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Ancient and Medieval History (BA)

Entry year


This integrated programme spans the Mediterranean and European worlds from the Bronze Age to the end of the medieval period.

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Ancient History

Course overview

The BA in Ancient and Medieval History is concerned with the European and Mediterranean worlds from the Aegean Bronze Age to the end of the Middle Ages.  It aims to develop students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of Greek, Roman and medieval societies, which were significantly different from modern industrialised societies, but have exercised a profound and continuing influence on the subsequent development of European societies and cultures and many others.

The degree will provide you with an opportunity to study two historical fields which are often pursued in isolation from one another, but where continuities and changes can profitably be explored. Ancient and Medieval History offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, politics, gender, slavery, kingship, religion, art, medicine and science.

This degree is designed to cultivate the skills of the historian, namely, 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 in speech and in writing.

Distinctive features

The programme provides the training necessary for students who wish to study Ancient or Medieval History at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

UCAS codeV116
Next intakeSeptember 2020
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

BBC-BCC. Please note Critical Thinking and General Studies 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 Humanties or Social Science. Any other BTEC subject if combined with an A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Achieve the IB Diploma with 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 subskill.

TOEFL iBT

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

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall 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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£17,700None

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 comprising 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. You can also take further modules in the humanities and social sciences, thereby developing your range of skills and knowledge.  You normally take 120 credits in each year.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

In the first year, you take 40 credits from each of the degree subjects, including 60 credits of compulsory modules that provide a general introduction to Roman history, the history of Europe during the middle ages, and the skills of the historian. You will choose your remaining credits from optional modules within the School or approved modules from participating Academic Schools.

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

Year two

Students take 120 credits of modules in year two, 60 in Ancient History and 60 in Medieval History, including a core module on historical methods and an independent study which may include a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either Ancient or Medieval History.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Now and Next: From Academia to Employment (30 Credits)HS000330 credits
Now and Next: From Academia to Employment (20 Credits)HS000420 credits
Approaches to HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Heresy and Dissent, 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
The Archaeology of the Anglo-SaxonsHS220120 credits
Post-Roman Celtic BritainHS234020 credits
Art and Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Reading Latin 2HS332220 credits
Reading Greek 2HS332420 credits
Roman Imperial History, 31BC- AD138HS333520 credits
The Later Roman Empire, AD284-480HS333720 credits
Tyrants, Kings and Democrats: the Rise of Classical GreeceHS337420 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Assyria: Life and Thought in Ancient MesopotamiaHS337920 credits
Drama in Context: Ancient Greek Theatre, Politics and SocietyHS338120 credits
The World of CleopatraHS338320 credits
Rebelling Against Rome: Local Identity and Resistance across the Roman EmpireHS338420 credits
Religion in Rome and ItalyHS338520 credits
Byzantium: the Golden Age, AD 842-1056HS339320 credits
Reading Latin 1HS342120 credits
Reading Greek IHS342320 credits
Death and Burial in the Roman WorldHS430820 credits
Independent 2nd Year StudyHS433420 credits
Pots, Poems and Pictures: Using Evidence for Ancient HistoryHS433620 credits
At Home with the Romans: Domestic Space and SocietyHS433920 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS437020 credits
History and Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 credits

Year three

Students take 120 credits of modules in year three, 60 in Ancient History and 60 in Medieval History including a dissertation option.

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

13%

Guided independent study

87%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

11%

Guided independent study

89%

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.

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. 

The format of the assessed work for the second-year Ancient History Independent Study is chosen you; possible formats include an extended essay, a piece of creative writing, sample pages from a book or magazine, a teachers’ pack, a film, or a reconstruction drawing or model.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

33%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

67%

Year 2

Written exams

29%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

71%

Year 3

Written exams

33%

Practical exams

5%

Coursework

61%

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 Latin and Greek at beginner’s and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.

Careers

Career prospects

In 2016/17, 96% 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 organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. History graduates find work in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment. Some choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.

We believe in giving our 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. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.

Jobs

  • Historian
  • Lecturer
  • Curator
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Spring 2020

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