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Student and tutor module reviews

The classical studies dissertation

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

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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Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the February 2013 presentation of A867. The survey was carried out in 2014. 67.6% of our students responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module. See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 87 %
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 87 %
The module provided good value for money 60.9 %
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 91.3 %
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 60 %
The module met its stated learning outcomes 81.8 %
I would recommend this module to other students 81.8 %
The module met my expectations 87 %
I enjoyed studying this module 90.9 %
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 90.9 %
Faculty comment: "We start by noting that the small size of the module cohort meant a response rate of only 23 participants, and this means the statistics need to be read with care, since each individual’s views comprises more than 4% of the total, and the number of responses only just qualifies for the key data to be analysed. However, the responses seem in line with the student feedback from comparable MA modules within the faculty. We are pleased that satisfaction levels were high overall, and particularly glad at the high scores for enjoyment of the module and for tutor support. We note that where the module scored less highly was on quality of teaching materials and value for money. We suspect that the two may be linked. Since this is a dissertation module, students do not receive teaching materials because they are expected to conduct independent research. It may be that students who have studied other OU modules and are used to receiving large amounts of materials find this slightly disappointing; however, this is inherent to the aims of this module."
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