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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS3510 Pompeii - Past, Present and Future

20 creditsClass Size: 26

Module manager: Dr Virginia Campbell

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module explores the development of pre-industrial urbanisation using the case study of one of the most studied and famous of ancient sites. It uses the latest research results to examine current understanding of the city and set it in the context of the development of ideas in Classical Archaeology over more than 250 years. A key issue is also the preservation and presentation of the monument for future generations.


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
1. Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of a key site in Classical Archaeology;
2. Students will demonstrate a coherent and detailed understanding of the contribution of Pompeii to ideas on ancient urbanisation
3. Students will demonstrate a critical appreciation of the changing perspectives of archaeologists and the development of Classical archaeology from the 18th century to the present
4. Students will acquire a thorough understanding of the issues involved in conserving the ancient site of Pompeii and presenting ideas of Antiquity to modern visitors.

Skills outcomes
On successfully completing 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.


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
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

4 hours reading and note-taking per lecture = 80 hours
5 hours reading and preparation per seminar = 25 hours
Essay (50%) = 42 hours reading and writing
Exam (50%) = 28 hours revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Opportunities within seminars to explore and contest ideas and different interpretations within current research.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 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)3 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: 27/01/2020


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