Why study this course
Our courses cover the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including the United States, Germany, Russia, Eastern Europe, France, Britain, Wales, India, and China.
From Year One, we encourage you to 'do history' yourself, acquiring transferable skills so valued by employers.
You will learn to think independently, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a body of historical evidence, and presenting your findings clearly. You will choose from a wide variety of modules reflecting the cutting edge of the discipline, taught by leading researchers in the discipline.
We have long enjoyed a reputation for our teaching, research, and the geographic and chronological depth and breadth of the History we cover. But more than this – we pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment.
- An exciting variety of specialised, research-led teaching options that cover a wide chronological and geographic range from the medieval world to the modern period.
- Taught by leading academics, you can explore the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including Britain, Europe, Russia, the US, China, and India.
- You will re-evaluate existing understandings of the past to create new and original interpretations of your own.
- You develop skills as an independent thinker and learner, enabling you to research topics comprehensively and interpret original sources from a diversity of places and periods.
- Emphasis on undergraduate research as you ‘do’ as well as ‘read’ history from second year
- A structured skills programme which embeds academic, transferable and employability skills into learning from the very beginning
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.
ABB-BBB. Please note Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted. A Level History desirable.
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 Humanities or Social Science. Any other BTEC subject if combined with an A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Achieve the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects.
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, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
- 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.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
The BA History is a three year degree programme. You will study modules totalling 120 credits each year.
Our year-long modules are the product of rigorous design and continuous re-evaluation. Academic staff, students and outside experts work together to ensure that degree schemes meet quality standards in their disciplines.
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.
In Year One you explore key historical themes and ideas that you may not have encountered at A-level through optional modules on medieval, early modern and modern History, as well as the chance to take modules in Archaeology, Ancient History or Religion which explore longer time periods. You will take 120 credits in total.
All first-year single honours History students take two compulsory modules, which introduce you to the different frameworks which underpin historical research and the many different ways of writing history, while providing you with training in the skills necessary to practice history at undergraduate level. These core modules are taught through a range of case studies from different chronological periods, and are designed to help you understand why historians disagree as well as the nature of evidence they use.
You take 120 credits including two compulsory modules, one of which includes a period of independent study - taught through individual supervisions with academic staff.
You can choose from a wide range of thematic and specialist modules which explore topics and countries in more depth from the medieval diplomacy or heresy to courses on the English civil war, US history or twentieth-century Europe. In your second year, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work, with individual supervision for extended essays.
The core module Approaches to History comprises weekly lectures supplemented by fortnightly seminars in small groups, while the second is taught through individual supervisions with academic staff.
You study 120 credits, and continue to develop and extend your historical skills and knowledge.
In your final year, you write a dissertation related to your area of interest, supported by individual supervisions with an academic adviser. The dissertation 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, skills which equip you for professional employment.
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
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 department 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.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
How will I be supported?
As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision.
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.
You will receive feedback through formative written work, seminar discussion, written feedback on essays, essay tutorials, and Dissertation and Exploring Historical Debate supervision sessions (which include oral and written feedback on bibliographies, research plans, and draft chapters).
What skills will I practise and develop?
This degree develops a range of intellectual skills: critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing evidence-based arguments, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. Additionally, you will gain practical skills such as team-working, independent research, and time management. Our degrees focus strongly on the development of skills essential for many careers.
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. In broad terms:
- Year One introduces you to a variety and range of approaches used in history.
- Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods used by historians.
- Final Year provides you with the opportunity to develop these skills through a systematic engagement with, and interrogation of primary sources in your modules and in the production of a Dissertation based on original research.
You are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners. By the end of the degree, you will have acquired a thorough grounding in what the great historian Marc Bloch once famously described as ‘the historian’s craft’.
Careers and placements
In 2016/17, the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey showed that 97% of our graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. History graduates find work in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment. Popular employment sectors include: finance, publishing, law, journalism, advertising and marketing, culture and heritage, education, government, and other professional sectors. Some choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.
We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating, while the School has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports you with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time.
- Broadcast journalist
- Advertising executive
The school has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time.