Welcome to Classics

Emma Stafford welcomes you to studying classics at Leeds

Matthew Treherne, Head of School welcomes you to the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Independent Learning

Making the transition to being a successful undergraduate in an Arts subject is largely about developing your skills as an independent learner. As a Classics student you will need to spend a lot of time working independently – for example, reading, note-taking, thinking and writing. This will be the biggest change from being a sixth form student – you will need to manage your own study-time and motivate yourself to keep up with your academic work. But don’t worry – we have lots of ways to help you with this!

In your first few weeks, our Academic Skills module, CLAS 1025, will help you to master the skills which you need to become a successful independent learner – for example, planning your time, taking good notes, and using the library effectively.

Your personal tutor can provide help and guidance on how to improve your performance as an independent learner. We use the Leeds for Life system for personal tutoring.

Various courses are available to help you improve your independent learning skills. These include the tutorials and workshops on the Skills@Library page.

You might also want to set up an informal group to discuss your module reading, and debate ideas with other students.

Making the grade

In Classics, the most common forms of assessment are essays and exams. But we also use a wide range of innovative forms of assessment which help to enhance your learning, and encourage you to develop new and different skills. These include working in pairs to produce posters or wiki pages, participating in online message board discussions, giving oral presentations and writing reports on surveys conducted in Leeds city centre. We always provide help and guidance when you are undertaking a new form of assessment, so that you understand what is required and can perform well.

We particularly like to link assessed work with direct engagement with the wider public, so that you can share your growing expertise and enthusiasm as a Classicist with others who are interested in hearing about the subject. For example, students on our Aeneid and Iliad modules are offered the chance to present their work to A-level pupils in local schools. Students on the optional module ‘Living the Religious Experience at Rome’ have also shared their wiki narratives about taking part in Roman religious rituals with the wider public through a dedicated website.

Feedback on your work is usually provided via written comments – both on the work itself and on an attached feedback sheet. But you may also receive feedback in more informal contexts – for example, via class tests, seminar discussions or when you are working with other students. Written feedback helps you to understand the strengths and weaknesses in your work, and usually includes suggestions about what to do in future assessments in order to improve your grades.

Your personal tutor can also help you to make good use of feedback on your assessed work. It is a good idea to get into the habit of taking examples of written feedback along to your personal tutor meetings. You can then show your tutor what sort of feedback comments you have received, and ask them to help you to understand what you need to do to improve your work in future.


Members of staff in Classics at Leeds have a wide variety of research interests, and this is reflected in the teaching which they deliver. Throughout your course, you will have the chance to follow modules directly related to staff research and to participate in cultural activities and events organised by the staff.

Discovery modules

As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you can choose something different to your main subject as a discovery module. Find out more about the Discovery Themes on the Broadening pages of the Leeds for Life website.