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Classics and Ancient History

Sarcophagus in various colours

Postgraduate research

The department is home to a lively community of postgraduate researchers.

Around 25 students are currently pursuing a PhD with us, in fields ranging from early Greek historiography, via Roman social history and later Latin epic, to Arabic reception of Greek medical writing. 

Why Manchester? roundel

Our research environment was a particular strength in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, with 100% of Classics and Ancient History environment activities, facilities and resources judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*), while 80% of our impact activities were also rated in these top two categories.

View our programmes, and the support available for our postgraduate researchers.


Finding a supervisor

Here at The University of Manchester we offer a supportive environment that inspires its students to formulate and pursue their own questions from the word go, while offering expert insight, guidance and advice at every turn.

A vital prerequisite for planning your PhD in Classics and Ancient History at Manchester is some familiarity with our teaching staff and their areas of research.

Current PhD students

Postgraduate researchers in Classics and Ancient History work on a wide range of topics. Find out what some of our current PhD students are working on.

Past PhD students

Many of our PhD students have gone on to successful academic careers: our graduates currently hold academic posts at (for example) Durham, Exeter, Lincoln, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Open University.

Recently completed PhDs in Classics and Ancient History include:

  • Samuel Barry - 'The Question of Syriac Influence upon Early Arabic Translations of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates' (supervised by Professor Peter Pormann).
  • Helen Dalton - 'Banquet of Seath: Alimentary Imagery in Statius' Thebaid' (supervised by Professor Alison Sharrock).
  • Liz Chandler - 'Ovid, Livy and the History of Rome in the Fasti' (supervised by Professor Roy Gibson).
  • Sam Fernes - 'Ageing and Withdrawal from Work Amongst the Non-Elite in the Roman World' (supervised by Professor Tim Parkin).
  • Stephen Fitzsimons -  'Presentations of the Persian Kings in Herodotus' Histories' (supervised by Dr Peter Liddel).
  • Tim Kenny - 'Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.609-1077: An Interpretative and Intertextual Commentary' (supervised by Dr Andrew Morrison).
  • Melissa Markauskas - 'Ambrose of Milan and Mechanics of Establishing Orthodoxy' (supervised by Professor Kate Cooper).
  • Katherine Molesworth - 'Lycophron's Alexandra' (supervised by Dr Andrew Morrison).
  • Elizabeth Pearson - 'The Development of the Administration of the Roman Republican Army' (supervised by Dr Andrew Fear and Professor Tim Cornell).
  • Elaine van Dalen - 'The Rhetorical Strategies in the Arabic Commentaries on the Hippocratic Aphorisms' (supervised by Professor Peter Pormann).
  • Alexandra Wilding - 'The Amphiareion at Oropos' (supervised by Dr Peter Liddel).
  • Guy Williams – ‘I, Roman: Identity in Ammianus Marcellinus’ (supervised by Dr Andy Fear and Professor Kate Cooper).