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Late Antique and Byzantine Studies

Taught programmes in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies have been devised as a multi-purpose introduction to the Roman world in Late Antiquity, to Byzantium, the medieval successor of the East Roman Empire, and to neighbouring peoples and their cultures. Although the two components (Late Antiquity and Byzantium) have been designed to the same specification and are conjoined in a single course, graduate students are expected to concentrate on one or other of the fields. 

There are two taught programmes offered in this field of specialist research: a one-year Master of Studies and a two-year Master of Philosophy. Both programmes begin in October, and may be taken either as a free-standing degrees or as the first step towards one of the research degrees of M.Litt. or D.Phil. All students will be encouraged to attend some of the University’s many advanced research seminars and training opportunities in the subject area. The admission of any candidate for further study at Oxford will depend on his/her overall performance in the master’s programme, together with the viability of any proposed research topic and the availability of appropriate supervision at Oxford.

Degree Pathways

For both degrees, students have the option of selecting a focus of study dependent on their knowledge of languages or their primary interests in the field. Two basic pathways lead into each field of study, and graduate students are expected to choose between them at the outset.

Language Training:

This option offers intensive training in any one of the following ancient and medieval languages: Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic.

Training in Auxiliary Disciplines:

This option is designed for those who already have considerable competence in their chosen language and whose principal interests lie in History, Art and Archaeology, or Religion. They will receive instruction in one or two of a range of specialist Auxiliary Disciplines (papyrology, epigraphy, palaeography, numismatics, sigillography, or artefact studies [one of the following - ceramics, metalware, ivories, codices, carved marbles]), and will choose a Special Subject from a list in their preferred subject area (History, Art and Archaeology, Literature, or Religion). 

Master of Studies (M.St.)

The Master of Studies in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies is a 9 month taught course that can be taken as a free-standing degree, or as the first step towards doctoral research. Students wishing to proceed to a research programme will be encouraged to develop their doctoral proposal during the first few months of the programme, so that they will be well placed to make doctoral applications in the spring.

Requirements for the degree include:

  • Complete a course of study on History, Art and Archaeology during the first two terms of the academic year (comprising two sets of weekly classes)
  • Submit two 5,000 word essays on topics of their choosing (subject to the approval of their supervisor)
  • Select two subjects on which to be examined (which may include topics in ancient and medieval languages, epigraphy, numismatics, artefact studies, literature, history and religion). Language and literature as well as auxiliary disciplines will normally be examined by unseen examinations at the end of Trinity Term, while attainment in other subjects are assessed on the basis of submitted essays or dissertations.

Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.)

The Master of Philosophy in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies is a 21 month taught course which has been designed as a free-standing degree, which includes the completion of a 30,000-word dissertation. Students wishing to proceed to the DPhil will be encouraged to develop their doctoral proposal during the first few months of the second year of their programme, so that they will be well placed to make doctoral applications in the spring.

Requirements for the degree include:

  • Complete a course of study in History, Art and Archaeology during the first two terms of the academic year (comprising two sets of weekly classes). Submit two 5,000 word essays on topics of their choosing (subject to the approval of their supervisor)
  • Select three subjects on which to be examined (which may include topics in ancient and medieval languages, epigraphy, numismatics, artefact studies, literature, history and religion). Language and literature as well as auxiliary disciplines will normally be examined by unseen examinations at the end of Trinity Term, while attainment in other subjects are assessed on the basis of submitted essays or dissertations.
  • Write a thesis of not more than 30,000 words during the second year on a subject approved by the student's supervisor

Contacts

For all programme-specific admission queries please contact the History Graduate Admissions at graduate.admissions(at)history.ox.ac.uk.

Telephone: (01865) 615003 (or 15003 from an internal phone)
Fax: (01865) 615009
Address: History Faculty, Old High School for Boys, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL

Where appropriate we will consult with academics, or ask them to contact you direct.

Page last updated: 11/06/2012, at 09:25

Contact Us

There are a number of ways that you can contact us directly:

By post:

Faculty of History
George Street
Oxford OX1 2RL
United Kingdom

By telephone or fax:

Tel: +44 1865 615000
Fax: +44 1865 250704

Or by email:

For information on graduate admissions, contact:
graduate.admissions(at)history.ox.ac.uk

For information on undergraduate admissions, contact:
schools.liaison(at)history.ox.ac.uk