Ancient History

Ancient History - BA (Hons)

UCAS code Q800

CLEARING 2018

Planning to start this September? We may still have full-time vacancies available for this course. View 2018 course details.
2019

Studying Ancient History at Kent allows you to specialise in the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome. Immerse yourself in these classical worlds and explore how they shaped modern European culture and cultures bordering the Mediterranean.

Overview

Classical & Archaeological Studies at Kent is within the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL), one of the largest academic schools in the University. Our multidisciplinary focus allows you to study all aspects of ancient history, including a broader pathway that includes literature or archaeology.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you take compulsory modules covering Roman emperors from Caligula to Domitian and the civilisations of Greece and Rome (which also introduce you to the academic skills required to study at undergraduate level). You choose further modules from options covering areas such as classical mythology, and beginners’ Latin or Greek.

In your second and final years, you choose from a wide range of modules covering areas including archaic Greece, Greek and Roman medicine, Roman Britain, Hellenic History, and the Roman Empire. 

Further options are available in classical literature and culture (including modules on Greek drama, philosophy, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Hellenistic literature and culture) and in archaeology (including modules on the ancient Celts, Greek and Roman art and architecture, and higher levels of Latin and Greek.

In your final year, you take either the dissertation or the extended essay module (depending on academic performance and interest). There is also a classroom-based module that allows you to enter the working world. Not only does this provide invaluable teaching experience in a secondary school, it also informs and shapes your written work.

Year abroad/placement year

You can apply to spend a year abroad as part of your degree programme. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you have the enthusiasm to succeed in a new environment. It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. It is also possible to undertake a placement year in industry. 

See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details, or the Placement Year information from the Faculty of Humanities.

Study resources

The University has an excellent library on campus, with English and foreign periodicals as well as many specialist collections. You can also easily access international collections in London and local collections such as the Canterbury Cathedral Library.

Extra activities

There are a variety of student societies and groups you can join. The Kent Classical and Archaeological Society organises a wide range of activities, including lectures, essay help sessions and social events, such as day trips to historical landmarks in the UK and Europe.

Independent rankings

Classics and Ancient History at Kent was ranked 12th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 14th overall in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

Of Classics students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

The history will centre on Athens in the 5th century B.C. We begin with Solon's reforms, then after considering the period of the Persian invasions we study the developed democracy with its empire under Pericles and its destruction in the Peloponnesian War. After 5 weeks, we move to the literature of the period, more specifically, the development of tragedy and comedy in fifth-century Athens, examining staging and dramatic conventions such as the role of actor, chorus and religious function and plot, especially the handling of mythological themes. We will analyse a selection of major plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Within this framework the module explores the role of tragedy and comedy as vehicles for public debate in the democracy, and its treatment of justice, religion, rationalism and patriotic themes.

In the Roman part of the course we shall treat the last century of the republic. Our focus will be on how that republic fell and was replaced by the empire whose founder was Augustus. Among the themes examined will be political violence, the intrusion of the army into political life and the rise of the warlord. In the literature part of the Spring term the module is concerned with the patronage of the arts (poetry, history writing, art and architecture) under Augustus, with the role of the arts as propaganda, and the thesis that writers were recruited to act as spokesmen for the policies and ideals of the principate. The central theme is the creation of enduring images of Rome and Empire, using traditional historical and mythological materials; alongside this the module treats areas of public policy such as moral legislation, festivals, religious reform and the position of women. The module is also concerned with the responses of the writers, whether as supporters of public policy, or as commenting on and reacting against it. Thus, its content is much better understood as a result of the historical development outlined in the first part of term.

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30

The module will introduce archaeology as an academic discipline, providing grounding in basic concepts and methodology and techniques of analysis relating to archaeological evidence. It will provide background relevant to other archaeological and historical modules in the Classical & Archaeological Studies and related programmes, through examining aspects of the archaeological process and examples in prehistoric, Roman, medieval and post-medieval contexts . It will enable students to make an informed choice of subsequent modules. Topics will include ceremonial, religious and burial sites of prehistory as well as the emergence of settlement sites, the creation and development of towns in the Roman era, trade and exchange, artefactual and landscape studies using cases through time. Seminars will focus on methods and approaches, and the presentation of data and its interpretation.

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15

The module will begin with the emergence of archaeology by examining early antiquarianism. It will go on to consider how the field developed into a more scholarly pursuit during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by examining key figures and how they developed ideas about interpretations of what they found. Following this, examinations will be made into more recent interpretative methods e.g. culture-historical archaeology, as well as processual and post-processual archaeology. The module will conclude with an examination of other aspects of archaeology, such as heritage management and museums. By approaching the module in this manner it is hoped that the students will not only have gained a grasp of the development of archaeology, but also the ability to apply what they have learned to a broader cultural understanding of past societies.

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15

Today most adults have a conception of the lives of Roman emperors derived from TV or film. Few can discuss how the nature of ancient biography shapes the modern conception of the Roman emperor. Biography was a genre developed under the Roman Empire, most notably by Suetonius. This can be seen as a response to the presence of the Emperor (or Princeps), but is also the genre which created a cultural memory that was shot through with the morals associated with good and bad; virtue and vice. Few dead emperors were ever seen a paradigms for the virtuous life, whereas the living ones provided moral exemplars. The module is designed to unpick our modern image of the emperors to reveal how this literary genre from antiquity constructs our image of the past. The module will focus mainly on the author Suetonius, but will also include Tacitus' Agricola and Annals.

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15

Whether cruel or funny, hostile speech has a pervasive presence in the wealth of textual evidence from classical antiquity. Insulting communications, both formal and informal, reveal social values in an unusually succinct way, while their dependence on situation and context presents complex interpretative challenges.

In this module, insults form the basis for a wide-ranging investigation of classical literature inviting comparison of their literary treatment in different works and/or genres. The module is designed to accommodate various selections of material, which may include Greek literature, Roman literature, or a combination of both. It provides a variety of examples of invective to show the diversity of classical literature and, through the analysis of these examples, raise current debates in classical literary studies. So, for example, the insults found in Catullus may be used to explore the issue of authorial persona and 'sincerity'. Topics covered may include obscenity, debate and competition, laws governing slander and treason, the aesthetics of beauty and ugliness, construction of social categorisations (gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and status), and the conventions of specific genres.

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15

This course is designed for students who have not been exposed to any other highly inflected language. It aims at teaching students to read and understand ancient Greek, by providing them with knowledge of ancient Greek grammar and syntax. Grammatical theory is taught as a tool for dealing with the texts, understanding and gradually translating them.

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15

This course is designed for students who have had some exposure to a highly inflected language. It aims at teaching students to read and understand ancient Greek, by providing them with knowledge of ancient Greek grammar and syntax. Grammatical theory is taught as a tool for dealing with the texts, understanding and gradually translating them. Students will gain sufficient understanding of Greek grammar and syntax to enable them to translate Greek prose and verse. In addition, the study of ancient Greek will enrich the students' vocabulary.

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15

This module is intended to explore the nature of responses to Classical mythology since its first appearance and particularly in the modern world. Scholarship on approaches to mythology, as well as reception studies (i.e. modern responses to and understanding of Classical mythology), will inform the analysis of myth in both its ancient and modern setting. A selection of case studies will enable the exploration of a range of cultural responses to Classical mythology and may include appropriations of myths across a range of media. These responses may include the Roman response to Greece to give a point of comparison for modern responses to ancient myth. The function of the myth in its new context will be a thematic focus in the module. The module will reinforce awareness of both the polysemic nature of mythology as well as the relevance of Classics in the modern world.

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15

This module gives students a firm foundation in Classical Latin, both vocabulary and grammar (accidence and syntax), using a modern course devised precisely with that objective in mind. No prior knowledge of an inflected language is required to take this module, and relevant analytical terminology is explained as it is introduced. The course schedule covers the fundamentals of Latin morphology and syntax, enabling students to read, comprehend, and translate simple sentences and short passages. Students will acquire a core vocabulary incorporating some of the most frequently used Latin words relevant to the subject matter of texts encountered.

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15

This course is designed for students who have already acquired the fundamentals of Latin morphology and syntax. It aims at developing students' abilities to read and understand Latin texts by providing them with more advanced knowledge of Latin grammar and syntax. The course schedule broadens students’ understanding of Latin morphology and syntax, enabling them to read, comprehend, and translate complex sentences and extended passages. Students will acquire a core vocabulary incorporating the most frequently used Latin words relevant to the subject matter of texts encountered.

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15

This module provides a general introduction to myth in the ancient world. Scholarship on approaches to mythology will inform the analysis of myth in its ancient setting. The curriculum will be designed to introduce students to a working repertoire of a large span of ancient (e.g. Greek) mythology and to its meanings and functions within its original context. A selection of case-study myths (represented in literature and/or iconography) will be used to examine the potential meanings and social functions of myth in general.

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15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin verse texts. Translation of the texts from the original will enhance understanding of their construction by the authors 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.

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30

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Greek verse texts. Translation of the texts from the original will enhance understanding of their construction by the authors 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.

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30

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin prose texts. Translation of the texts from the original will enhance understanding of their construction by the authors 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.

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30

This module provides an introduction to some of the major works in ancient Greek philosophy in relation to ethics, aesthetics, political theory, ontology and metaphysics. Students will study substantial portions of primary texts by the Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle. The emphasis throughout will be on the philosophical significance of the ideas studied. The module will concentrate on understanding key philosophical arguments and concepts within the context of the ancient Greek intellectual tradition. This means that students will gain a critical distance from normative and modern definitions of philosophical terms in order to understand how Greek philosophy generally approached questions and problems with different suppositions and conceptions of reality, reason and the purpose of human existence.

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30

This module explores 5th-century Athenian history through the plays which were put on stage during this period of war and political upheaval. Greek tragedies and comedies produced during this tumultuous period (472-405 BC) offer us some of the most enticing, yet challenging, evidence for the state of Athenian politics and attitudes to contemporary events (especially war and empire). In this module, the evidence of key plays will be set against other forms of historical evidence to illuminate the complex relationship between the types of evidence which survive and the nature of 'making history'.

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30

This module examines in detail the history of the Roman Republic from 350 BC through to 100 BC, and provides both a survey of a major period of Roman history and an opportunity to study in greater depth the political, social, and economic consequences of the development of Rome's imperial ambitions in the Mediterranean. Students will read widely in the ancient sources, historical, literary and documentary.

Students will read widely from a range of works including: Polybius, Plutarch, Livy, Appian, Cicero, and Sallust.

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15

Virgil composed the Aeneid in order to provide Rome with an epic equal to any that Homer produced. Commonly regarded as one the greatest epics of the ancient world, the Aeneid is the story of the foundation of Rome; a tale of exile, war, passionate love and the deepest humanity. We will analyse, comment on and explore the epic, book by book. This will be intertwined with a thematic approach, investigating issues concerning the gods, fate, morality, art and gender.

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30

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.

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30

The course will cover the period of history in Britain from the initial raids of Julius Caesar to the fifth century AD. We will not only discuss the historical changes in Roman Britain, but explore urban and rural settlements, life in the Roman army, death and burial, art, trade and daily life in Roman Britain. Throughout the module, critical examinations will be given to theories of Romanisation, identity and interaction. We are fortunate that there are a number of sources, which can be used to study Roman Britain: classical texts, epigraphic remains and remains of burials, material culture and architectural structures. These sources, however, do not provide us with the entire picture of the past, thus the student will learn to use them in a critical manner.

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30

This module is concerned with the impact of the Classical World on ancient Egypt between Alexander's invasion and the Arab conquest, and on the nature and permanence of the brilliant hybrid civilisation which emerged under Greek and Roman rule.

Alexander entered Egypt as a liberator, but he and his successors created a colonial regime with Greek as the ruling language and Greeks as the ruling elite under their own law. Mercenaries were settled on reclaimed land, Greek cities were founded, especially Alexandria, one of the glories of the ancient world. An elaborate system of economic regulation maximised production to support warfare, city-building and display. The temples became a department of state. New cults were created to unite the two peoples and strengthen the regime. Native Egyptians showed their resentment in disaffection and rebellion. Roman rule (after the spectacular end of the Ptolemaic dynasty) was if anything harsher and more remote, and the rise of the Copts is often interpreted as an anti-Roman, anti-Classical movement.

Yet it is a mistake to see the relationship as wholly negative. Art and architecture flourished – most temples surviving today are the work of the Ptolemies. In civil service, army, business the new regime offered avenues to advancement for native Egyptians. A genuinely bilingual upper class emerged, able to make significant contributions to Classical culture. The ancient religion retained its prestige and was adopted by many Greeks, spreading far outside Egypt. Coptic culture was as much Classical as Egyptian, and Greek language long survived the Arab conquest. Sources for this vivid, complex and often neglected phase of Egyptian history are rich and varied: temples, tombs, remains of cities and villages, mummies, inscriptions, sculpture, coins, and an extraordinary range of papyrus documents, able to offer unique insights into an ancient civilization.

Read more
15

The module examines the Iron Age peoples of temperate Europe, their ways and means of living combining the archaeological, artefactual and historic sources of evidence. This was the era of the proto-historic Celts: farmers, crafts people and warriors. Peoples described as Celts sacked Rome in the early fourth century BC; they probably ravaged Delphi towards the mid third century BC; and from the later second century BC they were in conflict with the expanding Roman Empire, ultimately becoming the majority of its subjects in the West. The intent of this module is to search for the Iron Age Celts of Antiquity... but participants should not embark on the study with the certain expectation that they will be found! For long interpreted within a largely Classically-derived pan European model, the archaeological evidence is now increasingly discussed in ways which emphasise the diversity rather than the uniformity of life and culture across west/central Europe during the centuries in which the Classical World was in contact with those whom it identified as Celts.

The module will critically evaluate the evidence for the pre/proto historic Celts derived from the Classical writers, the concept of a widespread European Celtic culture in antiquity, and the contrasting interpretations which can be generated by the archaeological evidence for the conventional pre Roman Iron Age in temperate Europe. The Iron Age of temperate Europe presents a rich array of burials, finely crafted metalwork, settlements, hillforts, ritual, religious manifestations, artefacts and environmental remains plus evidence of travel, trade, contact and warfare both within its realms and with the Mediterranean peoples: all these elements form curriculum subjects via study, characterisation and contextualisation.

Read more
30

How did the Western Roman Empire undergo its transformation into the early medieval world? This course provides an overview of the period between 300 and 600 A.D., in particular, examining the collision between barbarian and Roman in late Antiquity and the development of the post-Roman and early medieval West, focusing on changes in culture and society through a critical evaluation of evidence from history, art, architecture and archaeology. There will be a focus on Italy, France and Britain which is intended to 1) provide a manageable and structured course at an appropriate level of detail, with the potential for some depth of analysis, and 2) concentrate on those geographical areas which mesh closely with the subject matter of other courses in Roman archaeology and late Antique and medieval history offered by colleagues in University.

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30

Ancient medicine was a complex mixture of what we would consider 'rational' and 'irrational' ideas and practices for the causes and cures of disease and illness. In this module students will use the various sources of evidence that survive in the literary, archaeological and epigraphic record to learn about the subject of Greek and Roman medicine.

An historical approach will be used starting with an examination of the pre-Socratic philosophers' and Hippocratic writers’ ideas about the body and medicine, moving into the Hellenistic period examining the dissections and vivisections of Herophilus and Erasistratus. The archaeological material from Greek healing sanctuaries will add to the understanding of healing. For the Roman period questions will be addressed about the influence of Greek medicine on Roman medicine and the archaeological remains of instruments and buildings associated with healing, such as baths, sanctuaries and possible hospitals. The works of Celsus, Pliny the Elder and Galen will be examined. The module culminates in a review of the survival of medical practices into Late Antiquity and the medieval Islamic period. Throughout the class, students will examine ideas about rationality and medical influences from one society to another.

Read more
30

This module reviews texts relating to sexual behaviour attitudes and relationships throughout Latin Literature, raising questions both about the perception of sexuality in antiquity and how perception was translated into social and political relationships. Because of the nature of its coverage it can be counted as either a literature or a social history course, and is intended as a wide ranging complement to both. The module relies on primary texts from a variety of literary genres, from Epic and poetry to private letters, legal texts and inscriptions.

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30

How do you imagine Roman Antiquity? How do the images produced for film, TV and popular fiction reflect the lives of those in antiquity? Can we see the everyday experience of Pliny, Juvenal or Augustine or of those who were killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79? This module will explore everyday life in the Roman world, from haircuts, tattoos and gestures, to everyday rites and rhythms, whether domestic, social, political or religious, focusing on human experience, with its culturally specific organisation rather than abstract scholarly constructions. It will range from Augustan Rome to Late Antique Constantinople, and will draw on depictions, literary evidence (such as poems), original documents (from personal letters to minutes of meetings), inscriptions and especially archaeology, focusing on key sites where preservation is good, such as Pompeii, Ostia, Sardis and Petra. Here buildings, graffiti, occupation deposits and other traces will allow snapshots of everyday life to be constructed: of the houses, workshops, taverns, temples, theatres and churches of Antiquity. Students will be encouraged to undertake both empirical studies and imaginative reconstructions as part of their assessment, so that they understand the importance not only of describing what evidence remains of everyday life, but of actively reconstructing the past, and of engaging different types of evidence in a critical dialogue.

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30

This module is designed to give students a thorough introduction to a well-studied aspect of Greek archaeology, that of its Art and Architecture. The class will begin with examinations into the Greek Bronze Age by looking at Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology, followed by the art and architecture of the Iron Age. It will then focus on the archaeology of the Archaic, Classical (early-to-late) and culminate with the Hellenistic periods.

The main areas of Greek occupation will be studied: mainland Greece, the Greek Islands, Asia Minor, Southern Italy and Sicily, with concentration on major sites such as the Athenian Acropolis and Agora, Corinth, Ephesus and Syracuse. Religion is important for an understanding of the Greek world, so sanctuaries such as the sites of Delphi and Olympia will be explored and juxtaposed with smaller ones like Brauron and Sounion.

Throughout the class, the styles, development and changes to the art and architecture will be studied, but also questions will be raised about the cultural view of the remains. This is important for understanding the role the sites and artistic work played in Greek societies. Moreover, the historical events of specific periods will be explored to see what significance and influence they played on artistic and architectural styles, as well as patronage. The class will, therefore, supply students with a thorough grounding in the multiple issues raised by the study of Greek art and architecture.

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30

The course provides an introduction to the study of Roman art and architecture, including the close interpretation of works of art and buildings, and an investigation of the role of art and architecture within the wider Roman world. The geographical area covered will include both Rome and Italy, and provincial Roman sites and material. Aspects to be examined include context, dating, technique, styles and subject matter, and ideology including the role played by art in Roman society. Arranged broadly in chronological order, from the Republican to the late Roman period, the course gives an overview of the varied media and techniques used in Roman art and architecture and the changes in art style that occurred throughout the Roman period.

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30

This module covers the battery of up-to-date fieldwork techniques deployed in the discovery, recording and excavation of archaeological sites using a combination of lectures, small-group work and practical assignments in the field. Topics include strategies for finding and recording sites, from the analysis of historical sources and aerial photographs, to geophysics, field walking, and the survey of earthworks and standing buildings. The full range of excavation techniques is examined including approaches to the excavation of special deposits such as burials and cremations and sampling strategies for the recovery of artefacts and environmental remains. The module concludes with post-excavation analysis and strategies for publication and dissemination of archaeological reports covering both traditional and computer-based applications. Students enrolling for this module should be aware that some of the fieldwork practicals may be outside, and occasionally off campus, and possibly conducted on, Saturdays or during the Easter Vacation (for a Spring term module) or Summer Vacation (for an Autumn term module), the specific arrangements being dependent upon weather and site availability, etc.

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30

This module explores the monsters of Roman culture, mythological and otherwise, treated as a series of self-contained but interrelated topics. Most were inherited from Greece but adapted for new tastes and purposes. Latin poetry in translation is the focus, and Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses are the central texts, but prose sources and the visual arts are included where appropriate, as well as comparisons with earlier Greek sources. Major figures such as the Cyclopes, the Centaurs and Medusa are included, but the definition of the 'monster’ is broad, incorporating (for example) the supposed bodily imperfections of emperors, or the strange features of personified figures such as Hunger and Envy.

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30

The module will allow students to acquire knowledge and critical understanding of the principles related to heritage sites conservation and management. Students will learn about the principles of protecting, listing and conserving heritage, as well as about value-led management of heritage, with the full participation of local populations. Students will learn about drafting management and tourism plans, as well about integrating heritage within development strategies. As part of their internship, each student will devise a special project in consultation with the mentor and the module convenor. Precise objectives and skills to be learnt will be recorded and tracked regularly. Students will keep a weekly log of their activities. The placement may take place either as a block during the Easter vacation of Stage 2 or 3, or at regular intervals over the Autumn and Spring terms

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30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You can apply to add a Year Abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year.  The Year Abroad takes place between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities.  Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme.  For a full list, please see Go Abroad.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad.  The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

This module is intended to introduce undergraduate students to research. As such it provides an opportunity to work on a topic of their own choosing, in either archaeology, history or ancient literature. Originality and feasibility are important aspects of writing dissertations, and to avoid problems topics will be scrutinised and approved by CLAS before research can begin. Students can expect guidance from the module convenor and an academic supervisor throughout the process, varying from one-to-one tutorials to classes on how to edit your own prose. There will also be a meeting regarding the Dissertation at the end of the Spring term of the previous year to clarify arrangements and to outline what work is required on this module.

The programme document with regulations is sent to all students at the end of spring term of Stage 2. Students are invited to suggest titles for comment, for which tutors are allocated. They are advised to do preliminary reading over the summer based on generic advice of the module convenor. They then choose precise topics in consultation with the convenor and personal tutors at the start of the autumn term.

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60

This module addresses one of the fundamental aims of the programme, to familiarise students with the techniques of independent study and practice methodological skills they have acquired/are acquiring in their other modules. Essays may be written on any suitable subject, subject to approval by the convenor, and the module can be linked with any of the modules in the programme. Choices will be informed by the student's personal interests, the fulfilment of the aims of the module, the availability of expert supervision, and the accessibility of relevant material.

Read more
30

Ancient medicine was a complex mixture of what we would consider 'rational' and 'irrational' ideas and practices for the causes and cures of disease and illness. In this module students will use the various sources of evidence that survive in the literary, archaeological and epigraphic record to learn about the subject of Greek and Roman medicine.

An historical approach will be used starting with an examination of the pre-Socratic philosophers' and Hippocratic writers’ ideas about the body and medicine, moving into the Hellenistic period examining the dissections and vivisections of Herophilus and Erasistratus. The archaeological material from Greek healing sanctuaries will add to the understanding of healing. For the Roman period questions will be addressed about the influence of Greek medicine on Roman medicine and the archaeological remains of instruments and buildings associated with healing, such as baths, sanctuaries and possible hospitals. The works of Celsus, Pliny the Elder and Galen will be examined. The module culminates in a review of the survival of medical practices into Late Antiquity and the medieval Islamic period. Throughout the class, students will examine ideas about rationality and medical influences from one society to another.

Read more
30

The module examines the Iron Age peoples of temperate Europe, their ways and means of living combining the archaeological, artefactual and historic sources of evidence. This was the era of the proto-historic Celts: farmers, crafts people and warriors. Peoples described as Celts sacked Rome in the early fourth century BC; they probably ravaged Delphi towards the mid third century BC; and from the later second century BC they were in conflict with the expanding Roman Empire, ultimately becoming the majority of its subjects in the West. The intent of this module is to search for the Iron Age Celts of Antiquity... but participants should not embark on the study with the certain expectation that they will be found! For long interpreted within a largely Classically-derived pan European model, the archaeological evidence is now increasingly discussed in ways which emphasise the diversity rather than the uniformity of life and culture across west/central Europe during the centuries in which the Classical World was in contact with those whom it identified as Celts.

The module will critically evaluate the evidence for the pre/proto historic Celts derived from the Classical writers, the concept of a widespread European Celtic culture in antiquity, and the contrasting interpretations which can be generated by the archaeological evidence for the conventional pre Roman Iron Age in temperate Europe. The Iron Age of temperate Europe presents a rich array of burials, finely crafted metalwork, settlements, hillforts, ritual, religious manifestations, artefacts and environmental remains plus evidence of travel, trade, contact and warfare both within its realms and with the Mediterranean peoples: all these elements form curriculum subjects via study, characterisation and contextualisation.

Read more
30

How did the Western Roman Empire undergo its transformation into the early medieval world? This course provides an overview of the period between 300 and 600 A.D., in particular, examining the collision between barbarian and Roman in late Antiquity and the development of the post-Roman and early medieval West, focusing on changes in culture and society through a critical evaluation of evidence from history, art, architecture and archaeology. There will be a focus on Italy, France and Britain which is intended to 1) provide a manageable and structured course at an appropriate level of detail, with the potential for some depth of analysis, and 2) concentrate on those geographical areas which mesh closely with the subject matter of other courses in Roman archaeology and late Antique and medieval history offered by colleagues in University.

Read more
30

This module reviews texts relating to sexual behaviour attitudes and relationships throughout Latin Literature, raising questions both about the perception of sexuality in antiquity and how perception was translated into social and political relationships. Because of the nature of its coverage it can be counted as either a literature or a social history course, and is intended as a wide ranging complement to both. The module relies on primary texts from a variety of literary genres, from Epic and poetry to private letters, legal texts and inscriptions.

Read more
30

This module is concerned with the impact of the Classical World on ancient Egypt between Alexander's invasion and the Arab conquest, and on the nature and permanence of the brilliant hybrid civilisation which emerged under Greek and Roman rule.

Alexander entered Egypt as a liberator, but he and his successors created a colonial regime with Greek as the ruling language and Greeks as the ruling elite under their own law. Mercenaries were settled on reclaimed land, Greek cities were founded, especially Alexandria, one of the glories of the ancient world. An elaborate system of economic regulation maximised production to support warfare, city-building and display. The temples became a department of state. New cults were created to unite the two peoples and strengthen the regime. Native Egyptians showed their resentment in disaffection and rebellion. Roman rule (after the spectacular end of the Ptolemaic dynasty) was if anything harsher and more remote, and the rise of the Copts is often interpreted as an anti-Roman, anti-Classical movement.

Yet it is a mistake to see the relationship as wholly negative. Art and architecture flourished – most temples surviving today are the work of the Ptolemies. In civil service, army, business the new regime offered avenues to advancement for native Egyptians. A genuinely bilingual upper class emerged, able to make significant contributions to Classical culture. The ancient religion retained its prestige and was adopted by many Greeks, spreading far outside Egypt. Coptic culture was as much Classical as Egyptian, and Greek language long survived the Arab conquest. Sources for this vivid, complex and often neglected phase of Egyptian history are rich and varied: temples, tombs, remains of cities and villages, mummies, inscriptions, sculpture, coins, and an extraordinary range of papyrus documents, able to offer unique insights into an ancient civilization.

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15

The module will allow students to acquire knowledge and critical understanding of the principles related to heritage sites conservation and management. Students will learn about the principles of protecting, listing and conserving heritage, as well as about value-led management of heritage, with the full participation of local populations. Students will learn about drafting management and tourism plans, as well about integrating heritage within development strategies. As part of their internship, each student will devise a special project in consultation with the mentor and the module convenor. Precise objectives and skills to be learnt will be recorded and tracked regularly. Students will keep a weekly log of their activities. The placement may take place either as a block during the Easter vacation of Stage 2 or 3, or at regular intervals over the Autumn and Spring terms

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30

This module explores the monsters of Roman culture, mythological and otherwise, treated as a series of self-contained but interrelated topics. Most were inherited from Greece but adapted for new tastes and purposes. Latin poetry in translation is the focus, and Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses are the central texts, but prose sources and the visual arts are included where appropriate, as well as comparisons with earlier Greek sources. Major figures such as the Cyclopes, the Centaurs and Medusa are included, but the definition of the 'monster’ is broad, incorporating (for example) the supposed bodily imperfections of emperors, or the strange features of personified figures such as Hunger and Envy.

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30

This module covers the battery of up-to-date fieldwork techniques deployed in the discovery, recording and excavation of archaeological sites using a combination of lectures, small-group work and practical assignments in the field. Topics include strategies for finding and recording sites, from the analysis of historical sources and aerial photographs, to geophysics, field walking, and the survey of earthworks and standing buildings. The full range of excavation techniques is examined including approaches to the excavation of special deposits such as burials and cremations and sampling strategies for the recovery of artefacts and environmental remains. The module concludes with post-excavation analysis and strategies for publication and dissemination of archaeological reports covering both traditional and computer-based applications. Students enrolling for this module should be aware that some of the fieldwork practicals may be outside, and occasionally off campus, and possibly conducted on, Saturdays or during the Easter Vacation (for a Spring term module) or Summer Vacation (for an Autumn term module), the specific arrangements being dependent upon weather and site availability, etc.

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30

The module is based on individual scholarship and research. The project will be chosen by the student with the advice of the tutor. In terms of the primary data it could involve investigation of antiquarian literature; archive documentation including cartographic sources; Sites and Monuments Records; museum collections; observation of monuments in the field; or participation in approved field work or excavation. Choice of project will be informed by personal interests, the fulfilment of the aims of the module, the availability of expert supervision, and the accessibility of data. Typically the project may have a local or regional focus.

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30

Virgil composed the Aeneid in order to provide Rome with an epic equal to any that Homer produced. Commonly regarded as one the greatest epics of the ancient world, the Aeneid is the story of the foundation of Rome; a tale of exile, war, passionate love and the deepest humanity. We will analyse, comment on and explore the epic, book by book. This will be intertwined with a thematic approach, investigating issues concerning the gods, fate, morality, art and gender.

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30

How do you imagine Roman Antiquity? How do the images produced for film, TV and popular fiction reflect the lives of those in antiquity? Can we see the everyday experience of Pliny, Juvenal or Augustine or of those who were killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79? This module will explore everyday life in the Roman world, from haircuts, tattoos and gestures, to everyday rites and rhythms, whether domestic, social, political or religious, focusing on human experience, with its culturally specific organisation rather than abstract scholarly constructions. It will range from Augustan Rome to Late Antique Constantinople, and will draw on depictions, literary evidence (such as poems), original documents (from personal letters to minutes of meetings), inscriptions and especially archaeology, focusing on key sites where preservation is good, such as Pompeii, Ostia, Sardis and Petra. Here buildings, graffiti, occupation deposits and other traces will allow snapshots of everyday life to be constructed: of the houses, workshops, taverns, temples, theatres and churches of Antiquity. Students will be encouraged to undertake both empirical studies and imaginative reconstructions as part of their assessment, so that they understand the importance not only of describing what evidence remains of everyday life, but of actively reconstructing the past, and of engaging different types of evidence in a critical dialogue.

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30

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.

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30

This module examines in detail the history of the Roman Republic from 350 BC through to 100 BC, and provides both a survey of a major period of Roman history and an opportunity to study in greater depth the political, social, and economic consequences of the development of Rome's imperial ambitions in the Mediterranean. Students will read widely in the ancient sources, historical, literary and documentary.

Students will read widely from a range of works including: Polybius, Plutarch, Livy, Appian, Cicero, and Sallust.

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15

This module examines in detail the history of the Roman Empire from the commencement of the Principate of Augustus in 30 BC to the death of the Emperor Domitian in AD96, and provides both a survey of a major period of Roman imperial history and an opportunity to study in greater depth the administrative, social, economic and religious developments of this period. Students will read widely from the ancient sources, historical, literary and documentary, and will be introduced to the inscriptional evidence for imperial history. This module will concentrate on the main administrative, social, economic and religious developments throughout the period rather than on the details of political and military history.

Students will read widely in the major ancient sources, including Tacitus, Pliny and Suetonius, and will be introduced to the inscriptional and documentary evidence for imperial history.

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15

This module explores 5th-century Athenian history through the plays which were put on stage during this period of war and political upheaval. Greek tragedies and comedies produced during this tumultuous period (472-405 BC) offer us some of the most enticing, yet challenging, evidence for the state of Athenian politics and attitudes to contemporary events (especially war and empire). In this module, the evidence of key plays will be set against other forms of historical evidence to illuminate the complex relationship between the types of evidence which survive and the nature of 'making history'.

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30

This module provides an introduction to some of the major works in ancient Greek philosophy in relation to ethics, aesthetics, political theory, ontology and metaphysics. Students will study substantial portions of primary texts by the Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle. The emphasis throughout will be on the philosophical significance of the ideas studied. The module will concentrate on understanding key philosophical arguments and concepts within the context of the ancient Greek intellectual tradition. This means that students will gain a critical distance from normative and modern definitions of philosophical terms in order to understand how Greek philosophy generally approached questions and problems with different suppositions and conceptions of reality, reason and the purpose of human existence.

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30

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin prose texts. Translation of the texts from the original will enhance understanding of their construction by the authors 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.

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30

Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin verse texts. Translation of the texts from the original will enhance understanding of their construction by the authors 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.

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30

The module is concerned with the history, archaeology and culture of the ancient Graeco-Roman world, and covers the period from c. 776-479 BC. Among the subjects examined in detail are the growth of the formation of the Greek polis (city-state, a central feature of the civilisation of Greece and Rome), the impact of colonisation on the Greek world, and the circumstances for the invasion of Greece by the contemporary Persian world-empire.

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30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

All modules have a weekly small-group seminar, and most also have weekly lectures. We encourage you to take part in excavations and field surveys with staff and associated institutions, and student bursaries are available to support this.

Assessment at all stages varies from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • teach a congruent discipline within the framework of the European intellectual, cultural and historical traditions, interacting with other component disciplines
  • treat the diverse societies and cultures of the Ancient World and their interaction, with a focus on history, but with the possibility of the inclusion of literature and archaeology
  • study the history of ancient Greece and Rome, and the contemporary civilizations of ancient Asia Minor, Persia and Egypt, from ca.600BC to ca.AD600
  • survey the main areas and genres of Classical Literature, both Greek and Latin
  • make a study in depth of selected themes, regions and periods in history
  • introduce key elements by which early Europe acquired its social, political, cultural and intellectual foundations
  • explore different types of evidence: literary, historical, art-historical and archaeological, using primary source material wherever possible and focusing of different approaches and techniques
  • examine the problems of interpretation in each type of source material through critical analysis of current studies
  • equip students with a range of subject-based critical thinking and communication skills
  • provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable, involve realistic workloads and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • another culture, whether focused on literature, thought, art and religion, or on history and political and social organisation, or on material culture, with an informed sense of the similarities and differences between it and our own culture
  • complementary subjects (literary, philosophical, historical, art historical and archaeological)
  • selected themes, periods and regions within ancient history in the context of current debate
  • an appropriate and diverse range of primary materials and of the appropriate methods of interpretation.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of types of evidence in an independent and critical manner
  • select, gather and synthesise relevant information from a wide variety of sources to gain a coherent understanding
  • deploy a range of techniques and methodologies of study
  • use problem solving skills
  • evaluate research in a critical manner
  • study and reach conclusions independently.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • the ability to make a critical evaluation of a variety of sources for literary and historical and as appropriate archaeological study
  • the ability to extract key elements from complex data and identify and solve associated problems
  • select and apply appropriate methodologies in assessing data, such as bibliographical research, textual analysis, historical analysis, visual skills, collection and analysis of archaeological data, use of statistics, philosophical argument and analysis
  • gather, memorise and deploy evidence and information, and show awareness of the consequences of the unavailability of evidence
  • show familiarity with the basic concepts which underpin the different branches of the programme pathways
  • marshal argument lucidly and communicate interpretations using the appropriate academic conventions.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
  • take responsibility for your personal and professional learning and development
  • evaluate and learn from your own academic performance
  • manage time and prioritise workloads and assessments, and write and think under pressure
  • use problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
  • work creatively, flexibly and adaptably with others, and understand how groups function
  • deploy a range of IT skills effectively, such as producing word-processed text with footnotes, basic formatting, using email, research using databases and text files, locating and exploiting websites.

Careers

Graduate destinations

In recent years, our graduates have found jobs in:

  • the museum and heritage industry
  • the civil service
  • education
  • archaeological fieldwork
  • librarianship
  • journalism
  • business
  • computing
  • marketing.

  Many other graduates have gone on to further academic study.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

To help you appeal to employers, you learn transferable skills that are useful in any career. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • express yourself clearly and logically
  • solve problems
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Independent rankings

Of Classics students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £17,000.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB 

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

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. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15200
Part-time £4625 £7600

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.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2018/19 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2018/19 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.