Why study Western Civilisation?

A program on “the best that has been thought and known” in Western Civilisation enriches your entire life, not only your career.

At the same time, your close engagement with so many of the great ideas and works of art of our past, will make you a better thinker, writer and speaker – invaluable assets in whatever career or careers you choose. The collaborative exposure to highly complex texts representing the classical world, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Modernity and Postmodernity, will enable you to develop a genuinely critical mindset, applicable in all walks of life, while immersing you in a rich and broad intellectual and artistic heritage.

What will I study?

The undergraduate programs offered by our partner universities take you on a journey from the ancient world through to the modern world, covering works from a range of disciplines, including philosophy, politics, history, literature, religion and art.

In small groups of students, you will read the epic poetry of Homer, the great dialogues of Plato, the plays of Shakespeare, the political philosophy of Hobbes and Rousseau, and go on a quest for justice with writers as diverse as Mary Wollstonecraft and W.E.B. Dubois. You will encounter masterpieces of Western art and architecture from the Parthenon to Picasso, consider the “love that moves the sun and the other stars” with Dante and Galileo, explore the meaning of liberty with Aristotle, Mill and Rawls – and so much more.

Can I study the great books as a Postgraduate Student?

As part of the suite of Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships, the Ramsay Centre offers scholarships to Australians to complete the Master of Arts in the Liberal Arts at St John’s College, Annapolis, the premier great books college in the world. The scholarship also provides opportunities for internships in Washington DC [link]. No background in the humanities is required for entry to this program, though you will need to demonstrate a strong academic record in your previous university study, in whatever field.

The Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships

Are you a high-achieving student interested in advanced graduate study (Masters, PhD) at one of the world’s best universities? The Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships are open annually to Australian citizens to pursue graduate study abroad. The aim of the scholarships is to enable coursework and/or research at the world’s best universities and colleges for up to two years (and in select cases up to three years). Levels of support for tuition and living costs are fully competitive with such prestigious awards as the Rhodes, the John Monash and Fulbright Scholarships.