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Research Skills in Classics, Ancient History and Theology (CTHM007)

StaffDr Claire Holleran -
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module is designed to offer you maximum flexibility and optionality, by providing you with the opportunity to tailor a research skills menu which is uniquely suited to your own needs and requirements. The module will provide you with the opportunity to develop, under the guidance of subject specialists in a series of interactive, research-led workshops, a range of specialist skills to prepare them for more advanced research (e.g. PhD) as well as more generic and transferable skills which will enhance your profile for other employment opportunities as well as research. All of these research skills will directly support your preparation for writing the MA dissertation.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate advanced ability to formulate and write a cogent research proposal (for either an MA or PhD dissertation), including the ability to articulate the objectives, aims and scholarly context of a research project, to construct a viable work schedule and to formulate a structure for the proposed dissertation
  • 2. Demonstrate advanced ability to understand, analyse and interpret quantitative and statistical data
  • 3. Demonstrate advanced ability to understand, analyse and interpret theory and methods relating to literary theory and/or textual criticism and/or ancient scholarship
  • 4. Demonstrate advanced ability to locate, record and evaluate critically scholarship that is relevant to the core module

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Develop advanced skills in project-planning and writing of a research proposal
  • 6. Develop advanced research-presentation skills
  • 7. Develop advanced ability to understand and apply specialist analytical approaches which are relevant to the study of ancient texts or culture
  • 8. Demonstrate advanced critical reading skills, specifically the ability to extrapolate methodologies that are implicit in secondary scholarship and evaluate their usefulness

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly and creatively in oral and in written form
  • 10. Demonstrate advanced ability to plan an extended independent research project
  • 11. Demonstrate ability to interpret and use statistical and quantitative data
  • 12. Demonstrate advanced ability to select and organise relevant material, to work independently and write succinct judgements on academic issues

Syllabus plan

The module will comprise a range of research skills components. A typical list of the skills short courses on offer is provided below. You select at least four of these skills short-courses in order to complete the requirements for the module.

  • Classical receptions and translations
  • Handling and interpreting quantitative data
  • Interpreting material culture
  • Interpreting the visual
  • Introduction to Digital Classics
  • Introduction to Greek and Latin metre
  • Introduction to textual criticism
  • Literary interactions
  • Reading papyri
  • Working with epigraphy
  • Working with fragments
  • Writing a research proposal

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching32Each skills-component will be taught in a series of 2-hour interactive workshops. For each skills-component, between 2-4 such workshops will be scheduled, depending on the complexity of the subject and the requirements of the class. During these workshops, you will be involved in class-discussion and problem-solving tasks designed to develop skills relating to the component
Guided independent study268Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion in class and/or onlineOn-going throughout the module1-12Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
2 x coursework exercises, to be decided by tutors of individual components. The nature of these exercises may vary, depending on the skill which is being assessed: typically, they will take the form of an essay, critical reflection, research proposal, analysis of text or quantitative data-set, or critical reviews.1003000 words. There is scope for fluctuation in the word-length and format of coursework assessment across individual options, depending on the nature of the skill being assessed. Typically, discursive essay-style exercises will be 3000 words, whereas exercises in hard data-analysis and interpretation may be shorter, e.g. 1500 words.1-12Written feedback, with opportunity to discuss with individual tutor.

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Coursework exercisesCoursework exercises1-12Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • R. Burns Introduction to Research Methods. London, 2000.
  • K.E. Rudestam, et al.. Surviving your Dissertation , Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2001
  • S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth, eds., Oxford Classical Dictionary 3rd ed., Oxford, 1996.
  • Paulys Real-encyclopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Neue Bearbeitung.unter Mitwirkung zahlreicher Fachgenossen hrsg. von G. Wissowa. Stuttgart, 1894-1972.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • To be recommended by tutors of individual skills components.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Classics, Ancient History, Ancient Texts, Translation