Ancient Medieval & Renaissance Thought

This programme provides students with a specialized knowledge in ancient, medieval and Renaissance thought, focusing on philosophical writers, literary and historical themes, and the history of thought. It allows students to explore thematic concerns of writers in the Western tradition from Ancient Greece and Rome to the 16th century and beyond.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 in the BA degree overall with (in the case of Joint Honours degrees) a 2:1 in either Greek and Roman Civilization (or equivalent) or Philosophy. For international students for whom English is not their first language, an English language exam certificate showing IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required.


MHV60 : 1 year Full-time
MHV61 : 2 year Part-time

Careers or further progression

Foundation for PhD research and academic career, and the skills the programme fosters (analytic skills, critical thinking, systematic research, clear argumentation, lucid writing) are indispensable to a wide variety of careers.

Further enquiries

Contact us about this course
Programme Directors
Dr Michael W. Dunne
Professor David Scourfield

Programme Coordinators
Dr Susi Gottlober
Dr William Desmond
Tel: 01 708 3661 / 3695
Fax: 01 708 4525

Subjects taught

Course Structure
Modules include Introduction to Latin; Images of the Human Being in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Thought; Texts and Interpretation: An Introduction to Classical Scholarship; Ancient Cosmology; Aquinas and the Emergence of the Concepts of Rights; New Politics in the Renaissance: Machiavelli


Ancient Classics
Ancient Classics has been taught in Maynooth since the first foundation of a college in the town in 1795. It forms an indispensable background for understanding our European heritage and as such can make us more reflective and independentminded citizens of the world. It equips students with the ability to deal with a variety of material, to read analytically, to think 'outside the box', to conduct independent research, and to write and communicate effectively—these are skills that are valued in many fields, including education, journalism, law, politics, publishing, and business.

Dr Michael Williams
Awarded Humboldt Research Fellowship Dr Michael Williams of the Department of Ancient Classics works in the field of late-Antique history. His current research looks at the development of the practice and language of Christian asceticism in the late fourth and early fifth centuries AD, especially in the lives and writings of Paulinus of Nola, Sulpicius Severus, and Augustine of Hippo. In 2015-16 he held a prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt, Germany.

Application date

All applications should be made through the PAC system.

Course fee

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.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!