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BA (Honours) Classical Studies - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

Your studies will:

  • provide you with a detailed understanding of the political, social and cultural history of the classical world 
  • develop your skills of analysis and interpretation of primary evidence, and your awareness of a range of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of that evidence
  • enable you to develop skills in the evaluation, synthesis and communication of information, and a capacity for critical and independent thinking.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the political, social and cultural history of the classical world 
  • the different types of evidence and sources (literary, artistic and archaeological) utilised in the study of the classical world 
  • key critical and theoretical approaches appropriate for the interpretation of the classical world and its surviving evidence 
  • the basic logic, structure and vocabulary of the Latin language, where these have been studied. 

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • analyse a wide range of sources using an appropriate language
  • synthesise a wide range of different primary and secondary evidence and draw appropriate conclusions on the basis of this evidence 
  • evaluate critically information and arguments presented in secondary sources and construct and communicate an independent argument and conclusion 
  • employ knowledge and understanding of the Latin language to translate simple texts into English and to evaluate primary sources in the original language, where these languages have been studied. 

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • evaluate critically different sources of information, extract key points and present findings appropriately 
  • plan and write essays and longer projects, following the conventions of scholarship in this subject area, and acknowledging the work of others 
  • adapt working methods and monitor progress as a consequence of reflecting on the views of others and formal feedback. 

Key skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • communicate complex ideas and arguments clearly and in ways that are appropriate to the subject, purpose and audience
  • use information literacy skills in finding, evaluating and using online data
  • demonstrate competence in the use of appropriate ICT tools
  • work independently, and develop your own learning strategies.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will acquire your knowledge and understanding through a mix of published distance-learning materials, study guides, a range of multimedia material, online tuition, working on primary and secondary sources, and feedback on your assignments. The assessment of your knowledge and understanding will be through a mix of essay questions, short-answer questions and formal examinations. In some instances, particularly at OU level 3, you will also be assessed through extended assignments, allowing you to develop your skills in independent study. The precise nature of this mix will depend on your choice of modules. As you progress through the degree you will find that you are cumulatively increasing your level of knowledge and understanding and you can expect a significant portion of your progress to be assessed at OU level 3.

Cognitive skills are taught cumulatively and in ways that will vary according to which modules you choose to study. They will include the use of written materials, in-text questions, audio, visual and/or interactive material, carefully monitored feedback on assignments, as well as online tutorials and conferencing. The essay is a principal form of assessment, though you may also work on short-answer questions and a range of reflective assignments.

You will be responsible for choosing your own modules through the degree, but support is available: you will have a designated tutor for each module; access to learner support staff who can give you information, advice and guidance on your programme; and you can also refer to a range of online information resources.