University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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Modern Greek

The department of Modern Greek is located in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).

Program structure and content
The department is centred around the Sir Nicholas Laurantus Chair of Modern Greek, which was endowed by the benefactor whose name it bears, supported by many other individuals and organisations, particularly from the Greek community of New South Wales.

Units of study in the department are mainly concerned with contemporary Greek language, history, literature and society in the last two centuries. Earlier periods (ie Byzantium or the New Testament period), however, are not neglected, especially in senior units.

All students, whatever their previous contact with Greek, have the opportunity to take a major in the subject and to progress to the honours year and postgraduate work. The major may begin either at the basic level with MGRK1601 (for students with very little or no prior knowledge of Greek), or at MGRK1621 (for students with some proficiency in both spoken and written Greek). For details of first-year placement and the major, see below.

All students, including those who have Greek as their first language, should purchase dictionaries. The following are recommended:

  • English-Greek: DN Stavropoulos and AS Hornby, Oxford English-Greek Learner's Dictionary (Oxford UP). DN Stavropoulos, Oxford Greek-English Learner's Dictionary (Oxford UP).
  • Greek-Greek: Tegopoulos-Fytrakis Elliniko lexiko (Armonia). Kriaras, Lexiko tes sychrones Ellinikes Demotikes Glossas.

All students will need an English-Greek dictionary and either a Greek-English dictionary (if your first language is English) or a Greek-Greek dictionary (if your first language is Greek). Not all published dictionaries are satisfactory. If you wish to purchase a dictionary not on the list above, please check with the department first.

First Year placement
The department will place all students enrolling in Modern Greek for the first time in one of the following units of study:

  • MGRK1601: For students with very little or no prior knowledge of Greek.
  • MGRK1621: For students with some proficiency in both spoken and written Greek.

Placement in these units of study and groups is made by the department on the basis of students' HSC results and their general level of proficiency in the language. In borderline cases placement tests may be held at the beginning of the year. Arrangements for placement tests will be made at the time of departmental registration during week 1. The department reserves the right to take the final decision regarding the placement of students in appropriate units, and in the appropriate group within a unit.

Cross-institutional students
Subject to observance of final dates for application there should be places available in 2013 for students undertaking a degree, especially in Arts or Education, at another tertiary institution, if they wish to take units of study from this department and count them towards that degree. It is recommended that students enquire at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences office as early as possible.

Non-degree students
Other non-degree students, not enrolled in degree courses at tertiary institutions, should apply to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences office for details of application procedures and fees payable by the closing dates.

Requirements for a major
To complete a major you must complete senior units of study in Modern Greek to the value of at least 36 credit points. Of these, no less than 18 should be in language units (that is, MGRK2603, 2604, 2605 and 2609) and no less than 18 in non-language units. The 6 credit point Intermediate Modern Greek units (MGRK2601, 2602), for the purposes of the major, are counted as 6 credit points of language and 6 credit points of non-language study.

Units of study from other departments may be cross-listed towards the Modern Greek major. The list of units on offer in 2013 that are officially cross-listed to the major are available from Table A in this handbook.

Students may take European Studies units in addition to completing a Modern Greek major to provide breadth in their major sequence. This applies particularly to students in the senior levels of the Beginners stream.

Students who have completed first-year language studies in advanced streams may be able to commence learning a second language alongside their major from second year onward. Mid-year entry students may need to exceed the junior credit point limit of their course in order to commence a language in their second year, in which case special permission will be needed. If you are not sure, consult with the Student Advisers in the Faculty office.

Sample pathways
Pathway 1: For students who have no prior or elementary knowledge of Modern Greek:

  • MGRK1601/2
  • MGRK2601/2, MGRK2603, MGRK2609, MGRK2605 (and other units available at senior level)

Pathway 2: For students with some proficiency in both spoken and written Greek:

  • MGRK1621/2, MGRK2603, MGRK2621, MGRK2622 (and other units)
  • MGRK3692

Pathway 3: For students with some knowledge of Greek below a level defined by placement tests or oral examination by the Chair of Department:

  • MGRK2601/2, MGRK2603, MGRK2604, MGRK2605 (and other units available at senior level)

Prerequisites and corequisites have been drawn up to direct students' progress through the units in logical sequence, ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and skills at each step. Students who feel that the rules are excluding them from a unit are invited to put their case to the Chair of the Department.

To qualify for Honours, students must have taken 48 senior credit points of Modern Greek studies and must have a achieved a credit average in those units. Students could normally include exchange units, 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: Assoc Professor Vrasidas Karalis


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

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

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