Skip to content

What is Ancient Civilisations about?

Deepen your understanding of the present by exploring the ancient past.

When you study ancient civilisations, you free yourself from the tyranny of the present. You come to understand the ever-changing nature of human societies, as well as the deep continuities that bind humanity together.

Are you curious about the depravity of Roman emperors or the vengeful natures of ancient gods? Have you ever wanted to read Homer’s Odyssey, find out why the Roman Republic fell, or understand the development of Athenian democracy?

In Ancient Civilisations you will explore the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world and their ongoing influence through the words, images, and actions of ancient people themselves.

John Elliott Classics Museum

Would you like to see some Ancient Greek pottery which speaks of mythical tales, religious reverence, and wild party nights? Or a centurion's sword, floor mosaics, jewellery and cosmetic items, or bronze surgical implements from Ancient Rome? Once unearthed by archaeologists, they now await discovery by you.

Address: University Centre, Sandy Bay Campus
Cost: Free entry
Phone: +61 3 6226 2235

Why study Ancient Civilisations with us?

Our Ancient Civilisations program offers a unique opportunity for you to develop understanding of other cultures (both ancient and modern), critical thinking and research skills, fluency of communication, and work readiness by studying the ancient past.

The classical period, which includes the Greeks and Romans, holds endless fascination and modern parallels. This course looks at language, art, architecture, society and conflict.

Undertake a major (eight units) in Ancient Civilisations on-campus in Hobart, or from anywhere online.

Follow your diverse interests and curiosities with a diverse range of units in classical mythology, Roman history, Greek and Roman religions, ancient epics, ancient drama, erotic literature, and more.

Complement your study in Ancient Civilisations with the School of Humanities' offerings in Ancient Languages and History languages.

What careers relate to Ancient Civilisations?

Modern workplaces are invariably changing; responding to economic, political and social forces, which means employees need the basic intellectual capacities to adapt to change. Employers value Ancient Civilisation graduates with intercultural awareness and ethical responsibility.

Employers also depend on people who are effective communicators and decision-makers, with demonstrable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, research and investigation. These abilities are fundamental for graduates of Arts-related degrees from the School of Humanities.

  • Advocacy and counselling
  • Communications and public relations
  • Linguistics
  • Foreign relations
  • Education
  • Healthcare and healthcare ethics
  • Historian
  • Information technology
  • Journalism and publishing
  • Law
  • Manager in private and public enterprises
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Politics and public policy-making
  • Psychology
  • Public health and welfare
  • Researcher
  • Tourism and travel operator
  • Writer

How can I learn about Ancient Civilisations?

Ancient Civilisations is one of three Classics majors – with Ancient Greek and Latin – available through the School of Humanities. It's a popular combination with History, English, Philosophy, or Gender Studies in the Bachelor of Arts. With units delivered on-campus and online, you can enjoy the flexibility of studying anywhere, anytime.

The major (eight units) involves core and elective units in Ancient Civilisations which can be identified with 'HTC' in the unit code. As a diverse discipline, the core units will provide a necessary grounding in essential periods and cultures, while the elective units will allow you to follow your particular interest.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Each course and unit is linked to its own page with more detailed information and entry requirements on the Courses & Units website.

Your learning experience in Ancient Civilisations goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

The College of Arts, Law and Education, including the School of Humanities and Ancient Civilisations, offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study options

We provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Humanities offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

If you would like to study a Bachelor of Arts, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree and creating professional and life experiences. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Find out more about Overseas Study opportunities

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by an area or expertise.

The School of Humanities welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

Masters by Research
Doctorates (PhD)

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Our research in the Classics

Our research focuses broadly on the literature and history of the late Roman Republic and early Empire, on ancient philosophy, and on Greek literature of the Roman Imperial period.

We have particular research strengths in Augustan poetry, the history of emotions, ancient rhetoric, the ancient novel, and neoplatonic philosophy. Our work is published in leading journals and by top-tier academic presses. We have access to an international network of researchers, and members of our team have received prestigious research grants.

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees at both the Masters and PhD levels, and are pleased to discuss proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries.

Dr Jayne Knight

Featured Researcher | Dr Jayne Knight

Jayne is a Lecturer in Classics. Her recent research broadly considers the roles that emotions play in society. Jayne's current project examines the development of Roman discourse about uses and abuses of anger in public life during the late Republic and early Principate.

View Jayne's full researcher profile Browse our academic staff profiles