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Ancient History and History (BA)

Entry year


Ancient History and History BA (Joint Honours) allows you to study a broad span of history at undergraduate level.

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Ancient History

Course overview

The BA in Ancient History and History offers courses ranging from ancient Greece and Rome to the modern world, and over a wide geographical area, including Britain, Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia. 

Many students find joint honours degrees both stimulating and rewarding as they observe similarities and differences between the two subjects.  Often there are complementary issues and perspectives and skills that link the subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.   

The programme offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and those that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, politics, gender, slavery, kingship, religion, art, medicine and science.

It aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic, and cultural structures of past societies, and 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. 

We deliver a degree which offers a challenging and diverse programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships within the School.

UCAS codeV117
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.

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.

Selection

As per Cardiff University Admissions Policy.  “Non-traditional” applicants (such as those returning to education via an Access course) might be interviewed for entry.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

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 of 360 credits, 120 credits in each year comprising core modules, which provide essential skills and training, and a wide variety of optional modules that allow you to tailor your degree to meet your interests.

The course is structured so that you acquire in successive years the knowledge and skills required to become an independent researcher, equipped for high-level professional employment. 

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

All first-year History students take ‘History in Practice’ which introduces you to the different frameworks that underpin historical research and the many different ways of writing history, while providing training in the skills necessary to practice history at undergraduate level.

Year two

In Year Two, you take 60 credits of Ancient History and 60 credits of History, chosen from a range of credit optional modules.

You will learn to study independently and will acquire the sorts of skills that employers value. You will learn to think individually, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a body of historical evidence for yourself, and present your findings clearly.

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
Entangled Histories: Wales and the wider World,1714-1858HS170330 credits
Hanes wedi ei Gyd-Weu: Cymru a’r Byd, 1714–1858HS170430 credits
War, Peace and Diplomacy, c.900-c.1250HS170730 credits
Heresy and Dissent, 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
From Dreyfus to the National Front: France, 1898-2012HS174130 credits
A Great Leap Forward China Transformed, 1840-presentHS175230 credits
The American RevolutionHS175430 credits
From King Coal to Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000HS175630 credits
Diwydiannaeth, Radicaliaeth a'r Bobl Gyffredin yng Nghymru a Phrydain mewn Oes Chwyldro, c.1789-1880HS175730 credits
Urban Visions, Rural Dreams: City and Country in Britain and the United States, 1850-2000HS176430 credits
India and The Raj, 1857-1947HS176530 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
Martyrs and Collaborators: Catholicism behind the Iron CurtainHS177230 credits
Europe, East and West, 1945-1995HS177530 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Into the Vortex: Britain and the First World WarHS178730 credits
Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541-1714HS179330 credits
Art and Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Spatial Technologies and Geographical Information SystemsHS245120 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

In Year Three, you choose a further 60 credits of Ancient History and 60 credits of History, which may include a dissertation on a topic of your choice in either Ancient History or History.

The Dissertation represents enables you to gain genuine research experience and develop the skills needed to research an historical problem and present your findings in a critical, analytical and coherent study.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval EuropeHS180430 credits
The Military Orders, 1100-1320HS180530 credits
Kingship: Image and Power, c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
From Bismarck to Goebbels: Biography and Modern German History, 1870-1945HS182930 credits
Germany's New Order in Europe, 1933-1945HS183230 credits
Conflict, Coercion and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China 1911-1945HS183830 credits
Fascism and Anti-Fascism in FranceHS184830 credits
Race, Sex and Empire: Britain and India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
Wales, the English reform movement and the French Revolution of 1789HS185630 credits
Glimpses of the Unfamiliar: Travellers to Japan from 1860 to the Post-War EraHS185830 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain, 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales, 1918-39HS186830 credits
Health and Medicine in Early Modern BritainHS187530 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
Czechoslovakia: The View from Central EuropeHS188430 credits
From Hernando de Soto to the Seven Years' War: Accommodation, Violence and Networks in Native American HistoryHS188930 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture, 1800-1914HS189630 credits
The Arts in War and Peace: Culture and Politics in Britain, c.1930-1960HS189730 credits
Art and Archaeology of Classical GreeceHS238920 credits
Spatial Technologies and Geographical Information SystemsHS245120 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
Researching the Ancient World: Final Year DissertationHS433540 credits
At Home with the Romans: Domestic Space and SocietyHS433920 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
Life in Ancient RomeHS437020 credits
The War Against the Jews: Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Jewish ExperienceRT030830 credits
History and Religion of Ancient IsraelRT230120 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.

Welsh language teaching

The History side of the degree provides significant opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Subject to staff availability, seminar teaching in Welsh is available on some or all of the major core courses, and at least one Welsh language option is offered in Years Two and Three.

Welsh language supervision is also available for long essays (Exploring Historical Debate) and dissertations, and students may elect to write all or some of their assessed work and examinations in Welsh.
 

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

18%

Guided independent study

82%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

14%

Guided independent study

86%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

14%

Guided independent study

86%

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 large bodies of work (E.G. 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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

33%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

67%

Year 2

Written exams

54%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

46%

Year 3

Written exams

42%

Practical exams

4%

Coursework

55%

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.

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.

Placements

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.

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