Ancient History and Philosophy (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 intellectual skills such as 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.
Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Studying in Welsh||This course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.|
|Typical places available||The 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 received||The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||ABB from three A-level subjects.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above).|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||34 points.|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
Philosophy, Classics and Ancient History
Dr Louis Rawlings, Admissions Tutor
Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator
Dr Richard Gray, 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.
Ancient History 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.
In Year 1, you take 60 credits of Philosophy modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules.
Students studying this course will be able to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) Core and Optional modules from another participating Academic School. An overview of the module collections available can be found here.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Four Great Works in Philosophy||SE4104||20 credits|
|The Archaeology of Mediterranean Societies: Egypt, Greece and Rome||HS2123||20 credits|
In Year 2, you take 60 credits of Philosophy modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules.
In Year 3, you take 60 credits of Philosophyt modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules. If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either Philosophy or Ancient History.
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy offers intellectually stimulating programmes of study, shaped by the latest research. We have a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our programmes 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. A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, and creative assignments.
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. Assessment, including coursework, exams, practical work, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned.
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 graduation.
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 of History, Archaeology and Religion admits around 260 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
The School of English, Communication and Philosophy admits around 360 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
History, Archaeology and Religion = 1650
English, Communication and Philosophy = 1500
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
Philosophy, Classics and Ancient History
What are the aims of this Programme?
The BA in Philosophy and Ancient History (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine the study of the ancient Greek and Roman world with the study of the questions about reality, knowledge and ethics, approached from both the Anglophone and the European traditions in philosophy. Taking a philosophy degree with us will expose you to the competing answers that philosophers have put forward and to the arguments with which they attacked and defended them. Students divide their modules equally between Philosophy and Ancient History, with a third subject in the first year which may be chosen from a range of Humanities subjects.
The Philosophy programme at Cardiff University combines breadth of content with the flexibility required for students to pursue specific interests and to specialise if they want to.
You will study morality including applied ethics, normative ethics andmetaethics; political philosophy including political issues and the legitimacy of political institutions; the philosophical aesthetics of art, music and literature; the nature of mind, thought, language and action; the fundamental nature of reality; the nature of knowledge. You will do this through studying some of the most influential writings in Western literature.
Philosophy graduates are known for their incisive analytical abilities and their ability to construct and communicate clear arguments. Studying philosophy develops your abilities to identify the reasons for people’s claims, to find the assumptions lying behind those reasons, to critically assess both and to communicate all of this clearly and effectively.
Ancient History 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. The emphasis is on developing students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural structures of Greek and Roman 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. 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.
What is expected of me?
As a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing and engaged academically by regularly attending lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.
A 20 credit module will normally comprise a minimum of 200 study hours and a 10 credit module will normally comprise of a minimum 100 study hours. This will include contact hours with staff (lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials) making up approximately 30 hours per 20 credit module, with the remainder of the time spent on self-directed learning for that module (reading, preparation for seminars, research, reflection, formative writing, assessment work and exam revision). Examinations and assessed work are marked on the assumption that you have fulfilled these requirements. There are also additional seminars and workshops that students are able to attend.
Attendance at lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials is compulsory. Therefore, if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or departmental administrator in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence. Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and leave of absences can be found in student handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook.
Full expectations for students are outlined in the University’s Student Charter.
Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found here: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/govrn/cocom/equalityanddiversity/dignityatwork/index.html
How is this Programme Structured?
BA Philosophy and Ancient History is a three-year degree programme. Students progress from more general modules in the first year to more specialised modules in the second and third years.
Year One students study:
- 40 credits of Ancient History modules, one Greek and one Roman history;
- 40 credits of Philosophy modules;
- 40 credits in another Humanities subject.
Year Two students study:
- 60 credits of modules in Ancient History, which may include a practical course on using different types of historical evidence and an independent study on a topic of their choice;
- 60 credits of modules in Philosophy.
Year Three students study:
- 60 credits of modules in Ancient History;
- 60 credits of modules in Philosophy.
Students may opt to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice.
Students must pass each academic year before being allowed to proceed.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?
No specific equipment is required.
What skills will I practise and develop?
Many of the learning outcomes listed above involve practising skills that are transferable to numerous areas of employment. Students who engage with the programme will practice and develop the ability to:
- Communicate concepts, theories and arguments and the appraisal of them accurately and clearly, both orally and in written form
- Assess the validity of different evidence and argument
- Use a variety of sources in a comprehensive and well-documented manner
- Explore critically their own beliefs and values
- Display sensitivity to the diversity of beliefs, practices and ways of life
- Use electronic sources of information effectively
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.
How will I be taught?
A diverse range of learning and teaching styles is used throughout the programme. Students will attend lectures, participate in seminars and tutorials, and study independently in preparation for each session. All of the taught modules within the programme are optional. All taught modules involve some formative assessment which is returned to you with individual feedback. Generic Feedback is provided for all forms of summative assessment. In the Final Year students can choose to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice (subject to supervisory availability and approval of the title by the Board of Studies).
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, classes, practical workshops, field trips and individual tutorials. French is taught in small interactive classes designed to enable students to acquire grammatical precision and advanced written and oral communication skills. Students also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor.
How will I be assessed?
Summative assessment for most modules takes place through one or more of the following methods: unseen examinations; open book examinations; portfolios of essays; and (if chosen) the dissertation. The form(s) of summative assessment for individual modules are set out in the relevant module description. Assessment methods are chosen as most appropriate to elicit the skills, knowledge and competencies developed by the module. Not all skills are assessed directly (e.g. the accurate and clear oral communication of concept and theories). However, opportunities are made available for the development of such skills in seminar presentations, and their value is emphasised to students. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for students with disabilities are documented in the Module Descriptions.
Formative assessment is provided as feedback on coursework through written comments and individual discussion and on oral seminar presentations through individual guidance.
Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, examinations, class tests, and oral presentations. The format of the assessed work for the second-year 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. All students write 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.
How will I be supported?
Every student is assigned a personal tutor in both Philosophy and in Ancient History with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own development. You will be required to fill in a feedback form in which you reflect upon your own performance and put together a pro-active and on-going programme of improvement for each stage of your degree.
In addition, all staff have weekly office hours during teaching weeks and students may make appointments to see their personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis. Staff may also be contacted by email. Details of the office hours and email addresses of staff are provided in the Module Guide for each module and/or posted on their office doors.
The majority of modules make 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.
What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?
Students should be able to demonstrate the following:
· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of important concepts, theories, problems and arguments in the main areas of Philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, logic, moral philosophy and, political philosophy.
· Demonstrate familiarity with the ideas and arguments of some of the major philosophers in the history of the subject, encountered in their own writings
· Demonstrate awareness of some major issues currently at the frontiers of philosophical debate and research.
· Display precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
· Construct and justify arguments whileforming independent, fair and well-supported assessments of conflicting views and opinions
· Explore critically beliefs and values, and question their presuppositions
· Appreciate the diversity of competing theories, and of competing interpretations of theories and texts, in Philosophy
· Apply philosophical concepts, theories, arguments and methods to some of the major problems, both theoretical and practical, facing human reflection, life and society.
· Accurate understanding of philosophical texts and ability to interpret these texts carefully, with due regard to their context
· Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating information.
· A knowledge and critical understanding of a broad range of Greek and Roman 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 ancient history, and an ability to evaluate and employ a range of approaches and methods;
· An awareness of different modern interpretations of ancient 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.
Dr Louis Rawlings, Admissions Tutor
Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator
Dr Richard Gray, Admissions Tutor
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.
Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.How to apply