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Unit information: Literature in 2021/22

Unit name Literature
Unit code CLAS10038
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Ian Calvert
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit offers an introduction to studying literature from the ancient world. Students will be introduced to a range of poetic and prose genres, from archaic Greece through to first century BC Rome. They will engage with a range of literary theories to help them develop skills in thinking and writing about literary texts. We will consider, for example, how to analyse formal narrative structure, characterisation, poetic identity, intertextuality, historical and political context, and literary landscape. The course will also provide formal research skills training relevant to study at this level, and incudes a library training session with the subject librarian. As such, it helps with the transition from school to university, and gives students a broad knowledge regarding how to engage with, and construct scholarly arguments about, ancient literature.


  • To introduce students to ancient prose and poetry
  • To introduce students to key theories and methodologies for analysing ancient literature
  • To introduce students to the practice of learning independently
  • To equip students with core academic skills, including: effectively using the library; utilising and evaluating secondary literature; correctly referencing sources and formatting a bibliography; constructing a scholarly argument.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. confident skills in reading ancient sources;
  2. competence in the essential techniques for reading, thinking about, and writing about literary texts;
  3. knowledge and understanding of some of the major ideas and themes relevant to reading ancient literary texts;
  4. skills in accessing relevant and appropriate study materials from the library and other resources;
  5. an ability to construct coherent arguments in writing and to present them in appropriate academic formats, including skills in the compilation of bibliographies, referencing and footnoting.

Teaching Information

This unit will involve a combination of independent investigative activities, long- and short-form lectures, and discussion. Students will be expected to engage with materials and participate on a weekly basis. Feedback will be provided for both formative and summative assessments, and this will be supported by meetings with tutors.

Assessment Information

2000 word essay (100%).


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CLAS10038).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.