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CL7001: Research in Classics: Approaches and Methods

Weighting: 15 ECTS
Contact hours: one 2-hour seminar per week.
Module Coordinator: Dr Ashley Clements
Teaching Staff: Members of Staff in the Department of Classics.


This course takes place each week over both semesters. It consists of two elements:

  1. An introduction to the main strands of research in the Classical field (e.g. literary theory, historiography, manuscripts and textual methodology, archaeological and anthropological theories and method, epigraphy, and papyrology).
  2. Departmental seminars and visiting lectures.


  • To ensure an understanding of what is involved in the totality of Classical scholarship, rather than just in students own particular fields.
  • To familiarise students with the most important Classical IT resources
  • To enhance organisational and cooperative skills.
  • To give students an opportunity to engage in intellectual discourse with their peers and practice basic skills of oral presentation and discussion in an unpressured context.
  • To expose students to senior research seminars and teach them to assess the method, content and quality of the presentations they attend.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to

  • Understand and evaluate the methodologies and approaches that have been applied to the study of the ancient world.
  • Extract information from ancient texts, materials and sites.
  • Access and utilise the most important IT resources in Classics.
  • Identify and use the most important bibliography of the main strands of Classical scholarship.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in oral presentation and discussion.
  • Analyse and assess the arguments of research papers, articles or books.


The course will be assessed by continuous assessment only. Students are required to produce a portfolio consisting of the following four elements:

  1. A table of contents
  2. Four written tasks chosen from those specified by individual lecturers throughout the course
  3. Each week students are required to perform a range of tasks in order to participate in the seminar (preparatory reading, literature reviews, artefact studies, use of electronic resources etc) as directed by individual lecturers. Of these tasks students must elect to develop four and submit them in written form (max word-count for each task: 1,500 words). These four task reports will be included in the final portfolio.

  4. Review of research seminar (up to 1,000 words)
  5. End of year presentation

The presentation will be on the topic of your dissertation research. You will need to supply handouts/powerpoint presentations as appropriate. Include a written version along with any supporting materials in the portfolio.

The portfolio accounts for 15% of the overall programme mark, and is assessed as a whole. Please see MPhil Handbook for further information.


The module is taught over two terms; each session lasts for two hours and aims to familiarise students with different approaches and methodologies used by scholars of the ancient Greco-Roman worlds.

Last updated 12 July 2011