I’ve found out today that I’ve received a provisional B2 grade for the latest module I completed at Dundee University – Basic Latin for Archivists and Researchers. Once confirmed, I will have the 60 credits necessary to graduate with a Post Graduate Certificate in Family and Local History. Yay!
After initial reservations about picking that particular module (I would have preferred Ecclesiastical Archives), I found it to be a nice change in format from previous modules. These had continuous assessment Tasks and final Assignments consisting of Report and Essay writing whereas the Basic Latin module was mostly translations with some interpretation questions. Although I can’t say I spent a lot of time remembering how to conjugate verbs or decline nouns, I did pick up the skill of parsing a Latin sentence and picking out the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. and noting their case/gender/person/tense and gradually being able to put an English translation together. As a (sadly former) programmer I rather enjoyed this method.
I also learned the importance of having of good Latin-English dictionary to hand – and how bad Google Translate is!
Originally I had intended to carry on and study for a Post Graduate Diploma, but my finances dictate that I need to call a halt to my studies. The Basic Latin module was worth 10 credits and cost £480. I note that there has been a slight increase to £485 for the next academic session and a 20 credit module will now cost £970. So, to continue on to the Diploma would have cost £2,910 – money I just don’t have.
I am sad to be leaving the course as I really enjoyed it. All the modules I studied were very interesting and I learned a lot about Skills & Sources for Family and Local History in Scotland, Military History and Heraldry. The virtual learning environment has been improved recently with the introduction of Office 365 and a cloud storage service called Box. The flexibility of the modular approach helped me (as someone still in full-time employment) and I definitely made the right choice over the rival Strathclyde University course.
So, I’ll miss Dundee University but will have fond memories. Unfortunately, I’ll also miss the graduation ceremony in June so I will graduate in absentia. But, at least I’ve learned enough Latin to know what that means!
P.S. I had the following modules in mind if I had been able to continue:
|Scots Palaeography & Diplomatic||20|
|Understanding Latin in Documents and Archives||10|
Jute, Jam, Journalism and, er, Genealogy!
Upon returning from holiday in Spain, I got some good news in the post: I’ve been offered a place on the Postgraduate Certificate course in Family and Local History run by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee. Yipee!
Having previously attended 3 sets of evening classes in Genealogy at the University of Strathclyde (which I highly recommend for dipping your toe into family history), I had initially been tempted to continue onto their own Postgraduate course. However, having had a class visit from the course administrator and having read Kirsty Wilkinson’s experiences, I decided I couldn’t commit to the required 20 hours a week study time.
The Dundee course is much more flexible, allowing the study of individual modules one at a time and building slowly to the Certificate/Diploma/Masters accreditation over a longer period of time. This fits much better when having to study as well as being in full-time employment. This was also the schedule I followed when studying for my BSc in Information Technology at University of the West of Scotland a few years ago: one 3 hour session per week in Paisley after work was about all I could handle! And with the Dundee course being distance-learning, there will be no need for such long, long days this time.
Another minor selling point was that if I pursue the course until Masters level, the award is an MLitt rather than MSc. Being a Master of Letters in addition to a Bachelor of Science just sounds so much better and I get to have two sets of letters after my name LOL!
The two modules I’m planning to study this year are the compulsory Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in Scotland and the optional Ecclesiastical Archives. I can’t wait to get started…