Why Classics?

Despite what others may tell you, Classics and Ancient History is not merely a discipline reserved for the privileged, largely white population, or for those introverts who aim to hole themselves up in an office researching for the rest of their lives.

Through the study of ancient languages, linguistics and textual criticism, Classics students develop intense analytical skills. Our involvement with a range of disciplines such as history, philosophy and art criticism, requires our minds to be constantly open to new ideas, encouraging mental versatility.

There are major benefits in studying Classics. But don’t take our word for it, see below for a compilation of impressive members of our society who survive (or once survived) as examples of individuals who benefited from a Classics degree.

Did you know author J.K. Rowling had a degree in Classics? She was taught by eminent scholar T.P. Wiseman, whom people have speculated inspired her character of Dumbledore.

But the benefits of a Classics degree is not just limited to the humanities. According to the Princeton Review, ‘students who major or double-major in Classics have a better success rate getting into medical school than do students who concentrate solely in biology, microbiology, and other branches of science.’ A similar pattern can be found in American Law schools, with Classics students far exceeding their political science, economics and pre-law graduate counterparts in academic studies.

Even if we’re not his biggest fans, we can appreciate still Boris Johnson when he commented ‘I’m hugely grateful to my degree (in Classics). The mere possession has been of no assistance at all – what’s invaluable has been the philosophy.’

A similarly political, and undoubtedly successful, Classics alumnus is Mark Zuckerberg. He studied many ancient history subjects at Harvard, so many that he almost made Classics his major!

And if C.S. Lewis, Chris Martin, Gough Whitlam, Stephen Fry, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Jefferson or Neitzsche can’t convince you, check out some of these fabulous resources we scoured: