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Module

HCA1008 : Global Ancient Histories

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr John Holton
  • Lecturer: Dr Micaela Langellotti, Dr Simon Corcoran, Dr Christina Mobley, Dr Philip Garrett, Dr Matthew Haysom
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module aims to look beyond ancient Greece and Rome and investigate a range of global ancient histories, prior to c. 500 CE (though this will be a flexible boundary). This global focus is in concert with the School-wide aim of supplementing traditional focuses with new, inclusive ways of thinking about the world’s historical past. Drawing on wide interests and expertise across the School, this module aims to explore significant historical issues in global antiquity and their recurrent or connected place in a diversity of regions and cultures. Methodologically, this module is committed to investigating evidence from the widest possible range of sources and viewpoints, and to contextualising and interpreting that evidence through exposure to interdisciplinary approaches (including various theoretical models). Overall, this module aims to promote the development of a broader and enhanced perspective on ancient history and to provoke a reassessment of traditional boundaries in our knowledge and understanding of the world’s past.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module’s syllabus will cycle, dependent on available staff’s expertise and with a commitment to creating a coherent programme of learning. Typically, the syllabus will be divided along the lines of important issues, themes, or questions in world history, with treatments of geographically diverse histories included within the ambit of each but also across issues where possible. Emphasis will also be placed on comparison, and on drawing patterns of connection, throughout.

Central issues that may be covered include:
•       religion and beliefs
•       urbanism and cities
•       oral and written cultures
•       empires and royal states
•       inequality and status
•       historiography and conceptions of the past

Regions of the ancient world that may be covered include:
•       Anatolia
•       China
•       Central Asia
•       Egypt
•       Ethiopia
•       India
•       Japan
•       Mesoamerica
•       Mesopotamia
•       North America
•       Persia

Assessment support drop-ins are built into the syllabus to assist students with preparing the module’s two assessment components.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials201:0020:00Recordings, readings, and other tasks (avg. 2 hrs p/w), plus short weekly introductions (10-15 mins)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion461:0046:0016 hrs for portfolio (avg. 2 hrs p/w over 8 weeks), and 30 hrs for 2,000-word essay
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities90:203:00Short weekly tasks practising digital skills, linked to content in lecture materials and seminars.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading361:0036:00Additional weekly reading (avg. 4 hrs p/w), self-chosen from weekly bibliographies
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities211:0021:00Weekly resources linked to lecture materials (avg. 2 hrs p/w), plus weekly 20-min consolidation quiz
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Weekly seminars (online, timetabled)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Live Q&A on weekly materials (esp. lecture recordings) and assessment briefings (online, timetabled)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity91:009:00Student-led reading groups on weekly content (1 hr p/w)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Self-guided exploration of VLE content (e.g. external online resources) and skills consolidation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study251:0025:00Additional research into self-chosen topics, facilitated by module reading list
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion21:002:00Online student-led discussion threads supporting completion of the two assessment components
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous lecture materials will introduce topics and provide structured orientation and exposition, supplemented by structured weekly reading in advance. Consolidation and further skills-development opportunities will come from weekly quizzes and digital literary tasks. Synchronous seminars and drop-ins, and non-synchronous reading groups, include active learning opportunities, teacher-learner dialogue, as well as peer-to-peer support.

Synchronous seminars will also consolidate the learning progress from lecture materials and weekly readings by enabling students to focus on connected issues and material in greater depth. Seminars will be student-led (though facilitated by teaching staff), focusing on group discussion and debate surrounding material circulated in advance (for example, sets of evidence, scholarship, and questions), and so will provide enhanced grounds for active skills and knowledge development in relation to all of module’s intended learning outcomes.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M401,600-word log (8 x 200-word entries) for critical reflection on weekly content, with in-class prompts and guidance
Essay1A602000-word essay answering one of a pre-set list of questions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both of the assessment components are intended to assess progress against the module’s intended learning outcomes. The essay (a 2,000-word piece of work responding to a question chosen by the student from a pre-circulated set of options), is intended to allow the student to demonstrate the entire range of the knowledge and skills outcomes, while the portfolio (1,600 words: 8 x 200 word pieces reflecting on every week’s content after the first week, in response to weekly prompts) more specifically gives the opportunity to practise attainment against the skills outcomes.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable