Cardiff University History Dissertation Length

The BA in Ancient History is concerned with the Graeco-Roman world from the Aegean Bronze Age to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west and its survival in the east as the Byzantine Empire.  It aims to develop students’ knowledge and critical understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural structures of Greek and Roman societies. These were significantly different from modern industrialised societies, but have exercised a profound and continuous influence on the subsequent development of European and many other peoples and cultures.

Ancient History offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and those that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.

The degree is designed 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.

Distinctive features

Ancient History at Cardiff University offers a balance between modules covering specific historical periods and thematic modules that examine broad social and cultural topics, such as warfare, gender, religion, art, medicine and science.  It provides the training necessary for students who wish to study Ancient History at postgraduate level, and a valuable range of intellectual and transferable skills for students who enter other professions.

Key facts

UCAS CodeV110
Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 320 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerABB - BBB. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted. 
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerThe Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerAchieve the IB Diploma 32-30 or 665-655 in 3 HL subjects.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsYou 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. 

BA Ancient History is a three-year degree programme comprising of 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. You will study modules totalling 120 credits each year.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year one

The first year 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.

You take four 20-credit Ancient History modules and may take 40 credits in another Humanities subject to make 120 credits over the year.

Year two

In Year two, you will take two 20-credit core modules plus 80 credits of optional modules.

You may be able to take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection.

Year three

In Year three, all students write a dissertation on a topic of their choice (40 credits) and take 80 credits of optional modules.

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.

How will I be taught?

The School enables you to develop in a high-quality learning environment, supported by a student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Teaching is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, classes, practical workshops, field trips, and individual tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor.

Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would 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. Seminars 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. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.

Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.

How will I be supported?

As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor, you will have a reading week each semester 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 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.

Feedback

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 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.

How will I be assessed?

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, examinations, class tests, and oral presentations. The format of the assessed work for the second-year Independent Study is chosen by you; possible formats include an extended essay, a piece of creative writing, sample pages from a book or magazine, a teachers’ pack, a film, or a reconstruction drawing or model. All students write a final-year dissertation of up to 10,000 words.

Coursework and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacity to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments

What skills will I practise and develop?

Students 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 uncertain 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 option for students to study Latin and Greek at beginners’ and intermediate level, and to read texts in the original languages.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

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.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£15,950None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

The school has a dedicated Work Placements Officer who supports students with work experience opportunities both in and out of term time.

Research Master’s degrees include the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) and the MRes (Master of Research).

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The research and study experience is similar to a PhD, including support from a supervisory team, but the project is more tightly defined to allow it to be undertaken in a shorter time-scale, and the outcomes may represent an original contribution to the field or provide a critical evaluation and analysis of a body of knowledge.

MPhil degrees are offered by Academic Schools and specific opportunities can be browsed via our Course Finder.

Key facts

 DurationThesis
Full-time1 - 2 yearsup to 50,000 words
Part-timeUp to 3 years up to 50,000 words 

Master of Research (MRes)

The MRes degree combines a structured programme of directed research exploration and skills training with a substantial component of individual research, which may be in the form of a single or multiple project(s).

It provides sound practical knowledge and experience in preparation for a research career and can serve as a valuable foundation for progressing to a PhD.

We offer Master of Research degrees in:

Key facts

 DurationDissertation
Full-time1 yearup to 20,000 words
Part-timeN/Aup to 20,000 words 

Master of Science (MSc) in Research Methods

The MSc in Research Methods is classified as a postgraduate taught programme because of the balance between taught components and the individual research project.

It provides you with a solid foundation for a PhD in a broad range of social science subjects while in some subjects it is a pre-requisite for undertaking PhD study.

We offer one MSc in Research Methods:

Key facts

 DurationDissertation
Full-time1 year up to 20,000 words
Part-time2 years up to 20,000 words

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