Latin: A Course for Beginners

Whether you want to read historical or legal documents, decipher memorials or the Latin mass, or simply want to learn something new and different, this course enables you to start reading Latin texts from day one, even if you have no previous knowledge of Latin.

This comprehensive online learning course offers a varied selection of extracts and a range of activities to help you gain a good understanding of the Latin language, providing a strong foundation from which to build valuable language skills. By the end of this course you will have an excellent knowledge of basic Latin and be able to tackle Latin texts in their original form.



Course requirements

No previous knowledge is required for this course. This is an online course so you will need access to the internet.

Duration of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 120 and 150 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.


  • Introduction
  • Additional background reading: Italy and the Romans
  • Additional background reading: Roman education
  • Additional background reading: Spelling and pronounciation

Unit 1
  • Verbs: Infinitive and base
  • Third person singular present
  • Noun and verb in agreement
  • Simple sentences
  • Nominative case
  • Accusative case
  • Plural forms
  • Prepositions
  • Complete present indicative active
  • First conjugation

Unit 2
  • Possession: genitive case
  • Complement
  • Second conjunction
  • Dative case
  • Translating longer sentences

Unit 3
  • Adverbs
  • Present indicative active and position of 'esse'
  • Vocative case
  • Ablative case
  • First declension
  • Noun bases
  • Case endings
  • Gender

Unit 4
  • Third declension
  • Neuter nouns
  • Third conjugation
  • Fourth conjugation
  • The imperative
  • Use of 'inquit'
  • Pronouns
  • Direct questions
  • Abbreviations

Unit 5
  • Second declension
  • 'Vir' and 'homo'
  • Adjectives
  • Perfect tense
  • 'Esse' and 'posse'
  • Prolative infinitive
  • Conjunctions
  • Special case usages

Unit 6
  • Personal pronouns
  • Possessive adjectives
  • Sentences and clauses
  • Double direct questions
  • Partitive genitive
  • Extracts from Latin authors

Unit 7
  • Future indicative active
  • Imperfect indicative active
  • Adjectives of the second class
  • Third declension nouns
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • The supine
  • Apposition

Unit 8
  • Future perfect indicative active
  • Future temporal and conditional clauses
  • Adverbial clauses
  • Pluperfect indicative active
  • Comparative adjectives
  • Superlative adjectives

Unit 9
  • Special case usages: the ablative of manner
  • Accusative of age
  • Time
  • Infinitive as a noun

Unit 10
  • Fourth declension
  • Fifth declension
  • Present subjunctive active
  • Imperfect subjunctive active
  • Adverbial clauses of purpose
  • Sequence of tenses
  • Some points to watch

Unit 11
  • Independent uses of the subjunctive: jussive subjunctive
  • Independent uses of the subjunctive: deliberate subjunctive
  • Independent uses of the subjunctive: subjunctive of desire

Unit 12
  • Revision and working on Latin extracts


This course has:
  • 12 assignments

Set texts and resources

There are no additional set texts.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

Latin: A Course for Beginners Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"I cannot stress too highly my admiration for this course. The texts and grammar were covered in a very natural way."
— NEC Latin student