CL3SIL-Digital Silchester

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn or Spring
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2012/3

Module Convenor: Matthew Nicholls


•Understanding the history and archaeology of the Roman town of Silchester
•Learning digital reconstruction skills
•Creating a digital model of a part of the town for assessment.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to understand the layout of Silchester, its development over time, the appearance and function of its principal buildings, and the means of creating digital reconstructions of at least some of these, marshalling the various sorts of available evidence and coming up with credible and useful digital content.

Additional outcomes:
This module will also encourage small group work and informal oral presentation/discussion skills through seminar work. Students will significantly enhance their IT skills through familiarity with Google Sketchup modelling software and its integration with presentation tools like Word and Powerpoint. They will gain an appreciation of the choices and priorities facing the archaeologist and classicist as they attempt to understand life in the ancient past. Students will also use relevant web resources including bibliographies, online mapping resources, and archaeological and epigraphic sources.

The long term aim is to integrate student work into a complete model of the Roman town to be used for educational and outreach purposes.

Outline content:
The course will begin with introductory lectures, covering:

i) the history and archaeology of Silchester
ii) the nature of the digital modelling task envisaged and the methods needed to execute it.

Once students have become familiar with these areas we will move into seminar teaching, set in alternate weeks across two terms to allow time for familiarity with the software to build up.

These seminars will be used to discuss progress on the two assignments, to cover ‘masterclass’ work in digital modelling, and to discuss questions of Roman urbanism and architecture. If time and funds allow, we will visit the site of Silchester.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and seminars

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Seminars 6 10
Guided independent study 90 90
Total hours by term 100 100 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:

Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 20
Project output other than dissertation 80

Other information on summative assessment:
The first assignment, due at the end of the autumn term and counting for 20% of the module mark, will be a small digital model with short written commentary (up to 1000 words) of an element of the site chosen by the module convenor.

The longer assessment, due at the end of the spring term and counting for 80% of the module mark, will consist of a large digital model of a suitable element of the site chosen by the student, with an accompanying written commentary covering such questions as methodology, date range, evidence, the choices and difficulties encountered in the reconstruction process, and what the model is able to show us.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission by 1st September

    Last updated: 7 May 2012

    Things to do now