Religious Studies and Archaeology with a Year of Study Abroad (BA)

Entry year

2017 2018

Students will study past human communities from material remains with an additional element of religion.

This four-year joint honours BA in Religious Studies and Archaeology with a Year of Study Abroad gives you the opportunity to combine the study of religion and archaeology at Cardiff University with the cross-cultural experience of a year studying in a partner institution abroad.

Being joint honours, it allows you to combine the study of religion with the study of past human communities through material excavations, from the earliest human origins through to the late middle-ages.  Additionally it provides a range of important transferable skills useful for entry into the graduate job market. You will have the opportunity to explore some of the fundamental questions of existence, in a flourishing centre of research. Archaeology addresses big questions about the human past for much of which no written record is available.

The Archaeology courses at Cardiff University concentrate on the British Isles, Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt. You will learn with staff who undertake exciting research on all periods from early human origins to the recent past. You will also benefit from the department’s facilities which include bespoke teaching and research laboratories, dedicated geophysical and surveying equipment and a range of sophisticated equipment for the analysis of artefacts. 

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. Our lecturers are active researchers in their fields, bringing the latest research into teaching.  The course aims 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.

Distinctive features

  • You will gain invaluable cross-cultural experience by spending a year studying abroad in a partner institution in Europe, the USA, Canada or Hong Kong. 
  • The year of study abroad introduces novel academic study opportunities and will also provide you with the life skills to compete in an increasingly global workforce, such as cultural adaptability, resilience and independence. 
  • This degree provides the training necessary for those who wish to study Religious Studies or Archaeology at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for other professions.

Key facts

UCAS Code2N13
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with year abroad
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 380 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerBBB.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerBBB from the Welsh Bac and two A levels.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 points.
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 requirements

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 four-year degree programme with the year of study abroad normally taken in the second year.  You will take 120 credits in 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 Archaeology 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.  Alternatively, you may begin to study one of the original languages of religious texts on offer or acquire broad knowledge of the history of Christian theology and Christian theological thought. You will acquire the basic skills required for the academic study of religions and theology.

You will take two core modules in Archaeology, one studying the Archaeology of Britain and the other of Mediterranean Societies.  The Year Three fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the first year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year Three.  This project is taught through four-weeks of participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Year two: Sandwich year

Year two comprises a choice of modules at the partner institution in Europe, the USA, Canada or Hong Kong. You will select your location in consultation with the partner institution and your personal tutor. Your choice will need to be approved by our History Board of Studies.

You will receive guidance on the choice of partner institutions to apply to and which modules to study while abroad, and will continue to be associated with a specific personal tutor in Cardiff University during that year. 

The marks obtained in this year of study abroad will be converted into their equivalent marks on the Cardiff University mark scale, and the aggregate mark for the year will count as 10% in the calculation of the final degree classification. The marks obtained in Cardiff in Year three will then count 30% in that calculation and the marks obtained in Cardiff in Year Four 60%.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Year of Study AbroadHS5000120 credits

Year three

In Year three, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of Archaeology modules. 

In 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. 

Year three Archaeology includes one 10 credit fieldwork project and 50 credits from a wide range of period, topic, or technique specific modules within Archaeology and Ancient History, allowing you a great deal of flexibility to follow the subjects you are most interested in. 

The Year four fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the third year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year four.  This project is taught through four-weeks of participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeological Field and Practical Skills 1 and 2HS220020 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
The Archaeology of the Anglo-SaxonsHS220120 credits
Later Bronze Age BritainHS230510 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits
Neolithic EuropeHS231120 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Evidence-based PreservationHS236920 credits
Material Change in Context: OrganicsHS237320 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence to CollapseHS238720 credits
Art and Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Pharaohs of the SunHS241020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Museums' Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
Ceramics in ArchaeologyHS243120 credits
BioarchaeologyHS243220 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS243320 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS437020 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
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
Christian Social Ethics TodayRT731720 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT734220 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits

Year four

In Year four, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of Archaeology modules. 

You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of religious themes and topics with a range of specialised modules. You may also acquire skills in qualitative and quantitative research into religion(s) in contemporary societies.   

Final year Archaeology includes one 10 credit fieldwork project and 50 credits from a wide range of period, topic, or technique specific modules within Archaeology and Ancient History, allowing you a great deal of flexibility to follow the subjects you are most interested in.

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, period or technique.  If choosing the Final Year Archaeology Dissertation you must have taken the prerequisite Independent Archaeological Study in Year three.

The Year four Fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the third year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year four.  This project is taught through four-weeks of participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeological Field and Practical Skills 1 and 2HS220020 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
The Archaeology of the Anglo-SaxonsHS220120 credits
Geophysical SurveyingHS220220 credits
Later Bronze Age BritainHS230510 credits
Iron Age BritainHS230620 credits
Neolithic EuropeHS231120 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS235020 credits
Evidence-based PreservationHS236920 credits
Material Change in Context: OrganicsHS237320 credits
Aegean Bronze Age: Emergence to CollapseHS238720 credits
Art and Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS240710 credits
Pharaohs of the SunHS241020 credits
Archaeological PhotographyHS241410 credits
Introduction to Spatial Techniques and TechnologiesHS241810 credits
Geographic Information Systems for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS241910 credits
Museums' Collections ManagementHS242120 credits
Heritage CommunicationHS242820 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS242910 credits
Archaeological IllustrationHS243010 credits
Ceramics in ArchaeologyHS243120 credits
BioarchaeologyHS243220 credits
Archaeology DissertationHS243540 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS437020 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
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, practicals, field trips, 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.

How will I be supported?

All modules make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where you can access course materials and links to related reading and online resources. In addition to the main University libraries, you will have access to the Sheila White Library, which contains additional copies of books on Greek and Roman history and culture.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor, who is able to advise you on academic and pastoral matters in a confidential and informal manner. Personal Tutors meet with you regularly to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, and are available for consultation at other times as needed. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are made available through a structured programme of Personal Development Planning and through scheduled meetings with Personal Tutors.

Feedback

You will receive written feedback on all your coursework assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and seminar work. You will also receive oral and written feedback from your supervisor on preparatory work and drafts for the Independent Study and Dissertation. Individual written feedback is provided for exams.

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?

You will acquire and develop a range of essential transferable and discipline-specific skills, including:

  • Intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning, assimilating and summarising complex information and ideas, analysing and evaluating evidence, critiquing interpretations or arguments, coping with uncertainty or incomplete data, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting them effectively in writing and in debate;
  • Employability skills, such as effective communication through written reports and oral presentations, contributing to group discussions, working independently and in teams, using IT resources effectively, and time management;
  • Enterprise skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, initiative, and independent thinking;
  • Research skills such as defining a project, formulating research questions, locating relevant information, and presenting the results in an oral presentation and an extended written report;
  • Discipline-specific skills such as analysing historical problems, locating and using appropriate evidence and bibliographic resources, handling literary and archaeological material, analysing images, reading inscriptions, papyri and coins, and understanding the scholarly conventions used in relation to these types of evidence;
  • Language skills: the programme offers an opportunity for students to study a number of languages at beginner and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.

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 believe in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer.

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 your archaeology and religious studies courses you will research ideas, form opinions and present them in your own terms; you will develop your writing to address a range of audiences.  These transferable skills will be of benefit in your future career, no matter what path you decide to take.

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.

Costs for sandwich years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

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

You will need suitable clothing (e.g. waterproofs and suitable footwear) and sometimes accommodation (e.g. tent and sleeping bag) for field trips and fieldwork.  The University has funds available for students experiencing financial difficulties in purchasing this equipment.

Access to appropriate facilities and resources overseas is guaranteed by the Cardiff University process of selecting and approving partner institutions.  You will continue to have full access to the electronic resources of Cardiff University during your year of study abroad.

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.

We offer workplace experience to our students through our four-week, funded excavation, museum and heritage work placements at the end of the first and third year. You will also be encouraged and financially supported to attend fieldwork placements abroad.

Archaeology students can take advantage of the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) which provides summer placements for undergraduates in the University research environment. CUROP offers a stipend to support a student on a placement of up to eight weeks duration, working with supervision on staff-defined research projects.

There are also opportunities to work with heritage industry professionals (e.g. Cadw) as part of fieldwork placements or the Heritage Communication module and to gain further experience in working with the public of all ages via a range of initiatives (e.g. the Guerilla Archaeology outreach group, the CAER heritage project and the Share With Schools scheme).

The years three and four fieldwork projects are taken in the summer after years one and three.  The Fieldwork projects are taught through four weeks of student participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

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