Classics - Research

The aim of this programme is to provide students with a professional training in academic research in Classics, and to develop their capacity to contribute to international scholarship in the discipline in an original and effective fashion. To this end, the programme seeks to equip students with the necessary skills in research, academic writing and the ancient languages, along with any other specialist training required for their particular project. Above all, the Department aims to provide the opportunity for students to pursue their own specific research interests, working independently under the supervision of members of staff who will provide detailed guidance, advice, and feedback on the students' work. The primary objective is the production of a substantial contribution to original scholarship in Classics in the form of a thesis. Over the course of the Structured PhD programme students will acquire the habit of independent study and research, along with the capacity to express their ideas effectively and to build upon (and assign due credit to) the research of others. By the end of the programme, they will also have acquired the necessary linguistic and technical competences to be able to engage at an appropriate level with professional scholars.

The structured PhD programme in Classics provides students with a range of modules to support the development of their research project and their future career. There are two types of module: subject-specific, and transferable.

Module selection
(a) Students with a Masters-level qualification and competence in either Ancient Greek or Latin, or both, at second-year undergraduate level will be required to take 15 ECTS credits in transferable modules and a minimum of 25 ECTS credits in subject-specific modules, normally to include five modules in either advanced Greek or advanced Latin.

(b) Students with a Masters-level qualification and competence in either Ancient Greek or Latin, or both, at undergraduate degree level will be required to take 15 ECTS credits in transferable modules and a minimum of 15 ECTS credits in subject-specific modules.

(c) Students with no relevant Masters-level qualification will be required to take 15 ECTS credits in transferable modules and a minimum of 45 ECTS credits in subject-specific modules.

In all cases, the exact choice of modules will be a matter to be agreed between the student and the Departmental Research Student Progress Committee.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the PhD in Classics are normally expected to have achieved a first-class or high upper-second-class result at the MA level; occasionally an appropriately qualified student may be admitted directly to the PhD from an undergraduate degree. Except in exceptional circumstances, no applicant will be admitted to the PhD without a prior knowledge of Greek or Latin at a level deemed appropriate.

Applicants must have a qualification at least equivalent to an upper-second-class pass in the 200-level course in Greek or Latin (as appropriate), and an appropriate number of modules at the 300-level in the same language, or equivalent, must be passed before the degree can be awarded.

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants..

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850.


4 years FT, 6 years PT


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Enrolment dates

Commences September (or other agreed time)

Post Course Info

University teaching and research, schoolteaching, and numerous other professions for which high-level writing and research skills are a desideratum.


The Department has special expertise in a range of areas – literary, historical, and philosophical – within the field of classical studies. It is particularly strong in the areas of the ancient novel, ancient philosophy (especially Cynicism and Epicureanism), and late Antiquity/early Christianity, but other areas in which thesis supervision can be offered include death and writing on death in Antiquity, epistolography, Greek epic and drama, Greek social history, Hellenistic history, Latin poetry, Roman Republican history, Roman religion, the Second Sophistic, and modern receptions of the classical world. These do not exhaust the possibilities for higher-degree research in the Department, however, and enquiries are welcome.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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