MA in Ancient Art

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  • Objectives
    The MA in Ancient Art is a multidisciplinary degree which offers students the opportunity for specialist study of Greek and Roman art, archaeology, culture and society, and enables them to gain a grounding in contemporary approaches to ancient art. This degree aims to provide a transition between undergraduate taught courses and doctoral research. It offers an introduction to methods and tools of advanced study and research in Ancient Art, and aims to extend the skills and experience of students in such a way as to enable them to develop their own approach to their chosen field.
  • Academic title
    MA in Ancient Art
  • Course description

    Students taken a total of 180 credits over one year (from October to September) if studying full-time, or over two years if studying part-time.

    Research Methods (10 credits: Autumn term)
    This module is taught in an intensive series of seminars in the first term, and aims at enabling students to develop the practical skills necessary for research in ancient art: topics include IT resources; library skills; construction and presentation of bibliography. All students attend a series of weekly research seminars given by visiting speakers. This modules is assessed by a short written assignment.

    Approaches to Ancient Art (30 credits: Autumn term)
    A series of seminars introduces students to the history of the study of ancient art, from the ancient writers up to and including twentieth-century theoreticians. Emphasis is placed on the varying interpretations of ancient works of art, methods of dealing with the fragmentary natures of extant and lost works, and the place of art in social and cultural history. This module is assessed by a book review, presentation, and essay.

    Language Modules (20 credits: Autumn and Lent terms)
    All students take a module of Latin or Ancient Greek or a modern language (French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Spanish) at a level appropriate to them. Language modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and an exam in May.

    Special Options (30 credits)
    Students take three options from a list which reflects the research interests of the staff of the Department. These options often change from year to year, but previous offerings have included: Early Travellers to Greece (Dr. Amy Smith); The Evolution of the Museum of Antiquities (Dr. Amy Smith); Art in Hellenistic Society (Dr. Amy Smith); Debates and Approaches to History of Art and Architecture (Dr. Paul Davies); Dissecting the Classical Body (Professor Helen King); Martyrdom from Socrates to Christianity (Professor Tessa Rajak); The Transmission of Classical Texts (Professor Stephen Oakley); The Greek Past in the Roman Empire (Dr. Timothy Duff); Classicism and Empire (Dr. Phiroze Vasunia); Greek and Roman Portraiture (Dr. Ittai Gradel); The Roman Architectural Revolution (Dr. Ittai Gradel); Each options is taught through a series of seminars, for which students prepare and give presentations. Assessment is by a series of essays.

    Dissertation (90 credits)
    The dissertation allows students to conduct an in-depth research project on a subject of their choice. Guidance is provided on the choice of subject; once a topic is chosen, each student is assigned to a single supervisor who offers advice through one-to-one meetings. The final dissertation is 20,000 words and is submitted in mid-September.

    Teaching on the MA in Ancient Art is via small groups which meet regularly. The majority of classes are seminars, in which student participation is encouraged. Each student is also assigned a dissertation supervisor who advises on the choice, progress and completion of their dissertation.

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