Latin: Beginners - Part 1


This course is intended for beginners but is also suitable for those wishing to refresh their Latin. It will comprise one weekly, one-hour pre-recorded lecture to be viewed by students in preparation for the weekly tutor-led live session at the advertised time. Students will be encouraged to prepare and study at home.

Using the first two sections of Jones and Sidwell's textbook 'Reading Latin', we will meet major noun and adjective groups, several tenses of active verbs, and a number of pronouns. 

We will be working through the first two sections of Jones and Sidwell's lively textbook Reading Latin, using adapted extracts from comedies by Plautus, and providing an amusing introduction to the Roman comic tradition. The structure of the course means that we will be translating extended passages from the beginning - an essential way to get to grips with Latin in practice.

By the end of the course we will have encountered all major noun and adjective groups, and be familiar with the future and present tenses of active and deponent verbs and the perfect form of active verbs, giving students the confidence to begin to navigate original Latin texts. 

Programme details

Courses starts: 18 Sep 2023

Our public programme is open access, and most adult language classes are mixed ability. The weekly course schedule below is intended to give an overview of the main grammatical and linguistic constructions likely to be covered each week. Please note that these may sometimes change according to the tutor’s discretion to reflect the interests of course participants.

Week 0: Course Orientation.

Week 1: Introduction and verbs - the irregular verb 'sum'; first conjugation; second conjugation. 

Week 2: Nouns - the Latin case system; 1st declension nouns; second declension nouns. 

Week 3: Nouns - 3rd declension nouns; Adjectives - 3rd declension.

Week 4: Adjectives - 1st and 2nd declension adjectives; 2nd declension neuter adjectives; irregular nouns. 

Week 5: Verbs - imperatives; the verb 'eo'; prepositions; possessive adjectives; personal pronouns. 

Week 6: Nouns and adjectives - 1st and 2nd declension nouns and adjectives in -er; 3rd and 4th conjugation verbs.  

Week 7: Interrogative pronouns/adjectives; 3rd declension neuter nouns.  

Week 8: Verbs - mixed conjugations; imperatives; enclitic -ne. 

Week 9: Verbs -  irregular verbs 'fero' and 'volo'; quid + genitive. 

Week 10: Personal pronouns; infinitives; prinicipal parts of verbs. 


Students who attend a minimum of 70% of classes will receive a Certificate of Attendance.


Description Costs
Course Fee £251.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Nicolas Liney

Nicolas Liney completed a Bachelor of Arts  at the University of Sydney and obtained his Master of Studies in Latin Language and Literature and DPhil in Classics from the University of Oxford. He specialises in Imperial Latin poetry, and has taught Latin and Greek widely.

Course aims

To equip students with a strong foundation for fundamental Latin grammar and syntax, help them develop a small working vocabulary, and introduce them to reading basic Latin texts. 

Course Objectives:

  • To cover, through translation and exercises, the grammar topics as outlined in the programme details.
  • To develop understanding of the Roman cultural world through discussion of the adapted texts and their context.
  • To encourage students to pursue Latin at a higher level. 

Teaching methods

Students will be introduced to the course material through one weekly pre-recorded lecture. The weekly live session will allow for discussion, exercises, group work, and class activities on the weekly topic. Weekly assignments, quizzes and additional resources will be made available to students. Regular preparation in advance of the class is strongly encouraged. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be expected to: 

  • have developed a demonstrable understanding of basic Latin grammar and syntax, displayed through weekly assignments, class work and discussions, and quizzes;
  • be able to read and write basic Latin sentences, and analyse their grammar and syntax;
  • comprehend basic, adapted Latin prose and dramatic texts, with a view to pursuing further study and reading autonomously. 

Assessment methods

You will be set optional assignments to consolidate your learning and to allow you to progress at your own pace. Weekly tests/quizzes and homework will provide a means of gauging progress over the course. 



We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Latin: Beginners assumes no prior knowledge of Latin, but it is also suitable for those who wish to refresh their Latin. To benefit from the course, regular preparation in advance of each class is strongly encouraged. In addition to the course textbook, there will be additional learning resources for self-study and consolidation.