Archaeology and History (BA)

Archaeology and History BA (Joint Honours) offers students the opportunity to study History at higher education with an added element of experiential archaeological excavation.

The BA in Archaeology and History gives students the opportunity to combining the study of History with the study of the human past from the earliest human origins through to the late middle ages.

Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences in the two subjects. Often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills and that link the subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

We deliver the degree which offers a challenging programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships. A joint honours degree is equal in status to a single honours degree, although the time spent on each subject is effectively halved.

The BA in Archaeology and History aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the material evidence for a wide range of periods and 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.

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

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV14
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, including History. Note: Normally no offers are made on a point basis. We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core plus grades AB at A-level, including History.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerPlease click here for a full list of entry requirements and admissions criteria for this degree programme.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Archaeology

History

Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor

Dr Andrew Cochrane, Course Administrator

Dr Andrew Cochrane, 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.

Archaeology addresses big questions about the human past for much of which no written record is available. Archaeology at Cardiff concentrates on the British Isles, Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt. As a student at Cardiff, you will learn with staff who undertake exciting, new research on all periods from early human origins to the recent past. You will also benefit from our bespoke teaching and research laboratories, dedicated geophysical and surveying equipment and a range of sophisticated equipment for the analysis of artefacts.

History at Cardiff enables you to learn about the very different worlds of people in the past and to better understand the present. It gives you an insight into the process of change from ancient Greece and Rome, through the medieval to the modern periods. You may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, from India and China, through Germany and France, to Britain, Wales and Cardiff. Above all you will learn to 'do history' yourself, and will thus acquire the sorts of skills that employers prize. You will learn to think independently, and to analyse and assess a body of material, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and present your conclusions in well-written, lucid prose, as well as verbally.

Year one

In Year 1, you take 40 credits of Archaeology modules and 40 credits of History modules.

The archaeology modules introduce you to the material evidence for the ancient Mediterranean societies of Egypt, Greece and Rome and the study of Britain from the Ice Age to the medieval period. 

In addition you will be able to choose another 40 credits from available practical modules in Archaeology, History or other subjects.

Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

Year two

In Year 2, you take 60 credits of Archaeology and 60 credits of History. You will undertake 4 weeks of excavation or another archaeological work placement. You will be able to choose from a large range of period, regional and skills modules.

Students studying this course may take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Fieldwork 1HS234110 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
History and ICT: A Guided StudyHS170530 credits
India and The Raj 1857-1947HS176530 credits
Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
Surveying and ProspectionHS231410 credits
Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 credits
Museums Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649HS174230 credits
Building the Modern WorldHS174430 credits
Being Human: Self and Society in Britain from Darwin to the Age of Mass CultureHS174830 credits
Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the presentHS174930 credits
"An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Later Bronze Age BritainHS230510 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits
Early Anglo-Saxon EnglandHS230710 credits
Middle and Later Saxon EnglandHS230910 credits
Neolithic EuropeHS231120 credits
Structure & Decay of Organic MaterialsHS231910 credits
Organic Objects: Decay & ConservationHS233520 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Conservation of Wet Archaeological WoodHS239210 credits
Pharaohs of The SunHS241020 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Ceramics in ArchaeologyHS243120 credits
BioarchaeologyHS243220 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS243320 credits
Revels and Riots: Popular Culture in Early Modern EnglandHS174330 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed 1840-PresentHS175230 credits
Diwydiannaeth, Radicaliaeth a'r Bobl Gyffredin yng Nghymru a Phrydain mewn Oes Chwyldro, c. 1789-1880HS175730 credits
Radicalism and the Common People, 1789-1880HS175830 credits
Latin American HistoryHS176130 credits
A Jagged History: Germany in the 20th CenturyHS176330 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Analysis of ArtefactsHS232010 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits

Year three

In Year 3 you choose a further 60 credits of Archaeology and 60 credits of History. 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, period or technique.

You will undertake another 4 weeks of excavation or another archaeological work placement.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Fieldwork 1HS234110 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Third Year Archaeology DissertationHS231220 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Surveying and ProspectionHS231410 credits
DissertationHS180130 credits
Culture, Soc & I.D. in Wales 1847-1914HS186530 credits
Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39HS186830 credits
Race, Sex and Empire & India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society & Culture 1800-1914HS189630 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
From Bismarck To Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
Museums Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth CenturyHS188730 credits
Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century BritainHS189430 credits
Later Bronze Age BritainHS230510 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits
Early Anglo-Saxon EnglandHS230710 credits
Middle and Later Saxon EnglandHS230910 credits
Neolithic EuropeHS231120 credits
Pharaohs of The SunHS241020 credits
Structure & Decay of Organic MaterialsHS231910 credits
Organic Objects: Decay & ConservationHS233520 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Conservation of Wet Archaeological WoodHS239210 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Ceramics in ArchaeologyHS243120 credits
BioarchaeologyHS243220 credits
Archaeology DissertationHS243540 credits
Kingship: Image and Power c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
City Lives: Urban Culture and Society, c.1550-1750HS182630 credits
Cultures of Power: The Gentry of Tudor and Stuart EnglandHS182730 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Latin American HistoryHS185930 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Llafur, Sosialaeth a Chymru, 1880-1979HS186230 credits
War and Violence in Modern Germany: Myth, Memory and MemorializationHS186330 credits
Analysis of ArtefactsHS232010 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS243320 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

Not specified

Applications received

Typical applications received

10

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Archaeology

History

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA in Archaeology and History (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine the study of the human past from pre-history to the Viking era through its material remains with insight into the history of people in the past from the medieval to the modern periods.

The programme offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods, thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art and science, and modules that provide training in archaeological skills, methods and techniques. It is designed to cultivate the skills of the historian and archaeologist, namely, 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. The programme provides the training necessary for students who wish to study History or Archaeology at postgraduate level or to pursue a career in archaeology or the heritage sector, and a valuable range of transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

What should I know about year five?

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

The programme is studied full-time over three years. Students take 120 credits in each year,progressing from more general modules in the first year to more specialised modules in the second and third years. In Year 1, students take: 40 credits of History modules covering the medieval to modern periods; 40 credits of Archaeology modules on key periods of British and world archaeology; and either an additional 40 credits of Archaeology modules, covering archaeological skills and theory, or 40 credits in another Humanities subject. Over Years 2 and 3, students must study 120 credits of History and 120 credits of Archaeology (60 credits in each subject in each year).  The Archaeology modules include a core Fieldwork moduletaken in the summer between Years 1 and 2 and another taken in the summer between Years 2 and 3.  There are no compulsory modules in History.  Students may opt to study an Independent Study on a topic of their choice in Year 2 and a dissertation in Year 3.

What should I know about year four?

Yes. Students are expected to have suitable clothing for field trips and fieldwork (e.g. waterproofs and footwear); they may also need accommodation for field projects (e.g. tent and sleeping bag). The University has funds available for students experiencing financial difficulties in purchasing this equipment. All other equipment will be provided by the University, including tools and personal protective equipment for archaeological fieldwork, survey and remote sensing equipment, transport for field trips, laboratory facilities and analytical equipment, photographic equipment, computers and specialised software, such as GIS and graphics packages.

 

What should I know about year three?

  • 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 and archaeological problems, locating and using appropriate evidence and bibliographic resources, handling literary and archaeological material, analysing images,  and understanding the scholarly conventions used in relation to these types of evidence;
  • practical archaeological skills,such as fieldwork skills, illustration, photography, surveying, geophysics, GIS, dating, scientific analysis of artefacts, bones, soils and plant remains, museum practice and public outreach;

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Teaching is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, classes, practicals, workshops, field trips and individual tutorials. Students also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor. Archaeological skills are promoted through direct participation on fieldwork projects, including excavation, surveys, post-excavation programmes and curatorial projects in museums. Alternative arrangements can be made for any students with disabilities for whom a full laboratory or fieldwork programme may present particular difficulties.

 

What should I know about year one?

Assessment:

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, practical work, fieldwork, 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. Students have the option of writing a final-year dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

Feedback:

Students receive written feedback and a one-to-one tutorial on all their coursework assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations, seminar and practical work, and fieldwork. 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.

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, 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, who is 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:

  • knowledge of the diversity of human history across a wide geographical and chronological range
  • a knowledge and critical understanding of a wide variety of primary source material, including literary, documentary, epigraphic, visual and archaeological evidence;
  • a range of practical archaeological skills for recovering, recording and analysing archaeological evidence;
  • an understanding of different modern approaches to the study of archaeology and history, and an ability to evaluate and employ a range of approaches and methods;
  • an awareness of different modern interpretations of archaeology and 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;
  • understanding of debates concerning the place of history in contemporary society;
  • the ability to achieve the above objectives both independently and as part of a team.

How will I be taught?

Students have the opportunity to study abroad during their second or third year through the Erasmus programme and other exchange agreements with universities overseas. The University-wide ‘Languages for All’ programme allows students to study a foreign language free of charge alongside their degree programme.

The programme also provides opportunities to work with heritage industry professionals (e.g. Cadw) as part of fieldwork placements, and to gain further experience in working with the public via a range of initiatives (e.g. the Guerrilla Archaeology outreach group, the CAER heritage project and the Share with Schools scheme).

Admissions tutors

Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor

Dr Andrew Cochrane, Course Administrator

Dr Andrew Cochrane, Admissions Tutor


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