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Assessment for the module for all students is 50% for work submitted during the module and 50% for a 2-hour exam in the May/June session of examinations. Overlap should be avoided between pre-submitted essays and the questions answered in the exam. Lack of breadth may be penalised.

Students are required to pass both parts of the module, achieving a minimum of 40% on both the assessed work during the module and on the exam.

Students are required to produce TWO essays during the module (length 2,500 words, including footnotes, but excluding bibliography). The normal expected length for assessed essays is ‘c. 2,500 words’, which in practice means 2250-3000 words (including footnotes not including bibliography). Students are required to declare a word count on the cover sheet. Essays will be penalized for being too short and those who have written too much risk the end of the essay – e.g. your clever and sophisticated final paragraph - not being read at all.

Essays must include footnotes where appropriate, and a bibliography of works cited. They should be word-processed. Due attention should be given to literacy (both spelling and grammar). Titles and submission dates follow below. Please refer to the departmental handbook and the document ‘Advice on writing essays’ for further information about assessment criteria and marking.

General guidance on essay writing

Presentation: your essay should contain accurate use of English expression; you will be penalised for poor presentation, including poor grammar and spelling.

Clarity of analysis: your essay should be organised coherently on the basis of arguments; you will be penalised for work which is incoherent or which presents a mass of amorphous material. The case the student is arguing should be clear to the assessor in every paragraph - don't fall automatically into a chronological arrangement of your material, or a line by line examination of a text, unless you are making a specific point, narrowly argued, about development or change over time.

Primary data: your essay should show thoughtful use of a wide range of ancient texts and other material; unsubstantiated arguments and opinions will be penalised. Unless you engage directly with primary evidence (texts, objects), you will not get a good mark.

Secondary material: your essay should isolate the main issues and debates in modern scholarship on the subject. You will be penalised for overdependence on a single unquestioned authority.

Originality and sophistication: your essay should demonstrate thoughtfulness, well-founded scepticism and original ideas which attempt to surpass the issues and debates found in modern discussions in order to take the argument in a new direction.

Submission of Essays

Essays/dissertations for submission should be signed into the departmental office and a cover sheet filled in before 12 noon on or before the date posted. Anonymity of marking is an adopted principle of the University for both assessed essays and examinations. By University regulation, late essays will attract a penalty of 5% (i.e. 5 marks) for each day they are late.


The first essay should be submitted by 12 noon, Wednesday 17th November. You may not submit essays by email, but should hand them in to the departmental office