MRes in the Classical Tradition

Roman MosaicThe MRes in The Classical Tradition is a multidisciplinary degree which has as its focus the reception of Greek and Roman culture in the modern world. This degree aims to provide a transition between undergraduate taught courses and doctoral research. It offers an introduction to methods and tools of advanced study and research in Classical reception, and extends the skills and experience of students to the point where they can develop
their own approach to their chosen field.

The MRes, which is the oldest established Master's programme in reception studies in the UK,  draws on the research expertise of academic staff within the Department of Classics, in particular of the Classical Tradition and Reception Studies research grouping.  The Research Assessment Exercise 2014 ranked Reading Classics third in the UK for quality of research publications and sixth overall for research quality.


Students take a total of 180 credits over one year (from October to September) if studying full-time, or over two years if studying part-time.

a.Research Methods (10 credits: Autumn term)

This module is taught in an intensive series of seminars in the first term, and aims at enabling students to develop the practical skills necessary for research in Classical reception: topics include IT resources; library skills; construction and presentation of bibliography. All students attend a series of weekly research seminars given by visiting speakers. This module is assessed by a short written assignment.

b.Approaches to The Classical Tradition (30 credits: Autumn term)

A series of seminars introduces students to a broad range of interpretations of the Classical tradition and to contemporary debates in reception. This module, which typically takes the form of a series of chronological case studies, is assessed by a book review, presentation, and essay.

c.Language Modules (20 credits: Autumn and Spring terms)

All students take a module of Latin or Ancient Greek at a level appropriate to them from beginners' to advanced. A modern scholarly language (French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Spanish) may substituted. Language modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and an exam.

d.Special Options (30 credits)

Students take two options from a list which reflects the research interests of the staff of the Department. These options often change from year to year, but previous offerings have included: Latin Epic in Late Antiquity and Beyond (Dr. Gill Knight); Christian Letter Writing and the friendship tradition (Dr. Gill Knight); The Future of Greek Tragedy: tradition and adaptation (Professor. Barbara Goff); The Greek Past in the Roman Empire (Dr. Timothy Duff); Cleopatra VII of Egypt (Dr Rachel Mairs); Early Travellers to Greece (Dr. Amy Smith); The Evolution of the Museum of Antiquities (Dr. Amy Smith); Greek choral poetry (Professor Ian Rutherford); Queering Classics: Sexuality, Gender, Class, Race (Dr Katherine Harloe); Vulgar Latin (Dr Peter Kruschwitz).  Each option is taught through a series of seminars, for which students prepare and give presentations. Assessment is by a series of essays.

e.Dissertation (90 credits)

The dissertation allows students to conduct an in-depth research project on a subject of their choice. Guidance is provided on the choice of subject; once a topic is chosen, each student is assigned to a single supervisor who offers advice through one-to-one meetings. The final dissertation is 20,000 words and is submitted in mid-September.

Enquiries may also be addressed to:

Dr. Barbara Goff
Tel. +44 118 378 8420/5172
Fax. ++44 118 378 6661

Department of Classics
University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6AA, UK

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