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.

This course may be available in Clearing and Adjustment. Register to be notified when our final list of vacancies is available.

The BA in English Literature and Ancient History enables you to combine a study of the past and English literature. Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects.

This course 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 21st 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 either discipline at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter a range of professions.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
  • a reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment, and digital technology
  • a strong tradition in creative writing, taught by writers making their mark on today’s culture
  • close links with local historical sites, giving you the chance to link your academic studies to active research in the field
  • an opportunity to study Latin and Greek.

Key facts

UCAS CodeQV31
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
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.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

For detailed entry requirements see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy and School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.

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 requirementsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

This full-time course lasts for three years with two semesters per year, split between the two subjects. There are 120 credits a year. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices.

You will take 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in Ancient History from a range of core and optional modules.

Year two

You will again take 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in Ancient History, choosing from a large range of genre, period and regional modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Roman Imperial History 31 BC - AD 138HS333520 credits
Facing Crisis: the Graeco-Roman World in Transition, 138 to 284 CEHS333620 credits
The Later Roman Empire, A.D. 284-480HS333720 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Assyria: Life and Thought in Ancient MesopotamiaHS337920 credits
Athens in the Fourth Century BCHS338020 credits
Drama in Context:Ancient Greek Theatre, Politics, and SocietyHS338120 credits
Hollywood?s Ancient World: creating the past in American cinema, 1915-1965HS338220 credits
The World of CleopatraHS338320 credits
Rebelling Against Rome: Local Identity and Resistance across the Roman EmpireHS338420 credits
Religion in Rome and ItalyHS338520 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS342420 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS342520 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS342620 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS342720 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS437020 credits
Style & GenreSE141620 credits
Fiction of The Indian SubcontinentSE228320 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Ways of ReadingSE244920 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
Chivalry and Subversion in Medieval LiteratureSE246420 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Romanticism, Politics, AestheticsSE246920 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Visual VictoriansSE247520 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
Shakespeare's Tragedies and HistoriesSE247720 credits
Wild West: Literary and Cinematic WesternsSE247920 credits
Saints, Mystics and Martyrs: Writing Women in Premodern EnglandSE248020 credits
Contemporary Poetry: Tradition and InnovationSE248120 credits
GirlsSE248220 credits
Creative Writing: Children?s & Young Adult FictionSE248320 credits
Creative Writing: Experiments in FictionSE248420 credits
Creative Writing: Creative Non-FictionSE248520 credits
Creative Writing: MicrofictionSE248620 credits
Creative Writing: Poetry ISE248720 credits
Creative Writing: Playwriting ? Stage and RadioSE248820 credits
Creative Writing: ScreenwritingSE248920 credits
Creative Writing: Poetry IISE249020 credits
Creative Writing: The Short StorySE249120 credits

Year three

You will take 60 credits in English literature and 60 credits in Ancient 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 or period.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence To CollapseHS238720 credits
Art & Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Roman Imperial History 31 BC - AD 138HS333520 credits
Facing Crisis: the Graeco-Roman World in Transition, 138 to 284 CEHS333620 credits
The Later Roman Empire, A.D. 284-480HS333720 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Assyria: Life and Thought in Ancient MesopotamiaHS337920 credits
Athens in the Fourth Century BCHS338020 credits
Drama in Context:Ancient Greek Theatre, Politics, and SocietyHS338120 credits
Hollywood?s Ancient World: creating the past in American cinema, 1915-1965HS338220 credits
The World of CleopatraHS338320 credits
Rebelling Against Rome: Local Identity and Resistance across the Roman EmpireHS338420 credits
Religion in Rome and ItalyHS338520 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS342420 credits
Latin Historical TextsHS342520 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS342620 credits
Greek Historical TextsHS342720 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS437020 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
Dialect in Literature and FilmSE141320 credits
Creative Writing II: Special TopicsSE237020 credits
Creative Writing III: Special TopicsSE237320 credits
The Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
Modern Welsh Writing in EnglishSE244820 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
Gender & Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
Canterbury Tales: Genre, History, InterpretationSE257920 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance LiteratureSE258320 credits
Interwar Experiments: Sex, Gender, StyleSE258420 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Medical FictionsSE259620 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
Literature and the London BlitzSE260420 credits
World War One Poetry in Manuscript form: Conflict and CompositionSE260520 credits
American Poetry after ModernismSE260620 credits
Representations of Work in Early Modern DramaSE260720 credits
John MiltonSE260820 credits
The American Short StorySE260920 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures. Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

You will also learn through practicals and field trips, and take part in one-to-one tutorials.

How will I be supported?

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance.

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

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

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, which will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

SCHOOL OF 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 graduating.

English literature graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

SCHOOL OF HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND RELIGION

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

We believe 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 and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£15,080None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

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

You will not need any specific equipment.

Ancient history may include some fieldwork.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.