Why study this course
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.
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.
Where you'll study
Curious about the human experience across millennia and cultures, we are seeking to better understand our past, to illuminate our present and improve our future.
Powered by pioneering research, we celebrate curiosity, engage in informed debate and critical analysis, and encourage creative thinking - across and beyond our disciplines.
ABB-BBB 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-DM 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).
Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects including 6 at HL in English Literature, English Language and Literature or English Literature and Performance.
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
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.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
UK and EU students (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from outside the EU (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.
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.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|The Archaeology of Mediterranean Societies: Egypt, Greece and Rome||HS2123||20 credits|
|Discovering Archaeology||HS2126||20 credits|
|The Archaeology of Britain: Prehistory to Present||HS2130||20 credits|
|Critical Reading and Critical Writing||SE2146||20 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|A World Full of Gods||HS0001||20 credits|
|Projecting the Past: Film, Media and Heritage||HS0002||20 credits|
|Analysing Archaeology||HS2125||20 credits|
|Discovering Archaeology||HS2126||20 credits|
|Drama: Stage and Page||SE2139||20 credits|
|Star-cross'd Lovers: the Politics of Desire||SE2140||20 credits|
|Transforming Visions: Text and Image||SE2142||20 credits|
|Transgressive Bodies in Medieval Literature||SE2147||20 credits|
|Ways of Reading||SE2148||20 credits|
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.