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Student and tutor module reviews

The classical studies dissertation

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A867
  • Level: Postgraduate
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Student reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. As the culmination of many years working from the excellent modules of history in both the BA and MA, I especially enjoyed the opportunity to 'go it alone' albeit with the support of my tutor. I felt as if all I have learned had really come together.

Course starting: February 2006

Review posted: September 2007

This was an excellent course. It provided my first opportunity to carry out a large-scale piece of independent research. It was also my first opportunity to write something where I had to organise the argument over several chapters. Both aspects were a challenge. Good time management was necessary in both. It was important to keep the two parts in balance, neither becoming beguiled by the research nor constantly editing the dissertation. My supervisor was excellent, supportive when needed and challenging when necessary.

Robert Aspey

Course starting: February 2006

Review posted: March 2007

I thoroughly enjoyed researching and drafting my dissertation. The work gave me a real buzz and I am now missing it! I have to admit that it all felt a bit daunting at first but the key is to narrow your chosen topic down so that the question you are investigating is manageable. If the topic is too broad you will just get bogged down in it.

Good time management is essential too - you'll be surprised how quickly the deadlines arrive! I left myself plenty of time at the end to complete the dissertation and get it printed on a good quality printer (you have to send off two copies to the University).

Needless to say, my tutor was brilliant and I could not have had better support. It's a good idea to keep in touch regularly to let him/her know how things are progressing as well as meeting up a few times in the year for face-to-face discussion (nothing can replace that).

Richard Charles Potter

Course starting: February 2004

Review posted: August 2005

Having thoroughly enjoyed A860 and A861, I found the dissertation part of the MA quite a lonely experience. Tutorials are not arranged because your dissertation topic is your project and your project alone. If you could arrange a couple of morale boosting meetings with fellow sufferers, I'm sure it would be beneficial. The most difficult part of the workload was doing research and writing at the same time. By the time you have decided on a topic (and your tutor has approved) effectively you have 6 months to research and write your dissertation. It can be difficult to obtain the articles you require via the public library if your local OU friendly university does not have a Classics section (it would be great if it we were allowed to request journal articles through the OU Library instead). Do not underestimate how long it takes to physically write/type 18,000 words; A860 and A861 may have honed your critical evaluation skills but they can't really prepare you for the huge task of researching and structuring such a large piece of work.

Course starting: February 2004

Review posted: February 2005

This course was indeed the culmination of three years of Classical Studies. It was very hard going but extremely rewarding, and I would definitely recommend it to any budding classicist.

Rose Ruth Yarom

Course starting: February 2004

Review posted: February 2005

This is the hardest and best part of the qualification. I am surprised it does not count for more toward the MA and should be the sole arbiter of the distinction/pass award decision in my view. I enjoyed it very much, although there are no givens here: it is tough but well worth it.

Howard Young

Course starting: February 2004

Review posted: December 2004

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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