Philosophy and Ancient History (BA)

The Joint Honours degree in Ancient History and Philosophy provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.

The BA in Ancient History and Philosophy aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies and to cultivate your intellectual and critical skills.

Each School involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

This is a three-year degree course comprising 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.

Ancient history at Cardiff covers the period from the Aegean Bronze Age to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west and its survival in the east as the Byzantine Empire. There is a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.

There are two related aspects of the philosophy at Cardiff that mark it out among Russell Group universities. One is that there is a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics among the modules on offer. The other is that our research and teaching is spread equally across both the ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy. 

The degree provides the training necessary for students who wish to study ancient history and philosophy at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics
  • equal attention to ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy
  • close links with local historical sites, giving you the chance to link your academic studies to active research in the field
  • an opportunity to study Latin and Greek.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV51
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Studying in WelshUp to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Typical A level offerABB from three A-level subjects.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This full-time course lasts for three years with two semesters per year, split between the two subjects. There are 120 credits a year. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

You will take 60 credits in ancient history and 60 credits in philosophy.

The compulsory ancient history modules introduce you to ancient Greek and Roman history.

The compulsory philosophy modules focus on the nature of thinking and introduce the central concepts, theories, arguments, and approaches of contemporary moral and political theory. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
Mind, Thought and RealitySE410120 credits
Critical ThinkingSE410720 credits
Moral and Political PhilosophySE410320 credits
Investigating the Ancient World: Skills and EvidenceHS310320 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction to Ancient Greek HistoryHS310120 credits
Introduction to Roman HistoryHS310220 credits
The Ancient World in 20 ObjectsHS310420 credits

Year two

You will take 60 credits in ancient history and 60 credits in philosophy.

You will choose from a large range of optional modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Philosophy of Contemporary PoliticsSE436320 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS334310 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS334410 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334610 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Philosophy of MindSE431320 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth WleidyddolSE439520 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Philosophy of LanguageSE435820 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Art & Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
Conquest & Crisis: The Roman RepublicHS331630 credits
Rome and CarthageHS333320 credits
Myth and History in Ancient Greek CultureHS337520 credits
The Roman ArmyHS436720 credits
Julian the ApostateHS330710 credits
Greek ValuesHS330910 credits
Gender & Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS435610 credits
Introduction to Computing for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241610 credits
Byzantium: The Golden Age, c. 850 - 1050HS332910 credits
Science and Technology in the Graeco-Roman WorldHS337310 credits
Ancient Persia: the Achaemenid Dynasty 559-331 BCEHS337820 credits
Early Rome: History and ArchaeologyHS436010 credits
Art and Power in Rome, 211 BC - AD138HS436810 credits
Computer Projects for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241710 credits

Year three

You will take 60 credits in ancient history and 60 credits in philosophy.

If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either discipline. This provides a chance for you to focus your interests on a particular area or period.

Module titleModule codeCredits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS334310 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS334410 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334610 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Feminist PhilosophySE438620 credits
FairnessSE440320 credits
Philosophy of Time TravelSE440420 credits
Philosophy and Modern ArtSE440220 credits
Julian the ApostateHS330710 credits
Byzantium: The Golden Age, c. 850 - 1050HS332910 credits
Greek ValuesHS330910 credits
Science and Technology in the Graeco-Roman WorldHS337310 credits
Gender & Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
Ancient Persia: the Achaemenid Dynasty 559-331 BCEHS337820 credits
Early Rome: History and ArchaeologyHS436010 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS435610 credits
Art and Power in Rome, 211 BC - AD138HS436810 credits
Introduction to Computing for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241610 credits
Computer Projects for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241710 credits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Art & Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
Conquest & Crisis: The Roman RepublicHS331630 credits
Rome and CarthageHS333320 credits
Myth and History in Ancient Greek CultureHS337520 credits
The Roman ArmyHS436720 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures. Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

You will also learn through practicals and field trips, and take part in one-to-one tutorials.

How will I be supported?

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments.

Coursework, exams, practical work and oral presentations will test the different skills you have learned.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, which will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

SCHOOL OF ENGLISH, COMMUNICATION AND PHILOSOPHY

In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Philosophy graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

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.

We believe that our students are particularly well placed to compete for employment as their degree involves a range of practical and academic skills which have a wide value beyond their subject. These transferable skills have permitted our graduates to find work in journalism, banking, finance, teaching and a wide range of other areas.

We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. Many 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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will not need any specific equipment.

Ancient history may include some fieldwork.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.