MA in the City of Rome

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  • Objectives
    The MA in The City of Rome is a multidisciplinary degree taught by members of staff in the School of Humanities at the University of Reading. The degree aims to develop students' existing academic skills and to provide a bridge between undergraduate taught courses and doctoral research. The MA is designed as an integrated course that equips students with skills required for undertaking research on the City of Rome -- its history, topography, demography, art -- from antiquity to the present. As part of the degree, students spend two months in Rome out of the total twelve months of the course. The MA was created in 1996 and many of its graduates have gone on to doctoral research in the UK and USA.
  • Academic title
    MA in the City of Rome
  • Course description

    Students take a total of 180 credits over one year (from October to September) if studying full-time.

    Approaches to Rome (30 credits)
    A series of seminars introduce students to the primary sources for the study of ancient and post-ancient Rome as a city, and the methodologies and interpretations found in modern scholarship. This module is taught from October to the end of March, and is assessed by a book review, a presentation, and an essay.

    Research Methods (10 credits)
    This module is taught in an intensive series of seminars in the autumn term, and aims at enabling students to develop the practical skills necessary for research in this field: 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 module is assessed by a short written assignment.

    Language Module (20 credits)
    All students take a module of Latin or Italian at a level appropriate to them from beginners' to advanced. Language modules are taught from October to March and assessed through a combination of coursework and an exam in May.

    City of Rome (30 credits)
    Taught in Rome at the  British School in Rome (BSR) in April and May, this module provides the opportunity to study the evidence at first hand on-site in Rome supported by a series of lectures and seminars, many given by key members of the academic community in Rome. Much of the time in Rome is spent in individual study. The module is assessed by an oral presentation, class participation and a major essay.

    Dissertation (90 credits)
    This module, taught throughout the twelve months of the degree, will provide students with guidance initially to develop and then to write up a project of their own devising. This will be an opportunity for students to demonstrate both their knowledge of Rome and their ability to study their chosen subject in-depth. The dissertation is supported by workshops and tutorials with a supervisor of their choosing. The final dissertation is 20,000 words and is submitted in mid-September.

    Examples of Dissertation Topics
    Students have successfully written dissertations on a wide variety of topics, which include:

    -The Role of Hercules in the Religious Topography of Rome
    -The Temples of Deified Emperors in the City of Rome
    -Spectators and Spectator Comfort in Roman Entertainment Buildings
    -The Theatre of Pompey: An Analysis and Interpretation
    -The Roman Cult of Magna Mater: A Re-evaluation of Modern Scholarship
    -The Place of Egyptian Culture in Rome
    -Satisfied with a Knowledge of Totals: Planning, Building and Labouring on the Claudian Aqueducts AD 38-52
    -Domitian's Forum Transitorium and the Artificial Infinite: Ancient Monuments and Modern Perception
    -The Use of Marble in a Selection of Elite Buildings
    -Between Two Walls: The Development of Land Between the Servian and Aurelianic Walls
    -A Tetrarchic Forum? The Transformation of the Forum Romanum in Late Antiquity
    -The Importance of Peter and Paul in Late-Fourth Century Rome
    -The Basilica of Santa Sabina: A Case Study in 5th Century Eccleiastical Architecture at Rome
    -Emulation or Imitation? The Relationship between Monumentalisation in Napoleonic Paris and Classical Rome
    -Rodolfo Lanciani: Politics, Diplomacy and The Development of Archaeology in Rome
    -Antonio Maria Colini – An Archaeologist in Fascist Rome

    Course Tutors

    In Rome, the British School in Rome (BSR) appoints an academic co-ordinator and also calls on the knowledge of its director, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (on secondment from Reading's Classics Department), visiting scholars and other established academics in the City.

    The MA as a whole is taught in Reading by several researchers in the School of Humanities.

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