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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS3510 Pompeii - Past, Present and Future

20 creditsClass Size: 36

Module manager: Dr. Rick Jones

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will examine in detail the social and economic dynamics of ancient Pompeii as preserved at its destruction in AD79, as well as the processes by which they had developed over some six centuries. It will use the unique evidence of Pompeii's townscape to deal with the relationships between private and public life and the development of intensive urbanisation. Crucial to the module is the understanding of changes in the way the city has been studied over 250 years and the challenges of preserving it for the future and communicating with the general public. For further information, contact the Department of Classics (email; website; telephone: 0113 343 6786).


This module will use the unique archaeological landscape of Pompeii and the Vesuvian region to explore how people experienced living in an ancient city. It will use current research on the archaeology of Pompeii to address the key themes that the site raises for understanding the ancient world and for reflecting on how Classical Antiquity has been studied over the past two and a half centuries. Through seminars and assessed work, it will foster skills which include critical thinking, the ability to organise material and the ability to express and support ideas.

Learning outcomes
Students completing this module are expected to have acquired:
- an in-depth knowledge of a key site in Classical Archaeology;
- an understanding of the contribution of Pompeii to ideas on ancient urbanisation;
- familiarity with the changing perspectives of archaeologists and the development of Classical archaeology from the 18th century to the present;
- an appreciation of the issues involved in conserving the ancient site of Pompeii and presenting ideas of Antiquity to modern visitors.

Skills outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students are expected to be able to demonstrate an ability to analyse primary evidence critically and understand the biases involved in both written and archaeological sources when considering the development of the ancient city and its use in modern discourse since its discovery. They will also demonstrate a range of transferable skills, including written expression, oral debating skills, the organisation of personal study, and IT skills.


The module will use the latest research evidence to examine issues including: the discovery of Pompeii; the growth into a city; public Pompeii; households and communites; interior decoration and social status; entertainment and display; the economic base of the city; power relations within the city; comparisons with other ancient cities; the relations between conservation, presentation to the public and research.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours173.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

The 174 private study hours comprise of:
- 4 hours reading and note-taking per lecture = 4 x 20 = 80 hours
- 5 hours reading and preparation per seminar = 5 x 4 = 20 hours
- Essay (50%) = 50 hours reading and writing
- Exam (50%) = 24 hours revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The essay provides an opportunity to use the understanding of primary evidence to explore the broader themes of the module in depth. The exam tests subject-specific knowledge and skills at the end of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/04/2017


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