Erasmus+ Study Guide 2020/21 Classics - University of Bristol

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Erasmus+ Study Guide

Department of Classics and Ancient History
                            School of Humanities


Welcome to the Department
Classics has been at the heart of the University of Bristol since its foundation in 1909; the
Wills Chair of Greek was one of the three original chairs, along with Mathematics and
Physics, endowed by H.O. Wills, whose gift of £100,000 in 1908 was the crucial step in
University College obtaining its royal charter. Distinguished holders of the Greek chair have
included H.D.F. Kitto, N.G.L. Hammond and John Gould. The Latin chair has been held by
William Beare, Niall Rudd and Charles Martindale. Gillian Clark FBA was the first Professor
of Ancient History, and Bristol has also been served by notable classical archaeologists like
Peter Warren; both these distinguished scholars are still active in the research life of the
university since their retirements.

Today the Department of Classics & Ancient History is part of the School of Humanities. It
currently comprises fourteen permanent members of staff, a postgraduate community of
over 30 students, and roughly 250 undergraduates, more or less equally divided between
the Classics, Classical Studies and Ancient History programmes.

Bristol has been the site of world-leading, innovative research which has helped to transform
the discipline. It has a high international profile in several sub-disciplines: mythology;
historiography; religion; late antiquity; literary theory; and reception. It is a pluralist
department, hospitable both to innovative theoretical perspectives and to engaged work on
essential disciplinary skills, particularly those related to language and material culture. It
values collaboration and intellectual cross-fertilization in teaching and research; cross-
disciplinarity is the norm rather than the exception. It aims not only to identify but to define
new trends. Our diverse research activities are unified by three broad underlying themes:
interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity, the exploration of new theoretical and
methodological approaches to the study of antiquity, and a concern with the continuing
impact and influence of the classical world and its culture.

The Bristol Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition plays a particularly
important role in promoting classical research. Funded wholly by donations and research
grants, over the last decade it has supported a series of post-doctoral fellows (many of
whom have gone on to permanent academic position), organised workshops and
conferences, and put on events to engage with the wider public and promote the study of the
ancient world in local schools.

When you begin
The University’s academic calendar is available at
A meeting will be organised at the start of your studies where you will be able to ask any
questions concerning your study programme. If you are coming for a single teaching block
you must arrive before the start of the appropriate Teaching Block to sort out administrative
There is an exam session at the end of each teaching block in January and May/June. Units
taught in TB1 only will be assessed in January. All other units will be assessed in the
Summer Exam period. There are no resits for final year units (i.e. 4th year units). There are
NO resits for Erasmus students. If you fail a unit, you will NOT be allowed to take a
supplementary examination.

Units and Credits
The University’s Unit Catalogue provides information on Classics units available in the 2020-
21 academic year. Most units within the Department of Classics and Ancient History are 20
The Department covers three related disciplines: Ancient History, Classical Studies, and
Classics. Classics Erasmus+ students can select units across all three areas.
Students can come either for the whole year or for one Teaching Block. Classics Erasmus+
students are expected to take most of their credits in the Department. This would
mean taking at least 100 credits (of 120) in the Department if here for the full academic
year, or at least 40 credits (of 60) if studying for one semester.
Many units involve an examination assessment. Examinations are held in January and
May/June. Please note that as an Erasmus exchange student you only have one
attempt at exams, and you will not be able to take resits in August/September.
Bristol students do not mix units from different levels, and the timetable can make it very
difficult to do so. If you choose units from different years, there is the possibility that this will
result in a timetable clash.

Before selecting your unit choices please note the following:
    ▪   You need to select a maximum of 120 credits for a full year (equivalent to 60 ECTS)
        or 60 credits for one term (equivalent to 30 ECTS)
    ▪   Only select classes that run in the Teaching Block (or ‘semester’) that you are
        studying in.
    ▪   Consider the unit assessment including where there is an examination. You will be
        expected to complete all assessment involved.
    ▪   It is your responsibility to ensure that you have met any prerequisites for a unit.
        Prerequisites are indicated on the unit’s description in the Catalogue.
    ▪   It is sometimes possible to select a unit from another School within the University
        subject to timetable constraints and the requirements of that School.
    ▪   The timetable will not be finalised until the beginning of Week 0. The School cannot
        guarantee that selected courses will not clash on the timetable.

The choices made in the initial Learning Agreement are subject to confirmation by the
School, which may require changes for both learning and administrative reasons. Students
may request changes to their initial choices at the start of the year, but these are subject to
approval by the School.
Please note that Archaeology is a separate discipline at the University and sits with a
different School (School of Arts).

The Department provides units in Ancient Greek and Latin. The study of these languages
are only available to students who begin their studies at Bristol in Teaching Block One (the
autumn term). The languages are taught at all levels from absolute beginner onward, starting
with Level A and advancing to Level D.
If you are interested in studying Ancient Greek or Latin, please contact the Department’s
Study Abroad Academic Director to determine which level is most suitable for you (please
see the ‘School’s contact information’ section for their details).

School policy for Erasmus+ students from other areas wishing to take units
It may be possible for incoming Erasmus+ students based in other departments to take
Classics units where there is availability and the student has met any pre-requisites listed on
the unit’s description.

Department’s contact information

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is in the School of Humanities. The School
has a new state-of-the-art building which is located on the main campus.
Full contact details:
The Department of Classics and Ancient History
School of Humanities
11 Woodland Road
Map and travel information can be found at

Tel: +44 (0)117 33 17932

The Study Abroad Academic Director for the School is Dr Silke Knippschild

Global Opportunities Team
Tel : +44 117 39 40207
Study at Bristol:

English Language Requirements
Students must have a good standard of both written and spoken English before arriving in
Bristol – a minimum B2 level of equivalent. Students must be able to converse freely with
native English speakers and in addition must be able to read and write extended pieces of
technical writing.
If you need to develop your academic English language skills, you can take optional units
from the Centre for Academic Language and Development (CALD). These units focus on
listening and speaking, reading and writing, and advanced grammar. Visit the CALD
website to register for these units.

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