Religious Studies and Ancient History (BA)

This degree is ideal for those who want to examine the often-intrinsic relationship between ancient civilization and the world of religion.

This joint honours BA in Religious Studies and Ancient History will ensure a developed understanding of the relationship between religion and the historical world, whilst additionally providing a range of important transferable skills useful for entry into the graduate job market.

The degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the religious, political, social, and cultural structures of past societies and give you the opportunity to explore some of the fundamental questions of existence, in a flourishing centre of research.

Ancient History courses at Cardiff University cover 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 those that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.

Religion has been part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day. It has been the way most cultures have sought to express their understanding of the purpose of life and the foundation of personal and social behaviour.  Your lecturers are active researchers in their fields, bringing the latest research into teaching. 

The course aims 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.

Distinctive features

The joint honours degree in Religious Studies and Ancient History allows you to specialise equally in two degree subjects.  It provides the training necessary for students who wish to study either discipline at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who wish to enter other professions. 

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVVQ1
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Typical A level offerABB. Three A levels, excluding General Studies. Two AS subjects may be considered in lieu of a third A-Level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades AB in GCE A-Level subjects.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerContact the School for detailed information.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a three-year degree programme. You will study modules amounting to 120 credits each year split equally between the two subjects.

Year one

In Year One, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules. 

The first year in Ancient History provides you with a focused introduction to the study of Greek and Roman history at University which fosters your critical and analytical skills through close engagement with the ancient sources and modern interpretations. 

You may study religion through texts, poetry, art, film, biographies, fieldwork and drama. You will be introduced to key ideas about ritual, gender and place that provide a dynamic foundation for further study across a range of modules offered in your second and third years. You will also have the option to study one of the original languages of religious texts on offer.

Year two

In Year 2, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules. 

In Religious Studies you will have the opportunity to develop a more advanced knowledge of a range of religious traditions, building on introductory modules undertaken in year one and develop your awareness of the role of religion in shaping the cultural, intellectual, and ethical concerns of contemporary societies.

 In Ancient History you choose from a range of optional modules including a 20-credit independent study and language options.

 

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 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
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 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
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
Myth and The Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Islamic Law and SocietyRT136120 credits
History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits

Year three

In Year 3, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules. 

You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious themes and topics with a range of specialised modules. You may also acquire skills in qualitative and quantitative research into religion(s) in contemporary societies, depending on the modules you choose.   

In Ancient History you choose from a range of optional modules including, for example, Greek Warfare or Art and Archaeology. 

You can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either discipline.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 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
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 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
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
Myth and The Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Islamic Law and SocietyRT136120 credits
History & Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT320520 credits
The Early Church: History and MemoryRT420820 credits
Reformation HistoryRT420520 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Bonhoeffer's Life and LegacyRT432620 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IRT320920 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?

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.

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.

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 lecture in a small group environment.

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. They offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field.

How will I be supported?

All modules make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where you can access course materials and links to related reading and online resources. In addition to the main University libraries, you will have access to the Sheila White Library, which contains additional copies of books on Greek and Roman history and culture.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor, who is able to advise you on academic and pastoral matters in a confidential and informal manner. Personal Tutors meet with you regularly to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, and are available for consultation at other times as needed. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are made available through a structured programme of Personal Development Planning and through scheduled meetings with Personal Tutors.

How will I be assessed?

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, critical reviews, examinations, class tests and oral presentations.

Coursework 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.  Assessment, including coursework, exams, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned. 

Progression is built into assessment, in that you will do smaller guided tasks in Year One, as well as formative essays in Years Two and Three. Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on lengthier, independent work culminating in an optional 10,000-word dissertation in Year Three.  Final Year modules also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on handling critically a larger number of bibliographical tasks and items.

Feedback

You will receive written feedback on all your coursework assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and seminar work. You will also receive oral and written feedback from your supervisor on preparatory work and drafts for large bodies of work (E.G. the Independent Study and Dissertation). Individual written feedback is provided for exams.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. You will learn to assess critically a body of knowledge, to develop hypotheses, test them against qualitative and quantitative evidence, and present conclusions both in writing and orally. They learn to work both independently and as part of a team. The acquisition of skills and of intellectual understanding generally is progressive. As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies.

You 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.

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. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise, while others compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields. 

We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer.

Religious and Theological Studies students may choose to study the module ‘Religion in the Workplace’ which focusses specifically on developing employability and enterprise skills.

UK and EU students 2016/17

EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU 2016/17

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,500None

We have a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time and careers advice.


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.