Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module CLAS1062: Beginners' Latin 1

Department: Classics and Ancient History

CLAS1062: Beginners' Latin 1

Type Open Level 1 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Beginners' Greek 1.


  • To offer intensive language training at beginners' level.
  • The course is designed to introduce the students to all main aspects of Latin morphology and syntax, and to equip them with the skills needed to read and interpret texts in the original languages.


  • This module provides an intensive, challenging and exciting introduction to the Latin language.
  • At the end of the course, students will have learned Latin morphology and syntax and will be ready to read Latin texts in the original.
  • The classes will focus on all the main aspects of the Latin language, starting from morphology and moving on to the main syntactical constructions of the Latin language.
  • The course also draws attention to the ways in which knowledge of Latin enhances our understanding of Roman culture: the meaning and etymology of words, the challenges of translation, the oddness of English, as well as Latin, will all be discussed, in an effort to understand the language and culture of the Romans.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A knowledge of Latin morphology and syntax sufficient to enable the student to begin reading continuous texts in the original language.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to reduce lexical items in Latin to their dictionary form, to identify the main syntactical constructions in the language, and so to construe passages of text in Latin with the aid of a dictionary; an ability to interpret such passages accompanied by a selection of translations.
Key Skills:
  • A basic ability to break down an Indo-European language into its component elements and structures, and to see how those elements and structures together contribute to meaningful utterance.

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

  • Interactive and frequent language classes will be offered as the most appropriate and effective way of teaching an ancient language at beginners' level.
  • Students will learn through regular preparation for the classes, short tests, and interaction with the teacher and each other in the process of learning.
  • The course will be assessed through two exam papers, which will be designed to test the topics and questions addressed in the classes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Language classes 88 4 per week 1 hour 88
Preparation and Reading 312
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Examination 100% (two-hour paper 1 50%, two-hour paper 2 50%).
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 1 2 hours 50% Yes
Written Examination 2 2.5 hours 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Homework in the form of weekly language exercises. Formative tests in class. No collections.

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