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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. Classics and Ancient History 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).

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.

Classics and Ancient History 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. Classics and Ancient History 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 our 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 40 PGRs in Classics and Ancient History, 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
Kathryn Adams The concept of fastidium in the Catullan corpus Professor Rebecca Langlands
John Henry William Anderson Theodosius II and East Roman Foreign Policy: A Study on the Nature of Imperial Rule in the Fifth Century Professor Richard Flower
Siwaree Attamana The Interaction between the Roman Empire and Southeast Asia from 1st century BC- 4th century AD Professor Martin Pitts
Nicholas Baker What key factors influenced Athenian decision making during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE? With reference to the contemporary ethical and educational understandings? Professor Lynette Mitchell
Rachael Bundy In Mildness Straining: Philomela and the female-authored nightingale tradition, 1611-1791 Professor Rebecca Langlands
Matteo Calabrese The languages of the South Picene group Dr Katherine McDonald
Katherine Carroll Mobility and long-distance communication in the Hellenistic world: diffusion of ideas and culture across boundaries Professor Elena Isayev

Guoqiang Chen

Aristophanes and religious discourse: Superseding Zeus in Clouds, Peace, Birds and Plutus

Professor Matthew Wright
Toni Clark

Ivory and culture in late antiquity: functions and meanings of ivory artefacts AD 300 - 700

Professor Barbara Borg
William Colman Lucian’s Marine Dialogues: The Restoration of Myth Professor Daniel Ogden
Cristina Crizbasan Moving communities and changing ceramics: The Impact of Batavian auxiliaries across the Roman Empire Professor Martin Pitts
Ryan Denson

The Depths Below: The Supernatural Lore of Sea Creatures in Antiquity

Professor Daniel Ogden
Philip Diaz-Lewis

Examine closely the question of whether an Aristotelian philosophy might argue in favour of aesthetic objectivism, that is, beauty as an objective quality rather than merely in the eye of the beholder

Dr Gabriele Galluzzo
Nicola Rose Ernst

Singled Out With Their Father’s Honours: The Sons of Constantine and Religious Politics (A.D. 337-361)

Professor Richard Flower
Maria Fragkaki

A study of the external relations of Crete during the Hellenistic era

Professor Daniel Ogden
Maria Gisella Giannone

Democracy and Democratic Language in Isocrates

Professor Lynette Mitchell
Alasdair Gilmour

The impact of Rome on European Iron Age Societies: A cross-societal study of changing pottery use using merged computer-generated typologies

Professor Martin Pitts
Laura Glover

The Night-Witch

Professor Daniel Ogden
Karen Gregory

Mapping Mosaics in Fourth-Century Roman Britain: Regional Patterns and Elite Networks

Professor Martin Pitts
Julius Guthrie

Ruling their own way: A study of the self-representation, perception and influences on the ruling families of archaic and classical Greek Sicily

Professor Lynette Mitchell
Lisa Viktoria Kranzer

Viktoria Preserving a ‘vanishing culture’ : Roman identity in fifth and sixth century Gaul

Professor Richard Flower
Joshua Littell

Christian Individual Involvement in the Roman Army: Reality and the Christian Ideal

Professor Richard Flower
Stuart MacAulay

The functions of animal metaphor in Seneca’s ‘Stoicism’

Dr Katharine Earnshaw
Clare McLoughlin Davis

Cutaneous Concerns: Skin Imperfections in Imperial Rome

Dr Daniel King
Liam Preston

Pain for Pleasure: Exploring Epicurean ethical ideas in the Literature of the Neronian period

Dr Katharine Earnshaw
Benjamin Pullan  A Commentary on the pseudo-Virgilian Aetna Dr Katharine Earnshaw

Elizabeth-Anne Scarth

The ancient Roman art of mnemotechnics: A method for remembering and an ancient method of psychotherapy?

Dr Katharine Earnshaw
Charlotte Spence

Conceptions of the Divine and the Dead in Curse Tablets

Professor Daniel Ogden
Laura Stops

Roman Gates of the Western Empire: The Cultural Conception and Physical Manifestation of the Urban Boundary

Professor Barbara Borg

Siu Kau Gordon Tsang

A Preliminary Maritime Capability Assessment of an Iron Age Society, And Its Possible Political-Economic Background. Starting with the Durotriges Region

Professor Martin Pitts
Alice Van Den Bosch

The Female Martyr in Late Antiquity

Professor Richard Flower
Andrew Worley The Presentation and Manipulation of Popular Speech in the Literature of the Late Roman Republic and Imperial Period: The use of acclamations and other non-elite vocalizations Professor Richard Flower


Aall 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.


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.

View list of funding opportunities available to students on our research degree programmes in Classics and Ancient History. 

We are committed to making your PhD a rewarding experience that will develop your skills and expertise. Undertaking a postgraduate degree with us also provides you with access to the wide range of support offered by our Career ZoneIn addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Classics and Ancient History postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation

Education Officer
International Public Relations Specialist
Classics Teacher
Adjunct Instructor
Teaching Fellow
International Public Relations Specialist
Academic issues manager

Department of Education
Hokkaido University, Japan
Plymouth College
Seoul National University
Art Institute of Calefornia, LA
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
University of Edinburgh
Hokkaido University, Japan
University of Exeter
University of Exeter Guild of Students