Religious Studies and History (BA)

Entry year

2017 2018

This joint honours degree scheme enables students to combine the fascinating subject of history with the study of religion, which has formed part of human life since the beginning of human existence.

The Joint Honours BA Religious Studies and History degree will ensure a developed understanding of the relationship between religion and the historical world, whilst additionally providing a range of important transferable skills useful for entry into the graduate job market. The degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, religious, and cultural structures of past societies and give you the opportunity to explore some of the fundamental questions of existence, in a flourishing centre of research. Your lecturers are active researchers in their fields, bringing the latest research into teaching.

History modules cover 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.  Religion has been part of human experience from the earliest traces of human existence up to the present day. It has been the way most cultures have sought to express their understanding of the purpose of life and the foundation of personal and social behaviour.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV61
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
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.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerABB, including History.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrades ABB from the Welsh Baccalaureate and two A-level subjects to include History, excluding General Studies.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points from the International Baccalaureate, to include 6 points in Higher Level History.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2017 and this page will be updated by end of October 2017 to reflect the changes.

This is a three-year degree programme comprising core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from to tailor your degree to meet your interests.  You will study modules totalling 120 credits each 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 September 2017.

Year one

In Year One, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules.

You may study religion through texts, poetry, art, film, biographies, fieldwork and drama. A series of research-led case studies on issues such as blasphemy and slavery introduce key ideas about ritual, gender and place that provide a dynamic foundation for further study across a range of modules offered in Years 2 and 3.  You also have the chance to study one of the original languages of religious texts on offer (e.g. Introduction to Arabic) or acquire broad knowledge of the history of Christian theology (The Story of Christianity) and Christian theological thought (Introduction to the Bible). 

All first-year History students take ‘History in Practice’ which introduces you to the different frameworks that underpin historical research and the many different ways of writing history, while providing training in the skills necessary to practice history at undergraduate level.

Year two

In Year Two, you will take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules. 

n Religious Studies you will have the opportunity to develop a more advanced knowledge of a range of religious traditions, building on introductory modules undertaken in year one and develop your awareness of the role of religion in shaping the cultural, intellectual, and ethical concerns of contemporary societies. 

You may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including China, the United States, South Asia, Russia, and Britain. You will learn to think independently, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a body of historical evidence for yourself, and present your findings clearly.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Approaches to HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
The Later Roman Empire, A.D. 284-480HS170630 credits
Heresy and Dissent, 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
From Dreyfus to the National Front: France, 1898-2012HS174130 credits
The British Civil Wars and Revolution, c.1638-1649HS174230 credits
Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789-presentHS174930 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed, 1840-presentHS175230 credits
The American RevolutionHS175430 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
Urban Visions, Rural Dreams: City and Country in Britain and the United States, 1850-2000HS176430 credits
India and The Raj, 1857-1947HS176530 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims from the Fifteenth Century to the Present DayHS176630 credits
Cultures and Communities in Twentieth Century Britain: from the Beatles to Cool BritanniaHS176730 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
Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Elementary Sanskrit 1RT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit 2RT120220 credits
Elementary Arabic 1RT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic 2RT120420 credits
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
Buddhism: the First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Intermediate Arabic TextsRT136220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew 2RT220220 credits
Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
Stories, Suffering and Justice: Old Testament TextsRT230920 credits
New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 credits
New Testament Greek Texts 1RT320920 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
History of Christian Spirituality, 1550-Present DayRT432120 credits
Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Theology on the Edge: Christian Thought in a Changing WorldRT531520 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits

Year three

In Year Three, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules.  You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious themes and topics with a range of specialised modules and may also acquire skills in qualitative and quantitative research into religion(s) in contemporary societies.

 History topics include modern German History, the Anglo Saxons, Slavery and Slave Life, Gender, Violence, Culture and Politics.

You can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either discipline. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
The Military Orders, 1100-1320HS180530 credits
Slavery and SinHS181830 credits
Gender, Sex and Bodies in Early Modern and Industrialising WalesHS182230 credits
Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750HS182430 credits
Germany's New Order in Europe, 1933-1945HS183230 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Fascism and Anti-Fascism in FranceHS184830 credits
Race, Sex and Empire and India, 1765-1929HS185530 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
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
From Hernando de Soto to the Seven Years? War: Accommodation, Violence and Networks in Native American HistoryHS188930 credits
Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century BritainHS189430 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture, 1800-1914HS189630 credits
The Arts in War and Peace: Culture and Politics in Britain, c.1930-1960HS189730 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Elementary Sanskrit 1RT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit 2RT120220 credits
Elementary Arabic 1RT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic 2RT120420 credits
Intermediate Sanskrit TextsRT122420 credits
Buddhism: the First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Religion and the News: Conflict and ContextRT130020 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Politics, Justice and EthicsRT133520 credits
The Making of 'World Religions' in South Asia: Hindus, Sikhs and MuslimsRT133620 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Intermediate Arabic TextsRT136220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew 2RT220220 credits
Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
Stories, Suffering and Justice: Old Testament TextsRT230920 credits
New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 credits
New Testament Greek Texts 1RT320920 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
History of Christian Spirituality, 1550-Present DayRT432120 credits
Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits
Beliefs in the CrucibleRT520420 credits
Christian 'Church' Today: its Meaning, Life and MissionRT520520 credits
Theology on the Edge: Christian Thought in a Changing WorldRT531520 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 credits
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
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?

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.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, and one-to-one tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors.

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 lecture in a small group environment.

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. They offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field.

Welsh language teaching

History provides significant 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 students may elect to write all or some of their assessed work and examinations in Welsh.

How will I be supported?

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and personal development planning.  As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.

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?

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, critical reviews, examinations, class tests and oral presentations.

Coursework 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.  Assessment, including coursework, exams, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned. 

Progression is built into assessment, in that you will do smaller guided tasks in Year One, as well as formative essays in Years Two and Three. Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on lengthier, independent work culminating in an optional 10,000-word dissertation in Year Three.  Final Year modules also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on handling critically a larger number of bibliographical tasks and items.

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’. These 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
  • develop practical research skills
  • 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.

Religious and Theological Studies students may choose to study the module ‘Religion in the Workplace’ which focusses specifically on developing employability and enterprise skills.

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)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

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. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time and careers advice.

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