The City of Rome (CLAM046)

StaffChristopher Siwicki - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks; Term 3: 8 weeks;

Module aims

  • The module provides you with detailed, first-hand knowledge of key sites and monuments in and around Rome. It examines the city as a whole – the topography, development and function of the imperial capital – and analyses selected monuments in terms of their structural history, their architectural characteristics, their place in the development of the urban plan, their social, economic and religious function and their subsequent use and influence. The aim will be to acquire a good understanding of the material/visual basis of the city of Rome and be able to contextualise it in terms of the historical and socio-cultural processes.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Show direct knowledge of archaeological sites and monuments relevant to the history of Rome
  • 2. Demonstrate the ability to correlate material remains with other evidence for the topography, the development and socio-economic history of the city and its hinterland

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate an independent understanding of the relationships between the material evidence and the context creation, use, reuse and position within its environment
  • 4. Show informed capacity to identify different forms of art and architecture within the city and to analyse them chronologically and typologically

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Show the ability to integrate personal observation of material evidence with a wide range of other kinds of evidence and to form independent inferences and analyses based on observation and guided research
  • 6. Demonstrate adaptability to learning and social environments, working as part of a team in gaining information and deploying new experiences, working within a set framework in a different country and academic institution
  • 7. Demonstrate skills in constructing, and defending a sustained argument (in oral and written form)
  • 8. Work with instructor and peers in an independent, constructive and responsive way

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

Exeter (2 seminars):

  • A historical overview of the city of Rome and some key debates.
  • The archaeology of the city comparing Republican and Imperial Rome.


  • 8 weeks of lectures and seminars, field-trips, and independent supervised study in the BSR Library.

One half of the course is devoted to site visits led by the Module Director in Rome and Tutors, supplemented by lectures and seminars given by distinguished guest speakers. The other half is reserved for individual study supervised by the Module Director in Rome. The course begins with a discussion of the topography and infrastructures of the city, and continues with detailed study of the most important monuments of the Roman period, emphasising recent discoveries and controversies. It concludes with a discussion of the relation of the city to its suburbium, including Ostia and the Port of Rome. Some topics may be chosen to suit your research needs or the interests of the guest speakers.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching4Including the field course/residency: The module director will run two preparatory two-hour seminars on the background history, archaeology and monuments of Rome and organise the first written assignment (of two) before you go to Rome (4000 words)
Placement/study abroad296Eight weeks residence in Rome at the British School at Rome (BSR). This would be divided into two elements, lectures and seminar based at the BSR

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral element (including major presentation)40

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Oral element (including major presentation)

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • D. Buitron Oliver, The interpretation of Architectural Sculpture in Greece and Rome (London 1997), 193-218. 
  • J. Coulstron, H. Dodge (eds.), Ancient Rome: the Archaeology of the Eternal City (Oxford 2000). 
  • C. Edwards, G. Woolf, Rome the Cosmopolis (Cambridge 2003).

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


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