Understanding the Past – Introduction to Archaeology
This module will provide you with an introduction to Archaeology as a discipline. It covers the development of the subject and examines methods for discovering, recovering and analysing archaeological remains. Archaeological prospection/survey, excavation, post-survey/excavation analysis, approaches to dating, materials analysis and an introduction to frameworks of social interpretation are all themes addressed within the module, which also introduces some of the key practical skills for archaeology. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, seminars, practical classes, and computer workshops on average taking up about two hours per week across a full year.
Forests to Farmers: Prehistoric Archaeology of Britain
This module provides an overview of the archaeology of the British Isles from the earliest traces of human activity until the Roman invasion of Britain. It will introduce students to key concepts in prehistoric archaeology through study of the major archaeological finds and sites of the period from henges to the hillforts of Wessex. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures and seminars, on average taking up about 4 hours per week across the autumn semester.
Rome to Revolution: Historical Archaeology of Britain
This module provides students with an overview of the archaeology of the British Isles from the Roman invasion until the industrial revolution. Using key sites and discoveries, students will be introduced to the challenges of understanding the archaeology of periods partially documented in textual sources. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures and seminars, on average taking up about 4 hours per week across the spring semester.
Studying the Greek World
This wide-ranging module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from 1600BC-31BC, from the Bronze Age to a point when Greece had become part of the Roman Empire; no prior knowledge of the Greek world is required. You will consider major chapters of Greece’s history, such as the Mycenean Period, the Dark Ages, and the rise of the city-state in the Archaic period. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week over the course of 10 weeks.
Studying the Roman World
This module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. You will examine many important aspects of Rome’s history such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome. At the same time you will explore developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. In addition, you will examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world which complements the Autumn semester module ‘Studying the Greek World'. For this module you will have one 2-hourlecture each week.
Interpreting Ancient History
This module considers some of the important historical issues from major periods of Greek and Roman history with an emphasis on the methodological questions raised from ancient source materials and modern debates on those issues. On completion of this module you will have a more detailed knowledge of these important historical issues and clearly understand the kinds of evidence on which ancient historians rely, as well as an appreciation of how contemporary preoccupations can influence the perspectives of modern practitioners of the discipline and generate debate between them.
Interpreting Ancient Literature
Ancient literature from Homer to late antiquity is studied in this module by focusing on a representative theme. Recent themes have been 'Performance and Persuasion' and 'Love and War'. Issues treated have included: the relationship of literature and society, oral culture, performance, genre, gender, religion and literature and analysis of style. For this module you will have eight 1-hour seminars over the year and two 1-hour lectures each week.
Interpreting Ancient Art
In this module you will explore Greek and Roman art with the aim of gaining a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, by concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous objects and monuments of Greek and Roman Culture. You will be introduced to temple-sculpture, statues, wall-paintings, buildings and coins from 6th Century BC Greek sculptures to the 4th Century AD arch of Constantine in Rome. Material for this module is organised by theme and media rather than in chronological order, starting with topography, sculpture and vase painting. For this module you will have two 1-hour lectures each week and five 2-hour seminars over the course of your first year.
Archaeological Research: Theory and Practice
This module is aimed at helping students to develop more advanced research skills and to discover the methods that are used in major archaeological research projects. In particular students will be introduced to the research methods that they will put into practice in their third year dissertation or independent project. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures and seminars, on average taking up about 2 hours per week across the year.
Extended Source Study
This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for your third year dissertation. You will write a 5,000-word essay chosen from a range of topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how to approach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary effects, relationships with other material, discussion of context or reception. For this module you will have a mixture of lectures and four 2-hour seminars over a period of 10 weeks.
The Archaeology of the Roman Empire
This module provides an overview of the archaeology of the Roman Empire, developing themes encountered in the first year Rome to Revolution module. It traces the development of the Roman world and examines the archaeology of the Empire’s provinces. Specific themes in this course include town, villas and the countryside, and housing the army among other related topics. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars, on average taking up about 2 hours per week across the year.
The Medieval World
This module considers the archaeology of Europe and the Mediterranean from the end of the Roman Empire to the high Middle Ages (from c. AD 400–1400). Key topics include: the formation of post-Roman societies; rural settlement; the emergence of central places and the development of towns; trade and exchange; and the introduction of Christianity and the role of the Church. The lectures and seminars, totalling around 2 hours per week, will explore integrated approaches to archaeological evidence incorporating landscapes, standing buildings, excavated sites and material culture.
This module examines the background to the rise of the 'classical' urban civilisations of Mediterranean Europe, concentrating on Greece and Italy. It takes a long chronological perspective, with emphasis on the Bronze Age in the Aegean (Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece) and Italy and the development of Iron Age societies in Greece and Italy (including the Etruscans), and what we can learn about them through archaeology. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars, on average taking up about 2 hours per week .
This module will provide you with a broad introduction to current methods & practice of Underwater Archaeology. The module focuses on themes such as lake dwellings, shipwrecks, submerged cities & sunken harbours. Case studies are used ranging in space from Scandinavia to Australia and in time from 1500 BC to the last century. Among the issues tackled will be: methods and techniques of underwater excavation; post-excavation processing of underwater material; problems of conservation and wet finds processing; shipwrecks from 1200 BC: the ship as a symbol; sunken harbours, cities and processes of submergence; lake dwelling & freshwater archaeology; cultural resource management vs. treasure hunting.
Making of the Modern World
This module considers archaeological approaches to the creation of the modern world, through the study of British and European societies and their impact around the globe from the end of the medieval period to the present day (from c. AD 1400 – 2000). Students will study key themes including the development of early European colonial empires and the maritime world system, the archaeology of plantations and slavery, the growth of consumption, industrialisation and urbanisation, and archaeological approaches to our contemporary world, and how archaeological evidence provides new insights into the lives of those who are normally ‘hidden from history’.
Studying Classical Scholarship
This module focuses on the history and development of the scholarship on ancient Greece and Rome and on specific theories, approaches and methods used by modern scholarship. The aim is to sharpen your engagement with and understanding of scholarship, and to give a deeper appreciation of the ways the ancient world has been appropriated. Studying the history of scholarship in its socio-political context will show you how the questions we ask depend on the situations we live in; it will also allow you to judge the merits and limitations of scholarly approaches and will develop your skills of research and analysis, as preparation for your 3rd-year dissertation. You will have a combination of lectures and four two-hour seminars. As with the Extended Source Study, you will choose a work-sheet relating to an area of the ancient world which particularly interests you; the module is assessed by an oral presentation and a 4500-word essay.
Classics and Popular Culture
This module explores the reception of ancient Greek and Roman culture in modern popular media such as films, theatre, novels, museums, architecture, children's literature and comics, and sets out to reach an understanding of how these receptions influence the way Greek and Roman culture is approached, used, and questioned. Lectures may focus on any of the following: classical education from the 19th century to the present, the influences of the Classics on the production and content of modern literature, the establishment of museums, use and abuse of the Classics in political and philosophical debate, their role on the theatre stage as well as in film and other visual media (television, computer, games, comics, pop music). Lectures are interspersed with weekly events based around a film, documentary, guest speaker or theatrical performances, and seminars to allow focussed group discussion of those events. For this module you will have two 2-hour sessions a week, comprising 15 lectures and workshops and five seminars.
What can a face tell us? This module explores Greek and Roman portrait sculptures, how and why they were made, where they stood, and what they stood for. Topics covered include: the features necessary to call a depiction of a face a portrait; the relationship of face and body in the
shaping of a portrait; the emergence of the portrait in Greek art, portraits of Greek generals and statemen, Hellenistic female portraiture, and how to analyse marble portraits by means of 3D technology. For this module you will have one 1-hour lecture per week and five 1-hour seminars over the semester.
The emperor Constantine (306-337) had a significant impact on the Roman Empire and on European history in the longer term, above all through his support for Christianity, but also through his foundation of the city of Constantinople. This module aims to place his reign in its wider context - the turmoil experienced by the Roman Empire during the third century, the recovery of stability under Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, the emergence of the Christian church as a significant feature of the empire's religious landscape, and the new military challenges which the empire faced in the form of Persia and northern barbarian groups – and to assess Constantine’s policies on a range of fronts: religious, military and social. This semester-long 10-credit module involves one 1-hour lecture each week and a fortnightly 1-hour seminar, and is assessed by an exam.
Dissertation in Archaeology
This module involves the preparation and production of an approved topic of 12,000 words, not including edited material. This will involve the culmination of the range of reading, learning and graphic and photographic skills acquired during the first two years of the course. The final dissertation must be in accordance with the regulations. For this module you will have a one 1-hour tutorial and a one 1-hour and a half seminar to study for the module.
Independent Research Project
Students not undertaking a dissertation in archaeology will carry out an independent research project (6,000 words) in the autumn or spring semester, using skills they have acquired in earlier modules to research a subject of their choice under the guidance of an appropriate supervisor. For this module you will meet with you supervisor in individual tutorials.
Dissertation in Classics
In this module you will be able to carry out an in-depth investigation of a chosen area, to be agreed with your supervisor in advance. You will use the skills that your degree has equipped you with thus far to plan, research and complete a 10,000-word essay. There will be a mix of contact to achieve this including one-to-one tutorials with a supervisor, workshops and lectures.
The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
This module will consider the archaeology of England from the end of the Roman occupation until the Norman conquest. You will focus on the question of the Romano-British survival and the impact of Romano-British culture on the Anglo-Saxon incomers, on the archaeology of the early state in England, on the development of town and rural settlement patterns, on the role of the church in society and on the Danish impact on England. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, seminars and field trips over the course of 11 weeks.
The Archaeology of the Medieval City
The aim of this module is to provide you with a broad knowledge of the archaeological evidence for the development of cities and urban life in the later medieval period AD 1000-1500, with a focus on English towns and cities in their wider Europe context. The module will explore the integration of varied sources of archaeological evidence including urban landscapes, buildings and material culture, and particular emphasis placed on interdisciplinary approaches to urban economic and social life. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and a field trip over the period of 11 weeks.
Rome and the Mediterranean
In this module you will examine the archaeological evidence for the Roman period in Italy and the Mediterranean from c. 300 BC to c. AD 550. The major social, cultural and economic changes of the region in this period will be discussed as well as in the context of wider historical and archaeological approaches to the Mediterranean. You’ll have an hour of lectures and an hour-long seminar for this module.
The Archaeology of Mycenaean Greece
This module will introduce you to the archaeology of the Mycenaean world and will give you familiarity with the achievements and the material culture of one of the greatest European Bronze Age civilizations of the second millennium BC, by discussing the historical, social, cultural and economic context of the period. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and workshops, on average taking up about 2 hours per week.
In this module you will learn about the prehistory of Italy from the earliest Palaeolithic settlement down to the Final Bronze Age, the premise for the complex societies of the First Millennium. Topics will include: The first farmers, early metallurgy, Lake dwelling and Terramare, The Apennine culture and the pastoral model, and the Mycenaean connection. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture and a one 1-hour seminar each week.
The Archaeology of the Silk Road
This is a discipline-bridging module taught by lecturers from across the University campus, exploring a range of archaeological, historical, geographical, biological and scientific themes for the study of the great international trade route, the Silk Road. Students will study the Byzantine and medieval Islamic Silk Roads, Renaissance Venetian luxury trade and exchange, Central Asian history and trade, 19th century perceptions of the Silk Road, scientific techniques and trade and exchange along the Silk Road and genetic studies of the movement of peoples along the Silk Road (Scandinavia, the Middle East and central Asia).
The module will cover the full range of submerged archaeological sites from entire prehistoric landscapes through sunken cities to individual sunken settlements. As well as considering what these sites add to the archaeological record, the module will consider the processes of submergence, bringing in new evidence for the complexity of tectonic changes and human adaptations to sea-level change. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and workshops , on average taking up about 2 hours per week.
This module is about the human-animal relationships that are fundamental to all societies, through its shaping of diets, economies, landscapers and beliefs, and cultural ideologies. The study of the human-animal interaction can provide detailed insight into the structure and worldview of past societies. During the course you will investigate a wide range of issues including: the hunter gatherer/ farming transition, the impact of the Roman Empire, the creation and meaning of ancient landscapes, expressions of social status, ethnicity, and gender. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops for one semester.
Commensal Politics: Food, Plants and Social Change
This module will provide an alternative approach to understanding society and its changes through time, linking the past to current issues of food security, sustainability, trade and social in/stability. It will explore the social role of food and plants, tackling issues such as the development of tastes, identity, social status, ethnicity, health and medicine, perceptions of nature and commensality, the creation of ‘foodscapes’ and the investigation of diet and plants that cross boundaries in space and time. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars, on average taking up about 2 hours per week.
Topics in Human Evolution
This module will discuss the latest research in Human Evolution. Based on a seminar format students will choose the topics to be covered during the module, from a shortlist of 12, plus any ideas of their own. Once the topics will be decided students sign up to present (on a first-come first-served basis) and there is a short lecture on each topic to give everyone an overview. Students will then present the paper to the group and the presentations are followed by a group discussion. Topics covered will vary according to the interests of the group and in 2015-16 they included Bipedalism, brain size, Homo floresiensis (AKA the Hobbit), landscape use, hunting vs. scavenging, and responses to death and danger.
This module will introduce you in the professional analysis of archaeological plant, animal and human remains. It will be taught entirely through practical sessions, with students learning 'on the job'. Under close supervision, students will work in small groups to carry out laboratory assessments of archaeological assemblages, to the standard expected by the commercial sector. The skills and experience gained through this module will facilitate a transfer into professional archaeology. The module will be taught through three compulsory Saturday schools – attendance at all three schools is required for students to gain a pass mark.
The Roman Empire in the East
The history and culture of the eastern Mediterranean world during the Roman Empire forms the subject of this course. You will explore the events of the period, the 'mechanics' of Roman imperialism (conquest, organisation, administration), and the social, economic, religious, and cultural interaction between the Romans and eastern indigenous peoples. You’ll come to grips with the nature and problems of a variety of sources - literary texts, epigraphic material, archaeological data, and visual evidence - and will consider the extent to which the surviving picture of the eastern empire and its neighbours was constructed by Rome or by the eastern peoples themselves. Modern theoretical approaches, such as those on cultural identity and imperialism, will be used and scrutinised. For this module you will have two 1-hour lectures per week and a 2-hour seminar fortnightly.
Sparta dominates much of archaic and classical Greek history, and has figured prominently in the thought and imagination of other Western societies from antiquity to the present. This module will study the historical development of Sparta (in both domestic and external affairs) from the seventh to fourth centuries B.C. It will engage with the central issues that arise in historical study of Sparta: the problematic nature of our evidence; the Spartan social, political and military system; her subordinate populations; relations between Spartans and others both at home and abroad; and the forces behind Sparta's rise and fall as a great power. For this 20-credit module you will have two 1-hour lectures per week and a 2-hour seminar fortnightly across a ten-week semester; assessment is by a combination of coursework essay and exam.
Jason and the Argonauts
A cross-medium, cross-genre, cross-cultural perspective on one important myth: Jason and Medea, the quest for the golden fleece, the journey of the first ship, Greek civilisation meets Colchian barbarism. The myth that pre-dates Homer brings together the famous fathers of Homeric heroes (Peleus, Telamon), in a gathering of the marvellous, the semi-divine and the ultra-heroic, a quest that replaces war with love. For this module the central text will be the Argonautica of Apollonius but a wide range of texts, images and films, Greek, Roman and beyond will be part of the module. Themes include: the Greeks and the other; civilisation and colonisation; Jason and Medea; gender and sexuality; the nature of heroism; monsters, marvels and magic. For this 20-credit semester-long module, you will have two 1-hour lectures each week and one 2-hour seminar each fortnight.
This module considers the genre of literature known as Imperial Biography: that is, biographies written about the Roman Emperors. In particular, it will focus on Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars and the anonymous text known as the Historia Augusta. The module will not only look at the limitations of the genre as a whole in relation to its structure and sources, but it will also look at major themes within the lives and key case studies of specific examples - ranging from physiognomics and appearance, to gender and sexuality, omens and portents, religion and philosophy, administration and empire-building, birth and death scenes and so on - all in relation to specific emperors such as Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Domitian, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus and Elagabalus. This semester-long 10-credit module has one 1-hour lecture per week and one 1-hour seminar every two weeks, and is assessed by an exam.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.