Ancient Greek*


Certificate in Languages
Diploma in Languages

Ancient Greek


Study of the Ancient Greek language uncovers the origins of many words and ideas in our modern English language, such as within democracy, theatre, rhetoric and psychology, and offers insights to contemporary concepts and global issues.

Knowledge of the language offers a richer understanding of Ancient Greece and its history of western politics, architecture, literature and philosophy that have had such a huge influence on the world today.

Students will also find studying this subject especially useful for postgraduate studies in Classics.

Why study Ancient Greek at UC?

  • UC’s Classics language courses enhances understanding of all aspects of these ancient societies, ranging from literature to politics, daily life to philosophy.
  • Students read major texts of Greek epic poetry, drama, philosophy and more under the guidance of staff actively researching in these fields.
  • Students have access to the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities which contains artefacts of direct relevance the literary world of the Greeks.
  • Internationally regarded Classics staff include recipients of prestigious visiting fellowships to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, UC Teaching Awards, and internal and external research awards such as a major Marsden grant for the ground-breaking study of Greek drama. Classics staff and students regularly present at conferences all over the world.
  • The Classical Association of Christchurch, which is run by the UC Classics Department, hosts guest speakers from all over the world at public lectures and events.
  • The active study club Classoc offers peer language support for beginners and a variety of social and academic events.

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

No previous knowledge of Ancient Greek language is required for the introductory language courses, however classical studies at high school is excellent preparation.

Students with previous experience of studying Greek may be able to proceed directly to 200-level courses.


100-level courses

First year offers two beginner’s courses in Ancient Greek language across two semesters, including reading Greek and grammar:

200-level and beyond

Students will have the opportunity to study some of the greatest literary works of the western world in their original language, such as Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato and Thucydides. Students can develop their own particular interests based on these and other authors and can embark on research projects under the guidance of UC staff.

Career opportunities

Graduates of Ancient Greek will find themselves fundamental to a variety of professions needing in-depth knowledge of the ancient culture, such as in museums, academia and school teaching, art and language conservation, publishing, and in many modern industries such as government policy, law, and library science.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

More information

School of Humanities and Creative Arts

Phone +64 3 369 3377

Arts Centre, 3 Hereford St 
Christchurch 8013

Postal address
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata 
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800 
Christchurch 8140 
New Zealand