What can I do with a degree in Classics?

Frieze from the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi

The brilliantly creative eras of Greek and Roman culture from c 800 BC – AD 400, and the periods of growth and decline which flank them, laid the foundations of Western society. The cultural legacy of these cultures are far-reaching, especially in architecture, administration and law-making, literature and art. We study the creations in drama and poetry, and philosophy of writers like Homer, Aeschylus, Virgil and Plato; we examine the achievements in the world of politics, warfare and government of leaders like Alexander, Julius Caesar and the Roman emperors.

The successful study of Classics cultivates desirable skills employers want such as:

  • Advanced communication skills, both written and oral
  • Critical and rigorous thinking
  • Interpretation, analysis and evaluation of evidence
  • Constructing arguments
  • Reasoning and problem solving
  • Interpretation and analysis
  • Research and computing skills
  • Understanding of factors that shape societies
  • A well-formed awareness of others’ viewpoints and cultural identity.

Internships

Classics students can apply their learning outside the classroom through an internship, for example interning at the James Logie Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman artworks in the Arts Centre. Work on the material here can enhance research and practical skills of relevance to employment in museums, or as a curator, conservator, heritage or arts manager.

Classics graduates enjoy a wide variety of career destinations for example in media, policy and research, culture and heritage, teaching, community development and business. Recent UC graduates have been employed in:

  • Media and publishing groups
  • Secondary schools
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Membership organisations
  • New Zealand government ministries
  • Museums and galleries
  • New Zealand Police
  • New Zealand Defence Force
  • Tertiary institutions
  • Legal services
  • Churches and religious groups
  • Charities
  • Advertising and creative agencies
  • Telecommunications
  • Retail
  • Operations and construction sectors.

Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs — see some examples below.

Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Policy analyst / advisor

  • Identifies and investigates issues and opportunities eg, in society, law or governance
  • Interprets existing policies and briefs leaders
  • Prepares reports and recommends changes

Librarian

  • Categorises and catalogues library materials
  • Selects materials for library use
  • Helps customers find and use materials

Secondary school teacher

  • Plans and delivers instructional lessons
  • Evaluates performance and provides feedback
  • Sets and marks assignments and tests

Curator

  • Chooses display items at museums or galleries
  • Manages collections and exhibitions
  • Conducts research and communicates details

Historian

  • Analyses sources to uncover the history of a period, place, person, group or aspect
  • Publishes findings and shares knowledge
  • Maintains historical records

Human resources / recruitment advisor

  • Understands a business’s personnel needs
  • Advertises vacancies and recruits staff
  • Advises on workplace policies and procedures

Archaeologist

  • Preserves archaeological sites
  • Carries out excavations
  • Helps restore monuments and sites

Conservator

  • Examines artefacts and their storage conditions
  • Keeps records and identifies restoration work
  • Cleans and repairs sensitive objects and recreates historically accurate finishes

Editorial assistant

  • Proofreads material and coordinates changes
  • Adds elements in production eg, graphics
  • Answers publication queries

Intelligence officer

  • Investigates whether people, places and events pose a threat to security
  • Advises how to manage threats
  • Cooperates with other agencies

Communications / media advisor, journalist

  • Develops information, media and communication strategies
  • Researches, writes, edits and produces content

Entrepreneur and CEO

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Gets involved in a start-up Entrepreneurship and innovation are an increasing part of the working landscape.

Get started with Entrepreneurship here

As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with others in the same community.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep up-to-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

Learn from our students' experiences

For more information

see the Classics subject page