MA in Classical Studies - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This taught postgraduate programme will:

  • build upon and develop your existing knowledge of, and interest in, the subject of Classical Studies
  • provide you with advanced academic training for the practice of Classical Studies at postgraduate level
  • provide you with experience of independent research and scholarly presentation in Classical Studies.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of the programme are described in four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this masters degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • research methodologies relating to a range of different areas within the Classical Studies discipline
  • the variety of fields that constitute Classical Studies; the complexity of the source material in the ancient world; how ancient authors used language to rhetorical and artistic ends and were engaged with their own cultural contexts
  • evidence, methodology and interpretation relating to a selection of topics in ancient Greek, Roman and Mediterranean culture and society
  • the way that academic arguments are, and have been, formulated and developed by scholars in classical studies
  • the methodological steps involved in developing a dissertation question and writing a dissertation.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this masters degree, you will be able to:

  • critically analyse sources including ancient texts, inscriptions, and visual and material evidence
  • engage with contemporary issues, interpretations and debates related to classical studies
  • construct an effective academic argument on a range of topics/issues
  • apply skills required to evaluate the significance of multiple forms of data that form the contexts for objects of study
  • evaluate fragmentary, complex and incomplete evidence from ancient sources and integrate these with contemporary interpretations by published scholars
  • recognise the influence of contemporary ideas on the way ancient material is approached and interpreted
  • show originality in the application of knowledge and demonstrate understanding of how established techniques of research are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this masters degree, you will be able to:

  • use feedback to effectively inform and modify your work
  • plan research according to specific guidelines and develop an awareness of the problems and opportunities involved in original research and writing
  • use appropriate scholarly referencing conventions
  • use independent research skills to search across a range of information sources in any medium, including specialised sources such as archives and datasets, to locate material relevant to completing a project
  • use resources such as libraries, ICT and Digital Humanities resources to enhance your learning experience 
  • identify and critically discuss key issues relating to the discipline of Classical Studies and handle primary sources and scholarship with confidence
  • interact with fellow students and tutors in an online environment.

Key skills

When you have completed this masters degree, you will be able to:

  • communicate effectively in writing in an appropriate academic style
  • design a programme of self-directed research and writing with support from a tutor
  • use feedback effectively to modify your programme of work
  • develop skills to locate and retrieve digital and print sources, and enhance digital scholarship skills.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will have the opportunity to acquire all of the above skills which will be taught, developed and assessed concurrently while studying the degree. You will be expected to show an increasingly independent and sophisticated approach as the skills and techniques of advanced study become more familiar, culminating in your dissertation, which will be a substantial and largely independent piece of work.

This qualification will be presented and taught online. Teaching will be coordinated by your tutor, who will advise you, comment on and mark your assignments, generally provide feedback and help you to acquire the skills of advanced independent study. Communication will be via the interactive virtual learning environment, using conferencing software and forums as well as communication technologies.

Learning will be via two modules. The first module comprises teaching blocks which will concentrate on a range of classical studies topics, as well as providing the tools for independent study, suggesting lines of investigation and methods of analysis, and providing bibliographical assistance. The second module begins with a teaching block to guide you through preparing your dissertation, then provides you with time and support to write the dissertation. Your acquisition of the appropriate skills and knowledge will be tested regularly in the assessments.

You will regularly be required to submit work (tutor-marked assignments) in the form of essays and other tasks. For the subject module you will write three assignments and submit an end-of-module assessment. The second module consists of three assignments that help you to prepare for the dissertation and the dissertation itself (12,000 words).

The assessment exercises are carefully designed to reflect the learning curve of the qualification, taken as a whole.

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