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Level 7

7AACM851 The City of Rome (British School at Rome Annual Postgraduate Course)

Credit value: 40 credits (see 'Assessment' details below)
Module convenor/tutor: Dr John Pearce /  British School at Rome
Teaching pattern: Taught over eight weeks in April and May
Availability: Only available to King's College London students
Assessment: See 'Assessment' details below
Pre-requisite: None, but participation depends on successful application (see 'Application' information)

This is a residential module taught in Rome at the British School at Rome (BSR) over eight weeks in April and May. It is designed to develop postgraduate students’ research skills in the study of ancient Rome. It examines the city as a whole - the topography, development and function of the Imperial capital - and analyses selected monuments in terms of their structural history, their architectural characteristics, their place in the development of the urban plan, their social, economic or religious function and their subsequent use and influence. 

The module is taught by on-site classes in Rome and beyond, lectures at the BSR by the module director and visiting speakers, and seminars. Full details, including previous programmes, are available from the British School at Rome website.


Potential applicants must consult Dr John Pearce, Department of Classics, before applying and are advised to do so as soon as possible. Since the module draws participants from several UK universities on a competitive basis, it is not possible to guarantee places on the module in any one year. The deadline for application is early November.

Applicants will be asked to select 40 credits of London-based modules to follow until the list of successful applicants is confirmed by the BSR. If accepted on 7AACM851, students will be expected to drop 40 credits of Semester 2 modules or any modules assessed by examination in Period 2. Students can drop Semester 1 or full-year modules, provided students have not submitted coursework for credit at the time of being accepted on to 7AACM851.  


There is no additional cost for tuition which is paid by the college from the MA fee paid by the student. Students are however responsible for other costs, including travel, accommodation and subsistence. For 2016 this cost was advertised at 2100 euros, excluding travel to Rome. Limited bursaries have previously been made available by the BSR to support the participation of some applicants. 


Students are awarded three marks: for participation in classes, seminar delivery and a single extended essay. These are weighted respectively at 10% (class participation), 10% (seminar delivery) and 80% (essay).

As the module is taught by an outside institution, under King’s College’s credit transfer regulations for study abroad, students are awarded 40 credits for their study, providing they pass. This module therefore contributes towards student credit requirements in the same way as other modules.

However the mark is not used in the weighted average on which classification, i.e. the award of pass, merit, distinction, is based.

Core reading

No mandatory book purchase is required but students may find that one or more of the below volumes help to support their studies. None of these costs more than £25 (Jan 2016) for a new print version and most cost considerably less; ebooks and used copies are much cheaper.

  • A. Claridge, Rome (Oxford Archaeological Guides) 2nd ed. (Oxford 2010)

  • F. Coarelli, Rome and Environs. An archaeological guide (Berkeley, 2008)

  • S. Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City (Baltimore, 2010)

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