My first blog post here – where to start? My name is Leah, and I am in the final year of a degree in Classical Studies. I’ve been studying with the University of London International Programmes for the past five years, and I am sad for it to be coming to an end but hoping to be going out with a strong finish! One of the strengths of the Classical Studies degree is the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). This is the website where we can access all our course material, take part in seminar discussions, and engage with other students on the Classics and History courses.  I know that not all of the University of London International Programmes degrees utilize that platform but I think it would be a great direction for them to move in.

Even though I’ve been studying online for the last few years I’ve been a slave to printing everything out but this year I’ve decided to be as paperless as possible. The trigger for this change is that before this year’s exams I got stuck in London thanks to the Icelandic volcano. Now, it wasn’t too much of a biggie as I normally sit my exams in London anyway and I was due to travel there in early May.  But, I’d come over from NYC in mid April for a work trip and then volcanic craziness kicked off so I decided to run the two trips together. Given all the uncertainty around where the ash cloud was going next it seemed to make the most sense. What this meant study wise was that my books were on one side of the Atlantic whilst I was on the other.   This was something of a logistical nightmare and it made me realize how I needed to change my study habits. That it made more sense to use e-books were possible, to write up my summaries on articles and books as I go through rather leaving it all to the pre-exam panic, and to keep everything as online (and accessible) as possible.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this, and my adventures as a final year student over the coming months.


  1. Hello Leah, thank you for writing about your experience. I am in English studies, which I adore; I am thinking about entering for a classics degree when I complete the Englsih credential. This is such a wonderful study experience I want it to go on forever! Can you tell me about finding texts and course material? I am concerned about access to resources. The volcano drama sounds like quite an experience; I’m glad you found a sloution to such an unusual challenge.



  2. Hi Catherine,

    Yes – all this studying is v addictive! The classics courses are self-contained and you receive all the course materials (on a CD & accessible online through the VLE) and the key course books. Thanks to Amazon I haven’t had any problems getting hold of an additional books that I may need.



  3. @ Catherine – And also along with the Classics degree you have access to JSTOR which provides all the articles you could ever need and then some! I really recommend the Classics degree very highly. It’s an excellent degree.

    @Leah – fantastic blog entry and well said! Where would we be without e-books and the internet? Well, here’s to our last year!


  4. Hi Leah,

    I enjoyed reading your blog as well as the responses from others. I recently applied to the Classics program. Do you remember how long it took to receive a decision from the admissions department when you applied to the Classics program?



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