Philippa Sitters

Philippa Sitters

BA Classical Civilisation (2010)

Summary: Philippa tells us about why she chose Classics, and the importance of going to the Library!


I grew up in Devon, far from anywhere, and have always had really varied interests. My parents are scientists, ornithologists, so I've been lucky enough to travel around the world following the birds they studied. However, being quite a creative person meant I didn't want to follow in their footsteps.

I originally wanted to study French and Photography but nowhere combined the two so instead I decided to do the other of my three A Levels, Classics, something I really enjoyed because it covered such a wide variety of subjects from art to politics and literature.

The course

My course involved some fascinating modules which kept me motivated but there was a huge amount of independent study and only one occasion on which I was asked to work with someone else. I wasn't expecting this, but it has certainly helped me feel more confident in my own work.

Other than a couple of the tragedy modules which were quite indulgent, I probably most enjoyed the opportunity to form my own dissertation topic on the very first travel writers. In terms of my favourite lecturer - Dr Stafford has to have given us some of the most amusing lectures but Dr Brock was a fountain of knowledge when it came to my dissertation and really helped me.

To anyone thinking of applying to this course I would say that this will provide you with an extremely respected degree, but you really do have to love Classics if you need to be driven to complete it, since it is three years studying the same period of history!


The libraries have always provided what I was looking for, no matter how obscure, and the internet has never failed me. We were given access to JSTOR, a database of academic articles which were just as valuable as any book and really helped speed up the essay writing process.

In general the university has more than it needs to offer. The Union is second to none and I've tried my hardest to make proper use of the gyms on site which were so cheap it was unbelievable.

Now I've graduated

Now I have graduated I'm looking to begin a Publishing MA in September having spent the year working part time and completing work experience in publishing houses.

I would advise future students "Go to the library!" I didn't go until the end of first year. I have no idea why but I find that life is so much easier when you have piles of books to reference.