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Postgraduate Courses 2016

Ancient History - MA

Canterbury and Rome

Overview

The MA in Ancient History has a focus on research training that places you in a strong position for further study for a PhD, or for careers outside academia that require research skills.

The major civilisations of the ancient world still shape global culture today, with the Roman Empire spanning Europe, Africa and Asia.  Our MA in Ancient History enables you to gain an advanced understanding of ancient culture, whether you focus on literature, thought, art or religion, and includes your second term spent in Rome, the heart of the Roman Empire.

A key focus of the MA is on the cities of the Roman Empire, especially its capital city, through its novel Spring Term component taught at Kent’s Rome centre in collaboration with the American University of Rome. This allows you to gain direct access to Roman sites, museums and architecture, in order to see how the Roman Empire has shaped the city to this day. There is also a version of this programme that allows you to study at Canterbury only.

The programme allows you to develop your research skills and to become by the end of the degree an independent researcher, well equipped for future work for a PhD or to undertake research outside academia. The programme begins by focusing on research skills, which you study alongside either an option module or a language module (in ancient Greek or Latin). For the Spring Term, you choose two option modules that reflect the research interests of staff within the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies

In the summer, you write a dissertation of up to 15,000 words with advice from one of our experts to demonstrate the skills that you will have gained during your MA.

This is an ideal programme for graduates of history, ancient history, classics or the wider humanities, wanting to gain practical experience in applying their expertise and benefit from the experience and confidence gained from living and studying overseas.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, classics was ranked 2nd for research impact and in the top 20 for research intensity, research power, research quality and research output in the UK.

An impressive 97% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

You take one core module and one optional module during your first term in Canterbury and your second term in Rome. Over the course of these two terms you discuss with the course director your ideas and plans for your 15,000-word dissertation. The writing of the dissertation takes place in the summer with completion in August.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

CL900 - Research Skills in Ancient History - Understanding the City in Antiquit (30 credits)

The module introduces students to key research skills for the study of ancient history and the associated discipline of Roman archaeology. The focus will be on group work that will investigate how we can gain greater knowledge of an aspect of the ancient city. In so doing, students will learn new skills ranging from researching bibliographies to the development of a sustained research project. A particular focus will be placed on critique of the modern scholarship on the subject, based on historical, epigraphic, archaeological, numismatic and visual sources. The curriculum is designed to develop students' research skills at the beginning of a one year FT MA or two-year PT MA in the Autumn term. The seminars will also focus on the development of the PhD research proposal.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CL828 - Rome-The Imperial City (30 credits)

The module introduces students to sites and museum resources in the City of Rome through a series of weekly study blocks and is taught in Rome through collaboration between Kent staff and those of the American University in Rome. Each block has been developed to ensure that classroom based learning, on-site learning and library based research by the students are fully integrated as a thematic package.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CL829 - Rome Optional Module (30 credits)

This module is satisfied by one of a number of modules provided by the American University of Rome. Possible options include (subject to availability):

• Roman Imperial Art and Architecture

• Late Antique and Byzantine Art

• Museum Management

• Conserving Rome's Monuments

• The Mediterranean World

• Bodies and Burial

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CL897 - CL Dissertation (60 credits)

The Dissertation module comprises supervised research undertaken by the student, in the broad area of the history, literary sources and archaeology of the ancient world. A curriculum will be developed by the student around their own particular research interests.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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CL715 - Early Greek Prose in the Original (15 credits)

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Greek prose texts. Translation of the text(s) from the original will enhance understanding of its construction by the author(s) and invite reflection on the use of stylistic and linguistic features (and their effect). This understanding may be further developed through the study of the literary and cultural context within which the text was produced.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CL716 - Early Greek Prose in the Original (15 credits)

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Greek prose texts. Translation of the text(s) from the original will enhance understanding of its construction by the author(s) and invite reflection on the use of stylistic and linguistic features (and their effect). This understanding may be further developed through the study of the literary and cultural context within which the text was produced.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CL723 - Early Latin Prose in the Original (15 credits)

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin prose texts. Translation of the text(s) from the original will enhance understanding of its construction by the author(s) and invite reflection on the use of stylistic and linguistic features (and their effect). This understanding may be further developed through the study of the literary and cultural context within which the text was produced.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CL724 - Early Latin Prose in the Original (15 credits)

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin prose texts. Translation of the text(s) from the original will enhance understanding of its construction by the author(s) and invite reflection on the use of stylistic and linguistic features (and their effect). This understanding may be further developed through the study of the literary and cultural context within which the text was produced.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CL820 - The Political, Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World:An (30 credits)

This module aims to provide a detailed overview of the most important events and trends of the political, social and economic history of the Hellenistic period, based on the most recent results of research. Its objective is to make the students familiar with both the diverse ancient sources and the secondary literature, not just from the perspective of the conquering Macedonians and Greeks but also from that of the conquered native civilisations, such as Persians, Jews, Syrians and Egyptians. The module will be taught on the basis of a wide variety of sources, including historical, literary, epigraphic, papyrological and archaeological. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction of different political, social and economic systems and to the emergence of new structures as a consequence.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CL823 - Sexuality, Secrecy and Sin:Ancient Christianity and the World of Late A (30 credits)

The module aims to provide an overview of the religious changes that took place in the Roman Empire from the 2nd to 6th centuries AD though the development of a new literary genre, hagiography. Students will consider the changes in religious practice, ancient sexuality and the concept of sin in the period, the influence from pre-Christian religion on early Christianity and the extent to which this genre is an expression of the culture of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Teaching and Assessment

The programme is assessed by coursework for each of the modules, an examination in Latin or ancient Greek, if these modules are chosen, and by the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide research training in the subject area of ancient history
  • expand your depth of knowledge of key subject areas in ancient history
  • attract outstanding students, irrespective of race, background, gender or physical disability from both within the UK, and EU, and also from overseas
  • develop new areas of postgraduate teaching in response to the advance of scholarship
  • provide you with the skills to equip you for a further career either for doctoral research in ancient history, or in employment, with the use of these transferable skills
  • develop your competence in applying skills to analysis of a diverse body of ancient evidence
  • develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to the ancient material
  • provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change
  • develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills to prepare you for graduate employment
  • enhance the development of your interpersonal skills
  • provide you with opportunities for shared multidisciplinary learning with archaeology, religious studies and philosophy
  • assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • a complex range of disciplines, cultural relationships and varied geographical regions
  • the research skills associated with the use of ancient evidence to produce historical narratives and analyses that engage with the most recent development in research in ancient history
  • to come to terms with philosophical issues by thinkers of very different cultural and linguistic assumptions from our own
  • to understand the nature of the societies and political systems of antiquity
  • be familiar with an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials, epigraphy, papyrology, literature, visual material, and history
  • a broad and systematic knowledge developed within a coherent framework of complementary subjects, including religion, history and ancient languages.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in how to:

  • apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • evaluate research and a variety of types of information and evidence critically
  • synthesise information critically from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice
  • apply strategies for appropriate selection of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
  • utilise problem-solving skills
  • analyse, evaluate and interpret the evidence underpinning historical, linguistic and literary research critically.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • having an advanced understanding of another culture, whether focused on its literature, thought, art and religion, or its history and political and social organisation, or its material culture, demonstrate a critical engagement with it, develop an informed sense of the similarities and differences between it and our own culture
  • have a broad knowledge, developed within a coherent framework, of complementary subjects, drawn from such fields as language, literature, linguistics, philosophy, history, art and archaeology, or theme-based topics which cross the boundaries between them (eg religion, gender studies), and periods
  • be familiar with and able to evaluate an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials, eg literary, philosophical and historical texts, art objects, archaeological evidence and inscriptions
  • command a range of techniques and methodologies, such as bibliographical and library research skills, a range of skills in reading and textual analysis, the varieties of historical method, the visual skills characteristic of art criticism, use of statistics (eg in archaeology), philosophical argument and analysis, and analytical grasp of an ancient language.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
  • the ability to evaluate your own academic performance
  • the ability to manage change effectively and respond to changing demands
  • the ability to take responsibility for your personal and professional learning and development (personal development planning
  • the ability to manage time, prioritise workloads and recognise and manage personal emotions and stress
  • the ability to understand your career opportunities and challenges ahead and begin to plan your career path
  • information management skills, eg IT skills.

Careers

Our MA programmes include much scope for vocational training, skills acquisition and guided project work, often with use of our extensive facilities. These aspects of our programmes have been praised by external assessors in recent years. Recent graduates have progressed to careers in a wide range of related professional and leadership areas, including national and local museums, teaching and senior roles with archaeological organisations (national government institutions, contracting units and trusts). A large proportion of completing Master’s students have progressed onto PhD study.

Study support

About the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies

Classical & archaeological studies examines the textual and material evidence for a wide cross-section of the ancient world and includes three convergent research and teaching pathways: ancient history, classical literature, and archaeology. Many core areas in the investigation of the ancient world can be studied with us at postgraduate level.

The Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies operates as part of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL), and there are corresponding opportunities for a high level of interdisciplinary interaction (five modern languages, philosophy, theology and religious studies and comparative literature), in addition to the informal links with staff in the rest of the University researching medieval history, the history of science, architecture and social anthropology. We have good partnerships with high-profile universities and organisations such as the Ghent University, University Lille 3, the Flemish Heritage Institute, UCLA, the Free University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

We offer bursaries to enable students to participate in departmental fieldwork projects covering travel, food and accommodation. Typically, around 30 students each year have been placed on research and training excavations in Britain, Italy (including Ostia, port of Rome) and Greece, relating to sites of Bronze Age Greek (Minoan), Iron Age, Roman, and Late Antique and Anglo-Saxon date.

About the American University of Rome

The American University of Rome was founded in 1969 and runs a wide-ranging series of programmes in the arts and in business administration, including the subjects of archaeology, classics, and cultural heritage. The campus is located in the Monteverde district of Rome, a picturesque district with a wide range of shops and amenities. From nearby Trastevere, it is a short bus-ride to the historic centre of Rome with its extensive array of Roman sites, monuments and museums.

Postgraduate resources

The School has extensive literary holdings and many other facilities to support active research, and the Templeman Library also has excellent holdings in all our areas of research interest. This includes an extensive range of English and international periodicals, as well as specialist collections (the library of A S L Farquharson, specialising in the age of Marcus Aurelius, and generous donations from the libraries of Victor Ehrenberg in ancient social history, Anthony Snodgrass, Richard Reece and Jill Braithwaite in archaeology). We have access to Canterbury Cathedral Library, and to archaeological libraries and collections in Kent, such as the major collection of the Kent Archaeological Society, and first-rate connections with London and continental Europe. Kent is now the home of the Colin Renfrew Archive, a major resource for research on the history of archaeology, archaeological theory, prehistoric Orkney and the Aegean Bronze Age.

The Department has its own specialist technician, Lloyd Bosworth, who is widely experienced and skilled in landscape archaeology, geographic information systems (GIS), digital imaging and laser scanning, as well as geophysical surveying. He offers advice and training in the use of the archaeological equipment and has worked in Belgium, Ostia, Rome and Crete.

The University has recently invested in a range of new archaeological equipment including a Romer laser scanner, portable XRF machinery, resistivity and magnetometer survey machines, GPS and a photographic lab.

The University of Kent’s location is highly convenient for students who need to visit not only the British Library and other specialist libraries in London, but also the major libraries and research centres within Europe.

Training

All postgraduate students in SECL receive support and guidance within their departments and from the Graduate School. Within SECL, in addition to the research culture of your department, our research centres combine overlapping interests to foster interdisciplinary support and dialogue, while the Graduate School provides a Researcher Development Programme to equip you with a full range of skills that will improve your effectiveness as a researcher. Training courses are also offered by the Library and Computing Services, and by the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT).

Individual training is offered in accordance with a student’s needs. We offer training in Greek and Latin languages at the appropriate level; and specialist skills training in epigraphy, papyrology, palaeography and Egyptology, artefact studies and fieldwork methods. Postgraduates have also gained experience by mounting their own independent seminar programme to discuss work in progress (in addition to taking part in staff/postgraduate research seminars).

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Acta Antiqua; Archiv für Papyrusforschung; European Journal of Archaeology; Latomus; Hermes; L’études Classiques; Aegyptus; Annual Review of the British School at Rome; American Journal of Archaeology.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in ancient history, ancient history and archaeology, classical studies, classical and archaeological studies or another relevant subject (or the equivalent).

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Archaeology

Currently particular areas of interest are:

  • the history of archaeology; Roman ceramics
  • the archaeology of the Roman army and frontier
  • archaeology and gender
  • classical medicine
  • Minoan iconography, Mycenaean administration, Mycenaean epigraphy, ritual theory and general Bronze Age Aegean archaeology; archaeoastronomy; catasterism myths; later prehistory in temperate Europe, including the British Isles
  • the archaeology of the Roman era in Britain and the Western Provinces; Roman artefacts and art; the late post-Roman transition in the West; landscape and settlement studies
  • the archaeology of the Transmanche region
  • investigating the Mediterranean city in Late Antiquity (AD 300-650)
  • Late Antiquity cities.

Classical studies, Late Antiquity and Byzantium

Key research areas are: ancient narrative literature, especially the novel; classical literature; Greek palaeography; hagiography; Byzantium; historiography; Greek and Roman performance arts; costume; reception within antiquity and beyond; and gender studies.

Ancient History

Archaic, classical and Hellenistic Greece; late period, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Egypt; the history of the Roman Republic; the life course; roads and the landscape of the Roman Empire; tourism and the classical tradition; the social, economic and financial aspects of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire; Greek and Egyptian papyrology; epigraphy and palaeography.

Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies

Founded in 2007, the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS) promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and teaching. Membership embraces not just the members of English Language and Linguistics but also other SECL members with an interest in the study of language, as well as researchers in philosophy, computing, psychology and anthropology, reflecting the many and varied routes by which individuals come to a love of language and an interest in the various disciplines and subdisciplines of linguistics.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Anne Alwis: Senior Lecturer in Classical Literature

Late Antiquity and Byzantium; hagiography; gender studies; Greek palaeography.

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Dr Patricia Baker: Senior Lecturer in Archaeology

The archaeology of the Roman army and frontier; archaeology and gender; classical medicine.

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Dr Efrosyni Boutsikas: Lecturer in Archaeology

Archaeoastronomy; Greek ritual; religious timekeeping; catasterism myths.

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Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis: Senior Lecturer in Classical and Archaeological Studies

Minoan iconography; Mycenaean administration; ritual theory; general Bronze Age Aegean.

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Dr Csaba La'da: Reader in Ancient History, Papyrology and Egyptology

Late period, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Egypt; archaic, classical and Hellenistic Greece; Greek and Egyptian papyrology, epigraphy and palaeography.

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Dr Sophia Labadi: Senior Lecturer in Heritage and Archaeology

Museums and human rights, world heritage and intangible heritage conventions as well as heritage and development.

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Professor Ray Laurence: Professor of Roman History and Archaeology

Roman history, Roman archaeology, classics, classical tradition, cultural heritage. 

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Dr Luke Lavan: Lecturer in Archaeology

Late antique archaeology; the archaeology of late antique cities; visualisation of the ancient world.

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Dr Dunstan Lowe: Lecturer in Classical Studies

Roman poetry, especially Virgil and Ovid.

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Dr David Nightingale: Senior Lecturer in Ancient History

Social, economic and financial aspects of the Roman Republic and Empire.

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Professor Karla Pollmann: Professor of Classics

Byzantine literature and culture, Latin literature and culture, early Christian thought, exegesis and patristics.

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Dr Ellen Swift: Senior Lecturer in Archaeology

Artefact studies; Roman dress accessories; the late post-Roman transition in the West; Roman art.

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Dr Steven Willis: Senior Lecturer in Archaeology

Britain and Europe in the first millennium BC, the western Roman provinces, later prehistoric pottery and artefacts; samian pottery; the archaeology of the Transmanche area; landscape and maritime studies. 

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Dr Rosie Wyles: Lecturer in Classical History and Literature

Research interests include: Greek and Roman performance arts, costume, reception within antiquity and beyond it, and gender.

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Dr Kelli Rudolph: Lecturer in Classical Studies

Ancient philosophy and science, especially issues related to ancient physics, metaphysics and epistemology.

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Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Contacts

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

E:information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

Archaeology

Dr Steve Willis
T: +44 (0)1227 827966
E: s.willis@kent.ac.uk

Classics and Ancient History

Dr Dunstan Lowe
T: +44 (0)1227 827785
E: d.m.lowe@kent.ac.uk                                                                           

School website

Fees

The 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Ancient History - Taught MA at Canterbury and Rome:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7310 £13340

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000