Ancient History and Spanish (BA)

Within this degree scheme students will have the option to pair a rapidly growing international language with traditional academic study of ancient civilization.

Many students find studying a joint honours stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining Ancient History and Spanish, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial to the world of employment, making you competitive and attractive in an increasingly global workforce and opening the doors to a variety of career paths.  

The 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.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. Spoken by more than 400 million people across more than 20 countries worldwide, it is one of the most useful languages in the world for business and leisure alike. It opens doors to a vibrant and diverse range of cultural experiences.

Spanish at Cardiff University enables you to access, analyse and evaluate current developments across the Hispanic world as well as the cultures and values of the past. Having studied Spanish, you will be ready to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities open to language graduates today  

We offer Spanish for both advanced students and beginners. In terms of language acquisition, this course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills through a range of learning activities, and using a variety of audio-visual materials.

In addition to language tuition you will be introduced to Spanish history and culture seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies as you progress through your course.  You will spend your third year in Spain or a Spanish-speaking country, practising and developing your language skills.

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves examining many aspects of a country and its culture, its social structures and institutions, politics, history, literature and cinema. Through the study of such areas you are able to gain a better understanding of Spanish culture and of how it has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today.

On completion of this four-year programme, you will have a high level of language proficiency, as well as a critical understanding of key aspects of Spanish history, culture, literature, politics and contemporary society.   

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

Distinctive features

  • core modules that guarantee a solid base for all, but then allow you, with advice from your personal tutor, to carve out a programme that will best fit your interests and career aspirations
  • a pathway into this degree for beginners who do not have Spanish A-level
  • a year spent studying or working in a Spanish-speaking country.

Key facts

UCAS CodeRV4C
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration4 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-level subjects, generally including a B in a modern language for the Spanish beginners pathway or B in Spanish for the advanced pathway. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted. Exceptions can be made according to personal circumstances. Two AS subjects may be considered in lieu of a third A-level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades AB at GCE A-level, to include grade B in a Language subject.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer30-32 points to include 5 points in Spanish at Higher Level.
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 four years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year, split equally between the two subjects. Most modules are worth 20 credits. The third year is spent abroad.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. You will take 120 credits in total equally split between 60 credits in Ancient History and 60 credits in Spanish.

The first year of 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.

In year one Spanish you will build on core linguistic skills and be introduced to Spanish culture, literature, civilisation and politics. There are two pathways available: an advanced pathway for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in Spanish and a beginner’s pathway for students with limited or no knowledge of Spanish.

The first year of this programme provides a thorough foundation in the grammar of the language for those students on the beginner’s pathway, and develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students on the advanced pathway.

To provide a foundation for more specialised studies, you also study modules devoted to relevant history, culture, politics, economics and society.

Year two

In year two you will again take 60 credits in Ancient History and 60 credits in Spanish.

There are no core modules in year two Ancient History so you will have freedom to choose what you study.

In Spanish you will have training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods. The language elements of year two focus on preparation for the year abroad. This is complemented by a variety of option modules of modules which, as a supplement to Spanish-specific topics, normally include modules on European film, comparative literature and cultural history, as well as translation theory and practice.          

Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
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
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Spanish Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)ML029920 credits
Spanish Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)ML029820 credits
Introduction to Catalan Culture and LanguageML029420 credits
Principles of Translation TheoryML229920 credits
Innovations in European LiteratureML129820 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Business Spanish IML028720 credits
Landmark Films from Spain and Latin AmericaML029120 credits
At the Roots of European CulturesML129520 credits
Introduction to Specialised Translation (Spanish)ML229720 credits
Spain from 1898 to 1975: Republic, Civil War and the Franco RegimeML029020 credits
Julian the ApostateHS330710 credits
Greek ValuesHS330910 credits
Gender & Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS435610 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
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

Year three: Sandwich year

Your third year will be spent abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Options include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school, or working for a Spanish organisation or company. No matter what you choose, the year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.

If you choose the study option, we have established links with universities in Barcelona, Caceres, Ciudad Real, Granada, Santiago de Compostela y Valencia. In Spanish America we have exchange agreements with universities in Lima (Peru), Mexico City and Guadalajara (Mexico)

Placements for teaching assistants on a scheme run by the British Council can take you to either a major city or a small, rural town. This option provides first-hand teaching experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. Prior to the start of your placement, the British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. In addition, the school you have been assigned to should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live.

The third option consists of a work placement with an organisation or company in the Spanish-speaking world. The necessary arrangements can be made through personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. In order to ensure that your work placement affords you plenty of opportunity to speak Spanish and provides you with a beneficial experience, such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.      

The year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a year abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may also get a visit from one of your lecturers who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.

Final year students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have contributed to our extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with student-centred advice throughout your year abroad.

Studying or working abroad is excellent preparation for your final year and gives you a level of self-confidence and maturity that has proven popular with employers.

Year four

In your final year you will take 60 credits in Ancient History and 60 credits in Spanish.

We no longer distinguish between beginner and advanced Spanish students in the final year and all students will take the same language modules. You will refine your linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation, and specialise in your areas of interest by choosing specialised module options. 

You will hone your Spanish-language skills in terms of expression and translation, pursue more of the options begun in year two and specialise in an area of your choice.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Spanish Language (BA Languages)ML038220 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
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
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
May 68. Marking Changes in European Politics and CultureML139920 credits
Catalan Language and Society (Prereq EU0294)ML038120 credits
Student Language AmbassadorML139820 credits
Spanish for professional purposesML038320 credits
Translation as a ProfessionML239320 credits
Advanced Translation Practice (Spanish)ML038620 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Dissertation Joint Honours - in SpanishML038920 credits
European Cinema: thinking the real of fictionML230220 credits
Dissertation/Project (Translation)ML238920 credits
Dissertation Joint Honours - in EnglishML039620 credits
Dissertation (Single Honours - in English)ML038740 credits
Dissertation (Single Honours - in Spanish)ML038840 credits
Stories from the Edge: Minority Voices from Spain and Latin AmericaML037820 credits
Spanish American PoetryML037920 credits
Julian the ApostateHS330710 credits
Greek ValuesHS330910 credits
Gender & Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS435610 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
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.

Language classes are taught in groups to enhance confidence and active learning. A varied timetable includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. These vital communication skills are practiced and developed through regular classwork exercises and written work. Our teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of language-learning technologies. Materials including textbooks, videos, films, novels, audio files and websites are supported by online resources that compliment classroom activities and promote and enable independent learning. Class materials include a range from literary and historical to contemporary journalistic texts, providing a broad insight into language and culture.    

How will I be supported?

As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.

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, personalised feedback on written work and general feedback in relation to examinations. You will also be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.

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. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

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’. These 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
  • develop practical research skills
  • hone linguistic skills and a broad appreciation of the culture, literature and history of Italian and Italian-speaking countries
  • 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 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 organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. History graduates find work in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment. Some choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.

School of Modern Languages

In 2013/14, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of finding a job. Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies.

Employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.

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

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

You will not need any specific equipment.

Year three is spent working or studying in a Spanish-speaking country.

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time.


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.