MA Classics and Ancient History

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Intensive Greek 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code CAHE70151
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This is the first half of a two-module intensive programme that will take you beyond A-Level standard by the end of the year. It is designed to be fast-moving but rewarding, and is based on the second edition of the excellent Reading Greek course. It is available to undergraduates in any year as well as to postgraduates. This first module assumes no previous knowledge of Greek or any foreign language, but if you have GCSE Greek you may still take it for credit; if you have AS Level Greek, you should audit this module in order thoroughly to revise and consolidate your Greek, and then in Semester 2 take CLAH 30162 Intensive Greek 2 for credit.


Pre-requisite units

None. However, this course may not be taken for credit by candidates who have already achieved a qualification in Greek which is higher than GCSE (or equivalent).

Co-requisite units

None. However, students on the MA in Classics & Ancient History are expected to register in addition for CAHE70162 Intensive Greek 2.



To introduce students to the basic elements of the Greek language.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will have developed the following abilities:

  • a knowledge and understanding of the basic workings of a highly-inflected language, Classical Greek;
  • mastery of (roughly half of) the basic Greek forms and constructions (accidence and syntax), together with a vocabulary of several hundred words, and a developing ability to use them both actively and passively;
  • the ability to read a simple Greek text, seen or unseen, with fluency and accuracy.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will have developed the following abilities:

  • subject-specific skills, including an incipient ability to read, understand, translate and write Greek;
  • an insight into the nature of the differences between English and Classical Greek.

Practical skills

See specific skills listed below


Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will have developed the following abilities:

  • an increased awareness of the structures and resources of the English language;
  • a developed ability to analyse and to describe linguistic forms and structures.

Employability skills

The course supports the development of a large number of important employment skills, most notably the ability to understand, commit to memory, and successfully deploy the elements of a complex communication system. Conscientious study of an ancient language enhances understanding of English grammatical structures and broadens vocabulary, thereby enhancing the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and eloquently. Students of ancient languages also learn how to extract key elements from complex information and to identify, make sense of, and solve associated problems.

Assessment methods

Mid-term test 50m 40%
Exam 2 hours 60%


Feedback methods

  • Weekly feedback on formative homework exercises;
  • Written feedback on formative and summative assessment (see above); all feedback is designed to contribute formatively towards improvement in subsequent assignments.
  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment).

Recommended reading

Compulsory purchases:

·         Reading Greek: Text and Vocabulary, Second Edition. Joint Association of Classical Teachers, 2007

·         Reading Greek: Grammar and Exercises, Second Edition. Joint Association of Classical Teachers, 2007

Additional reading:

·         Speaking Greek. Joint Association of Classical Teachers, 2007 (CD Audiobook)

If you want to buy a dictionary, the best long-term investment is Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon but it’s not essential.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 106

Additional notes

2 x 1 hr lecture per week

2 x 1 hr seminar per week


1 x 50 minute test

1 x 2hr exam



Return to course details