We spoke to Dr Ellen Adams, the lecturer in classical art and archeology at Kings College London, in order to find out a bit more about what the course has to offer…
What are the main benefits of studying a Classics degree?
Classics is a truly interdisciplinary subject, although you have the chance to specialise in areas that particularly appeal to you. I, for example, am an archaeologist, but I enjoy keeping abreast of developments in other disciplines, and co-teach a course, ‘Greek religion’ with an ancient historian. You are exposed to great literature, philology, philosophy, history, archaeology and art history within a single department. Dealing with myriad sources and problems encourages a flexibility that is appreciated by employers. Furthermore, learning Latin and Ancient Greek is appreciated as a rigorous and challenging undertaking.
Why should you choose King’s College London?
We are one of the largest departments in the country, with over 20 academic staff with expertise from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine periods, Roman Britain around to the Black Sea, Iran, Egypt and Libya, and all the areas in-between, in addition to Greek and Roman literature. We are located at the heart of London, where you can explore the legacy of the ancient world in its theatres, architecture, and, of course, museums. I, for example, enjoy arranging museum tours, including hands-on sessions of Greek vases at the British Museum.
>Find out more about Classics at King's College London
What do we look for in an applicant?
Curiosity and energy! Clearly, a high academic standard is required in order to demonstrate that you can cope with the demands of the course, but we also welcome and appreciate how active the student body is. It runs the Classical Society, which in turn produces a student newspaper, the
Satyrica, organises trips abroad (recently Tunisia and Turkey, this year Greece), social events and additional lectures. King’s is the only place in the UK to produce an annual Greek play in the original, which is student-run and always a great success. Many students participate in the Iris Project as well, which teaches Latin in primary schools in disadvantaged areas of London.
What jobs do your graduates typically go into?
Employers value the wide-ranging analytical and presentational skills that we promote here at Classics, KCL. Recent graduates have entered careers in heritage-related professions, the media, education, the civil service, PR, research analysis and the performing arts. Classics has been taught at King’s since 1831, and alumni include Virginia Woolf and Charles Kinsley.
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