Module Catalogue 2023/24

CAC8000 : Research Skills and Development (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sally Waite
  • Lecturer: Professor Jakob Wisse, Professor Federico Santangelo, Dr Joseph Skinner, Dr Anke Walter, Dr John Holton, Dr Don Miller
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This introductory module to the MA programme provides students with an induction to the diverse world of research practice in Classics and Ancient History. Emphasis is placed on acquiring a deeper understanding of various research skills, particularly regarding different bodies of ancient source material and systems for their arrangement and interpretation.

The overall aims of this module are threefold:
i) To provide a sufficient level of advanced research training as to enable enrolled students to cross the threshold into doctoral programmes, or, via its transferrable value, to equip students with the attributes beneficial in the professional world;
ii) To encourage students to reflect on and take ownership of their own personal development trajectories, and in doing so take steps down structured routes into autonomy;
iii) To foster (in common with CAC8110) a broad, dynamic set of skills with respect to sources, models, and interpretation, ultimately ensuring that each student is equipped with a diverse toolkit for pursuing subsequent study and research in Classics and Ancient History.

In the context of the MA programme, this module’s learning outcomes anticipate and are complementary with the following other modules.

• CAC8110: Ancient Cultures in Context
• CAC8090: Dissertation

Outline Of Syllabus

Based on the staff expertise particular to Newcastle, and with the commitment to research-led teaching, these teaching and learning sessions may involve focuses on:

• Epigraphy
• Numismatics
• Papyri
• Material culture
• Manuscripts and textual transmission
• Poetry and intertextual relationships
• Classical reception
• Commentaries and reviews
• Digital Humanities
• The Shefton Collection of antiquities (housed at the campus-adjacent Great North Museum)

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. To appraise the research practices of a diverse range of scholarly sub-fields in Classics and Ancient History, and to demonstrate an informed awareness of how to pursue research in these fields further on an independent basis;
2. To review how different research skills in Classics and Ancient History are developed (especially relating to different corpora of evidence), and to determine how these skills might be further enhanced and applied to a plurality of self-chosen areas of study;
3. To devise, through a combination of staff guidance and self-reflection, an individual trajectory of development for the year-long MA programme, including a strategic evaluation of a dissertation topic, research/professional training needs, and progress onto other modules;
4. To identify and investigate independently self-chosen research topics drawn from the conspectus of the module's teaching programme, resulting in 2 submitted case-studies;
5. Overall, to recognise meaningfully the advanced level of the skill-sets and knowledge bases that are involved in studying on the MA programme (and how they are distinct from previous UG study), and how these might be claimed in the pursuit of future research or professional opportunities.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. To discuss, analyse, evaluate, and integrate the advanced research skills relating to a range of sub-fields in Classics and Ancient History in which Newcastle staff have expertise;
2. To practise and recognise the learning value of collaboration and discussion with student peers and teaching staff throughout the module’s teaching and learning activities, including student-led content;
3. To apply advanced research skills learnt during the module to self-chosen areas of study;
4. To consolidate and expand competence with respect to the presentation of individual work in written and oral forms;
5. To utilise structured opportunities for personal and professional reflection in (i) identifying objectives for the duration of the MA programme, (ii) planning against training needs and learning obstacles, and (iii) appraising how the skills learnt in the module can become stepping-stones to future opportunities.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00case studies research and writing
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading501:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities113:0033:00seminar reading and preparation 3 hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity111:0011:00completion of the personal development plan 1 hour per week
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study241:0024:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The learning outcomes, both knowledge and skills, for this module fundamentally underpin the teaching and learning methods employed.

Seminars will principally consist of teacher-introduced material which will serve as the basis for discussion of a particular set of skills over a single two-hour session. Reading and preparation tasks will be assigned in advance and will inform this discussion. Ultimately, the aim is to create a learning environment in which students take an active role in their own skills-development, and indeed support each other’s development, while being guided by staff expertise and experience. This type of learning activity aligns with knowledge outcomes 1 & 2 and skills outcomes 1 & 2. Seminars will be either synchronous online and present in person depending on contributors and student cohort.

An initial seminar will explicitly prepare students for the three assessment components of the module, namely the formative Personal Development Plan (PDP) and the 2 summative case-studies, themselves designed to assess the broader sets of knowledge and skills developed over the course of the module. For the former, reflective tasks will be assigned, and for the latter proposed topics will be chosen by each student in discussion with the module leader. This type of learning activity aligns with knowledge outcomes 3, 4, & 5, and skills outcomes 3, 4, & 5.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M50case-study 1 - 1,500-words topic agreed with a member of staff.
Case study1A50case-study 2 - 1,500-words topic agreed with a member of staff.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log1APersonal development plan (PDP) - 1,000-word reflective assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment for this module has been designed in tandem with the learning outcomes and with the chosen teaching and learning activities.

The formative Personal Development Plan (PDP), 1,000 words long and due towards the end of the semester, is intended to encourage students to take ownership of their learning trajectories and to think reflectively about their objectives within and beyond the MA, and about what obstacles and training needs need to be addressed for the successful achievement of these objectives. This activity will be supported by reflective tasks and the and by staff guidance throughout the module. This assessment component aligns with knowledge outcomes 2, 3, & 5, and with skills outcome 5.

The two written case-studies, each 1,500 words long, build on the skills content introduced in the module. Students will be asked to devise a research question on the basis of different areas of this skills content, with staff guidance but predominantly as an independent exercise (and thus as a structured step into autonomy), which will then serve as the basis for their case-studies. All research questions will be approved, including the issue of their level-appropriateness, by the module leader. Staff guidance will be available throughout the module for this exercise, This assessment component aligns with knowledge outcomes 1, 2, & 4, and with skills outcomes 1, 2, 3, & 4.

All of the assessments for this module will be submitted and marked online


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.