History (BA)

History at Cardiff is an exciting, cutting edge degree that teaches you to become an independent learner and researcher under the guidance of our approachable academic staff.

BA History at Cardiff enables you to learn about the very different worlds of people in the past and to better understand the present.

It gives you an insight into processes of change from the ancient world through to the modern period. You may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including India, China, Germany, France, Russia, Britain and Wales. Above all you will learn to 'do history' yourself, and will thus acquire the sorts of skills that employers prize. You will learn to think independently, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a body of historical evidence for yourself, and present your findings in clear prose. Our friendly academic staff  will be on hand to guide you and provide full and constructive feedback throughout your studies.

You may choose to specialize in History from the beginning of your first year, or you may choose to combine the study of history with a subsidiary subject taken from elsewhere in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. These subjects may include Archaeology, Politics, English Literature, Sociology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Languages, and more.

Key facts

UCAS CodeV100
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
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 offerAAA-ABB, including History. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerAAA-ABB from the Welsh Baccalaureate and two A-level subjects, to include History. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer33 points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma including at least 6 points in Higher Level History and at least 6 points in one other Higher Level subject.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

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

History

Admissions tutor(s)

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.

A major difference between School and University is that you will prepare for classes through independent, guided reading and writing, contribute to informed discussion, and produce your own, reasoned conclusions, backed by evidence. BA History 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.

Most History 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.

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 a dissertation, and you will give oral presentations in certain courses. Our courses are the product of rigorous design work and of continuous re-evaluation. Academics staff, students and outside experts work together to ensure that degree schemes meet quality standards in their disciplines. Student representatives play a full part in the Departmental Board of Studies and its Working Groups. Each student is assigned a personal tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support.

Year one

Core courses in years one and two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly 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.

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 titleModule codeCredits
History in Practice: Fury, Folly and FootnotesHS110720 credits

Year two

Core courses in years one and two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly 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.

Students studying this course may take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
Approaches To HistoryHS170130 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
History and ICT: A Guided StudyHS170530 credits
India and The Raj 1857-1947HS176530 credits
Medicine and Modern Society, 1750-1919HS179930 credits
Into The Vortex: Britain and The First World WarHS178730 credits
Heresy & Dissent 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541 - 1714HS179330 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
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
The Later Roman Empire AD284 - 602HS331830 credits

Year three

Core courses in years one and two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly 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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 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.

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.
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.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who is able to advise on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner. Students may have problems from time to time and the personal tutor system is designed to overcome these as effectively and quickly as possible. 

Welsh language teaching

The department 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.

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

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.

Jobs

  • Broadcast journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Advertising executive
  • Teacher
  • Historian

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

100

 

 

Applications received

Typical applications received

500+

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

History

What are the aims of this Programme?

BA History at Cardiff enables you to learn about the very different worlds of people in the past and to better understand the present. It gives you an insight into the process of change from ancient Greece and Rome, through the medieval to the modern periods. You 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.

Above all you will learn to ‘do history’ yourself, and will thus acquire the sorts of skills that employers prize. You will learn to think independently, and to analyse and assess a body of material, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and present your conclusions in well-written, lucid prose, as well as verbally. Our friendly academic staff – all of whom are internationally reputed, published historians – will be on hand to guide you and provide feedback on your performance.

You may choose to specialize in History from the beginning of your first year, or you may choose to combine the study of history with a subsidiary subject taken from elsewhere in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science. These subjects may include Archaeology, Politics, English Literature, Sociology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Languages, and more.

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 History secretary 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 the History Handbooks and Academic Regulations Handbook.

The Department 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?

BA History 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

Making Global Histories: Asia and the West

Year Two

Core Modules in Year Two:

Approaches to History

Exploring Historical Debate: An Independent Study

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

Year Three

Core Module in Year Three:

Dissertation

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

*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?

You will not need any specific equipment.

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 and range of approaches used in history.

Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods used by historians.

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 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 Independent Study (HS1711), 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. The module is vital training for single honours History students which, alongside HS1701 Approaches to Historyand Year 2 option modules, underpins the Advanced Options modules and the HS1801 Dissertationyou take in the Final Year (these modules are also available as options for joint degree students). By the end of the degree, you will have acquired a thorough grounding in what the great historian Marc Bloch once famously described as ‘the historian’s craft’.

How will I be taught?

Most History 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.

Core courses in Years One and Two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly 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 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 a dissertation, and you will give oral presentations in certain courses. 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: students write a 4,000-word essay as part of History in Practice in Year one, a 6,000-word Exploring Historical Debate Essay in Year Two, and a 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 and Exploring historical Debate supervision sessions (which include oral and written feedback on bibliographies, research plans, and draft chapters).

How will I be supported?

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies. Please see the relevant History Notice Boards on the fourth floor of the John Percival Building for information on your Personal Tutor. 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.

What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

  • demonstrate critical understanding of the past through study of historians’ work (historiography) and of source material;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of human history across a wide geographical and chronological range;
  • identify patterns of change and to locate detailed examination of particular themes, episodes and events within them;
  • demonstrate a general understanding of the various approaches adopted by historians to the study of the past and give a critical appraisal of their relevance to the study of particular periods and themes;
  • develop a reasoned, coherent, argument about specific problems, deploying appropriate evidence, and demonstrating awareness of the limits of their knowledge;
  • achieve the above objectives both independently and as part of a team;
  • produce a major piece of research of their own (dissertation);
  • demonstrate  understanding of debates concerning the place of history in contemporary society.

Other information

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


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