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Supervision on the grass with Chris Whitton

How we teach is as important as what we teach. All students in Classics benefit from centrally organised tuition and colleges will arrange for small-group supervision. Colleges also provide you with a Director of Studies in Classics, who will help you maximise your potential. (You can find out who directs studies at a particular college here.)

This variety of provision allows us to offer a unique level of care and flexibility. Lectures are offered on all parts of the course as well as in some areas cut across disciplines, while classes (especially in Part 2) allow you to debate issues and formulate your own arguments.

Likewise, throughout your degree course, college (or “supervision”) offers you the chance to study the ancient world in depth, often emphasising a different angle from the lectures. The format of supervisions varies with the supervisor. Most often, you will write an essay in advance and discuss it with your supervisor and one or two other students. There is a real opportunity to work on each individual’s intellectual development. Supervisions train you to think critically and independently.

In addition to lectures and seminars, the Classics Faculty houses the Museum of Classical Archaeology on its first floor. This contains one of the finest collections of casts of classical sculpture in the world. It also has an excellent pottery collection. These are regularly used in art and archaeology teaching. Moreover, students taking archaeology courses can sign up to visit or even help excavate a variety of sites, both in Britain and the Mediterranean.

The library downstairs completes the picture. Not only is it a wonderful resource for primary and secondary literature on open access, but it is a comfortable and light space to work in. Undergraduates, graduates and lecturing staff find it a friendly and productive place to work.

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