Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies
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Late Antique and Byzantine Studies: courses and modules

The departments of Archaeology and Classics offer a range of modules related to the research interests of the Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (CLABS).

These modules are taught by members of the Centre and affiliated staff from the departments of Archaeology and Classics, and are available from the first year of an undergraduate degree to masters level.

Arch of Constantine and Colosseum, Rome
The Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum, Rome

Undergraduate studies – Department of Classics

BA Ancient History: This course from the Department of Classics examines the political, social, economic and cultural history of ancient Greece and Rome. It does not merely handle facts and events, but what lies behind them and what makes them significant and exciting: progress and decline, labour and leisure, revolution and reconciliation, conquest, exploitation and resistance. No previous knowledge of Greek or Latin is required and, except in designated language modules, all texts are read in translation. The study of either Greek or Latin is optional.

BA Ancient History

BA Classical Civilisation: This course from the Department of Classics examines the literature, culture and society of classical Greece and Rome. You will also be able to study political and social structures, art and visual culture, thought, religion and social life. No prior knowledge of Greek or Latin or classical civilisation is required and, except in designated language courses, all texts are read in translation. The study of either Greek or Latin is optional.

BA Classical Civilisation

Optional modules

Undergraduates on other programmes but interested in CLABS can take the following options:

Q81RSW Studying the Roman World
This first year module provides a wide-ranging interdisciplinary introduction 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. As well as examining all the major chapters of Rome's history, such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome, it also explores synchronous developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and considers aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture.


Q82105 Independent Second Year Project
This second year module is an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge of the Classical world in an area which interests them, 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. Students might undertake research that leads to (for example) the construction of a database, or to the reconstruction of some ancient Greco-Roman or late antique artefact, or might construct a teaching plan, or plan a museum exhibit. They might also choose to experiment with a different medium of communication, eg, video, website in order to complete an approved project.


Q83595 From Julian to the Fall of Rome
The first half of this third year module focuses on the Emperor Julian whose reign (361–3), though short, provoked enormous controversy and so generated a significant literature. There will be close engagement with relevant ancient sources (in translation), especially the historian Ammianus Marcellinus and Julian's own prolific writings, which include letters, speeches and satires. The module also focuses on the period from Julian's death to the capture of Rome by the Goths in 410, including dramatic events such as the Gothic victory at Adrianople, the controversy over the Altar of Victory, Theodosius' ban on pagan sacrifice, and the Gothic capture of Rome. The major themes are, first, in the religious sphere and, second, in the military sphere. Ammianus continues to be important source (until 378), along with Christian authors such as Ambrose, and imperial laws in the Theodosian Code.


Q83DIS Dissertation
This third year module offers what may well prove a unique opportunity: the opportunity to engage in prolonged, intensive and productive study of a topic which students have chosen for themselves; and on which they will be working very much on their own terms with access to advice and subject to criticism and, on completion, assessment. This module is entirely dependent on personal research, although each student is allotted an individual supervisor to guide them through the process.


Undergraduate studies – Department of Archaeology

BA or BSc Archaeology: These courses from the Department of Archaeology aims to introduce you to the discipline of archaeology and to explain how archaeologists use evidence to interpret the past. You will progress from the first-year core modules to a more in-depth, scientific approach in the second and third years and will be required to gain excavation experience in the UK or overseas.

BA Archaeology

BSc Archaeology

BA Historical Archaeology: This course from the Department of Archaeology aims to introduce students introduce students to the discipline of archaeology and to explain how archaeologists use evidence to interpret the past. You will study the whole span of human history, with a focus on the material culture, buildings and historic landscapes of Britain, Europe and the Mediterranean from the empires of the ancient world, through the medieval and post-medieval periods, up to the present day.

BA Historical Archaeology


Optional modules

Undergraduates on other programmes but interested in CLABS can take the following options:

V61132 Introduction to the archaeology of the Roman Empire
This first year module provides an introduction to the archaeology of the Roman Empire. It traces the development of the Roman world and examines the archaeology of the Empire’s provinces, including Britain. Specific themes addressed in the course include towns, villas and the countryside, housing, the army, attitudes to death and burial, religion, trade and the economy, and the end of the Roman Empire.


V61121 Introduction to Medieval Archaeology AD 400–1400
This first year module considers the archaeology of Britain in its European context from the end of the Roman Empire to the high Middle Ages (from c. AD 400–1400). It is structured on a chronological and thematic basis. 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 will explore integrated approaches to archaeological evidence incorporating landscapes, standing buildings, excavated sites and material culture.


V62208 Britain in the Western Roman Empire
This second year module covers the archaeology of Roman Britain from the Roman invasion down to c. AD 400. Since Roman Britain can only be adequately understood in the context of developments taking place in neighbouring provinces, all the main themes will involve comparison with European archaeology. Principal topics will include; the army and frontier defences, cities, rural settlement, villas and the economy.


V62209 Medieval Britain
This second year module considers major themes in the archaeology of medieval Britain from c.AD 800 to 1550, notably urban development, rural settlement, the development of the castle and the spread of monasteries.


V63210 Rome and the Mediterranean
This third year module will examine the archaeological evidence for the Roman period in Italy and the Mediterranean from c. 300 BC to c. AD 550, in the context of the major social, cultural and economic changes of the region in this period and in the context of wider historical and archaeological approaches to the Mediterranean.


V63403 Dissertation in Archaeology
This third year module involves the preparation and production of a dissertation on an approved topic of 12,000–14,000 words. This involves the culmination of the range of reading, learning and graphic or photographic skills acquired during the first two years of the course.


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 legislative changes. This list is an example of typical modules that we offer, not a definitive list.


Postgraduate studies

On-site masters courses

The Department of Classics and the Department of Archaeology have excellent resources and extensive facilities and expertise to support high-calibre postgraduate study. Modules are available to students on a range of MA programmes but are mainly aimed at students on the MA in Ancient History or the MA in Archaeology.

MA Ancient History: This course will introduce students to a range of different approaches to the study of the history of the Greek and Roman worlds, combined with opportunities for specialisation in particular areas such as Late Antiquity. Through their studies, students will broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of ancient history to standards significantly superior to those expected of a final year undergraduate. The course will also prepare you to undertake original independent research in an aspect of ancient history.

MA Ancient History

MA Archaeology: This course offers the flexibility to tailor the content to reflect personal interests and research topic. Our teaching draws on the extensive and world-leading research expertise of staff within The Department of Archaeology. This MA provides students with the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of specific areas of archaeology by following a personalised, individual study pathway, in close collaboration with our staff. Students will further their own intellectual development and enhance independent research skills by completing a substantial archaeological research project.

MA Archaeology


Postgraduate research – PhD or MPhil courses

We have a number of experts in the Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies who are interested to hear from potential research students with a view to supervising their topics.

Midlands3Cites DTP AHRC-funding for UK/EU doctoral students

Fees and funding

Fees and funding information
for Archaeology students

Fees and funding information
for Classics students

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Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies

The University of Nottingham
School of Humanities
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 4484