Philosophy and History (BA)

The joint honours degree in History and Philosophy provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects

The BA in History and Philosophy aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies and to cultivate your intellectual and critical skills.

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

History at Cardiff covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present day. 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.

There are two related aspects of the philosophy course at Cardiff that mark it out among Russell Group universities. One is that there is a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics among the modules on offer. The other is that our research and teaching is spread equally across both the ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy, allowing students to develop a full understanding of both with the possibility of an informed choice to specialise in one approach or the other.

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

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics
  • equal attention to ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy
  • history gives opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV15
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Studying in WelshUp to 33% of this course is available 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 History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 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 offerGrades ABB, to include History. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding History.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points from the International Baccalaureate, to include 6 points in Higher Level History.
Other qualificationsApplications 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. 

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

You will take 60 credits in history and 60 credits in philosophy.

The compulsory philosophy modules focus on the nature of thinking and introduce the central concepts, theories, arguments, and approaches of contemporary moral and political theory. 

There is a choice of history modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
History in Practice: Fury, Folly and FootnotesHS110720 credits
Mind, Thought and RealitySE410120 credits
Moral and Political PhilosophySE410320 credits
Critical ThinkingSE410720 credits

Year two

You will take 60 credits in history and 60 credits in philosophy. You have the chance to design a degree that suits you, choosing from a large range of optional modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
'The Devil's Brood' The Angevin Kings of England 1154-1272HS171330 credits
The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649HS174230 credits
Building the Modern WorldHS174430 credits
Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the presentHS174930 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed 1840-PresentHS175230 credits
From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
Diwydiannaeth, Radicaliaeth a'r Bobl Gyffredin yng Nghymru a Phrydain mewn Oes Chwyldro, c. 1789-1880HS175730 credits
Radicalism and the Common People, 1789-1880HS175830 credits
"An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
Land and Landscape in Modern BritainHS176230 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims from the fifteenth century to the present dayHS176630 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
Martyrs and Collaborators: Catholicism behind the Iron CurtainHS177230 credits
Europe, East and West 1945-1995HS177530 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 credits
Philosophy of MindSE431320 credits
Philosophy of LanguageSE435820 credits
Philosophy of Contemporary PoliticsSE436320 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth WleidyddolSE439520 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits

Year three

You will take 60 credits in history and 60 credits in philosophy.

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
DissertationHS180130 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
The Military Orders 1100-1320HS180530 credits
Slavery and SinHS181830 credits
Crime in England and Wales, c.1570-c.1790HS182330 credits
Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750HS182430 credits
Cultures of Power: The Gentry of Tudor and Stuart EnglandHS182730 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
From Bismarck To Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
Germany's New Order in Europe 1933-1945HS183230 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Men in Black: The Jesuits in the Early Modern WorldHS184430 credits
Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Llafur, Sosialaeth a Chymru, 1880-1979HS186230 credits
Culture, Soc & I.D. in Wales 1847-1914HS186530 credits
Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39HS186830 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
Czechoslovakia: The View from Central EuropeHS188430 credits
Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth CenturyHS188730 credits
Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century BritainHS189430 credits
The Arts in War and Peace: Culture and Politics in Britain, c.1930-1960HS189730 credits
Nineteenth-century British Social HistoryHS189830 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Feminist PhilosophySE438620 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Philosophy and Modern ArtSE440220 credits
FairnessSE440320 credits
Philosophy of Time TravelSE440420 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 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.

History provides opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Subject to staff availability, seminar teaching in Welsh is available on some or all of the major core courses, and at least one Welsh language option is offered in years two and three.

Welsh language supervision is also available for long essays (Exploring Historical Debate) and dissertations, and you may choose to write all or some of your assessed work and examinations in Welsh.

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 formative and summative 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.

Coursework, exams, practical work and oral presentations will test the different skills you have learned.

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.

Philosophy 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 organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. History graduates find work in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment. Some choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

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

You will not need any specific equipment.


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.