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Introducing Latin

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Have you ever wanted to read the works of Roman and medieval authors in their original language?

Or wanted to understand a Latin translation of a modern classic, such as Ursus Nomine Paddington?

This course will allow you to take the first steps on the journey to reading and translating Latin.

Intended for complete beginners, the course will introduce you to the grammar and vocabulary of Latin, providing the groundings for the study of the language as it was used by writers such as Cicero and Julius Caesar and by generations of authors throughout and beyond the Middle Ages.

You will learn to read and translate simple Latin sentences, building skills to enable further study of Latin and which will provide the building blocks for the ultimate aim of reading the ancient texts in their original language.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through eight 2-hour sessions online, and 4 hours of asynchronous recorded content. Online sessions will consist of a mixture of tutor presentations, class discussion and group work on specific elements the module. These sessions and the aysnchronous lectures will be supplemented by resources available to the students via Learning Central.

Syllabus content:

  • Studying Latin: techniques and approaches
  • Speaking Latin: pronunciation
  • An introduction to Latin language and grammar
    • Words and how they change (inflection, cases, declensions)
    • Building sentences: from nouns to verbs (and their voices, tenses, and moods)
    • Adding to sentences: prepositions, particles, pronouns, adjectives
  • Other features of Latin: numbers
  • Reading and translation of basic Latin texts

Coursework and assessment

The module will be assessed through a participation mark reflecting engagement with class tasks across the module, and through a portfolio of homework tasks completed across the module.

There will be lots of help and support available for both elements of assessment.

Reading suggestions

  • Peter V. Jones and Keith C. Sidwell, Reading Latin: Text and Vocabulary, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)
  • Peter V. Jones and Keith C. Sidwell, Reading Latin: Grammar and Exercises, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.