Postgraduate taught 

Archaeology MSc

Approaching the Ancient World through Text CLASSIC5066

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

Short Description

This course introduces students to a variety of textual sources for the cultures of the ancient world and to different ways of working with them. It foregrounds close reading skills and analytical tools useful for getting the most out of ancient texts, but also includes practical sessions where students get to grips with ancient texts on stone, papyrus, or inscribed objects.


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

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:

■ Enables students to practice reading a variety of textual sources for the cultures of the ancient world

■ introduce students to different theoretical approaches to ancient texts

■ improve students' close reading skills in order to help them appreciate literature from a range of different cultures

■ introduce students to the different roles played by texts in the various cultures covered by the course 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

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

■ Evaluate and analyse different types of texts, both as literature and as historical sources.

■ Apply at least one literary theory to one piece of ancient writing as a case study of the process by which other theories could be applied to other texts.

■ Compare texts from different cultures in order to gain insight into different attitudes to similar issues.

■ Present their arguments lucidly 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.