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Religious Studies and Ancient History (BA)

Entry year


This degree is ideal for those who want to examine the often-intrinsic relationship between ancient civilization and the world of religion.

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Course overview

This joint honours BA in Religious Studies and Ancient History 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.

The degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the religious, political, social, and cultural structures of past societies and give you the opportunity to explore some of the fundamental questions of existence, in a flourishing centre of research.

Ancient History courses at Cardiff University cover 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 those 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.  Your 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

The joint honours degree in Religious Studies and Ancient History allows you to specialise equally in two degree subjects.  It 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. 

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives as well as skills that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

UCAS codeVVQ1
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
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.

Entry requirements

BBB - BBC. Please note, 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.

DMM Humanities or Social Science. Any other BTEC subject if combined with an A-Level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking).

Achieve the IB Diploma with an overall score of 30 or 655 in 3 HL subjects.

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

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

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

Accommodation

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

Course structure

This is a three-year degree programme. You will study modules amounting to 120 credits each year split equally between the two subjects.

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

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

The first year in Ancient History provides you with a focused introduction to the study of Greek and Roman history at University which fosters your critical and analytical skills through close engagement with the ancient sources and modern interpretations. 

You may study religion through texts, poetry, art, film, biographies, fieldwork and drama. You will be introduced to key ideas about ritual, gender and place that provide a dynamic foundation for further study across a range of modules offered in your second and third years. You will also have the option to study one of the original languages of religious texts on offer.

Year two

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

 In Ancient History you choose from a range of optional modules including a 20-credit independent study and language options.

 

Module titleModule codeCredits
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
What is ReligionRT020120 credits
Independent Study or Critical TranslationRT020220 credits
Exploring Christian DoctrineRT020320 credits
Christian EthicsRT020420 credits
The Hebrew Bible: Stories, Suffering and JusticeRT020520 credits
The War of the Worlds: an introduction to the MahabharataRT020620 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT020720 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT020820 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT021020 credits
Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021220 credits
Further Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021320 credits

Year three

In Year 3, you take 60 credits of Religious Studies modules and 60 credits of Ancient History 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, depending on the modules you choose.   

In Ancient History you choose from a range of optional modules including, for example, Greek Warfare or Art and Archaeology. 

You can write a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either discipline.

Module titleModule codeCredits
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
What is ReligionRT020120 credits
Independent Study or Critical TranslationRT020220 credits
Exploring Christian DoctrineRT020320 credits
Christian EthicsRT020420 credits
The Hebrew Bible: Stories, Suffering and JusticeRT020520 credits
Buddhism: The First Thousand YearsRT020820 credits
Majority World Voices: Global South TheologiesRT021020 credits
Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021220 credits
Further Elementary Language for the Study of ReligionRT021320 credits
Myth and the Movies: Anthropology and Psychology in Contemporary CinemaRT135020 credits
Religion in the WorkplaceRT135420 credits
New Testament EpistlesRT340120 credits
The War of the Worlds: an introduction to the MahabharataRT340220 credits
Understanding Muslim ScripturesRT340320 credits
Emotions, Symbols and Rituals: Studying Religion Through FilmRT340520 credits
Christian Spirituality, 150-1550 CERT430720 credits
Open Choice DissertationRT731620 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?

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

18%

Guided independent study

82%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

21%

Guided independent study

79%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

16%

Guided independent study

84%

Placements

0%

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.

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.

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 large bodies of work (E.G. the Independent Study and Dissertation). Individual written feedback is provided for exams.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

47%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

53%

Year 2

Written exams

29%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

71%

Year 3

Written exams

58%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

42%

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. You will 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. 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.

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 (practised especially in the Independent Study project), problem-solving, initiative, and independent thinking;
  • research skills (developed especially in the Independent Study and Dissertation): 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: 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 Latin and Greek at beginner’s and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

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. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise, while others compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields. 

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.

Placements

We have a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time and careers advice.

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Spring 2020

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