Department of Classics and Archaeology

Innovative teaching and learning

In addition to the traditional assessment activities, such as essays, exams and presentations, we have developed practical modules where students engage with real-world scenarios, and are assessed on the production of a wide range of media such as posters, websites and mobile apps, education packs, performance plans and storyboards.

Our students can make use of the excellent resources available in the Digital Transformations Hub for working with digital and graphic material.

Some of our students have presented their work at conferences, or have contributed to publications through their independent research.

Food Archaeology students

Example modules


Independent Second Year Project

In this module you select not only the aspect of antiquity to research, but also the form in which you present your work. It helps you to research the ancient world and, in particular, to be innovative in the ways you can communicate with different audiences.

Teaching includes lectures and special presentations on different possible project-types, as well as seminars based on discussion of individual projects. Products can be diverse and creative, from teaching materials to exhibition plans and from creative writing, to models of ancient artefacts or buildings. Our external examiners have highly commended the creative and skills-led modes of engagement encouraged by this module.

Blogs about the ISYP 

Classics and popular culture

This module explores the reception of ancient Greek and Roman culture in a wide variety of modern popular media, including films, theatre, novels, museums, architecture, art, children's literature, and comics. Students are asked to think about how the academic and non-academic worlds interact with and influence one another - why is the Classical world still so interesting to us, and how are Greek and Roman culture approached, used, and questioned in the contemporary world? The lectures in this module include film-screenings and group-discussion.


Studying Classical Scholarship

This module develops your understanding of scholarship about classical antiquity, helping you approach your reading in a historically informed, engaged and critical way.

With initial guidance from lectures, students choose from a range of landmark works of classical scholarship on a variety of topics (literary, historical, archaeological) and analyse it during seminars based on student presentations and through the production of written coursework.



Archaeological Research: Theory and Practice

The excitement of discovery and research is the foundation of everything we do as archaeologists. This module is aimed at helping you to develop more advanced research skills and to discover how we interpret archaeological evidence from multiple different perspectives.

Here we explore how changes in the wider social and theoretical landscape have changed archaeological understanding through time. You will be introduced to the concepts and methods that you will put into practice in your third year dissertation or independent project, and learn how to develop a research proposal. The teaching is delivered in a mix of lectures, class workshops and research skills sessions.


Archaeology and Society: Heritage and Professional Skills

This module embeds professional practice and employability at the heart of the Archaeology undergraduate curriculum. Students learn how to work on real-world archaeology and heritage projects, following standard professional practice. Students develop key skills in project planning, teamwork and visual and oral communication by working in groups to create an innovative heritage project on a local site or topic.

Successful projects have ranged from paper-based educational packs to websites and mobile apps. Students are assessed as a team as well as by their individual contributions to the final project which is presented to academic staff and external assessors. 


Hands-on teaching and learning in Archaeology modules

There are opportunities for hands on practical experience in lots of our archaeology modules.

Throughout our modules, students will be able to:

  • take part in practical mapping sessions
  • learn to read historical landscape, topographic and earthwork surveys 
  • record historic buildings
  • take part in various field trips to local sites
  • gain experience in object handling 
  • take part in practical laboratory classes
  • reproduce ancient materials, such as glass beads, natural dyes and perfumed oils

Example Second Year projects 

Making a mosaic 

ISYP TristanTristan Goodfellow created a mosaic of the Chimera, along with a book demonstrating his research into
six beasts from classical mythology, and documenting how he went about making the mosaic. 

The key skills I developed were around organising research, writing a portfolio, sharing ideas to a seminar group, and testing them on a focus group.


Tristan Goodfellow, BA Classical Civilisation

Museum panel

isyp joshJosh Ward-Penny created a model museum panel to teach all ages about the wonders of Roman aqueducts.

Initially I was worried that I would learn less from ISYP than from a lecture-based module, but I ended up learning more since I got really invested in my research.

I also learned about myself – that I can think creatively about how to make detailed research entertaining and accessible, and build something in a fairly short timeframe. And I got more confidence about planning a research project for my dissertation, and about approaching professionals in the museums industry for advice.


Josh Ward-Penny


Lesson in Roman pot building 

isyp frankieFrankie Meehan created a practical lesson on Roman pottery for Year 4. This involved a lesson plan, introductory presentation, and step-by-step instruction sheets on how to make a pot.

Children’s book about Greek tyrants 

isyp paulPaul Ononye developed graphic design, analytical and research skills through producing a book for younger readers.

Latin vocabulary game 

isyp emmaEmma Desmond produced a multi-level game to help students learn Latin. It was successfully tested in a school and Emma is looking to develop it commercially.



Department of Classics and Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details