Classical Studies

Researchers in Classical Studies at The Open University have expertise in a wide range of subjects from across the ancient world, including archaeology, art and sculpture; epic, tragedy and comedy; historiography and philosophy; popular culture and social history; reception studies; and digital humanities. As an interdisciplinary subject area, OU Classical Studies principally involves research into Greek and Latin texts, and Greek and Roman material culture.

  • ancient and modern reception of classical antiquity
  • digital and spatial classics
  • the ancient body, including and the senses and disability
  • ancient material religion
  • pedagogy of classics teaching

Key facts

  • Current fully funded studentships include the CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South East England) and Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC studentships.
  • Part-time research students are fully integrated into the Classical Studies research environment, including regular research days, an annual work in progress conference, and opportunities to attend larger conferences and present papers.
  • Classical studies at the OU is home to the new Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion, bringing together scholars from the OU and beyond to investigate material aspects of religion across the ancient worlds.
  • The discipline hosts the Classical Reception Studies Network, an international collaboration of researchers working on classical reception. 
  • Classical studies at the OU also a major hub for Pelagios Network, a free association for developing the methods, tools and community for linking online resources about ancient places, with global partners from academia, cultural heritage organisations, and creative industries.
  • Classical Studies at the OU is also currently developing a programme of collaborative research events around the theme ‘Global Classics’, connecting up OU researchers with a community around the world who are interested in moving beyond Eurocentric approaches to the discipline.


Most of our full-time research students are based at our Milton Keynes campus; for details of residence requirements for different modes of study see Full-time study and Part-time study.


Research students have access to the OU library with its extensive collections of digital journals and books, as well as being able to become members of a research library close to their location through the SCONUL Access scheme. Our Research students in classical studies are also encouraged to join the Hellenic or Roman Societies. These societies have a joint library based at the Institute of Classical Studies in London. This is an internationally leading research library. Student membership of either of the societies provides borrowing rights (including postal borrowing).



Find your research topic

Explore specific areas of research, current and prospective projects, entry requirements, fees and funding, available supervisors, how to apply and contact details for advice.

Ancient and modern receptions of antiquity

Ancient material religion

Digital and spatial classics

Greek and Latin texts

Greek and Roman material culture

Pedagogy of classic teaching

The ancient body and the senses


Related topics

Consider linked topics from other research areas.

Early modern Britain and Europe

Historical musicology

History of books and reading


I chose the Open University for the flexibility afforded by researching part-time and here, at the end of six years of PhD research, I whole-heartedly recommend it. I have been supported and challenged all the way by my excellent supervisors, supplied with the resources for distance learning and found inspiration through the PhD Teaching scheme and in membership of the Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion.

Adam ParkerPhD Student, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences