ancient History and Classics). Ironically I am going to the US for postgrad, but I know a fair amount - what would you like to know specifically? What universities are you applying to?
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emmageddon
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(Original post by Edminzodo)
Hi, I did Egyptology at Liverpool (which is in the same department as Ancient History and Classics). Ironically I am going to the US for postgrad, but I know a fair amount - what would you like to know specifically? What universities are you applying to?
Hey, I’m applying to Oxford, St Andrews and RHUL. As you probably know (because you’re applying to universities here) we use completely different terminology in the US as you do in the UK. Figuring out how the terminology here aligns with the terminology there can be quite confusing. (For instance I’m still not sure what Brits mean by ‘matriculation’. It’s a noun we hardly ever use here but at some UK schools it seems to imply some type of ceremony?) Also I’m interested in hearing about people’s experiences; how much they study, what classes are like for them, etc.
What schools are you applying to here? I can do my best to answer any questions you have about our weird system.
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Edminzodo
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(Original post by emmageddon)
Hey, I’m applying to Oxford, St Andrews and RHUL. As you probably know (because you’re applying to universities here) we use completely different terminology in the US as you do in the UK. Figuring out how the terminology here aligns with the terminology there can be quite confusing. (For instance I’m still not sure what Brits mean by ‘matriculation’. It’s a noun we hardly ever use here but at some UK schools it seems to imply some type of ceremony?) Also I’m interested in hearing about people’s experiences; how much they study, what classes are like for them, etc.
What schools are you applying to here? I can do my best to answer any questions you have about our weird system.
Okay, that's quite a range. Oxford is the only one of those that I am aware that uses 'matriculation' (maybe St Andrews). It's just a ceremony where you formally enroll in the university. Plagioclase, would you be able to explain some more?

So, in terms of how much people study, of course it massively varies. For me at Liverpool, it was a fairly small course (and the same could be said for the equivalents in Ancient History and Classics, I think maybe up to 15 people in each).

Most masters degrees (I don't think Oxford, though) are examined purely on coursework. At Liverpool, the MA in Ancient History has 8 classes and 1 thesis worth the same amount as 4 classes - you take 4 classes per semester (there are 2), and then spend your summer writing your dissertation. I think Oxford has exams, though, which may make up half or part of one of your classes (we call these modules).

E.g. Liverpool - Semester 1 (4 modules), Semester 2 (4 modules), Summer (thesis, worth 4 modules). So you can see how the weighting works.

Our classes are split into lectures and seminars - lectures are usually bigger and you aren't expected to talk, and seminars are smaller (well, depends on the size of your course), where you would discuss ideas and debate stuff, or maybe do presentations. I think group work is rarer than in the US, too. As I said, my experience is based on Liverpool's system and department, so it might not be the same everywhere. Also, because we aren't graded on participation, at least from speaking to friends on UG courses across the UK, some people don't show up to classes or they might come and refuse to speak. So don't be surprised if this happens in the UK. Our grades are always based on coursework and exams in some sort of combination, and maybe a presentation or poster depending on the module.

For UK students, a lot of these courses are unaffordable as our masters loan only covers something like £11k, and a lot of the fees are higher than this, let alone including living costs. Because of this, people sometimes do it part-time, or they'll have to save up for a few years before coming back to study. So the courses are probably smaller than you might expect.

Does this help? If you have any more questions, I am happy to answer them!
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emmageddon
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This was so helpful thank you!
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Edminzodo
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(Original post by emmageddon)
This was so helpful thank you!
No problem! Please do ask if there's anything else I can help with, and be aware that it can vary a lot.
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