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MPhil in Ancient Philosophy

A Bust of SocratesMPhil. specialising in Ancient Philosophy

Cambridge is among a handful of world centres for the study of ancient philosophy. Each year, the MPhil. in Classics contains a specialised Ancient Philosophy seminar.

To apply for an MPhil. in Ancient Philosophy you apply for the MPhil. in Classics. Your final certificate and transcript can reflect the specialisation in ancient philosophy.

Inaugurated in 1993, the Cambridge MPhil. is the UK’s longest-running Master’s course in ancient philosophy. Those who have taken the MPhil., and gone on to teach the subject at university level in both Classics and Philosophy departments, include Hendrik Lorenz, Frisbee Sheffield, James Warren, Gabriel Richardson Lear, Dominic Bailey, Sean McConnell, and Giles Pearson.

Teaching is structured around a weekly graduate philosophy seminar and the one-on-one supervision of individual students, led by the Faculty's B Caucus staff: Professor Gabor Betegh, Dr Myrto Hatzimichali, Mr Nicholas Denyer, Dr Robert Wardy and Dr James Warren. All have university teaching posts in Classics.  Most of them also have college teaching posts in Philosophy and are Directors of Studies in the subject. The wide range of their research interests means that the Faculty can offer supervision to students interested in exploring topics in ancient philosophy ranging from Presocratic philosophy, through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, into the Hellenistic period and beyond.

The course itself offers a balanced blend of classical and philosophical skills. This is further reflected by the fact that the course has always drawn students from both Classics and Philosophy departments and that those who continue from it to doctorates and to university teaching posts do so in both types of department.

An advantage of the course’s location within a Classics environment is the attention paid to the advancement of linguistic and philological skills. Language courses can be provided for those who need to learn or improve their Greek or, if appropriate, Latin.

Many students on the course also take advantage of lectures and library facilities in the neighbouring Faculty of Philosophy, in addition to the rich resources of the Faculty of Classics. And some have, for one of their three essays, opted to work on a topic in modern philosophy.

Students also benefit from the wide range of seminars and conferences in ancient philosophy that take place in Cambridge every year as well as a regular seminar with graduate students and Faculty members in Paris and Lille that take place alternately in Cambridge and France.

Click here for more information on the study of Ancient Philosophy at Cambridge.


Course Structure & Requirements

For general information about the MPhil. course, follow the links to find out more about its structure and requirements and  application procedure.

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Sep 20, 2016

Professor Jack Davis and Dr Sharon Stocker (Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati), ‘Sometimes All That Glitters Is Gold: The Tomb of the Griffin Warrior at Pylos’, 5 pm on Monday 10 October. To reserve your place please reply to pylos.lecture@classics.cam.ac.uk by Monday 3 October.

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Applications are welcome for two temporary lectureships in Classics (Ancient History) from 01 January 2017. Please see the Jobs & Vacancies page for further information.

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Aug 30, 2016

Applications are sought for a Research Associate (Archaeology) from 01 November 2016. For more information and details on how to apply, please see the Jobs & Vacancies page.

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Aug 19, 2016

Tim Whitmarsh, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, will deliver his Inaugural Lecture, “Oedipus the Atheist”, on Friday 14 October at 5pm in the Little Hall, Sidgwick Site. This begins a weekend of Classics celebrations including the Greek Play and a Symposium on Greek Drama at Newnham College.

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