Archaeology and Medieval History (BA)

The integrated BA in Archaeology and Medieval History provides the ideal opportunity for students to combine traditional academic study with the development of practical skills.

In studying Archaeology and Medieval history at Cardiff, you will encounter new ways of looking, thinking and doing, learning with leading specialists researching actively in disciplines. 

You will examine evidence from a wide range of archaeological and historical sources, developing your own arguments based upon your interpretation of the record.

You will also benefit from facilities including bespoke teaching and research laboratories, dedicated geophysical and surveying equipment and a range of sophisticated equipment.

During the summers after your first and second years you will complete a four-week placement on an excavation. Placements are arranged, approved, funded and assessed by Archaeology.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV1K
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, including History
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, with a BB at A-level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points, including 6 in Higher Level History
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.

This is a three-year degree programme comprising core modules alongside optional modules that you can choose from in order to tailor your degree to meet your interests.

Year one

In addition to your Archaeology and Medieval History modules, you can take further courses in the humanities and social sciences thereby developing the range of skills and knowledge required of the historian, and providing a broad based first year.

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

You follow 60 credits in Archaeology and 60 credits in Medieval History.

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
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
Surveying and ProspectionHS231410 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
Museums Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Early Anglo-Saxon EnglandHS230710 credits
Middle and Later Saxon EnglandHS230910 credits
Archaeology Fieldwork 2HS234310 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
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Later Bronze Age BritainHS230510 credits
Analysis of ArtefactsHS232010 credits
Conservation of Wet Archaeological WoodHS239210 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Neolithic EuropeHS231120 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits
Structure & Decay of Organic MaterialsHS231910 credits
Pharaohs of The SunHS241020 credits

Year three

You follow 60 credits in Archaeology and 60 credits in Medieval History.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Fieldwork 1HS234110 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 credits
Third Year Archaeology DissertationHS231220 credits
Surveying and ProspectionHS231410 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Museums Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Early Anglo-Saxon EnglandHS230710 credits
Middle and Later Saxon EnglandHS230910 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 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
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Kingship: Image and Power c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
Later Bronze Age BritainHS230510 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits
Archaeology DissertationHS243540 credits
Pharaohs of The SunHS241020 credits
Structure & Decay of Organic MaterialsHS231910 credits
Analysis of ArtefactsHS232010 credits
Conservation of Wet Archaeological WoodHS239210 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS243320 credits
Neolithic EuropeHS231120 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 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.
Skills development

In studying archaeology and medieval history at Cardiff, you will encounter new ways of looking, thinking and doing. You will examine evidence from a wide range of archaeological and historical sources. You will develop your own arguments based upon your interpretation of the archaeological and historical record.

The study of the past requires a wide range of skills, and when you have completed your degree, you will take them with you. In the archaeology part of your course you will work as part of a team in the field; in both parts, you will research ideas, form opinions and present them in your own terms; you will develop your writing to address a range of audiences; you will use a range of software programmes and develop a wide range of practical skills. These transferable skills will be of benefit in your future career, no matter what path you decide to take.
Feedback

You will receive written and oral feedback from module tutors on your assessed course work. Each student is allocated with a personal tutor who you will meet with regularly throughout the year to discuss your personal development. Every member of staff has weekly office hours advertising when they are available for students to drop in for further support.

The School believes in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes.

Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise such as work in archives or museums. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.

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.

Jobs

  • Historian
  • Curator
  • Lecturer

During the summers after your first and second years you will complete a four-week placement on an excavation. Placements are arranged, approved, funded and assessed by Archaeology.

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 Medieval History (Integrated Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine the study of the human past from pre-history to the Medieval era through its material remains with insight into the history of people in the past to the medieval period.

The programme offers a balance between modules covering the Medieval historical period and, 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 Medieval 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 Medieval History and 120 credits of Archaeology (60 credits in each subject in each year).  The Archaeology modules include a core Fieldwork module taken in the summer between Years 1 and 2 and another taken in the summer between Years 2 and 3.  Students have to take 1 core Archaeology module and 1 core History module in year 2.  Up to 20 credits may be taken in years 2 and 3 from outside the degree programme, subject to approval form the Board of Studies.

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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