Skip to content

English Literature and Archaeology (BA)

Entry year


The Joint Honours degree in English Literature and Archaeology provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.

Book an Open Day

Course overview

The joint honours degree in English Literature and Archaeology provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects. Many students find joint honours both stimulating and rewarding as they observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects.

English literature at Cardiff offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

Archaeology addresses big questions about the human past for much of which no written record is available. Archaeology at Cardiff concentrates on the British Isles, Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt.

You will learn with staff who undertake cutting-edge research on all periods from early human origins to the recent past. You will also benefit from our state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, dedicated geophysical and surveying equipment and a range of sophisticated equipment for the analysis of artefacts.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
  • a reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment, and digital technology
  • a strong tradition in creative writing, taught by writers making their mark on today’s culture
  • close contacts with local historical sites such as St Fagans National History Museum, Caerleon and Caerwent – allowing additional links with archaeology as an academic discipline
  • the opportunity to go on an excavation or archaeological placement at the end of year two and year three, organised and funded by Archaeology at Cardiff.
UCAS codeQV34
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available. The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications. The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 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 including English Literature, English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. 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.

DD in a BTEC Diploma in Humanities or Social Science subjects, plus Grade B at A-Level in English Literature, English Language and Literature (combined A-Level) or Creative Writing. 

Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects including 6 at HL in English Literature.

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.

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.

GCSE English Language Grade C or 4, IGCSE English First Language grade C, IGCSE English as a Second Language 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

Waterproofs and suitable footwear, and sometimes a tent and sleeping bag, may be needed for field trips and fieldwork.  The University has funds available if you have difficulty in affording this 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

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices.

You will take 60 credits in English literature and 60 credits in Archaeology from a range of core and optional modules.

Year two

You will take 60 credits in English literature and 60 credits in Archaeology, choosing from a large range of genre, period, regional and skills modules.

For archaeology, you will undertake four weeks of excavation or another archaeological work placement.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Field and Practical Skills 1HS220320 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Now and Next: From Academia to Employment (20 Credits)HS000420 credits
Geophysical SurveyingHS220220 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS234820 credits
Archaeology of the VikingsHS234920 credits
Neolithic/Early Bronze Age BritainHS235720 credits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Egyptian Funerary ArchaeologyHS237620 credits
Medieval ArchaeologyHS238220 credits
Art and Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
Forensic and OsteoarchaeologyHS242320 credits
Evidence Based Preservation of OrganicsHS243920 credits
Managing Metallic and Inorganic Cultural Heritage HS244020 credits
Museums' Collections ManagementHS244120 credits
Archaeology Independent StudyHS244220 credits
Computing for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS244420 credits
Technology and MaterialsHS244520 credits
Archaeological Illustration and PhotographyHS244620 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
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
Fiction of the Indian SubcontinentSE228320 credits
Children's Literature: Form and FunctionSE244720 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Romanticism, Politics, AestheticsSE246920 credits
Modern and Contemporary Women's PoetrySE247420 credits
Visual VictoriansSE247520 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
Shakespeare's Tragedies and HistoriesSE247720 credits
Wild West: Literary and Cinematic WesternsSE247920 credits
Contemporary Poetry: Tradition and InnovationSE248120 credits
GirlsSE248220 credits
Experimental Elizabethan DramaSE249220 credits
Portraits of the ArtistSE249320 credits
Object Women in Literature and FilmSE249420 credits
Coming of Age Fiction: Society and the Creative VoiceSE249520 credits
Epic and SagaSE249620 credits
Renaissance Poetry, Prose and Drama: The Principal Genres, Issues and AuthorsSE249720 credits
Decadent Men, 1890s-1910s: Wilde to ForsterSE249820 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

In year three you choose a further 60 credits in English literature and 60 credits in Archaeology. 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, period or technique.

For archaeology, you will undertake another four weeks of excavation or another archaeological work placement.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Field and Practical Skills 2HS220420 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Geophysical SurveyingHS220220 credits
The History of Archaeological ThoughtHS234820 credits
Archaeology of the VikingsHS234920 credits
Neolithic/Early Bronze Age BritainHS235720 credits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Egyptian Funerary ArchaeologyHS237620 credits
Medieval ArchaeologyHS238220 credits
Art and Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
Forensic and OsteoarchaeologyHS242320 credits
Archaeology DissertationHS243540 credits
Evidence Based Preservation of OrganicsHS243920 credits
Managing Metallic and Inorganic Cultural Heritage HS244020 credits
Museums' Collections ManagementHS244120 credits
Computing for Archaeologists and Ancient HistoriansHS244420 credits
Technology and MaterialsHS244520 credits
Archaeological Illustration and PhotographyHS244620 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
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
The Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
Modern Welsh Writing in EnglishSE244820 credits
Fictive Histories/Historical FictionsSE246720 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsexed Females: Women in Public Life, 1770-1800SE258820 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 credits
Island Stories: Literatures of the North AtlanticSE259820 credits
American Poetry after ModernismSE260620 credits
The American Short StorySE260920 credits
Renaissance DramaSE261020 credits
Apocalypse Then and NowSE261120 credits
Criminal ShakespeareSE261220 credits
Scandal and Outrage: Controversial Literature of the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesSE261320 credits
Writing Nature from Romanticism to the PresentSE261420 credits
The High Drama of Work: Taskscapes in Early Modern PlaysSE261520 credits
Representing Race in Contemporary AmericaSE261620 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 archaeological practicals and field trips, and take part in one-to-one tutorials.

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. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

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.

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.

English literature 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 archaeology 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 archaeology. 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

You will undertake four weeks of archaeological excavation or another archaeological work placement at the end of your second and third years. Placements are arranged, approved, funded and assessed by the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

icon-academic

Next Undergraduate Open Day

Spring 2020

icon-international

International

icon-contact

Get in touch

icon-pen

How to apply