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What is the Ancient Languages program about?

Studying the ancient texts of Latin and Ancient Greek brings a greater understanding of the contemporary world. With valuable analytical and linguistic skills learn the principal languages where the fundamentals of western thought were argued out, in the sciences, philosophy and medicine, as well as in literature in the broadest sense.


  • The language of Cicero and Caesar, and the international language of Europe in the centuries since.
  • Learning Latin gives you direct access to literature with unequalled influence over the development of Western culture. You will learn to read better and write more clearly, and gain appreciation for the power and beauty of language.
  • Latin lies at the foundation of the Humanities and Sciences. With Latin we are able to engage with principal thinkers such as Cicero and Seneca, and with seminal poets like Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, whose writing looms large in all major periods of Western literature.
  • Latin inspires an appreciation of the elements and shape of language; we read Latin slowly and carefully, and so we develop precision in our own thinking and expression.

Ancient Greek

  • Study the language in which the foundations of epic, drama, philosophy, and history were laid.
  • Learning Ancient Greek, and reading its centuries of literature, is one of the great intellectual adventures. It sharpens thought and expression, and allows us to understand the histories of ideas.
  • Ancient Greek offers students the chance to explore languages and cultures that are profoundly different to their own, yet fundamental to how modern cultures have developed.
  • Learning this language provides the ability to read the first works of western literature (including the Iliad and Odyssey), the first tragedies and comedies, and foundational works of philosophy (Plato, Aristotle and others).
  • These texts have started some of the major conversations of western history, and have also influenced the development of the Islamic world. No translation is ever entirely adequate, and reading these works in their own language is a far richer experience.

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 Languages with us?

Study through Australia's most comprehensive and flexible Ancient Languages program. Be guided by a team of lecturers with a genuine passion for the languages, known for their energetic and creative teaching.

Improve your understanding of the English language, and precision of expression and thought, by reading closely and exactly.

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

Our program allows people with no previous knowledge of the languages to read passages of adapted and unadapted poetry and prose, with historical and cultural background.

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

What careers relate to Ancient Languages?

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 Languages 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 Ancient Languages?

Ancient Languages is one of two Classics majors – the second being Ancient Civilisations – 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.

This major (eight units) involves core and elective units in Ancient Languages which can be identified with 'HTL' and 'HTG' 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 Languages 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 Languages, 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.

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 Jonathan Wallis

Featured Researcher | Dr Jonathan Wallis

Jonathan is a lecturer in the Classics program at the Unviersity of Tasmania. His research interests focus on Augustan poetry and early imperial Roman literature, the Roman novel; reflexivity and generic conflict in Latin poetry; and representations of gender and genre in Latin literature. Jonathan in currently publishing a monograph of Propertius Book 3 through Cambridge University Press.

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