Certificate in Languages
Diploma in Languages



Latin is one of the oldest languages in the western world, and many modern European languages such as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and English share their origins with this ancient language. An understanding of Latin thus greatly improves one’s command of spelling and grammar of English as well as of these other European languages.

Studying Latin investigates social and political concepts as well as the society and culture of Ancient Rome, whose political and legal institutions have profoundly influenced the modern world today.

With Latin still widely used in modern terminology, students intending on medicine, linguistics, science or law careers will benefit from knowledge of the Latin language.

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

Why study Latin 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 Latin epic poetry, history, oratory 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 - including inscriptions - of direct relevance the literary world of the Romans.
  • 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 ancient 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 Latin language is required for the introductory language courses, however classical studies at high school is excellent preparation.

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


100-level courses

There are two beginner’s courses in Latin for first year, including reading Latin and grammar:

Students may also study these courses by Distance.

200-level and beyond

Advanced Latin courses gives students the ability to examine literary works and original documents from Ancient Rome in their original language, such as Roman satire, poetry and drama, from writers such as Cicero, Pliny the Younger, Vergil, Horace and Petronius.

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 will have advanced knowledge of language origins and use in industries such government, policies, law, medicine and a variety of science fields. Occupations concerned with the study of the Ancient Mediterranean, such as academia and school teaching, publishing, museums and archaeology will also benefit from graduates of Latin.

UC graduates will also find their studies in Latin a good background for further studies in European languages.

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