Approaching the Ancient World through Material Culture CLASSIC5065

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to a variety of material sources, such as coins, architecture, statuary, grave-goods, and archaeological landscapes, for the cultures of the ancient world as well as to different ways of working with them, both theoretical and traditional within the disciplines of the Subjects involved. It foregrounds object handling and hands-on learning.


1 x 2-hour session per week.  A mixture of class-based seminars and hands-on sessions in museums or similar.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,000 words) - 60%

Portfolio (1,300 words) - 40%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to a variety of material sources for the cultures of the ancient world

■ introduce students to different theoretical approaches to the material culture of the ancient world

■ give students the opportunity to learn through the handling of ancient objects  

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Handle a variety of ancient objects safely and correctly

■ Identify a variety of material sources for the cultures covered by the course and situate these in their historical and cultural contexts.

■ Analyse and evaluate different types of material remains as historical sources.

■ Compare objects produced by different ancient cultures as examples of different attitudes to various areas of life

■ Present their arguments lucidly both orally and in writing with due regard for scholarly literature and academic formalities

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.