Classics degree programmes are interdisciplinary. The coherence and strength of a Classical education comes from the variety of methodologies you experience and the different types of material you study.
We offer several areas of specialist interest, divided into linguistic/philological, philosophy and thought, literature, history, art and archaeology, in which different methodological approaches are taken. The degree schemes taught by the Department allow students to develop specialist skills and knowledge in specific areas or to study across a range of areas. We allow for student choice at all stages of degree study. In the second term of your first or second year of study you make your choices from those courses available for study the next year. To help you, you can seek advice from your Personal Adviser, who can help you to make the best choices for you, depending on your strengths and interests. You are therefore able, allowing of course for any requirements for your specific degree programme, to dictate the shape of your own degree.
Virtually all undergraduate teaching takes place on the Egham campus. Most teaching takes place in lectures, large and small seminars, or one-to-one tuition. Smaller groups allow you opportunities to analyse more closely source material, to increase your self-confidence, to develop your language skills and oral and written presentation skills. Lectures are used primarily to to introduce you to the important aspects of the topic concerned, to develop your ability to see the topic of the lecture in its wider context, and to illustrate how you can engage critically with the views of other scholars, developing your own. Trips to museums (e.g. the British Museum) take place when appropriate, and certain third year courses may involve study visits to historical sites, in this country or overseas, such as Pompeii, Rome, or Hadrian’s Wall.
As our courses approach different types of ancient evidence from a variety of different perspectives, and involve developing different skills with which to analyse and understand them, our undergraduate courses employ a variety of different kinds of formal assessment methods. These may include for example in-course tests, essays, projects or similar assignments, or final summer exams. When you make your course choices you are told which types of assessment are used on each particular course. One course may involve the use of more than one kind of assessment exercise, each given a particular weighting towards the final course mark.
You are given advice on how to approach each type of assessment exercise, and feedback on coursework (whether or not it counts for formal assessment) as you progress through the year. There will be opportunities to practise your assessment methods before you complete assignments that contribute towards the final course mark. At any time you can seek advice on how to improve your performance from your course tutors and/or Personal Adviser. In addition to the learning support courses offered centrally by College throughout the year, we also run special departmental skills training sessions for topics such as how to make the most of lectures and seminars, Library use and information retrieval, which are held during the Welcome Week of your first year, and also during the summer term after the exams have finished, and are designed to help you to prepare for your work in the next year (especially for research projects or dissertations).
By the end of your degree you will have encountered several different kinds of teaching and learning styles, and assessment exercise, all of which prepare you admirably for your experience after graduation in your chosen career.
The aims of our undergraduate programmes are:
- to enable students to explore the diverse range of ancient world studies and to specialise in relevant disciplinary areas;
- to deliver programmes which are informed by the research expertise of staff, suited to the needs of the students, providing opportunities for them to develop academically and which, where appropriate, prepare students for post-graduate study;
- to develop knowledge and understanding of the chosen fields of study and of the research associated with them and to prepare students to undertake their own research under appropriate levels of supervision;
- to support the development of a range of transferable skills suitable both for further academic study and for a range of future careers.
Students who successfully complete their degree programme will have developed:
- a knowledge base and a grasp of methodologies appropriate to their chosen degree programme;
- interpretative and analytical skills in dealing with a variety of primary and secondary source material including some of literary and/or philosophical, archaeological, documentary, and legal material;
- skills necessary for the written and oral presentation of arguments and debate;
- the discipline to meet deadlines;
- research skills and the capacity for independent thought and study.