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Module

CAC8110 : Ancient Cultures in Context

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sally Waite
  • Lecturer: Dr Rowland Smith, Dr Anke Walter, Dr Matthew Haysom
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module, one of the initial modules taken by entrants onto the MA programme, provides students with an advanced exposure to the different methods for interpreting ancient cultures (in the broadest sense) in a variety of different contexts. Emphasis is placed on acquiring a deeper understanding of the particular practices of various research fields, theoretical approaches, and different models for interpretation and reconstruction.

The overall aims of the module are threefold:

i) To encourage students of different disciplinary backgrounds to expand their skill-sets and conceptual horizons via exposure to different models of interpretation and contextualisation;
ii) To stimulate critical thinking about the robustness of integrated, interdisciplinary approaches to subject material in Classics and Ancient History;
iii) To foster (in common with CAC8000) 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.

• CAC8000: Research Skills and Development
• CAC8011: The Writing of History
• CAC8090: Dissertation

Outline Of Syllabus

Typically, this module will be structured around four major research case-studies relating to the active research expertise of Newcastle staff, which will be presented by that staff and discussed with students in a dialogic, seminar-style forum.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00Essay research and writing
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading501:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities331:0033:00seminar reading and preparation 3 hours per week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00including introductory seminar
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study351:0035:00N/A
Total200:00
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 research case-study (a ‘culture in context’) over two two-hour sessions. Reading 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 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, & 4, and skills outcomes 1 & 2. Seminars will be either synchronous online and present in person depending on contributors and student cohort.

An introductory seminar will explicitly prepare students for the assessment component of the module, namely the research-essay, itself designed to assess the broader sets of knowledges and skills developed over the course of the module. A further session will be devoted to essay guidance and peer review and a final session will offer students the opportunity to present on their research. This type of learning activity aligns with knowledge outcomes 2, 3, & 4, and skills outcomes 3, 4, & 5.

In the event that on-campus sessions need to be reduced, there is the capacity to hold live seminar discussions online and retain timetabled slots.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A100Research essay of 3,500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal1Messay plan 500 words
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 written research-essay, 3,500 words long and due after the close of teaching for the semester, builds on the skills content introduced in the module. Students will be asked to devise a research question inspired by (but not necessarily featuring the same topic as) a contextualising approach featured in one or more of the case-studies introduced in the teaching and learning sessions, and they will do so with staff guidance but predominantly as an independent exercise (and thus as a structured step into autonomy); this question will then serve as the basis for their essay. 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,

A formative essay plan will ensure that the aims of the assignment are fully clarified. 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.

Reading Lists

Timetable