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Philosophy and Ancient History (BA)

Entry year


The Joint Honours degree in Ancient History and Philosophy provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.

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Course overview

The BA in Ancient History and Philosophy aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies and to cultivate your intellectual and critical skills.

Each School involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

This is a three-year degree course comprising some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from in order to tailor your degree to meet your interests.

Ancient history at Cardiff covers the period from the Aegean Bronze Age to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west and its survival in the east as the Byzantine Empire. 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.

There are two related aspects of the philosophy at Cardiff that mark it out among Russell Group universities. One is that there is a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics among the modules on offer. The other is that our research and teaching is spread equally across both the ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy. 

The degree provides the training necessary for students who wish to study ancient history and philosophy at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics
  • equal attention to ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy
  • close links with local historical sites, giving you the chance to link your academic studies to active research in the field
  • an opportunity to study Latin and Greek.
UCAS codeVV51
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications. The School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
  1. School of English, Communication and Philosophy

    John Percival Building

    Colum Drive

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EU

  2. School of History, Archaeology and Religion

    John Percival Building

    Colum Drive

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EU

Entry requirements

ABB. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects. However, please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted.   

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM to include Humanities and Social Science subjects.

Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy and School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language will be considered at grade C. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£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 (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£16,950None

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.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

This full-time course lasts for three years with two semesters per year, split between the two subjects. There are 120 credits a year. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

You will take 60 credits in ancient history and 60 credits in philosophy.

The compulsory ancient history modules introduce you to ancient Greek and Roman history.

The compulsory philosophy modules focus on the nature of thinking and introduce the central concepts, theories, arguments, and approaches of contemporary moral and political theory. 

Year two

You will take 60 credits in ancient history and 60 credits in philosophy.

You will choose from a large range of optional modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Now and Next: From Academia to Employment (20 Credits)HS000420 credits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Art and Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
Computing for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS244420 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Rome and CarthageHS333320 credits
Gender and Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
The Roman RevolutionHS336320 credits
Persian Superpowers: A Dynastic History of Ancient Iran 1000BCE to 1000CEHS338620 credits
Great Kings to Shahs: Past and Present in Iranian CultureHS338720 credits
Invention and Discovery in the Ancient WorldHS339020 credits
Hellenistic SocietyHS339120 credits
Gaming AntiquityHS339220 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
The Roman ArmyHS436720 credits
Objects of Empire: Ancient Iran Through Material CultureHS437120 credits
Early Rome and the EtruscansHS437220 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS437320 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
Philosophy of MindSE431320 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Contemporary Ethical TheorySE438820 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth WleidyddolSE439520 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits
Continental PhilosophySE440620 credits
Philosophy of CommunicationSE440820 credits
Philosophy of FeminismSE441820 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

You will take 60 credits in ancient history and 60 credits in philosophy.

If you wish, 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 or period.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Art and Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
Computing for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS244420 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Rome and CarthageHS333320 credits
Gender and Sexuality in Greece and RomeHS336220 credits
The Roman RevolutionHS336320 credits
Persian Superpowers: A Dynastic History of Ancient Iran 1000BCE to 1000CEHS338620 credits
Great Kings to Shahs: Past and Present in Iranian CultureHS338720 credits
Invention and Discovery in the Ancient WorldHS339020 credits
Hellenistic SocietyHS339120 credits
Gaming AntiquityHS339220 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
The Roman ArmyHS436720 credits
Objects of Empire: Ancient Iran Through Material CultureHS437120 credits
Early Rome and the EtruscansHS437220 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS437320 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Feminist PhilosophySE438620 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Cognition and TechnologySE441020 credits
Animal MindsSE441120 credits
The Social ImaginationSE441220 credits
Modern German PhilosophySE441320 credits
Dissertation (Autumn Semester)SE441520 credits
Dissertation (Spring Semester)SE441620 credits
Athroniaeth CrefyddSE441720 credits
Belief & IrrationalitySE441920 credits
Desires, Emotions and HappinessSE442020 credits
NietzscheSE530620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. 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 lectures. 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.

You will also learn through practicals and field trips, and take part in one-to-one tutorials.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

24%

Guided independent study

76%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

24%

Guided independent study

76%

Placements

0%

How will I be supported?

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays 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.

Coursework, exams, practical work and oral presentations will test the different skills you have learned.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

45%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

55%

Year 2

Written exams

54%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

46%

Year 3

Written exams

46%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

54%

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, which will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

Careers

Career prospects

SCHOOL OF ENGLISH, COMMUNICATION AND PHILOSOPHY

In 2015/16, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Philosophy graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

SCHOOL OF HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND RELIGION
In 2015/16, 94% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

We believe that our students are particularly well placed to compete for employment as their degree involves a range of practical and academic skills which have a wide value beyond their subject. These transferable skills have permitted our graduates to find work in journalism, banking, finance, teaching and a wide range of other areas.

We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. Many of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise such as work in archives or museums. The majority, however, compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.

Fieldwork

Ancient history may include some fieldwork.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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Next Undergraduate Open Day

Saturday 26 October

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