Reading Classics Students at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research 2013

The British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) is an annual conference that offers undergraduates the opportunity to present a research project to fellow students and staff from universities across the UK and internationally. In this year’s conference, which was held in Plymouth in April, the wealth of student talent included no fewer than 9 delegates from the University of Reading, among them 2 students of the Classics department: Mathew Britten (Part 1 BA Ancient History and Archaeology) and myself.

Mathew said:

Mathew Britten and his presentation on Roman toilets entitled “Don’t get the wrong end of the stick”

Mathew Britten and his presentation on Roman toilets entitled “Don’t get the wrong end of the stick”

I was inspired to complete a research piece for the BCUR to challenge myself as a first year to commit towards completing an extra-curricular project I could be proud of. My lecturers were very encouraging and positively supportive, which helped to boost my inspiration to complete a project that was backed by my department. I chose to present a research paper on Roman toilets, because I thought it was interesting and something quite quirky that you don’t really get to grips with in day to day lectures.

My own inspiration for this project came, really, from the fact that I could be as independent as I liked when it came to choosing what to present. I thought “here is an opportunity to explore the topic that inspired me to pursue a Classics degree – the myths” (and most specifically dragons). My lecturers were enthusiastic with their support and advice and helped me overcome the challenge of condensing such a wide subject into a poster with a single conclusion, which was quite well received at the conference.

Both of us found it to be a brilliant experience, we relished the independence and creativity of the project and made a few new friends along the way. We would heartily recommend it to any undergraduate from any year because you are encouraged to go in any direction you see fit and the staff do a superb job in supporting you throughout the process!

Josh Panteli
BA Classics (Part 2)