University of Sydney Handbooks - 2017 Archive

Download full 2017 archive Page archived at: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 11:21:58 +1000

Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies

The Modern Greek Program is taught by the Department of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies within the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).

About the major

Modern Greek language and culture are intrinsically intertwined and influence each other profoundly. Our units of study investigate the co-dependence and co-evolution of both through the disciplined teaching of both, from year one to the final year of studies. There is a balance between language-based units of study and units of pure cultural content. You can choose to enrol in either of them or select from them the most pertinent to achieve your own preferred major. However, the structure of our major gives the opportunity to all students to complete a series of units that form a coherent and cohesive strand of learning: you can complete all units offered towards a specialisation in language teaching or enrol in units with emphasis on culture, history and civilisation. Between these two dominant strands we offer 'bridging units' dedicated to translation, sociolinguistics or related methodological issues, that give you the opportunity to create your own specific pathway according to the units from other programs or departments. The structure of our program is flexible and adjustable so that you can chose the units you want to do and incorporate them within the context of what is offered in other programs.

Pathways through the major

A major in Modern Greek requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 6 at 3000 level.

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for Modern Greek Studies. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.

There are three main streams:

  • Language acquisition and writing skills
  • Culture and history
  • Translation and translation studies.

Language acquisition and writing skills forms the basis of studying Modern Greek. The program consists of a coherent number of units streamlined according to the language knowledge of groups of students.

Levels of entry into the Modern Greek Major

Students with no prior knowledge of Modern Greek
You complete two junior Modern Greek units (MGRK1601 Modern Greek 1 and MGRK1602 Modern Greek 2) before enrolling in senior units of study. Junior units focus solely on language and provide the basic knowledge of the language, grammar, syntax, vocabulary and spelling.
In second year, you complete MGRK2601 Modern Greek 3 and MGRK2602 Modern Greek 4, which offer two hours of language and two hours of culture (history and literature).

Students with a limited spoken and written knowledge of Greek
You enrol into MGRK 2601 Modern Greek 3 and MGRK 2602 Modern Greek 4, which focus on both language and culture.

Students who have completed Year 11 and Year 12 at HSC with high results and are able to read and write effectively in Modern Greek
You enrol into MGRK 2603 Style and Expression in the first semester and MGRK 3607 The Art of Translating in the second semester.

Students, who are uncertain about their entry level, are encouraged to contact the chair of Modern Greek.

All students can either continue with an emphasis on language and writing skills or enter the cultural stream by choosing units that have an exclusive focus on culture combining literary studies, with history and political context, or purely art units with social or cultural debates in the discipline.

At the same time, a third stream emerges with two intensive units of study on Translation (Theory and Practice of Translation and The Art of Translation) which can be taken by students who want to become translators and interpreters. These units combine theory of translation with practical work from diverse textual traditions (law, medical, technical etc.)

Finally all students complete a 3000 level unit of study, offering the necessary progression to students who wish to continue with postgraduate studies.

Most cultural units are offered in an alternating basis; so you have time to reflect and plan in advance your own major options in combination with your other chosen units of study.


Admission to honours requires completion of a major in Modern Greek studies with an average of 70 percent or above. Exchange units can be included as approved by the department.

The honours program consists of seminar courses on specific areas of Modern Greek studies and a thesis on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the Department.

Contact/further information

Department website:

Chair of department: Prof. Vrasidas Karalis

or contact the SLC office at , +61 2 9351 2869.

Further information and advice is available from the notice boards in the Brennan MacCallum Building A18.

In addition to enrolling, students should register with the department in the first class of every Modern Greek unit of study.