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.
|Entry point||September 2016|
|Typical places available||The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||ABB, including History.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||Grade A in the Core and grades AB in GCE A-Level subjects, to include History. Excluding General Studies.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||34 points with 6 points in History at higher level|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome|
Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
|QAA subject benchmark|
History and Religious Studies/Theology
Dr Lloyd Bowen, 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.
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Introduction To Biblical Hebrew||RT2104||20 credits|
|Further Biblical Hebrew||RT2105||20 credits|
|Introduction To The Bible||RT2103||20 credits|
|The Story of Christianity||RT4103||20 credits|
|Introduction to New Testament Greek||RT3107||20 credits|
|Further New Testament Greek||RT3108||20 credits|
|Introduction To Arabic||RT1109||20 credits|
|Further Elementary Arabic||RT1110||20 credits|
|Medieval Europe||HS1101||20 credits|
|Modern Wales||HS1104||20 credits|
|The Making of The Modern World, 1750-1970||HS1105||20 credits|
|Early Modern England and Wales 1500-1700||HS1106||20 credits|
|Introduction To The Study of Religion 1||RT1111||20 credits|
|Introduction To The Study of Religion 2||RT1112||20 credits|
|Introduction To Sanskrit||RT1106||20 credits|
|Further Elementary Sanskrit||RT1107||20 credits|
|Making Global Histories: Asia and the West||HS1108||20 credits|
|Mind, Thought and Reality||SE4101||20 credits|
|History in Practice: Fury, Folly and Footnotes||HS1107||20 credits|
In Year 2, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of History modules.
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.
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.
QAA subject benchmark
|QAA subject benchmark|
History and Religious Studies/Theology
What are the aims of this 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 is expected of me?
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.
- 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 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.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?
What skills will I practise and develop?
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:
- Year One introduces you to a variety of topics, skills, and range of approaches and methodologies used in History and Religious Studies.
- Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods of History and Religious Studies.
- 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.
How will I be taught?
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.
How will I be assessed?
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).
How will I be supported?
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’).
What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?
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.
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.
Dr Lloyd Bowen, Admissions Tutor
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