History and Religious Studies (BA)

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.

This joint honours 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. There is also the option to specialise further in tailored modules.

The degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies  with the study of a separate academic discipline, 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.

History 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.

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.

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.

Key facts

UCAS CodeVV61
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
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.
Typical A level offerABB, including History.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades AB in GCE A-Level subjects, to include History. Excluding General Studies.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points with 6 points in History at higher level
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome

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

History and Religious Studies/Theology 

Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor

Dr Louise Child, Course Administrator

Dr Louise Child, 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.

This is a three-year degree programme comprising some 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.

Year one

In Year 1, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules.

Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

Year two

In Year 2, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 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
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
History and ICT: A Guided StudyHS170530 credits
Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
India and The Raj 1857-1947HS176530 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
Early HinduismRT133820 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649HS174230 credits
Building the Modern WorldHS174430 credits
Being Human: Self and Society in Britain from Darwin to the Age of Mass CultureHS174830 credits
Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the presentHS174930 credits
"An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Revels and Riots: Popular Culture in Early Modern EnglandHS174330 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed 1840-PresentHS175230 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
Latin American HistoryHS176130 credits
A Jagged History: Germany in the 20th CenturyHS176330 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Bodies, Spirits, and Souls: The Person, Ethics, and ReligionRT133920 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
Foundational EthicsRT135620 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT135820 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT136020 credits
Hebrew TextsRT230420 credits
Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IIRT332720 credits
History of Christian Spirituality 1550 - Present DayRT432120 credits
Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits

Year three

In Year 1, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules.

If you wish, you can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either discipline.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Elementary Sanskrit IRT120120 credits
Elementary Sanskrit IIRT120220 credits
Classical Hebrew 1RT220120 credits
Classical Hebrew IIRT220220 credits
Hellenistic Greek IRT320120 credits
Hellenistic Greek IIRT320220 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
Understanding Christian WorshipRT432020 credits
Elementary Arabic IRT120320 credits
Elementary Arabic IIRT120420 credits
Arabic Texts IRT131020 credits
Arabic Texts IIRT131120 credits
DissertationHS180130 credits
Culture, Soc & I.D. in Wales 1847-1914HS186530 credits
Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39HS186830 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Open Choice TranslationRT134920 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society & Culture 1800-1914HS189630 credits
Race, Sex and Empire & India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
From Bismarck To Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT122720 credits
Early Hindu Texts in SanskritRT132820 credits
The Life of the BuddhaRT135220 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 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
Early HinduismRT133820 credits
Money, Sex and Power in the Early ChurchRT432520 credits
Emotions, Symbols, and Rituals: Studying Societies Through FilmRT121520 credits
Islam in the Contemporary WorldRT132720 credits
Bodies, Spirits, and Souls: The Person, Ethics, and ReligionRT133920 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
The Most Famous Hindu Text: Bhagavadgita, Text & ContextRT135520 credits
Foundational EthicsRT135620 credits
God, Good and the Ugly: Topics in Applied Islamic EthicsRT135720 credits
Medieval Church in the Latin WestRT135820 credits
Exploring GnosticismRT135920 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT136020 credits
Hebrew TextsRT230420 credits
Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern JudaismRT230620 credits
History of Christian Spirituality 1550 - Present DayRT432120 credits
New Testament Gospels and ActsRT320720 credits
New Testament Greek Texts IIRT332720 credits
Kingship: Image and Power c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
City Lives: Urban Culture and Society, c.1550-1750HS182630 credits
Cultures of Power: The Gentry of Tudor and Stuart EnglandHS182730 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Latin American HistoryHS185930 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Llafur, Sosialaeth a Chymru, 1880-1979HS186230 credits
War and Violence in Modern Germany: Myth, Memory and MemorializationHS186330 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.


You will develop a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain practical skills such as 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. Assessment, including coursework, exams, practical work, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned.

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.

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.

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

Applications received

Typical applications received


 

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

History and Religious Studies/Theology 

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The BA in History and Religious Studies allows students to pursue an advanced programme of study, dividing their modules equally between the two subjects (and in the first year potentially with a third subject).  The programme is ‘research led’, in the sense that tutors do not pass on an agreed body of knowledge, but provide students with the skills to assess the existing state of knowledge about a particular problem, its strengths and weaknesses. Studying History and Religious Studies provides a rigorous training that will be a useful grounding for future careers.  The emphasis on both sides of the degree is on choice. In their final year, students have the opportunity to specialise, and to produce original work of their own in the form of a dissertation. The degree provides skills that are transferable to professional employment, as well as providing a solid foundation for those who wish to move on to progressively more independent learning at masters’ and doctoral levels.

History enables students to learn about the very different worlds of people in the past and to better understand the present.  It gives an insight into the process of change from ancient Greece and Rome, through the medieval to the modern periods.  Students may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, from India and China, through Germany and France, to Britain, Wales and Cardiff.

Religious Studies provides a critical understanding of religious and/or theological studies with relevance to the historical development of religions in contemporary societies.  Students are encouraged to explore religions and theologies in relation to a wide range of historical, theoretical, and social issues, and according to a range of methodological approaches (incl. textual hermeneutics, language study, gender theories, cultural and theoretical anthropology, conflict studies, media, globalisation etc

What should I know about year five?

It might seem that that you have very few hours of teaching, but as a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing academically by attending lectures, language classes, seminars and tutorials.  It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes for the following reasons:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.
  4. Your presence can also help others to learn (as well as you), whilst student absence disrupts the learning process for the whole group.

Attendance atlectures, seminars, and tutorials is COMPULSORY. Therefore if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or the Department 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 expects that Students will:

  • attend all classes, punctually, and to explain any absence (in advance where possible)
  • prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars and tutorials
  • 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 

How is this course/programme structured?

The BA History and Religious Studies is a three year degree programme. It is structured so that you acquire in successive years the knowledge and skills required to become an independent researcher, equipped for high-level professional employment. YEAR ONE Core Module in Year One:  History in Practice Typical Optional Modules in Year One:  Medieval Europe  Modern Wales  The Making of the Modern World  Early Modern England and Wales  Introduction to Religion 1  Introduction to Religion 2  Introduction to the Bible  The Story of Christianity YEAR TWO Typical Optional Modules in Year Two:  Heresy and Dissent 1000-1450  The Crusades  War, Peace and Diplomacy c.900-c.1250  The British Civil Wars and Revolution, C.1638-1649  Managing the Mind: Psychiatry, Psychology and British Culture, 1800-2000  A Great Leap Forward: China Transformed 1840-Present  From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000  India and the Raj 1857-1947  Dynamics of Witchcraft 1450-1750  Medicine and Society in Britain and Europe 1789-1919  Migrant Wales 1790-1939  Emotions, Symbols and Rituals  Religion and Gender  Islamic History, Islamic Thought  Buddhism  Jainism  Philosophical Analysis of Religious Texts  Reformation History  New Testament Gospels and Acts YEAR THREE Typical Optional Modules in Year Three:  Military Orders 1100-1320  Slavery and Sin  Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval Europe  Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945  Politics, Economics and Strategy: Britain's European Dilemma 1951-1975  Crime and Disorder: England and Wales 1500-1750  Race, Sex and Empire: India 1765-1929  Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918  Culture, Society and Identity in Wales 1847-1914  Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39  Identity and the British State: Wales, 1485-1660  Women, Health and Medicine in British Society, 1870-1980  The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture 1800-1914  Islam in the Contemporary World  Early Hinduism  Sufism  Bodies, Spirits and Souls  Ancient, Medieval and Modern Judaism  Money, Sex and Power in the Early Church  Religion in Modern Britain  Christian Social Ethics Today  Open Choice Dissertation *The modules available can change from year to year depending upon staff and teaching schedules, and are not guaranteed.

What should I know about year four?

None

What should I know about year three?

The acquisition of skills and of intellectual understanding generally is progressive. As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies. In broad terms:

  1. Year One introduces you to a variety of topics, skills, and range of approaches and methodologies used in History and Religious Studies.
  2. Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods of History and Religious Studies.
  3. Final Year provides you with the opportunity to develop these skills through a systematic engagement with, and interrogation of primary sources in your modules and in the optional production of a Dissertation based on original research.

You are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners. This is why, for example, the second year of study includes an optional Independent Study module, which allows you to investigate how different historians have approached a particular historical problem and the assumptions that have guided them supported by tutorials and skills workshops. 

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures, private study, seminars and individual feedback. Lectures, usually one per week, provide guidance concerning the issues and problems to be followed up in your own reading and writing. For each seminar you will do six to eight hours of preparation, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge thus acquired to present and test your arguments. In the process, you will also receive feedback on them from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument of your own, backed by evidence. Again, you will receive individual feedback from lecturers, in writing and orally.

Modules in Years One and Two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by seminars in small groups. In Year Two and especially Year Three, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work, with individual supervision for extended essays and dissertations. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week.

Some History modules of the programme are available to be taught through the medium of Welsh. 

What should I know about year one?

You will be assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. You will also write longer essays, source criticisms, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and have the option of a dissertation, and you will give oral presentations in certain modules. The marking criteria for this work measure the extent to which you have achieved the learning outcomes for the Programme.

Progression is built into assessment, in that students 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.

You will receive feedback through formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, essay tutorials, and Dissertation  supervision sessions (which include oral and written feedback on bibliographies, research plans, and draft chapters). 

Other information

Students are is assigned a Personal Tutor in each department with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies.  If your Personal Tutor is unavailable, and you wish urgently to discuss matters with a member of staff, you may seek advice from the Senior Tutor or another member of staff. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support. 

As appropriate, modules use the Learning Central electronic learning environment, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials, as copyright permits, and electronic tests. Students undertaking the Open Choice Dissertation or the Open Choice Translation are allocated a research supervisor at the start of the academic year. Opportunities for students to reflect on their general abilities and performance are provided through Personal Development Plans (which we call ‘CV Building’). 

Distinctive features

Upon completion of the programme, a typical graduate will demonstrate:

  • a knowledge and critical understanding of a broad range of Greek and Roman political, social, and cultural history;
  • an awareness of different modern interpretations of ancient history, and an ability to evaluate and critique them;
  • an understanding of different approaches to the study of ancient history and religious traditions/theologies, and an ability to evaluate and employ a range of approaches and methods;
  • demonstrate understanding of debates concerning religious and theological issues in historical context and contemporary society;
  • a knowledge and critical understanding of a wide variety of primary source material, including literary, documentary, epigraphic, visual, and archaeological evidence;
  • an ability to construct arguments and solve problems through critical use of primary evidence, with reference to appropriate modern approaches;
  • an ability to appreciate and understand different cultures and religious traditions;
  • an ability to formulate research questions and to conduct independent research;
  • an ability to present ideas and arguments effectively and coherently in written and oral form. 

How will I be taught?

Students will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. Students learn to assess critically a body of knowledge, to develop hypotheses, test them against qualitative and quantitative evidence, and present conclusions both in writing and orally. They learn to work both independently and as part of a team. Students have the opportunity to study abroad during the second year through the Erasmus programme and other exchange agreements with universities overseas. The University-wide ‘Languages for All’ programme will allow students to study a foreign language free of charge alongside their degree programme. 

Admissions tutors

Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor

Dr Louise Child, Course Administrator

Dr Louise Child, Admissions Tutor


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