Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to gain a broad overview of the archaeology of the Greco-Roman world from 800 BC – AD 400.
  • To develop knowledge and to practice evaluative skills through essay writing and written examination.
  • To provide a core module for students on the BA Ancient Civilisations and Archaeology and Joint Honours in Ancient History and Archaeology.


  • The module studies the forms and meanings of the Greek and Roman world and its traditions.
  • The module focuses on the Greek Urban tradition and its development into the Roman Imperial period. It will enable students to gain a broader understanding of the Greek and Roman urban models.
  • The module will help students to understand in what ways the Greek tradition influenced the Roman one, and how this influence differed in the Eastern, the Western Mediterranean and across the Western empire.
  • The module adopts both a chronological and a thematic approach, considering urban settlements types and forms in different parts of the Mediterranean and beyond.
  • The module enables students to make an independent visual and historical analysis with the aim of judging and understanding archaeological evidence for the ancient world.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A knowledge of cities, economy and society in the Greco-Roman world, based on an acquaintance with specific case studies through tutorials and discussions.
  • Understanding of the principal framework of scholarly debate relating to Greco-Roman world.
  • Knowledge of the major debates on the subject
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to handle a range of methodologies appropriate for a basic-level understanding of different aspects of the history of urbanism, ancient economy and architecture.
  • Capacity to look at towns and buildings and material culture in different parts of the world, to explore their meaning and to critically evaluate interpretations of them.
  • An ability to outline ideas in written form according to academic conventions and to engage in discussion and debate on individual examples.
  • The skills needed to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise a wide range of evidence and the capability to identify appropriate methods of research for different aspects of ancient cities.
Key Skills:
  • Accessing library and internet resources.
  • The skill to uphold and discuss critically an argument.
  • The ability to develop a research project identifying themes of research and to engage in a bibliographical research at an academic level.
  • The ability to develop self-discipline and to organize work in order to meet deadlines.

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

  • This module will be delivered via a combination of lectures and tutorials.
  • Lectures will use important sites, artefacts and discoveries as a starting point from which to communicate key information relevant to the topic alongside an introduction to key approaches and theoretical ideas and concepts.
  • Tutorials will provide closer engagement with relevant published literature and deliver key skills in reading, discussing, analysing and critiquing published literature.
  • A short 500-word piece, on a specific site will develop understanding of the variety of sources of evidence available and its academic quality.
  • A 1000-word report discussing the urban development of a site will enable students to develop skills in source analysis, independent research and academic writing, and develop their understanding of modes of citation and the acknowledgement of sources of evidence used.
  • A summative 1500-word assignment debating one aspect of the themes addressed in the module will test and develop students' knowledge, critical ability and skills in independent research and academic writing.
  • An exam composed of unseen essay questions will test students’ knowledge, their grasp of critical information, their ability to evaluate current ideas and debates and their broad understanding of Greek and Roman Archaeology, its chronologies, data sets, major debates and key discoveries.
  • Research is embedded into the teaching of this module through the expertise of the lecturers and tutors. The examples and topics chosen within the curriculum will derive from the specialist research interests of the staff teaching the module, and students are introduced to the results of the research of their teachers as well as the wider context of the subject. The artefact/site biographies expose students to the research methods of the subject.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 weekly 1 hour 19
Tutorials 3 termly 1 hour 3
Revision session 1 once in the Term 3 1 hour 1
Preparation for formative tasks 20
General preparation and background reading 157
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 33%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1500 words 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 67%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

Report of 1000 words discussing the urban development of a site. 500 word discussion of a site or artefact.

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