Archaeology and Philosophy (BA)

The Joint Honours degree in Archaeology and Philosophy provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.

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

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.

Philosophy at Cardiff is distinct for its strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics and its equal attention to 'analytic' and 'Continental' styles of Western philosophy.

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. 

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

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV54
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Typical A level offerABB. Three A-level subjects.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer30 points. A minimum score of 5 in all Higher Level subjects.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

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

Philosophy, Archaeology

Admissions tutor(s)

Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator

Dr Simon Robertson, Admissions Tutor

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 by May 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.

The BA in Archaeology and Philosophy 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 Philosophy at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

Year one

In Year one, you take 60 credits of Archaeology modules and 60 credits of Philosophy 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.

Year two

In Year two, you take 60 credits of Archaeology and 60 credits of Philosophy.

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Fieldwork 1HS234110 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Contemporary Ethical TheorySE438820 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Philosophy of Contemporary PoliticsSE436320 credits
Surveying and ProspectionHS231410 credits
Kant & HeideggerSE439020 credits
Philosophy of MindSE431320 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
French Philosophy: Sartre To BadiouSE438020 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Museums Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth WleidyddolSE439520 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 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
Analysis of ArtefactsHS232010 credits
Practical Projects 1HS233040 credits
Practical Projects 2HS233140 credits
Organic Objects: Decay & ConservationHS233520 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
Archaeology Fieldwork 2HS234310 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Conservation of Wet Archaeological WoodHS239210 credits
Archaeological Science DissertationHS240420 credits
Pharaohs of The SunHS241020 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Conservation Research ProjectHS242720 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Ceramics in ArchaeologyHS243120 credits
BioarchaeologyHS243220 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS243320 credits
Independent Science ProjectHS243420 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Philosophy of LanguageSE435820 credits

Year three

In Year three, you choose a further 60 credits of Archaeology and 60 credits of Philosophy.

If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either Archaeology or Philosophy. 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
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Philosophy and Literary TheorySE432920 credits
NietzscheSE530620 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Third Year Archaeology DissertationHS231220 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Surveying and ProspectionHS231410 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Museums Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
Philosophy and The ArtsSE432520 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 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
Analysis of ArtefactsHS232010 credits
Practical Projects 1HS233040 credits
Practical Projects 2HS233140 credits
Organic Objects: Decay & ConservationHS233520 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
Archaeology Fieldwork 2HS234310 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Conservation of Wet Archaeological WoodHS239210 credits
Archaeological Science DissertationHS240420 credits
Pharaohs of The SunHS241020 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Conservation Research ProjectHS242720 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Ceramics in ArchaeologyHS243120 credits
BioarchaeologyHS243220 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS243320 credits
Independent Science ProjectHS243420 credits
Archaeology DissertationHS243540 credits
Archaeological Science DissertationHS243640 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Advanced Moral PhilosophySE439220 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Feminist PhilosophySE438620 credits
Political Philosophy: Methods & ApproachesSE440120 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.

We offer intellectually stimulating programmes of study, shaped by the latest research. 

We have a supportive learning environment, where students are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our programmes foster intellectual skills, such as:

  • critical thinking
  • close analysis
  • evaluating evidence
  • constructing arguments
  • using theory
  • the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. 

We also help you gain experience in team-working, independent research, and time management. A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, and creative assignments.

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.

In 2013/14, 91% of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

In 2013/14, 92% of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

You will undertake archaeological excavations or archaeological work placements at the end of your second and third years. These are sourced and funded by Archaeology at Cardiff either within the UK or overseas.

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion admits around 260 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy admits around 360 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Applications received

Typical applications received

History, Archaeology and Religion = 1650

English, Communication and Philosophy = 1500

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Philosophy, Archaeology

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA in Philosophy and Archaeology (Joint Honour) gives students the opportunity to combine the study of the human past through its material remainswith the study of the questions about reality, knowledge and ethics, approached from both the Anglophone and the European traditions in philosophy.  Taking a philosophy degree with us will expose you to the competing answers that philosophers have put forward and to the arguments with which they attacked and defended them.  Students divide their modules equally between Philosophy and Archaeology, with a third subject in the first year which may be chosen from a range of Humanities subjects.

The Philosophy programme at Cardiff University combines breadth of content with the flexibility required for students to pursue specific interests and to specialise if they want to.

You will study morality including applied ethics, normative ethics andmetaethics; political philosophy including political issues and the legitimacy of political institutions; the philosophical aesthetics of art, music and literature; the nature of mind, thought, language and action; the fundamental nature of reality; the nature of knowledge. You will do this through studying some of the most influential writings in Western literature.

Philosophy graduates are known for their incisive analytical abilities and their ability to construct and communicate clear arguments. Studying philosophy develops your abilities to identify the reasons for people’s claims, to find the assumptions lying behind those reasons, to critically assess both and to communicate all of this clearly and effectively.

Archaeology provides a unique perspective as the only subject, which deals all the temporal and spatial dimensions of the human past.  Defined as the study of human past through its material remains it includes a very broad range of evidence including landscapes, buildings and monuments; buried material such as artefacts, biological remains, and structures; and written sources.  Archaeology can range chronologically from the earliest hominids circa five million years ago to the present day and geographically across the entire inhabited world.

What should I know about year five?

As a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing and engaged academically by regularly attending lectures, laboratory classes, seminars, fieldtrips, fieldwork and tutorials.

A 20 credit module will normally comprise a minimum of 200 study hours and a 10 credit module will normally comprise of a minimum 100 study hours.  This will include contact hours with staff  (lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials) making up approximately 30 hours per 20 credit module, with the remainder of the time spent on self-directed learning for that module (reading, preparation for seminars, research, reflection, formative writing, assessment work and exam revision).  Examinations and assessed work are marked on the assumption that you have fulfilled these requirements.  There are also additional seminars and workshops that students are able to attend.

What this means in practice, is that during each semester a student in full-time education is expected to spend the equivalent of 35-40 hours per week on their studies. It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes for the following reasons:

·         It is in the lectures that you find out what the key topics in your subject are, which can help you structure your additional reading.

·         Your seminars are the place for you to discuss issues raised in the course and from your reading, and to enhance and develop your understanding.

·         Laboratory courses provide an overview of theory, application, and hands-on experience in both archaeological and scientific techniques

·         Your field trips and fieldwork training introduce you to vital aspect of archaeology which enables archaeologists to develop their understanding of past societies at a detailed level.  As well as teaching, important employability skills are developed - such as teamwork, task management, documentation, problem solving, health and safety awareness, report writing, quantitative data handling and perseverance in carrying out sustained physical and mental work.

·         All forms of classes will help you to prepare for your assessed work

·         Your presence can also help others to learn (as well as you), whilst student absence disrupts the learning process for the whole group.

Attendance at lectures, laboratory classes, seminars, field trips, fieldwork and tutorials is compulsory.  Therefore, if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or departmental administrator in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence. Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and leave of absences can be found in student handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook.

The departments expect that students will:

·         attend all classes, punctually, and to explain any absence (in advance where possible)

·         prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes, field trips and fieldwork

·         avoid plagiarism (plagiarism being work which uses the words or ideas of others without acknowledging them as such)

·         take responsibility for their own learning, with appropriate guidance  monitor their own progress and take account of the feedback given

·         show respect for their fellow students, tutors and the learning environment

·         manage their time effectively so that they are adequately prepared for all classes and assignments

·         complete their assessments on time and in compliance with the instructions given

·         take responsibility for advising themselves of the regulations governing assessments

·         ensure that they are registered for the requisite number of modules and that the academic registry are aware of which modules they are taking

·         read all handbooks carefully and take appropriate action

·         regularly access their University e-mail account

·         ask members of staff before using their names as referee

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found here: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/govrn/cocom/equalityanddiversity/dignityatwork/index.html

How is this course/programme structured?

BA Philosophy and Archaeology is a three-year degree programme.  Students progress from more general modules in the first year to more specialised modules in the second and third years.

Year One students study:

  • 40 credits of Archaeology modules;
  • 40 credits of Philosophy modules;
  • 40 credits in another Humanities subject.

Year Two students study:

  • 60 credits of modules in Archaeology, including a core Fieldwork module;
  • 60 credits of modules in Philosophy.

Year Three students study:

  • 60 credits of modules in Archaeology, including a core Fieldwork module;
  • 60 credits of modules in Philosophy.

Students may opt to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice in either subject.

Students must pass each academic year before being allowed to proceed. 

What should I know about year four?

What the student should provide:

Suitable clothing (e.g. waterproofs and suitable footwear) and sometimes accommodation (e.g. tent and sleeping bag) for field trips and fieldwork.  The University has funds available for students experiencing financial difficulties in purchasing this equipment.

What the University will provide:

  • tools and  personal protective equipment for archaeological fieldwork
  • survey and remote sensing equipment for archaeological fieldwork including total stations, survey and navigation grade GPS systems and resistivity and magnetometer geophysics systems.
  • departmental minibus for field trips and field work. 
  • range of teaching and research archaeological and conservation science laboratories
  • state-of-the art conservation laboratories, one environmental laboratory, osteoarchaeology and materials analysis laboratories, sample preparation laboratory, environmental chambers, a kiln, analytical equipment including a microscopy suite, oxygen meters, a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer, Scanning Electron Microscope, Transmission Electron Microscope, X-ray Diffraction and portable XRF.
  • dedicated computing suite for teaching and learning with 24 networked computers including Geographical Information Systems for spatial analysis.
  • digital photographic and visual evidence studio equipped with Nikon and Pentax cameras with processing facilities for the production, manipulation and storage of conventional and digital photographs and other visual records (e.g.  Adode Creative Suite) including high quality printing and plotting facilities.

What should I know about year three?

Many of the learning outcomes listed above involve practising skills that are transferable to numerous areas of employment. In addition, students who engage with the programme will practise and develop the ability to:

  • Communicate concepts, theories and arguments and the appraisal of them accurately and clearly, both orally and in written form
  • Assess the validity of different evidence and argument
  • Use a variety of sources in a comprehensive and well-documented manner
  • Explore critically their own beliefs and values
  • Display sensitivity to the diversity of beliefs, practices and ways of life
  • Use electronic sources of information effectively
  • Generate of coherent strategies and propositions in response to complex situations.
  • Structure and write reports of appropriate length on set questions and research topics.
  • Demonstrate the effective communication of ideas and arguments in oral and written presentations.
  • Demonstrate organised and efficient working practices – individually as well as in a team.
  • Access and utiliseinformation from a variety of resources, including libraries and the internet.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate employment of Information Technology e.g. word processing, spatial technologies (including GIS), visualization, data management, archaeological prospecting, modelling, social media, digital film and audio.
  • Demonstrate rigorous and professional practices: able to take initiatives and accept significant responsibility within organisations.
  • Also develop evidence based critical thinking skills on cpd via dedicated seminars
  • Take responsibility for their own learning programme and professional development.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Philosophy

A diverse range of learning and teaching styles is used throughout the programme. Students will attend lectures, participate in seminars and tutorials, and study independently in preparation for each session. All of the taught modules within the programme are optional.  All taught modules involve some formative assessment which is returned to you with individual feedback. Generic Feedback is provided for all forms of summative assessment. In the Final Year students can choose to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice (subject to supervisory availability and approval of the title by the Board of Studies).

Archaeology

Modules are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, private study, practicals with individual supervision of dissertations and fieldwork; the precise methods depend on the modules you are taking. Archaeology fieldwork includes one-day site visits as well as extensive periods of excavation, laboratory analyses or museum-based study in locations as close as Stonehenge and Orkney or as distant as Africa and the Middle East.

The optional Independent Second Year Study introduces students to research aims and methods, which are developed through the optional Dissertation.

What should I know about year one?

Philosophy

Assessment:

Summative assessment for most modules takes place through one or more of the following methods: unseen examinations; open book examinations; portfolios of essays; and (if chosen) the dissertation.  The form(s) of summative assessment for individual modules are set out in the relevant module description.  Assessment methods are chosen as most appropriate to elicit the skills, knowledge and competencies developed by the module.  Not all skills are assessed directly (e.g. the accurate and clear oral communication of concept and theories).  However, opportunities are made available for the development of such skills in seminar presentations, and their value is emphasised to students.  Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for students with disabilities are documented in the Module Descriptions.

Feedback

Formative assessment is provided as feedback on coursework through written comments and individual discussion and on oral seminar presentations through individual guidance.

Archaeology

Assessment:

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, examinations, class/laboratory tests, and oral presentations.  Practical archaeological skills are assessed through written coursework, class tests and fieldwork reports.

Alternative arrangements can be made for any students with disabilities for whom a full laboratory or fieldwork programme may present particular difficulties.

Feedback:

Students receive written feedback on all their coursework assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and work done in classes and seminars. Feedback on assessed coursework may be supplemented by one-to-one tutorials. Individual or class feedback may be provided for exams. Students receive oral and written feedback from their supervisor on preparatory work and drafts for the Independent Study and Dissertation.

Other information

Every student is assigned a personal tutor  in both Philosophy and in Archaeology with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies.  Students are expected to take responsibility for their own development.  You will be required to fill in a feedback form in which you reflect upon your own performance and put together a pro-active and on-going programme of improvement for each stage of your degree.

In addition, all staff have weekly office hours during teaching weeks and students may make appointments to see their personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis. Staff may also be contacted by email. Details of the office hours and email addresses of staff are provided in the Module Guide for each module and/or posted on their office doors.

Use of Learning Central, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, will vary from module to module as the module leader feels appropriate for the specific contents of the module but will normally at least include making lecture handouts available online.

Distinctive features

Students should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of important concepts, theories, problems and arguments in the main areas of Philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology,  philosophy of mind, logic, moral philosophy and, political philosophy.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the ideas and arguments of some of the major philosophers in the history of the subject, encountered in their own writings
  • Demonstrate awareness of some major issues currently at the frontiers of philosophical debate and research.
  • Display precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
  • Construct and justify arguments whileforming independent, fair and well-supported assessments of conflicting views and opinions
  • Explore critically beliefs and values, and question their presuppositions
  • Appreciate the diversity of competing theories, and of competing interpretations of theories and texts, in Philosophy
  • Apply philosophical concepts, theories, arguments and methods to some of the major problems, both theoretical and practical, facing human reflection, life and society.
  • Accurate understanding of  philosophical texts and ability to interpret these texts carefully, with due regard to their context
  • demonstrate awareness of the diversity of historical, social and economic developments in selected periods of world prehistory and history, largely from the evidence of the archaeological record
  • demonstrate critical understanding of the development of archaeological thought and the main elements of modern archaeological theory
  • demonstrate familiarity with, and assess the reliability of, a wide variety of archaeological evidence
  • apply methodological expertise to the critical analysis of archaeological problems.
  • Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating information.

How will I be taught?

None

Admissions tutors

Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator

Dr Simon Robertson, Admissions Tutor

Dr Andrew Cochrane, Admissions Tutor


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