Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2008-2009 (archived)

Module THEO2061: SYRIAC

Department: Theology and Religion


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2008/09 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Biblical Hebrew (THEO1151) or equivalent.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the elements of Syriac.
  • To equip students with skills and knowledge for further study of Aramaic at level 3.
  • To equip students with skills and knowledge ancilliary to other modules which they are taking or will take.


  • The course book for this module will be T H Robinson, Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar, 4th Edition, and the exercises in this course book will be the backbone of the programme teaching the grammar and syntax of Syriac.
  • Regular written tests will determine the speed and effectiveness with which the students are acquiring knowledge of the language.
  • The set texts will be: Peshitta Genesis 1-2, John 1-2, The Eucharistic Prayer of the Liturgy of Saints Addai and Mari.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Working knowledge of Syriac grammar, syntax, and core vocabulary.
  • Competence in the reading of simple and intermediate Syriac texts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to identify grammatical forms.
  • The ability to translate Syriac texts.
Key Skills:
  • Generic linguistic skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures convey information and exemplify an approach to the subject-matter, enabling students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and to improve their skills in listening and in evaluating information.
  • Through small-group discussion, tutorials provide feedback on student work and the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge of the language.
  • Collections and language tests permit staff and students to assess progress in learning of the language, and to identify areas for remedial work.
  • Examinations assess subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and in this module especially assess subject skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 54 2 per week Term 1, 3 per week Term 2, 2 per week Term 3 1 hour 54
Tutorials 1 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 145
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
three-hour unseen examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Regular tests (at least one per fortnight) on grammar and syntax. Commentary work on set texts in classes.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University