Roehampton Classical Civilisation degree lecturer is University’s latest National Teaching Fellow

A long-standing commitment to breaking down the elitist reputation of classics, and finding sensitive ways to teach about difficult areas of life in the ancient world, has earned Roehampton academic Dr Susan Deacy a coveted National Teaching Fellowship.

Posted: 11 June 2015

image for news story Roehampton Classical Civilisation degree lecturer is University’s latest National Teaching Fellow
Dr Susan Deacy, Principal Lecturer at the University of Roehampton, who has been accredited as a National Teaching Fellow.

Dr Deacy, who has taught at Roehampton since 2004, received the accreditation from the national Higher Education Academy (HEA) this week.

  • Just 55 National Teaching Fellows have been accredited from across the UK this year, out of hundreds of applications.
  • Dr Deacy is the only classical civilisation lecturer in London to hold the NTF accreditation.
  • She is the first classicist in a decade to be named as a fellow.
  • There are less than 700 fellows in the country.

Dr Deacy said: “Classics is often perceived as an elitist subject, but the same cultures hailed as the birthplace of Western values were diverse and multicultural. The subject is full of potential for students to question their cultural assumptions and to bring their own backgrounds, identities and interests to their studies. The issues we consider in our Classical Civilisation lectures are in many ways very relevant to the 21st century.”

In total, 381 students have taken the Classical Civilisation degree course at Roehampton during the past three years. Of those, 138 were the first in their families to go to university. They have studied topics such as:

  • Gender and sexuality in ancient Greece, 
  • Romans and barbarians,
  • Classics and cinema,
  • Merchants and trade in the Roman empire.

Students have also taken part in a study trip to Rome, and used the University’s own historic campus as a learning resource. To make the course as accessible as possible, there is no requirement for students to have previously studied Greek or Latin at school.

Dr Deacy added: “Through my work I’ve developed ways of teaching students the more difficult aspects of life in the ancient world, like infanticide and sexual violence, which some find hard to study. The ancient Greeks and Romans were not always a high-minded or emotional groups of people, but thoughtful teaching can stimulate students’ curiosity and transform their learning experiences.”

Since the HEA launched the National Teaching Fellow programme 15 years ago, 10 members of staff at Roehampton have held the accreditation.

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