MA Classics and Ancient History / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Directed Reading (semester 2)

Course unit fact file
Unit code CAHE60002
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


A ‘Directed Reading’ course-unit allows you to explore a particular topic in Classics & Ancient History which is relevant to your wider research interests but is not covered by the regular menu of course-units offered by the department. This is an independent study unit, supported by regular supervision (on a one-to-one or small-group basis) from a member of academic staff with expertise in your chosen field. It is assessed by an extended essay on a topic devised by you,in consultation with your supervisor. Where appropriate, Directed Reading study can be further supported by ‘auditing’ (that is: attending lectures and seminars of) a relevant higher-level undergraduate course-unit. Capacity on Directed Reading units is limited: if you are interested in taking this option, you should discuss your plans with the Programme Director at the earliest possible opportunity. Enrolment in this course unit is subject to the approval of the Programme Director


  • To explore a particular topic in Classics and/or Ancient History independently and in depth.
  • To develop skills in independent research, and in writing up the results of that research.
  • In particular, to enhance students’ skills in synthesising, and critically engaging with, current scholarship on a particular topic in Classics and/or Ancient History, and their skills in close reading of ancient texts and other evidence.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Detailed knowledge of a particular topic in Classics and/or Ancient History.
  • Detailed and critical understanding of the current state of scholarship on that topic, and the ways in which that scholarship might be developed.
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of ancient material relevant to that topic, and the issues associated with its interpretation.

Intellectual skills

  • the ability to define a research problem and devise a solution to it
  • the ability to organise complex arguments
  • the ability to demonstrate advanced analytical skills, to evaluate ancient texts, and to engage critically with secondary scholarship

Practical skills

  • independent research skills
  • the ability to design and write a lengthy piece of work;
  • skills in finding and use a wide range of research materials, including pertinent scholarly works.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • the ability to work independently on an extended project
  • the ability to work effectively one-to-one with an expert in their field

Employability skills

The course involves a large number of important employment skills, most notably an ability to analyse and examine a large amount of often difficult information, an ability to see both sides of an argument, the ability to synthesise an argument in a cogent form, the ability to retrieve information from complex sources and present it in a compelling and cogent fashion.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on formative and summative written work

Formative and summative

Oral feedback on formative work, and in supervision meetings



Recommended reading

This will vary according to the topic chosen.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 144

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Maria-Ruth Morello Unit coordinator

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