Classics (Q800): Selected Module Descriptions Year 1

First Year 

Compulsory modules 

Group Research (Classical) (10)

In this module students work together in teams to define and then research a topic of their choice from the Classical World or Classical reception. Students produce an illustrated report and a 10 minute presentation as a team, supervised and guided by a member of staff.

Introduction to Greek and Roman History (20)

The module provides an introduction to key aspects of Greek and Roman Classical Antiquity. Students will look at a representative sample of primary materials. Semester 1 introduces key themes in Classical Greece, including for instance democracy, the role of women, Greek education. Semester 2 introduces key themes in ancient Rome including: the rise of empire, the relationship between Greece and Rome, changes in Roman society, the destruction of the Republic and the creation of the Imperial system. Semester 1 and 2 may be reversed depending on staff availability.

Introduction to Greek Literature (10)

The module provides an introduction to key aspects of Greek and Roman Classical Antiquity. Students will look at a representative sample of primary materials. Semester 1 introduces key themes in Classical Greece, including for instance democracy, the role of women, Greek education. Semester 2 introduces key themes in ancient Rome including: the rise of empire, the relationship between Greece and Rome, changes in Roman society, the destruction of the Republic and the creation of the Imperial system. Semester 1 and 2 may be reversed depending on staff availability.

Introduction to Roman Literature (10)

The module provides an introduction to key aspects of Roman Literature. Students will be introduced to key Roman texts and authors, including the Aeneid, speeches by Cicero, and some Roman elegy and satire.

Latin Books and Language (20)

In this module students consolidate linguistic skills gained at A-level or equivalent. Students work on selected set texts, and practise unseen translation. Students also learn to use scholarly commentaries and practise their dictionary skills. Matters of literary and cultural context arising from the texts are discussed.

Project A (10)

 A series of in-depth studies of key types of evidence (e.g. texts or other historical sources, archaeological sites and material culture) associated with problems of source analysis and interrogation. These will familiarise students with the centrality within the discipline of primary evidence and the existence of multiple ways of looking at that evidence. Each student will be allocated to a small group led by a member of staff (also his/her personal tutor) who will offer a set of topics drawn from his/her speciality appropriate to the degree programme.

Those without prior Greek will take the following:

Beginners Greek 1 and 2 (20 + 20)

This module gives students an intensive introduction to the ancient Greek language, focusing on classical Attic prose. Classes introduce the basic concepts required to understand and learn an inflected language, cover the essential elements of accidence and syntax, and focus on a core vocabulary of common words. At the same time, they progressively introduce students to examples of real Greek usage drawn from literary texts and historical sources , and nurture an awareness of differences of register, tone and style. Class exercises provide practice in both passive and active use of the students’ developing knowledge of Greek. Students will then build on this foundation to gain a knowledge of all common noun and verb forms, along with a wider vocabulary. 

or those with A Level or equivalent will take the following module plus an optional module(s) worth 20 credits:

Greek Books and Language (20)

In this module students consolidate linguistic skills gained at A-level or equivalent. Students work on selected set texts, and practise unseen translation. Students also learn to use scholarly commentaries and practise their dictionary skills. Matters of literary and cultural context arising from the texts are discussed.

Example optional modules may include:

Byzantium and the Transformation of the Roman World (10)

A survey of the history of the East Mediterranean from ca 300 to ca 850 tracing the transformation of the Roman world, the emergence of the (Christian) Byzantine Empire, and the rise of Islam. Lectures focus on the lands, peoples, cultures (including material and visual cultures), beliefs and socio-political history of the Late Antique, Byzantine and, to a lesser extent, Islamic worlds. Critical reading of the secondary literature is encouraged in class discussion.

Early Civilisations: Egypt (10 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt from the introduction of writing and the first unification of the country to the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period. Within the framework of a chronological outline, and incorporating a survey of Egyptian thought, it presents an overview of ancient Egypt’s rich artistic and architectural achievement. The distinctive features of each period will be identified and discussed, with a strong emphasis on visual appreciation and understanding of material culture. The course provides the necessary background for those pursuing Egyptian studies in their second year, and a general awareness of this fascinating civilisation for others. 

Early Civilisations of Western Asia (10)

An overview over the prehistoric cultures of Western Asia sets the scene. In the historic period covered (c3000-300 BC) the principal civilisations taught are the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Elamite, Hittite and Syrian Neo-Hittite (Luwian). Particular attention is given for each of these cultures, as appropriate, to social history, technological advances, architectural, artistic and literary achievements.

Greek Art and Archaeology (10)

This module focuses on the art and archaeology of the Greek world between the Bronze Age and Hellenistic period. It has a broadly diachronic approach intended to provide students with a chronological framework within which specific themes and bodies of evidence will be examined, together with relevant theoretical and methodological approaches appropriate to the study of Mediterranean cultures. 

Roman Art and Archaeology (10)

This module focuses on the art and archaeology of the Roman world. It has a broadly diachronic approach intended to provide students with a chronological framework within which specific themes and bodies of evidence will be examined, together with relevant theoretical and methodological approaches appropriate to the study of Mediterranean cultures, with particular emphasis on Rome itself but also incorporating case studies drawn from other areas of the Roman Empire (which may include Roman Britain).

Widening Horizons Module (20)

A Widening Horizon Module is a module that can be taken alongside your main degree programme, allowing you to explore a different discipline during your undergraduate studies. There were 27 different modules to choose from for 2016/17, and a range of languages modules, offered by Languages for All.