Ancient and Medieval History (BA)
This integrated programme spans the Mediterranean and European worlds from the Bronze Age to the end of the medieval period.
The BA in Ancient and Medieval History is concerned with the European and Mediterranean worlds from the Aegean Bronze Age to the end of the Middle Ages.
It aims to develop students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of Greek, Roman and medieval societies, which were significantly different from modern industrialised societies, but have exercised a profound and continuous influence on the subsequent development of European and many other societies and cultures.
It will provide you with an opportunity to study two historical fields which are often pursued in isolation from one another, but where continuities and changes can be profitably explored. Ancient and Medieval History offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, politics, gender, slavery, kingship, religion, art, medicine and science.
This degree is designed to cultivate the skills of the historian, namely, the ability to assess evidence critically, to evaluate different interpretations of the evidence, to construct arguments on the basis of evidence, and to express opinions cogently in speech and in writing.
The programme provides the training necessary for students who wish to study Ancient or Medieval History at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Typical places available||The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||AAB (to include History/Ancient History)|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||Grade A in the Core, with AA at A-level (to include History/Ancient History)|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||34 points, including a score of 6 at Higher Level History|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Classics and Ancient History
Dr Shaun Tougher, Admissions Tutor
Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.
This is a three-year degree programme comprising of some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from in order to tailor your degree to meet your interests. You can also take further modules in the humanities and social sciences, thereby developing your range of skills and knowledge.
In the first year, you take two Ancient History modules, which provide a general introduction to Greek and Roman history, and a History module which covers the history of Europe during the middle ages. You also take a further 20-credit History module or a 20-credit Archaeology module on Britain or the Mediterranean.
Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.
Students take 120 credits of modules in year 2, 60 in Ancient History and 60 in Medieval History including a core module on historical methods and an independent study which may include a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either Ancient or Medieval History.
Students studying this course may take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection.
Students take 120 credits of modules in year 3, 60 in Ancient History and 60 in Medieval History.
The School of History, Archaeology and Religion enables you to develop in a high-quality learning environment, supported by a student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
You will develop a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain
practical skills such as team-working, independent research, and time management. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals, field trips, and one-to-one tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors.
School of History, Archaeology and Religion
In 2013/14, 92% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
The School believes in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise such as work in archives or museums. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Classics and Ancient History
Overview and aims of this course/programme
The BA in Ancient and Medieval History is concerned with the European and Mediterranean worlds from the Aegean Bronze Ageto the end of the Middle Ages. It aims to develop students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of Greek, Roman and medieval societies, which were significantly different from modern industrialised societies, but have exercised a profound and continuous influence on the subsequent development of European and many other societies and cultures. It provides an opportunity to study two historical fields which are often pursued in isolation from one another, but where continuities and changes can be profitably explored. The programme offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, politics, gender, slavery, kingship, religion, art, medicine and science. It is designed to cultivate the skills of the historian, namely, the ability to assess evidence critically, to evaluate different interpretations of the evidence, to construct arguments on the basis of evidence, and to express their opinions cogently in speech and in writing. The programme provides the training necessary for students who wish to study Ancient or Medieval History at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of transferable skills for students who enter other professions.
What should I know about year five?
Students are expected to attend all scheduled teaching, including lectures, seminars, classes, workshops and tutorials, and to engage in independent study outside scheduled teaching hours in order to familiarise themselves with a good range of primary evidence and modern approaches to the subject. Each 10-credit module should involve a minimum of 100 hours’ work.
Full expectations for students are outlined in the University’s Student Charter.
How is this course/programme structured?
The programme can be studied full-time over three years or part-time over six years. Students take 120 credits in each year, progressing from more general modules in the first year to more specialised modules in the second and third years. In Year 1, students take 40 credits of Ancient History modules, covering Greek and Roman history; 40 credits of History modules, including one module on medieval Europe; and either a further 40 credits of History or 40 credits in another Humanities subject. In Year 2, they take 60 credits of Ancient History and 60 credits of Medieval History. Second-year students must take either a practical course on using different types of evidence for ancient history (20 credits) or a module on approaches to history (30 credits), and an independent study on a topic of their choice (worth 20 credits in Ancient History or 30 credits in Medieval History); the remaining credits are chosen from a range of 10-, 20- and 30-credit optional modules. In Year 3, students choose a further 60 credits of Ancient History and 60 credits of Medieval History, which may include a dissertation on a topic of their choice (worth 40 credits in Ancient History or 30 credits in Medieval History).
What should I know about year four?
What should I know about year three?
Students will acquire and develop a range of essential transferable and discipline-specific skills, including:
- intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning, assimilating and summarising complex information and ideas, analysing and evaluating evidence, critiquing interpretations or arguments, coping with uncertainty or incomplete data, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting them effectively in writing and in debate;
- employability skills, such as effective communication through written reports and oral presentations, contributing to group discussions, working independently and in teams, using IT resources effectively, and time management;
- enterprise skills, such as creativity (practised especially in the Independent Study project), problem-solving, initiative, and independent thinking;
- research skills (developed especially in the Independent Study and Dissertation): defining a project, formulating research questions, locating relevant information, and presenting the results in an oral presentation and an extended written report;
- discipline-specific skills: analysing historical problems, locating and using appropriate evidence and bibliographic resources, handling literary and archaeological material, analysing images, reading inscriptions, papyri and coins, and understanding the scholarly conventions used in relation to these types of evidence;
- language skills: the programme offers an opportunity for students to study Latin and Greek at beginner’s and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.
What should I know about the preliminary year?
Teaching is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, classes, practical workshops, field trips and individual tutorials. Students also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor.
What should I know about year one?
Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, critical reviews, examinations, class tests and oral presentations. The format of the assessed work for the second-year Ancient History Independent Study is chosen by the student; possible formats include an extended essay, a piece of creative writing, sample pages from a book or magazine, a teachers’ pack, a film, or a reconstruction drawing or model. Students have the option of writing a final-year dissertation of up to 10,000 words.
Students receive written feedback and a one-to-one tutorial on all their coursework assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and seminar work. They also receive oral and written feedback from their supervisor on preparatory work and drafts for the Independent Study and Dissertation. Individual written feedback is provided for exams, as well as a general report on the performance of the class as a whole.
All modules make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where students can access course materials and links to related reading and online resources. In addition to the main University libraries, students have access to the Sheila White Library, which contains additional copies of books on Greek and Roman history and culture. All students are assigned a Personal Tutor, who is able to advise on academic and pastoral matters in a confidential and informal manner. Personal Tutors meet students regularly to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, and are available for consultation at other times as needed. Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are made available through a structured programme of Personal Development Planning and through scheduled meetings with Personal Tutors.
Upon completion of the programme, a typical graduate will demonstrate:
- a knowledge and critical understanding of a broad range of Greek, Roman and medieval political, social and cultural history;
- a knowledge and critical understanding of a wide variety of primary source material, including literary, documentary, epigraphic, visual, and archaeological evidence;
- an understanding of different modern approaches to the study of history, and an ability to evaluate and employ a range of approaches and methods;
- an awareness of different modern interpretations of ancient and medieval history, and an ability to evaluate and critique them;
- an ability to construct arguments and solve problems through critical use of primary evidence, with reference to appropriate modern approaches;
- an ability to appreciate and understand different cultures;
- an ability to formulate research questions and to conduct independent research;
- an ability to present ideas and arguments effectively and coherently in written and oral form.
How will I be taught?
Students have the opportunity to study abroad during their second or third year through the Erasmus programme and other exchange agreements with universities overseas. The University-wide ‘Languages for All’ programme allows students to study a foreign language free of charge alongside their degree programme.
Dr Shaun Tougher, Admissions Tutor
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