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Archaeology and German (BA)

Entry year


Archaeology and German BA (Joint Honours) is an ideal degree scheme for those interested in supplementing study of past human communities through material excavations, with the study of a popular European language at higher education.

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An Egyptian archaeological artefact

Course overview

Many students find studying a joint honours stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining Archaeology and German, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial for your future. to the world of employment, making you competitive and attractive in an increasingly global workforce and opening the doors to a variety of career paths.

Archaeology addresses big questions about the human past for much of which no written record is available. The Archaeology courses at Cardiff University concentrate on the British Isles, Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt. You will learn with staff who undertake exciting research on all periods from early human origins to the recent past. You will also benefit from the department’s facilities which include bespoke teaching and research laboratories, dedicated geophysical and surveying equipment and a range of sophisticated equipment for the analysis of artefacts.

German is the native language of nearly one hundred million people. To speak German is to be part of a crucially important political, economic and cultural world. A recent survey by the UK's leading employers' organisation, the CBI, rated German as the language most valued by UK managers. Germany is considered to be the lynchpin of the European Union, making knowledge of the language as important in Brussels as in Berlin.

In terms of language acquisition, this course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills through a range of learning activities, and using a variety of audio-visual materials. In your first year, in addition to your language tuition, an introduction to history and culture seeks to provide a solid foundation

Our aim at the School of Modern Languages and the School of Archaeology, Archaeology and Religion is to develop and educate our students to become ‘global citizens’.  By combining German and Archaeology, you will gain a variety of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial to the world of employment, making you competitive and attractive in an increasingly global workforce and opening the doors to a variety of career paths

With in-depth study of both Archaeology and German, you will develop the tools to compete in an increasingly global workforce. The degree aims to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the material evidence for a wide range of periods and societies, and 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 in speech and in writing.

Archaeology addresses big questions about the human past for much of which no written record is available. The Archaeology course at Cardiff University concentrates on the British Isles, Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt. You will learn with staff who undertake exciting research on all periods from early human origins to the recent past. You will also benefit from the department’s facilities which include bespoke teaching and research laboratories, dedicated geophysical and surveying equipment and a range of sophisticated equipment for the analysis of artefacts.

In addition to developing high-level German language skills, students gain an in-depth intercultural understanding that encompasses a specific knowledge of German cultures. You will develop high-level communication and critical-thinking skills, and foster resilience and independence through time spent in immersive foreign language contexts.

Germany is a major actor on the European and world stage, possessing a rich and sophisticated culture. German is one of the official working languages of the European Union and of the United Nations.

We offer German for both advanced students and beginners. In your first year, in addition to your language tuition, an introduction to German history and culture seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies as you progress through your course.

Your understanding of the language will be further developed and refined during your year abroad, when you will experience life in a German-speaking country at first hand. 

In the final year, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation, which stimulates initiative and can serve as a useful preparation for postgraduate study. 

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself, it involves exploring many aspects of a country, and we aspire to offer a genuinely broad course that offers challenging and stimulating modules. 

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research. On completion of this four-year programme, you will have a high level of language proficiency, as well as a critical understanding of key aspects of German history, culture, literature, politics and contemporary society.   

Distinctive features

  • Research led teaching that allows you to engage with new ideas that are shaping the future of Archaeology and German studies.
  • High-quality language teaching delivered by native speakers.
  • A vibrant programme of extra-curricular activities to support your language learning and immersion into German culture.
  • A curriculum with a clear learning arc, drawing on the latest research and providing a thorough understanding of German culture.
  • A structured skills programme which embeds academic, transferable and employability skills into learning from the very beginning.
  • The option of taking a credit-bearing work placement.
  • The opportunity to spend your third year either studying or working in Germany or a German-speaking country.
  • An exciting range of opportunities beyond your formal studies to engage with local schools and communities in promoting language learning and develop your own skills and profile.
UCAS codeRV24
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration4 years
ModeFull time
  1. School of History, Archaeology and Religion

    John Percival Building

    Colum Drive

    Cardiff

    CF10 3EU

  2. School of Modern Languages

    66a Park Place

    Cathays

    Cardiff

    CF10 3AS

Entry requirements

The entry requirements shown are for students starting in 2019. Entry requirements for 2020 will be available in August 2019.

BBB - BBC. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects but please note General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted. Applicants with a B in German can take the advanced pathway.  

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 - DMM in Humanities, Social Science, Applied Science or Computing. Any other BTEC subject if combined with an A-Level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) will also be considered. 

Achieve the IB Diploma with 665-655 in 3 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Modern Languages 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.   

Selection

Each candidate’s profile is considered as a complete picture, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree, as shown in your personal statement and referee’s report, as well as achieved and predicted grades. Your ability to present an argument, evidence of intellectual curiosity and your enthusiasm for and commitment to studying will also be assessed.

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

You will need suitable clothing (e.g. waterproofs and suitable footwear) and sometimes accommodation (e.g. tent and sleeping bag) for field trips and fieldwork.  The University has funds available for students experiencing financial difficulties in purchasing this equipment.

Course specific equipment

Many students choose to invest in personal copies of unabridged bilingual dictionaries and reference grammars. While copies of most course materials are available in the library, many students opt to acquire personal copies of set texts.

You will need suitable clothing (e.g. waterproofs and suitable footwear) and sometimes accommodation (e.g. tent and sleeping bag) for field trips and fieldwork.

Accommodation

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

Course structure

The BA Archaeology and German is a four-year degree programme. It is structured in such a way that you will acquire high-level language and archaeological competencies and the skills to become an independent and critical thinker, equipped for professional employment.

In each year of the programme you will study 120 credits, equally split between 60 credits in Archaeology and 60 credits in German. Your third year will be spent studying or working abroad in Germany or another German-speaking country.

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

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 120 credits in total equally split between 60 credits in Archaeology and 60 credits in German.

In year one we run two pathways for students; an advanced pathway for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in German and a beginner’s pathway for students with limited or no knowledge of German. The first year of this programme provides a thorough foundation in the grammar of the language for those students on the beginner’s pathway, and develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students on the advanced pathway. You will also study a non-language module which introduces you to the development of Germany as a nation, exploring what it has symbolised for different groups at different moments. The module will enable you to develop a good understanding of intercultural awareness, and the highly-prized ability to mediate between cultures.

To provide a foundation for more specialised studies, Year One Archaeology provides you with a focused introduction to the study of Greek and Roman Archaeology at University which fosters your critical and analytical skills through close engagement with the ancient sources and modern interpretations. You will study two core modules in Archaeology. The Year Two fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the first year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year Two.  This project is taught through four-weeks of student participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Year two

In year two you will again take 60 credits in Archaeology and 60 credits in German.

The language elements build on the work undertaken in year one, and prepare you for your year abroad.

In addition to language, you will study 30 credits looking at Germany in a transnational context. This will introduce you to key approaches, methodologies and critical tools which you can apply to an in-depth study, looking at a range of topics such as culture, history and politics, in addition to 60 credits in Archaeology modules.

Year two Archaeology for joint honours students includes one 10 credit fieldwork project and 50 credits from a wide range of period, topic, or technique specific modules within Archaeology and Ancient History, allowing you a great deal of flexibility to follow the subjects that you are most interested in.

The Year Four fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the second year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year Four.  This project is taught through four-weeks of student participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Year three: Sandwich year

Your third year is spent in Germany or another German-speaking country. The year abroad will enable you to develop your language skills, deepen your understanding of the German culture and develop your independence, resourcefulness and resilience.

Your options will include:

  • studying at one of our partner universities,
  • working as an English assistant in a school through the British Council Scheme, or
  • working for a German organisation or company.

If you choose the study option, we have established exchange programmes which provide opportunities to study in institutions in German cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne

Placements for teaching assistants on a scheme run by the British Council can take you to either a major city or a small, rural town. This option provides first-hand teaching experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. Prior to the start of your placement, the British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. In addition, the school you have been assigned to should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live.

The third option consists of a work placement with an organisation or company in the German-speaking world. The necessary arrangements can be made through personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. In order to ensure that your work placement affords you plenty of opportunity to speak German and provides you with a beneficial experience, such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.

No matter what you choose, the year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience. It is also excellent preparation for your final year and gives you a level of self-confidence and maturity that has proven popular with employers.

Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is currently eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.

Year four

When we welcome you back to Cardiff in your final year, you will continue to develop your language skills, studying 30 credits of language and a 30 credit German option module, in addition to 60 credits from Archaeology option modules.

You will have the opportunity to build on the broad base of knowledge and skills you have developed to study an area of research expertise in the School, through taught modules and/or a dissertation. You will also have the opportunity to take part in our very popular teaching module, an accredited module where you will build on study and workshops at the University to undertake a teaching placement at one of our partner schools on the area.

Your Year Four fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the second year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year Four.  This project is taught through four-weeks of participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

The final year dissertation module gives you the option to engage more deeply with a chosen topic area, as well as extending your research and analytical skills. Students choosing the Final Year Archaeology Dissertation must have taken the prerequisite Independent Archaeological Study in Year Two.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Archaeology Field and Practical Skills 2HS220420 credits
High-Level Proficiency in German LanguageML736630 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?

Most of our modules consist of a mixture of lectures, seminars and language classes that enable you to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment. The teaching covers all the key competencies, and is enhanced by the inclusion of digital learning.

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 engage critically with key ideas and explore the ideas outlined in lectures in a small group environment, usually consisting of around 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.

Language classes are taught in groups to enhance confidence and active learning. A varied timetable includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. These vital communication skills are practiced and developed through regular classwork exercises and written work. Our teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of language-learning technologies. Materials including textbooks, videos, films, novels, audio files and websites are supported by online resources that compliment classroom activities and promote and enable independent learning. Class materials include a range from literary and historical to contemporary journalistic texts, providing a broad insight into language and culture.

Independent study forms a key part of your learning, and our independent learning portfolios have been developed to provide you with online resources to support your independent language learning.

How will I be supported?

The BA programme in Archaeology and German is team-taught, with the programme as a whole overseen by the Programme Director. You will be supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.

All academic staff have designated hours where they are available to meet with you to offer advice and feedback on the subjects that they teach.

You will also be allocated a personal tutor, who will meet with you regularly to reflect on your progress and development across your studies, and to think about how to build on your achievements and advance further. The personal tutor can also guide you if you are experiencing difficulties towards appropriate support.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a Year Abroad Coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may also get a visit from one of your lecturers who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.

A skills development week each semester allows for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad. 

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

We pride ourselves on the level of engagement we have with our student body, giving you the opportunity to express your opinions and be partners in School decision-making where possible. We survey students regularly to make sure we are always working in your best interests.   

The School of Archaeology, Archaeology and Religion has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports you with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time. 

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

Feedback

Feedback on your work is given frequently and in a wide variety of formats and is intended to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well as give indications of how you might improve in your performance in examinations and coursework.

You will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the 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?

The focus of assessment in both Schools is in supporting you to develop your ideas, skills and competencies, with the feedback you receive feeding forward into future work.

We use traditional assessment formats (such as essays, class tests, exams, presentations, and dissertation) as well as more innovative forms of assessment, (such as vlogs, participation in radio shows, video and audio projects, interviews, portfolios, and so forth). Assessments include formative assessments (which enable you to develop your skills and do not count towards your final degree classification) and summative assessments (which do count towards your final classification).

As part of your skills training in year one, you will be supported in understanding how the assessments work, what is expected of you, how you will be marked and how to make the most of your feedback.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to speak, write, and understand one or more foreign languages to a high level of competency.
  • An in-depth intercultural understanding including specific knowledge of other cultures, allied to the ability to navigate and mediate between more than one culture.
  • An understanding of archaeological practice and skill sets and to be able to apply some or all of these during the fieldwork activities.
  • A broad knowledge of the ways in which archaeologists explore the archaeological landscape.
  • An understanding of the ways in which archaeologists describe archaeological monuments.
  • An understanding of the methods used to excavate and record archaeological excavations.
  • Approaches used to construct chronologies for the past.
  • The ability to identify changes over time or compare different ancient civilisations and cultures
  • The rationale behind a particular project and its planning.
  • Relating a particular practical project to its wider research context.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Enhanced linguistic skills, as well as a broad appreciation of the culture, literature, and history of Germany and German speaking countries.
  • The ability to communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech, in English and German.
  • Basic reasoning, planning and prosecution of archaeological field- or museum-work.
  • Evaluating the suitability of methods in relation to objectives.
  • Correlation of evidence from different aspects of fieldwork.
  • Synthesising fieldwork evidence with publication-based background research.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Using a range of IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate.
  • Resilience and independence through time spent in immersive foreign language contexts.
  • Communication and critical-thinking skills.
  • Working to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time.
  • Skills when working as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
  • Effective recording of the excavation process and how to handle archaeological material after excavation in a laboratory or museum environment.
  • Recovery and analysis of organic remains; environmental sampling; taking samples for dating; drawing of sections; drawing of plans; photographing excavations; photographing finds; fieldwalking; geophysical prospection.
  • Museum-object handling and cataloguing; and the recording of buildings and monuments.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to grasp complex issues with confidence.
  • The ability to analyse complex texts.
  • The ability to interpret and apply relevant data.
  • Practical research skills.
  • Imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence.
  • Learning from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights.
  • Taking responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.
  • Critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice).
  • Creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Leadership, teamwork and self-management skills.
  • The ability to identify, record and communicate your relevant career attainments.
  • Techniques of archaeological excavation and recording.
  • Participation in group projects; to attend to the needs of a large project; to work under difficult and unfamiliar conditions.
  • Handling and interpretation of archaeological material in a laboratory or museum environment.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

School of Modern Languages

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.

Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in search of employment.

Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many pursue postgraduate studies such as one of the School’s Postgraduate Taught degrees or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and our graduates go on to secure excellent careers in international diplomacy, the Civil Service, teaching, business and journalism. Other employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers.

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 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

If you are interested in teaching you may have the possibility of completing an internship teaching language in a UK secondary school in your final year.

For Archaeology, we offer workplace experience to our students through our four-week, funded excavation, museum and heritage work placements at the end of the first and second year.

You are also encouraged and financially supported to attend fieldwork placements abroad. Archaeology students are also encouraged to take advantage of the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) which provides summer placements for undergraduates in the University research environment. CUROP offers a stipend to support a student on a placement of up to eight weeks duration, working with supervision on staff-defined research projects.

There are also opportunities to work with heritage industry professionals (e.g. Cadw) as part of fieldwork placements or the Heritage Communication module and to gain further experience in working with the public of all ages via a range of initiatives (e.g. the Guerilla Archaeology outreach group, the CAER heritage project and the Share With Schools scheme).

In Archaeology, the Years Two and Three fieldwork projects are taken in the summer preceding those academic years.  The Fieldwork projects are taught through four weeks of student participation in archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

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