MA in the Classical Tradition

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  • Objectives
    The MA in The Classical Tradition is a multidisciplinary degree which has as its focus the reception of Greek and Roman culture in the modern world. 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 Classical reception, 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. The MA draws on the research interests of academic staff within the Department of Classics, which was awarded an excellent grade (5) in the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise.
  • Academic title
    MA in the Classical Tradition
  • 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.

    a.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 Classical reception: 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.

    b.Approaches to The Classical Tradition (30 credits: Autumn term)
    A series of seminars introduces students to a broad range of interpretations of the Classical tradition and to contemporary debates in reception. This module, which typically takes the form of a series of chronological case studies, is assessed by a book review, presentation, and essay.

    c.Language Modules (20 credits: Autumn and Spring terms)
    All students take a module of Latin or Ancient Greek at a level appropriate to them from beginners' to advanced. A modern scholarly language (French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Spanish) may substituted. Language modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and an exam.

    d.Special Options (30 credits)
    Students take three options from a list which reflects the research interests of the staff of the Department. These options are subject to change, but previous offerings have included: Dissecting the Classical Body (Professor Helen King); Martyrdom from Socrates to Christianity (Professor Tessa Rajak); Jews and Greeks (Professor Tessa Rajak); Latin Epic in Late Antiquity and Beyond (Dr. Gill Knight); Christian Letter Writing and the friendship tradition (Dr. Gill Knight); The Future of Greek Tragedy: tradition and adaptation (Dr. Barbara Goff); The Transmission of Classical Texts (Professor Stephen Oakley); The Greek Past in the Roman Empire (Dr. Timothy Duff); Latin Historians (Professor Stephen Oakley); Horace's Odes (Professor Stephen Oakley); Classicism and Empire (Dr. Phiroze Vasunia); Greek and Roman Portraiture (Dr. Ittai Gradel); The Roman Architectural Revolution (Dr. Ittai Gradel); Early Travellers to Greece (Dr. Amy Smith); The Evolution of the Museum of Antiquities (Dr. Amy Smith); Greek choral poetry (Professor Ian Rutherford). Each option is taught through a series of seminars, for which students prepare and give presentations. Assessment is by a series of essays.

    e.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.

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