What I wish people knew about Classics

As a second year Classics student, I would like to dispel the myths surrounding studying Classics at university. The reality is, Classics is a broad and multi-disciplined subject, full of people who are really excited about understanding the ancient world and learning everything they can about the way the world worked thousands of years ago. And so, here are some of the things that I wish people knew about Classics.


It’s not all about the Odyssey and the Iliad 

As two of the most famous literary resources we have, I think it can be misconstrued to seem as though the Odyssey and the Iliad are the basis of the whole subject. Trust me, there’s a lot more to the field than just these two! You can study everything from the archeology of Pompeii, to the rise and fall of Babylon, as well as languages! If you like the Odyssey and the Iliad, you can study them, of course – but there’s also plenty more to learn about!

Sadie is a second year Classics student

You don’t have to know Latin and Greek

For many of the courses which the Classics Department provides, you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of Latin or Ancient Greek. You will be offered the chance to learn it, and there’s brilliant support and teaching if you do, but if languages aren’t your thing that doesn’t mean Classics is off-limits. You can study texts in their translated form and there’s much to be learnt about the ancient world, outside of their languages. Additionally, if you do enjoy ancient languages but want to do something a little different, King’s has connections with other London universities, so you could have the opportunity to study other languages, like Ancient Persian.

It’s beneficial to your employability

Classics and other humanities degrees are not vocational and don’t have a clear-end job, which I think makes them far more exciting! Studying a Classics degree gives you a wide range of transferrable skills; attention to detail, critical analysis, innovative thinking patterns, an enquiring mind, being a fast learner. Such skills are valued by employers, as it gives them motivated, focused and ambitious employees. In terms of jobs; Teaching, Consultancy, Politics, Banking, Marketing and Writing are all career destinations for those with a degree in Classics. The mindset and skillsets that studying Classics provides means that, as a graduate, the variety of jobs which are open to you is wonderfully expansive.

Classics enables a greater understanding of history and society

It’s not all in the classroom

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was surprised by the variety of learning resources the department provided to support our learning. As part of an ancient history module, we were taken to the London Mithraeum, a museum in the city that exhibits some of the archeological finds under London. Furthermore, the department runs the annual “Rumble Fund trip” alongside a module, which allows students to travel to Classical lands to expand upon their study of a topic. I find that the way that the department links relevant trips, exhibits and visits with the learning helps to realise what you’re studying, and gives you a truly well-rounded experience of the subject.

I hope this blog post has clarified that Classics has something for everyone, and with hard work and dedication, Classics courses can give you skills which you carry way beyond your university years. If you have any further questions on studying Classics here at King’s, drop me a message on Unibuddy!


More information:

To explore the King’s Classics Department page, click here

To read more blog posts about Arts & Humanities career options at King’s, click here

To see what other courses King’s has to offer, click here

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