English Literature and Ancient History (BA)

The Joint Honours degree in English Literature and Ancient History provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.

The Joint Honours degree in English Literature and Ancient History provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects. Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences in the two subjects.

The BA in English Literature and Ancient History aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies , and to cultivate intellectual skills such as the ability to assess evidence critically, to evaluate different interpretations of the evidence, to construct arguments on the basis of evidence, and to express opinions cogently in speech and in writing.

English Literature at Cardiff offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word: we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

Ancient History covers the period from the Aegean Bronze Age to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west and its survival in the east as the Byzantine Empire. There is a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.

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

Key facts

UCAS CodeQV31
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available. The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications. The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications.
Typical A level offerAAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer35 points. 6 points required from English at Higher Level and 6 points from one other subject at Higher Level
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

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

English, Classics and Ancient History

Admissions tutor(s)

Professor Martin Coyle, Admissions Tutor

Dr Louis Rawlings, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator

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.

This is a three-year degree programme comprising of some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from in order to tailor your degree to meet your interests.

Year one

 In Year 1, you take 60 credits of English Literature modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction to Roman HistoryHS310220 credits
Introduction to Ancient Greek HistoryHS310120 credits
Introduction to Poetry and the NovelSE213620 credits
Reading and IdentitySE213120 credits

Year two

 In Year 2, you take 60 credits of English Literature modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Fiction of The Indian SubcontinentSE228320 credits
Creative Writing ISE241720 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS334310 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS334410 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334610 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Reading Old EnglishSE244120 credits
Shakespeare and Renaissance DramaSE244220 credits
Elizabethan ShakespeareSE244320 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Twentieth-Century Crime FictionSE245520 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
The Post-1945 American NovelSE256620 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Introduction to Visual CultureSE246120 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Contemporary Women's WritingSE244620 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Modern Welsh Writing in EnglishSE244820 credits
Children's Literature: Form & FunctionSE244720 credits
Representing the VictoriansSE246620 credits
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
Fictive Histories/Historical FictionsSE246720 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Romanticism, Politics, AestheticsSE246920 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Ways of ReadingSE244920 credits
Gods & the Polis: Athenian FestivalsHS333010 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Inscriptions and Athenian HistoryHS332610 credits
Roman ReligionHS333110 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Roman Imperial History 31BC - AD138HS331730 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
King and Court in the Ancient Near EastHS337720 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits

Year three

In Year 3, you take 60 credits of English Literature modules and 60 credits of Ancient History modules. If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either English Literature or Ancient History.

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
DissertationSE252420 credits
Nineteenth-Century Crime FictionSE239020 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
Creative Writing III: Special TopicsSE237320 credits
Creative Writing II: Special TopicsSE237020 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance LiteratureSE258320 credits
R. S. Thomas: No Truce with the FuriesSE257820 credits
French TheorySE257020 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Desire, the Body and the Text: Psychoanalysis & LiteratureSE258020 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
Gender & Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Interwar Experiments: Sex, Gender, StyleSE258420 credits
Middle English Romance: Monsters and MagicSE258620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS334510 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsex'd Females: Women in public life, 1770 - 1800SE258820 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Gods & the Polis: Athenian FestivalsHS333010 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS435810 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Inscriptions and Athenian HistoryHS332610 credits
Roman ReligionHS333110 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Houses in Roman ItalyHS436310 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Roman Imperial History 31BC - AD138HS331730 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Modern British Political DramaSE259020 credits
Norse Myth and SagaSE256020 credits
Canterbury Tales: Genre, History, InterpretationSE257920 credits
Four English Poets of the Twentieth CenturySE259120 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Shakespeare's Late PlaysSE259420 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
King and Court in the Ancient Near EastHS337720 credits
Medical FictionsSE259620 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 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 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, 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.

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. 

A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios, and creative assignments.

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

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

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

English, Classics and Ancient History

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA in English Literature and Ancient History (Joint Honours) gives students the opportunity to combine the study of all periods of literature in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century and from many different parts of the world with the study of the ancient Greek and Roman world.  Students divide their modules equally between English Literature and Ancient History, with a third subject in the first year which may be chosen from a range of subjects including English Literature II, Medieval and Renaissance Literature, History or Archaeology.

In English Literature, the first year is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in Year 2 and the Final Year.  In Year 2 you select from a range of period-, genre- or theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts. In Final Year there is a range of more specialised modules in which you will pursue interests developed in the previous two years and engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you further to develop analytical and presentational skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate study. The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a careful, attentive, and informed reader, sensitive to the nuances of language and style and able to articulate your responses to texts in writing which is precise, stylish, and effective.

Ancient History covers the period from the Aegean Bronze Age to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west and its survival in the east as the Byzantine Empire. The emphasis is on developing students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural structures of Greek and Roman societies, which were significantly different from modern industrialised societies, but have exercised a profound and continuous influence on the subsequent development of European and many other societies and cultures. There is a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.

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, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

A 20 credtis 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.

Attendance at lectures, seminars, workshops 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.

Full expectations for students are outlined in the University’s Student Charter.

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 English Literature and Ancient History 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 Ancient History modules, one Greek and one Roman history;
  • 40 credits of English Literature modules;
  • 40 credits in another Humanities subject.

Year Two students study:

  • 60 credits of modules in Ancient History, which may include a practical course on using different types of historical evidence and an independent study on a topic of their choice;
  • 60 credits of modules in English Literature.

Year Three students study:

  • 60 credits of modules in Ancient History;
  • 60 credits of modules in English Literature.

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

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

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment is required.

What should I know about year three?

English Literature

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 effectively with others.
  • Think analytically about problems.
  • Use electronic and other sources of information as appropriate to the project chosen.
  • Take responsibility for their own learning programme and professional development.

Ancient History

Students will acquire and develop a range of essential transferable and discipline-specific skills, including:

·         intellectual skills,such as critical thinking, reasoning, assimilating and summarising complex information and ideas, analysing and evaluating evidence, critiquing interpretations or arguments, coping with uncertainty or incomplete data, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting them effectively in writing and in debate;

·         employability skills,such as effective communication through written reports and oral presentations, contributing to group discussions, working independently and in teams, using IT resources effectively, and time management;

·         enterprise skills,such as creativity (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 problems, locating and using appropriate evidence and bibliographic resources, handling literary and archaeological material, analysing images, reading inscriptions, papyri and coins, and understanding the scholarly conventions used in relation to these types of evidence;

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

What should I know about the preliminary year?

English Literature

Teaching is by a combination of lectures and seminars, with all modules including seminar or small-group teaching. Each module presents the student with a set of intellectual challenges which have in common a concern with the question of how to read the literary (or other cultural) text and how to write about its significance and meanings. Teaching stresses the importance of the way texts interact with their contexts, and each module is designed to encourage you to focus on a number of specific texts and to prepare carefully a considered answer to specific topics dealt with in the module.

The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but may include such activities as: interactive lectures, seminar discussions of prepared texts/topics, student presentations or group presentations, small-group work within seminars, translation classes, formative writing exercises, journal entries, and film showings. Students are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable them to take a full part in these activities and are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate.

Ancient History

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, classes, practical workshops, field trips and individual tutorials.  French is taught in small interactive classes designed to enable students to acquire grammatical precision and advanced written and oral communication skills. Students also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor.

What should I know about year one?

English Literature

Assessment:

All modules offer the opportunity to undertake formative work appropriate to the module. The form(s) of summative assessment for individual modules are set out in the relevant Module Description. Most modules are assessed by assessed essay and/or examination, but some include other forms of assessment such as journal entries, a portfolio, or presentations. The assessment strategy is structured to lead students from specimen question papers towards the production of an informed answer. Emphasis in assessment is placed on the writing of clear, persuasive and scholarly essays presented in a professional manner and submitted on time. Details of any academic or competence standards which may limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments for disabled students are noted in the Module Descriptions.

In the final year of the degree students have the option of choosing to write a dissertation on a topic of particular interest to them.

Feedback

Written feedback is provided on both formative and summative assessment and students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with module tutors in seminars and, where appropriate, on a one-to-one basis in office hours.

Ancient History

Assessment:

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, 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. All students write 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 and seminar work. 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

Every student is assigned a personal tutor in both English Literature and in Ancient History 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.

The majority of modules make 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.

Distinctive features

Students should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Awareness of different literary periods, movements and genres and of the variety of English literature.
  • Understanding of the importance of historical and cultural contexts.
  • Knowledge of the critical issues and/or debates surrounding or raised by texts.
  • Understanding of the shaping effects of historical and cultural circumstances on the production and meaning of texts.
  • Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.
  • Ability to handle complex ideas with clarity.
  • Ability to analyse and interpret material drawn from a diversity of literary periods.
  • Ability to apply high level critical skills of close analysis to literary texts.
  • Knowledge of appropriate critical vocabulary and terminology.
  • Ability to sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the workings of language and literary styles.
  • Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating information.

How will I be taught?

None

Admissions tutors

Professor Martin Coyle, Admissions Tutor

Dr Louis Rawlings, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator


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