Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

CAC8000 : Research Skills and Development

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

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
• CAC8011: The Writing of History
• 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)

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials361:0036:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Essay research and writing, plus completion of PDP
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading501:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00Skills-based seminars - 2 hours synchronous online alternating with 2 hours present in person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study481:0048:00N/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 set of skills over a single two-hour session. 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 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.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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.

Reading Lists

Timetable