Why study this course
Study with passion
Explore your interests with subjects ranging from slavery in America to Persian and Japanese history.
Dissertation with a difference
Explore a topic that sparks your curiosity; enhance multiple skills with a presentation and written element.
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.
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:
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.
This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects.
From 2023, the Welsh Baccalaureate will be renamed the Baccalaureate Wales Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate. This 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
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.
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.
Additional entry requirements
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.
Fees for home status
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.
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
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2023 and this page will be updated by end of October 2023 to reflect the changes.
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 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|The Making of The Modern World, 1750-1970||HS1105||20 credits|
|Medieval Worlds, AD 500 -1500||HS1112||20 credits|
|Renaissance, Reformation and Revolution||HS1117||20 credits|
|Modern Britain: Ideas, Politics, Society and Culture||HS1135||20 credits|
|The Ancient World in 20 Objects||HS3104||20 credits|
|Introduction to Ancient History 1: Gods, Kings and Citizens, 1000-323 BCE||HS3105||20 credits|
|Introduction to Ancient History 2: Empires East and West, 323 BCE to 680 CE||HS3106||20 credits|
|Reading Latin1||HS3121||20 credits|
|Reading Latin 2||HS3122||20 credits|
|Reading Greek 1||HS3123||20 credits|
|Reading Greek 2||HS3124||20 credits|
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 2018/19, published by HESA in June 2021.