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Ancient History and History (BA)

Why study this course

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Study with passion

Explore your interests with subjects ranging from slavery in America to Persian and Japanese history.

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Explore a topic that sparks your curiosity; enhance multiple skills with a presentation and written element.

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Benefit from the teaching and support  of research-active staff.

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In Ancient History, you will discover the Near East, Persia and the Byzantine Empire, as well as the Greek and Roman worlds, by exploring a wide range of literary, visual, epigraphic and archaeological evidence. Prior study of ancient history isn’t essential; our programme will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of ancient societies, as well as the skills and knowledge that you need to succeed at university level and beyond.

For us, social and cultural topics are just as important as political history. You will encounter fascinating themes with contemporary relevance, such as warfare, gender and sexuality, religion, medicine, art and literature, and you will discover how antiquity continues to inspire the modern world.

The History element of this degree lets you shape your passion for history according to your interests, using the latest approaches to study the past with a critical eye and make connections to debates in the public sphere.

Our expertise reaches an extraordinary breadth of societies, periods and places, spanning the British Isles, Europe (east and west), Africa, Asia and the Americas. You will analyse topics from across the globe, allowing you to put into practice your skills as a historian. Moreover, prestigious collections in the University’s Special Collections and Archives give you access to a wide range of original texts and sources, including some of the world’s oldest printed books.

Combining Ancient History and History is a great way to gain a wealth of transferable skills and knowledge, while exploring the entire range of the human past. The time spent on each subject is equally shared, allowing you to fully absorb ancient, medieval and modern history through material, written and visual evidence.

This programme is also available with a year of study abroad, extending your degree to a four-year programme, with your third year spent at a partner institution outside the UK.

Subject area: History and ancient history

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

ABB-BBB

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ 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.


We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Where a grade range is advertised this reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range. Where there is no grade range advertised you will usually receive additional points in the selection process. Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. 

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Humanities or Social Science subjects. We will consider BTECs in alternative subjects alongside other academic qualifications and any relevant work or volunteer experience.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

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 59 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 must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

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
  • curfews
  • 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.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Interview or selection process

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 for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,000 None
Year two £9,000 None
Year three £9,000 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £20,450 None
Year two £20,450 None
Year three £20,450 None

Learn more about our tuition fees

Financial support

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

You should be prepared to invest in some key texts and to cover the costs of basic printing and photocopying for you own use. You may also want to buy copies of other books, either because they are particularly important for your modules or because you find them particularly interesting.

Accommodation

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

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

The BA Ancient History and History is structured in such a way that you will acquire over successive years the high-level skills that you need to become an independent and critical thinker, equipped for professional employment.

You study 120 credits in each year of your degree, taking 60 credits in each discipline from a range of core and optional modules. The optional modules in both Ancient History and History cover a wide range of themes, methods and periods, giving you the flexibility to pursue a bespoke pathway.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

Year one

In year 1, you will study 100 credits of core modules and 20 credits of optional modules.

In ancient history, you will acquire a broad knowledge of the history of the ancient world from 1000 BC to AD 680, and the evidence available for studying it. The core modules also provide you with essential academic skills for study at university level.

In history, our year 1 modules are designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and introduce you to historical themes and areas of study that you may not have encountered at A-level. Our two core modules introduce you to the different frameworks that underpin historical study and the different ways of writing history, while also allowing you to explore the big debates over how we understand ‘global’ connections and historical change and to challenge how we think beyond set time periods and regional or national borders. Taking a further optional module allows you to extend your historical knowledge and skills through a variety of possible periods and regions to lay the foundation for study in year 2 and your final year.

Year two

In year 2, you will take 40 credits of core modules and 80 credits of optional modules.

The core module in ancient history is an individual project on a subject of your own choosing, which you will present in a creative and enterprising way and thus develop your research and employability skills. You will also choose 2 optional modules from a range of periods and themes, allowing you to pursue your particular interests, which may include learning Latin or ancient Greek, or taking a work placement module to help you achieve your career aspirations.

In history, you will take a core module which introduces you to the key theoretical approaches and methods that have influenced historical writing. The optional modules allow you to explore themes across a narrower time range, while encouraging a more comparative approach to history.

In your second year, the emphasis shifts towards different approaches to history and different ways of using evidence. You also have the option to take modules which give you a deeper understanding of the kinds of evidence historians use, the ways of using that evidence, and the historian’s role in sharing research beyond the boundaries of academia and the voices that they privilege or silence.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Independent Second Year StudyHS320220 credits
Reading HistoryHS620120 credits

Year three

In year 3, you will take the core 40-credit dissertation and 80 credits of optional modules.

You will take 2 optional modules in ancient history and two optional modules in history, selected from a wide range of possibilities, which focus on specific periods, cultures and themes, and are taught by staff who are research specialists in these subjects. You will be challenged to think more deeply about the nature of historical developments and to develop your skills in analysing sources and writing history. You can also take a module designed to develop your skills in public engagement and outreach.

The pinnacle of your degree will be the dissertation project, a major piece of independent research, guided by a supervisor. In your dissertation, you will combine skills and understanding from both sides of your degree, focusing on a particular area or period, or examining the interface of ancient history and history in greater depth.

Year 3 marks the culmination of the skills and knowledge developed across the degree. You will enhance further your critical and analytical skills and develop your ability to formulate your own research questions.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Reaching Out: Enterprise, Community and CollaborationHS030120 credits
Roman BritainHS236220 credits
Art and Archaeology of Archaic GreeceHS238620 credits
The Byzantine EmpireHS333420 credits
Empires of FaithHS334020 credits
Early Christianity and Late AntiquityHS334820 credits
Two Greek Historians: Herodotus and ThucydidesHS334920 credits
The PersiansHS335020 credits
Greek and Roman MedicineHS337620 credits
Hellenistic SocietyHS339120 credits
The South Shore: The Cities, Cultures and Identities of North Africa in Antiquity and the Early Middle AgesHS430920 credits
Greek WarfareHS436620 credits
The Roman ArmyHS436720 credits
Early Rome and the EtruscansHS437220 credits
Hellenistic Art and ArchitectureHS437320 credits
Digital Games and the Practice of HistoryHS631020 credits
Spies and Espionage in the Medieval WorldHS631120 credits
Kingship: Image, Power and Portrayal, c.1100-1399HS631220 credits
Gender, Identity and Experience in Medieval EuropeHS631320 credits
Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750HS631420 credits
An Information Revolution: Politics and Communication in Early Modern BritainHS631520 credits
Health and Illness in Early Modern BritainHS631620 credits
Mobile Lives: Travel, Exile, and Migration in the Early Modern WorldHS631720 credits
Slavery and Enslaved Life in the United States, 1775-1865HS631820 credits
Native American HistoryHS631920 credits
Utopias of Extremism: Revolutions in Comparative ContextHS632020 credits
Czechoslovakia: The Twentieth Century in MiniatureHS632120 credits
France under OccupationHS632220 credits
Inside the Third ReichHS632320 credits
Violence and Ideology in the Inter-War Soviet UnionHS632420 credits
War and Freedom in the postcolonial SudansHS632620 credits
Gender and Imperialism, India c.1800- c.1900HS632720 credits
Change, Conflict, and Mass Mobilisation in Republican China, 1911-1945HS632820 credits
The Dark Valley of Fascist Japan, 1930-1945HS632920 credits
Peripheral Reverberations of the French RevolutionHS633020 credits
Mayhem and murder: Investigating the Victorian UnderworldHS633120 credits
The Making of British SocialismHS633220 credits
Britain at War: Culture and Politics on the Home Front, 1939-1945HS633320 credits
Public and Private: Gender, Identities and Power in Twentieth Century BritainHS633420 credits
Jews, Europe and the WorldHS633520 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

You will learn through a wide range of teaching methods, from interactive lectures, lively discussion-based seminars and workshops to group work and tutorials. These on-campus activities will be blended with a range of online environments that will enhance your learning experience and enable you to extend your studies beyond the classroom. Seminars and workshops offer a rewarding experience to engage critically with key ideas and reading on a topic. They provide a valuable opportunity to explore ideas and work closely with your lecturers and to learn from other students. In your second and third years, you will undertake independent projects with the support of an expert in the field and one-to-one tuition.

Our teaching methods 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.

We pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment, placing a strong emphasis on individual one-to-one meetings at key points throughout the degree. Bringing a wealth of expertise across theme, period and geography, your lecturers will share the latest thinking in the classroom, including their own cutting-edge research.

How will I be supported?

You will be supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at your learning and progress more holistically.

You will be allocated two personal tutors, one in each subject, who will guide you for the duration of your studies. You will meet with your personal tutors regularly in groups and individually to reflect on your progress and development across your studies. Your personal tutors can also guide you towards appropriate support if you are experiencing difficulties or require specific information about your time at Cardiff University.

Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors; support for independent projects is provided by an academic advisor who will meet with you regularly.

You will have access through the Cardiff University Virtual Learning Environment to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion boards.

Our undergraduate Education Support Team provides academic and student support and is there to provide information and guidance in response to any queries you may have.

Beyond the School, the University offers a range of services, including Student Futures to help you with your career planning, support services and events to help you manage your emotional, mental and physical health, support with financial issues, and support for students with disabilities.

How will I be assessed?

You will encounter a range of different assessments during your study, including source criticisms, research projects, reviews, presentations and creative projects, alongside more traditional forms of assessment such as essays and exams. Some of our assessments allow you to work collaboratively on a project, while others will enable you to demonstrate flexibility and familiarity with digital platforms such as blogs, vlogs, and social media, and writing in different formats for both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

In all cases, our assessments are designed to support you in developing your ideas, skills, and competencies. They help equip you with skills to link your knowledge to local, national and global issues, and encourage you to be innovative and creative, to find new ways to address problems or ask questions, to collaborate in solving problems and presenting findings, and to present evidence-based arguments. The skills developed and assessed throughout the programme prepare you for entry into a range of graduate careers.

You will receive individual feedback on all assessed work to help you improve performance in future assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this feedback with the tutors. In addition, you will do various practice exercises such as presentations and essay or project plans, and formative feedback is provided in classes and tutorials to help you improve your learning and understanding before you complete your summative assessments.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

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

KU1: Engage critically and conceptually with a broad range of political, social and cultural history from the ancient to the modern world

KU2: Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of the complexity and diversity of situations, events, and mentalities in particular temporal, cultural and geographical contexts

KU3: Engage critically and conceptually with the changing assumptions and methods that are used to explain the past

KU4: Demonstrate a critical awareness of a wide range of primary source material, including literary, documentary, epigraphic, visual, and archaeological evidence and the problems of using primary sources

Intellectual Skills:

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

IS1: Define complex historical problems and questions

IS2: Utilise knowledge and appropriate skills and methods to identify and critically evaluate historical change in the examination of particular temporal, cultural or geographical contexts

IS3: Formulate and justify arguments about a range of historical issues, problems, and debates using modern methods and interpretations of the past

IS4: Identify and locate appropriate sources, reflect upon their nature, and analyse them critically to address questions and solve problems.

Professional Practical Skills

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

PS1: ask cogent and focused questions and pursue answers to these questions through structured enquiry, selecting and interrogating an appropriate range of evidence

PS2: summarise and critically appraise the relative merits and demerits of alternative views and interpretations and evaluate their significance

PS3: demonstrate an ability to work both collaboratively and individually on theoretically informed and empirically-grounded projects that draw on appropriate and relevant research evidence

PS4: design, undertake, and present an historical or conceptual research project that draws on skills and understanding from both sides of your degree

Transferable/Key Skills:

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

TSI: solve complex problems by using knowledge and skills to tackle familiar and unfamiliar problems

TS2: Demonstrate critical thinking, reasoning, and the ability to assimilate and summarise complex information and ideas though the independent selection and critical analysis of an appropriate range of evidence

TS3: Effectively communicate complex information and arguments, either individually or collaboratively as part of a team, in a variety of formats

TS4: Show enterprise skills to solve problems and analyse diverse, partial or ambiguous evidence using critical thinking, initiative, and creativity

Careers and placements

Career prospects

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 no matter what path you follow.

Our degree equips you with important skills that employers value, from collaborative working and communicating with a wide range of audiences to critical thinking and finding new ways to address problems. Training and careers events are delivered in and out of the curriculum, with a focus on developing skills while in university and articulating those skills successfully in future applications. We work closely with Student Futures, who not only deliver training and workshops, but also offer a wealth of placement opportunities. Beyond your formal studies we run programmes that provide you with opportunities to engage with local schools and communities or work with local heritage organisations to develop your own skills and profile whilst allowing you to make a difference.

Our graduates progress into a wide range of careers using the skills gained throughout their degrees. Some choose to pursue professions making direct use of their discipline expertise, whilst others enter the public or private sectors, from graduate-level management to teaching. Recent graduates from the school have gone on to roles in museums, archaeology, the heritage sector, teaching and education, the media, civil service, the military, banking and insurance, the law, human resources and the charity sector, with employers ranging from the Museum Wales to local authorities and schools.

Placements

We ensure that placements can be incorporated into your learning. We offer opportunities for placements in Year Two on an optional module which focuses on translating the skills you gain through your degree into the workplace, while in your final year you can develop your enterprise skills further on a module that equips you with the skills to communicate and collaborate with external organisations. Staff also have close links with a range of local heritage and other organisations, which offer placement opportunities both in and outside semesters.

Through our links with Student Futures, you can source placements and on-campus internships, from 35 hours part-time placements to fit in around your studies to paid summer placements. In addition, Go Wales provides additional support to help you gain work experience.

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.