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Special Subject Dissertation - 30 credits (HS4332)

Staff: individual supervision (module co-ordinator is Laurence Totelin)

This module offers the opportunity to pursue an in-depth study of a topic that interests you, either a question arising from other modules, or a new area of the subject. The study is conducted over two semesters, with regular supervision by a member of staff, and leads to a 15-minute oral presentation and a dissertation of 7,500–10,000 words. The dissertation builds on the work and skills developed in HS4334 Independent Second Year Study, but you do not necessarily have to continue with the same subject.

Core module for: BA Ancient History, Year 3
Optional for: all other Ancient History degrees, Year 3
Availability: autumn and spring semesters every year
Teaching: regular tutorials; private study
Assessment: oral presentation (20%); dissertation (80%)


  • To provide an opportunity for students to work, under appropriate supervision, on an extended project of their own choice and devising.
  • To enable students to undertake a detailed study of a body of source material.
  • To provide a range of skills over and above those required for conventional taught courses.
  • To test students' aptitude and aspirations for postgraduate work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student will demonstrate:

  • an ability to work independently on a substantial project of an ancient historical or archaeological nature.
  • a knowledge of the topic under investigation and its broader historical relevance.
  • a knowledge of the primary evidence and an ability to employ it within the historical context.
  • an awareness of the various debates that surround the topic and an ability to evaluate the primary evidence with reference to these debates.
  • an ability to discuss these issues in oral and written work with coherent and logical arguments, clearly and correctly expressed.
  • an ability to employ bibliographic and referencing skills.

Related modules

Prerequisite: HS4334 Independent Second Year Study