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Classics is the study of the cultures and languages of Ancient Greece and Rome

Classical wisdom

We specialise in Greek and Roman art, archaeology, history, mythology, and society as well as the study of Greek and Latin language and literature.

Otago's Classics Programme has an outstanding reputation for research and teaching

In 2020 we were ranked the top Classics Programme in New Zealand and one of the top 50 Classics and Ancient History programmes in the world.
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020

The Classics Programme achieved the highest score in each of the 8 teaching categories surveyed* (Student Opinion Survey 2019, Otago University Quality Advancement Unit).

Here is what some of our students have said about our teaching:

"The academic staff within the Classics Programme are outstanding in their enthusiasm towards their subject matter and towards their approach to students and their learning."

“The community for Classics is great. It is easy to feel welcome and comfortable. This makes learning easier.”

“The people make it – the teaching staff of the Classics Programme are absolutely fantastic and one of the core reasons I have kept Classics as my major and why I am so passionate about it.”

* Overall Satisfaction, Good Teaching, Clear Goals and Standards, Learning Community, Appropriate Assessment, Generic Competencies, Organisation and Management, and Student Engagement.

The School of Athens_Raphael (1509-10)


We have a strong research culture, with particular expertise in Alexander the Great, Cicero, Greek religion, Roman religion and politics, and the archaeology of Roman Spain.

Our research

Diogenes_by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1860)

Resources for study

Important information for current students.

For current students

Sappho and Alcaeus_by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1881)_

Graduate profiles

Some of our graduates have gone on to do great things with their Classics degrees.

Graduate profiles