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Roman History and Archaeology MA (Canterbury & Rome)

Course content

Kent’s MA in Roman History and Archaeology is designed for students who wish to adopt a twin-tracked approach to the past by using both historical and archaeological evidence.

Roman civilisation produced one of the largest empires of the ancient world. The Roman Empire had one of the most advanced technologies of the ancient world, producing major architectural, cultural and artistic achievements. The extensive remnants left behind enable us to recreate and understand Roman culture thousands of years later.

Our Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies (http://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/classics/index.html) contains one of the largest concentrations of experts in Roman History and Archaeology with experts in Pompeii, Rome, Egypt, as well as in the study of artefacts and of ancient medicine. You spend your first term at our beautiful campus overlooking the Roman and Medieval city of Canterbury, just one hour from London. While in Canterbury, you gain training in research skills in both Roman History and in Archaeology.

The second term is based in Rome, at the campus of the American University of Rome (http://www.aur.edu), where you study the sites and museums of ancient Rome. All teaching is in English. The experience of staying in Rome and studying the city alters brings into focus new ideas and a new perspective of the ‘Eternal City’.

Each week is structured around a series of site visits, so that you gain an in-depth knowledge of the ancient city. In the final term, you complete your MA by writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a research topic defined in collaboration with your supervisor. The programme can also be studied at Canterbury only.

This is an ideal programme for graduates of history, ancient history, classics or the wider humanities, wanting to gain practical experience in applying their expertise and benefit from the experience and confidence gained from living and studying overseas.

Course structure

During the first term at Canterbury you take two core modules. Your second term is in Rome and you take one core module and one optional module. Over the course of these two terms you discuss with the course director your ideas and plans for your 15,000-word dissertation. The writing of the dissertation takes place in the summer with completion in August.


Term 1 (Canterbury):
Compulsory modules:

CL900 - Research Skills in Ancient History
CL805 - Contemporary Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Issues

Term 2 (Rome):
Compulsory Module:

CL828 - Rome: The Imperial City

One option from:

Optional modules in Rome are taken through the American University in Rome and change each year. Past options have included:

Rome: Writing the city

This upper level Classics course will examine depictions of the city of Rome in classical literature. It will examine the fabric of the city and the idea of Rome as a symbol of civilization. The buildings and public spaces of Rome were the backdrop for performance, spectacle, ceremony and daily and these activities generated meaning and symbolism. For the Romans specific locations were connected to history, myth and collective memory and were protected by the genius loci. Amongst others, the following authors will be studied: Cicero, Livy, Lucan, Ovid, Propertius, Tacitus, Virgil. All texts will be studied in translation.

Etruscan Art and Archaeology

This is an upper level course studying the art and archaeology of the Etruscans from their emergence at the beginning of the first millennium BCE until their absorption by the Romans. The course will take full advantage of the rich museum collections of Etruscan material in Rome and will include a field trip to the sites of Cerveterii and Tarquinia. The course will look at the origins of the Etruscans, their art and material culture, their interactions with other groups and their eventual absorption by the Romans.

Global Heritage

This upper level seminar course examines global heritage concerns looking in particular at how the past conditions the present and influences identity. Lectures and seminars will be built around four topics: the role of international organizations, heritage and memory, heritage and economic development and contemporary issues in global heritage. Each topic unit will be completed by a seminar where students will present case studies that illustrate the issues raised.

Term 3: Dissertation

CL897 - Dissertation
CL805 - Contemporary Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Issues (30 credits)
CL828 - Rome-The Imperial City (30 credits)
CL829 - Rome Optional Module (30 credits)
CL900 - Research Skills in Ancient History - Understanding the City in Antiquit (30 credits)
CL897 - CL Dissertation (60 credits)


The programme is assessed by coursework for each of the modules, an examination in Latin or ancient Greek, if these modules are taken, and by the dissertation.

This programme is also available at Canterbury only.

Visit the Roman History and Archaeology MA (Canterbury & Rome) page on the University of Kent, Rome website for more details!





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