Ancient History and Religious Studies (BA)

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

The BA in Ancient History and Religious Studies 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.

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.

Religion has been part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence, and this joint honours degree will ensure a developed understanding of the relationship between religion and the ancient world, whilst additionally providing a range of important transferable skills in both disciplines.

Students have the option to specify further in the second and third years of the course with tailored modules from each academic school.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVVQ1
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
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.
QAA subject benchmark

Classics/Ancient History and Religious Studies/Theology

Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Louis Rawlings, Admissions Tutor

Dr Louise Child, Course Administrator

Dr Louise Child, 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 in July 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.

The degree provides the training necessary for students who wish to study Religious Studies or Ancient History at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

Year one

In Year 1, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies 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.

Year two

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Arabic Texts IIRT131120 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
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Early HinduismRT133820 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Bodies, Spirits, and Souls: The Person, Ethics, and ReligionRT133920 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
Foundational EthicsRT135620 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT135820 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT136020 credits
History of Christian Spirituality 1550 - Present DayRT432120 credits
New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IIRT332720 credits
Hebrew TextsRT230420 credits
Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
Inscriptions and Athenian HistoryHS332610 credits
Gods & the Polis: Athenian FestivalsHS333010 credits
Roman ReligionHS333110 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Roman Imperial History 31BC - AD138HS331730 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
King and Court in the Ancient Near EastHS337720 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits

Year three

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: Its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Theology On The Edge: Christian Thought in A Changing WorldRT531520 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
Arabic Texts IIRT131120 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
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Early HinduismRT133820 credits
Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits
History of Christian Spirituality 1550 - Present DayRT432120 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Bodies, Spirits, and Souls: The Person, Ethics, and ReligionRT133920 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
Foundational EthicsRT135620 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT135820 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT136020 credits
Hebrew TextsRT230420 credits
Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IIRT332720 credits
Inscriptions and Athenian HistoryHS332610 credits
Gods & the Polis: Athenian FestivalsHS333010 credits
Roman ReligionHS333110 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Roman Imperial History 31BC - AD138HS331730 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
King and Court in the Ancient Near EastHS337720 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 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.

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 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.

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Classics/Ancient History and Religious Studies/Theology

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA in Ancient History and Religious Studies (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine study of the Greco-Roman world with the study of religions and theologies in relation to a wide range of historical, theoretical, and social issues.  Students divide their modules equally between Ancient History and Religious Studies (and in the first year potentially with a third subject).

The emphasis for Ancient History is on developing students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of Greek and Roman societies 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.  These 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.

The emphasis for Religious Studies is on a critical understanding of religious and/or theological studies with relevance to the historical development of religions in contemporary societies.  Students are encouraged to explore religions and theologies in relation to a wide range of historical, theoretical, and social issues, and according to a range of methodological approaches (incl. textual hermeneutics, language study, gender theories, cultural and theoretical anthropology, conflict studies, media, globalisation etc.

What should I know about year five?

Students are expected to attend all scheduled teaching, including lectures, seminars, 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:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/for/current/student-charter/

How is this course/programme structured?

BA Ancient History and Religious Studies is a three year degree programme. It is structured so that students acquire in successive years the knowledge and skills required to become an independent researcher, equipped for high-level professional employment.  Students progress from more general modules in the first year to increasingly specialised modules in the second and third years.

Year One students study:

·       modules in Ancient History, one Greek and one Roman;

·       introductory modules in Religion

·       one other Humanities subject (which may include Theology).

Year Two students study:

·       optional 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;

·       optional modules in Religious Studies/Theology.

Year Three students study:

·       optional modules in Ancient History, which may include a dissertation on a topic of their choice;

·       optional modules in Religious Studies/Theology which may include a dissertation on a topic of their choice.

What should I know about year four?

None required

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, problem-solving, initiative, and independent thinking;

·       research skills(developed especially in the Dissertation modules): 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;exploration of different religious traditions; critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods of Religious Studies (History of Religions, Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, Theology).

·       language skills:. the programme offers an opportunity for students to study Latin, Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit and Hebrew at beginner’s and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures (using a wide variety of sources such as texts, images, film, music, drama), seminars, practical workshops, field trips, individual tutorials and private study.  Lectures provide guidance concerning the issues and problems to be followed up in your own reading and writing.  The lectures are supported by seminars, where the smaller group sizes encourage acquisition of more specialized knowledge, understanding and skills using methods such as group work and discussion, oral presentations and source criticism.  Consistent and constructive feedback (oral and written) by the academic staff in lectures, seminars and personal one-to-one meetings ensures that each student optimizes their learning potential. For each seminar you will do six to eight hours of preparation, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge thus acquired to present and test your arguments.  In the process, you will also receive feedback on them from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources into a coherent argument of your own, backed by evidence. Again, you will receive individual feedback from lecturers, in writing and orally.

Modules in Years One usually comprise of two weekly lectures, supplemented by seminars in small groups. In Year Two, and especially Year Three, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week.

What should I know about year one?

Assessment:

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, examinations, class tests, critical reviews of scholarly articles and oral presentations.  Students also have the option of writing a final-year dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

Progression is built into assessment: Year One tasks are smaller and completed under more guidance than Year Two and subsequently Year Three. Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on longer pieces of work, independent written work, e.g. written portfolios as 100% assessment model; 8,000-10,000 word final year dissertation.  Modules in the final year also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on critically handling a larger number of bibliographic tasks and items.

Feedback:

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 Dissertation. Individual written feedback is provided for exams, as well as a general report on the performance of the class as a whole

Other information

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, Ancient History 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 in both Ancient History and Religious Studies, who are 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.

Distinctive features

Upon completion of the programme, a typical graduate will demonstrate:

 

·       a knowledge and critical understanding of a broad range of Greek and Roman political, social, and cultural history;

·       an awareness of different modern interpretations of ancient history, and an ability to evaluate and critique them;

·       an understanding of different approaches to the study of ancient history and religious traditions/theologies, and an ability to evaluate and employ a range of approaches and methods;

·       demonstrate understanding of debates concerning religious and theological issues in historical context and contemporary society;

·       a knowledge and critical understanding of a wide variety of primary source material, including literary, documentary, epigraphic, visual, and archaeological evidence;

·       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 and religious traditions;

·       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?

None

Admissions tutors

Dr Louis Rawlings, Admissions Tutor

Dr Louise Child, Course Administrator

Dr Louise Child, Admissions Tutor


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