The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of some of the modules we offer.
Studying the Greek World
This wide-ranging module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from BC1600-31; the period from the Bronze Age to the point when Greece becomes part of the Roman Empire; no prior knowledge of the Greek world is required. You will also consider other major chapters of Greece’s history from the Mycenean Period and the Dark Ages, to the rise of the polis in the Archaic period. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture as well as 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 ten 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 all 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 also 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-hour lecture each week.
This module will provide you with the learning skills necessary to make the most of your studies in history. You will be introduced to different approaches in the study of history as well as to different understandings of the functions served by engagement with the past. The module aims to encourage more effective learning, bridge the transition from school or college to university, prepare you for more advanced work in the discipline, and enhance the skills listed. You will spend three hours in lectures and seminars each week.
Introduction to the Medieval World, 500-1500
This module provides an introduction to medieval European history in the period 500–1500. It offers a fresh and stimulating approach to the major forces instrumental in the shaping of politics, society and culture in Europe. Through a series of thematically linked lectures and seminars, you will be introduced to key factors determining changes in the European experience over time, as well as important continuities linking the period as a whole. Amongst the topics to be considered are: political structures and organization; social and economic life and cultural developments. You will have a one hour lecture and one hour seminar each week.
From Reformation to Revolution: an introduction to early modern history, 1500-1789
This module introduces you to major issues in the social, political and cultural history of Europe in the early modern period by analysing demographic, religious, social and cultural changes that took place between 1500 and 1789. You will examine the tensions produced by warfare, religious conflict, the changing relationships between rulers, subjects and political elites, trends in socio-economic development and the discovery of the ‘New World’. You will spend two hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Roads to Modernity: an introduction to modern history, 1789-1945
In the first semester, the module provides a chronology of modern history from c.1789–1945 which concentrates principally on key political developments in European and global history such as the French Revolution, the expansion of the European empires and the two World Wars. The second semester will look more broadly at economic, social and cultural issues, such as industrialisation, urbanisation, changing artistic forms and ideological transformations in order to consider the nature of modernity. You will spend two hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Interpreting Ancient History
This module takes you through 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 evidential basis 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 Art
In this module you will explore Greek and Roman art in more detail with the aim of gaining a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, whilst concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous and talked about objects and monuments of Greek and Roman Culture. You will be introduced to temple-sculpture, statues, wall-paintings, buildings and coins from the 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.
The Contemporary World since 1945
The module surveys and analyses some of the main developments in world affairs since the end of the Second World War. This includes major international events, particularly the course and aftermath of the Cold War, as well as national and regional histories, especially in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; the module also looks at key political and social movements. Attention is paid to political, economic and social forces, with students spending five hours per week in lectures and seminars.
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 be expected to write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of worksheet 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. A number of seminars and consultation sessions will be help you approach and develop your source study. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar over a period of ten weeks.
Heroes and Villains in The Middle Ages
The module compares and contrasts key historical, legendary and fictional figures to examine the development of western medieval values and ideologies such as monasticism, chivalry and kingship. It explores how individuals shaped ideal types and how they themselves strove to match medieval archetypes. The binary oppositions between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are explored through study of the ‘bad king’, and the creation of villains such as the Jew. You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
This module addresses evidence for crusader motivation and experience through sources relating to crusading activity in Europe and the Middle East from the late eleventh century to the mid- thirteenth century. It seeks to understand how crusaders saw themselves and their enemies, their experiences and activity on crusade and as settlers, and how this horrifying yet enduringly fascinating process has been interpreted historically. You will have five hours per week in lectures and seminars.
The Venetian Republic, 1450-1575
This module explores the nature of the Venetian Republic in the later fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It examines the constitution, its administrative and judicial system, its imperial and military organisation, but will above all focus on the city and its inhabitants itself. The module will discuss the enormous cultural dynamism of the city (especially the visual arts from the Bellini to Tintoretto and Veronese), changing urban fabric, the role of ritual and ceremony, the position of the Church, and class and gender. You will spend four hours each week in lectures and seminars for this module.
De-Industrialisation: A Social and Cultural History, 1970-1990
This module examines the social and cultural impact of economic change in three traditional industrial regions in the UK, Germany and the US in the 1970s and 1980s. It takes thematic approaches, exploring topics including: overlaps and differences between Contemporary History and the Social Sciences; change and decline in traditional industries such as coal, steel and shipbuilding; political responses to industrial change, with a particular focus on industrial conflict over closures, among others. You will spend four hours per week in lecture and seminars.
Soviet State and Society
This module examines political, social and economic transformations in the Soviet Union from the October Revolution of 1917 to Gorbachev’s attempted reforms and the collapse of the state in 1991. You will look at Russia both from the top down (state-building strategies; leadership and regime change; economic and social policy formulation and implementation) and from the bottom up (societal developments and the changing structures and practices of everyday life). You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Latin Texts: 3
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Modules include: Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius); Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus). Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. The module will not just be about literature: you will also explore the text's relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour lecture each week.
Latin Texts: 4
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. You will also the development of the genre as well as its relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture and a one 1-hour lecture each week.
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 to be 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; philosopher portraits; portraits of Hellenistic rulers;, Hellenistic female portraiture; the emergence of private portraiture; the portraits of the Roman emperors and emperesses; and how to analyse marble portraits by means of 3D technology among others. For this module you will have one 1-hour lecture per week and five 1-hour seminars over the semester.
Classics and Popular Fiction
For this module you will explore the reception of ancient Greek and Roman Culture in modern popular media such as films, novels, museums, architecture, children’s literature and comics with the aim of understanding how these receptions influence the way Greek and Roman culture is approached, used and questioned. Lectures may focus on the following: classical education for the 18th century, the influences of the Classics on the production and content of modern literature, the establishing of museums, and the use and abuse of the Classics in political and philosophical debate. For this module you will have two 2-hour sessions a week, 15 lectures and workshops and five seminars.
Independent Second-Year Arts
In this module you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge of the Classical works in an area that interests you, and to experiment with a method of communicating that knowledge which is different from the usual assessment practices of essay-writing, exam writing and seminar-presentation. There are various options in this module including undertaking research which leads to the construction of a database, acquiring a communication method which could be of use in a future career or experimenting using a different medium of communication eg video, website. The topic and form of the project chosen must be both approved by the module convener. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, computing sessions and workshops.
This module involves the in-depth study of a historical subject from which you will create a 10,000 word dissertation. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor and a weekly one hour lecture to guide you through this task.
In this module you’ll have the unique opportunity to engage in an intensive productive study of a topic in Art History which you have chosen for yourself. This module, built on skills acquired and/or developed in your first and second years, notably, in the Extended Source Study and Studying Classical Scholarship, is entirely dependent on your personal research and will involve a few sessions of formal teaching. Each student is allotted an individual supervisor to guide them through the process, and comment on plans and two 2000-word drafts of the dissertation. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, tutorials, computing sessions and workshops.
Latin Texts 5
This module takes your reading of Latin further, with a study of two major texts, which may be related in various ways (genre, author, subject matter). You might study Lucan Civil War 7 and Seneca Thyestes as literature of the Neronian period, or Horace Odes 3 and Satires 2, or Cicero Pro Milone and Pro Caelio. These modules aim to build up your independent reading skills while continuing to reinforce understanding of Latin grammar and syntax, and broadening out to use expertise in the original Latin to study the ancient world, its history, literature and society. For this module you will have one 1-hour seminar and one 2-hour lecture each week.
Virgil and the Epic Tradition
This module involves a detailed study of Virgil's Latin epic poem, the Aeneid, in English translation, and focuses on its interactions with the epic genre. The Aeneid was always and immediately characterised as a 'great' poem: how does Virgil react against his predecessors to carve out his own literary territory? How is the Aeneid received and re-used by poets and other artists down the ages? Themes will include: career and poetics; Homer and Apollonius; reception in later epic (Roman imperial, Neo-Latin, Milton); politics and identity; games and reality; gender and genre; vision and spectacle. For this module you’ll have aThis module involved two 1-hour lectures every week and one 2-hour seminar every two weeks.
Italy at War, 1935-45
Spending three hours per week in seminars and tutorials, you will be given a framework to understand the experience of Italians (and to a lesser degree their enemies, allies, and collaborators) during the military conflicts in the long decade 1935–45, as well as knowledge of the background factors that shaped these experiences. As source material you will have the chance to explore diplomatic correspondence, personal memoirs, newspapers and magazines, newsreels, as well as examining the representation of the war in literature and cinema.
Kings, Saints and Monsters, 450-850
This module examines cultural and political changes in the southern half of the island of Britain between the fifth and ninth centuries, in particular the development of kingship and kingdoms as a form of political organisation, and the effects of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. You will spend three hours in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
Samurai Revolution: Reinventing Japan, 1853-78
This module surveys the dramatic cultural encounter in the nineteenth century as the world of the samurai was confronted by Western expansion and the Age of Steam. It explores the forces at work in Japan’s rapid transformation from an ‘ancien régime’ under the rule of the Shogun into a ‘modern’ imperial power. Original documents examined in class draw on the growing range of Japanese primary sources available in English translation, together with the extensive works of Victorian diplomats, newspaper correspondents and other foreign residents in the treaty ports. You will have a three hour seminar each week to study for this module.
From Racial State to Reconstruction: women and gender relations in Germany, 1939–45
This module adopts a perspective of women´s and gender history to explore the history of Germany in the period from the beginning of the National Socialist dictatorship up to the division of Germany into two post-war states in 1949. It will examine National Socialist discourses, policies and practices in relation to women and gender relations by drawing on records of public authorities and institutions concerned with educating and training the female population in line with Nazi precepts, mobilizing labour for the Nazi war economy, sustaining home front morale, and combating ‘threats to the race’. You will have a weekly three hour seminar to study for this module.
The Missing Dimension: intelligence and international history in the twentieth century
The history of secret intelligence was once called the ‘missing dimension’ in the study of politics and international relations. Today, it has established itself as a separate field of historical enquiry. This module will examine how the study of secret intelligence has informed and sometimes even altered our understanding of some of the major political and international crises of the twentieth century. You will spend three hours per week in lectures and seminars studying for this module.