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History (BA)

  • V100

3 years (full-time) / Options available please contact the Admissions Tutor. (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

BA History at Cardiff enables you to learn about the very different worlds of people in the past and to better understand the present. It gives you an insight into the process of change from ancient Greece and Rome, through the medieval to the modern periods. You may study the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, from India and China, through Germany and France, to Britain, Wales and Cardiff.


Above all you will learn to ‘do history’ yourself, and will thus acquire the sorts of skills that employers prize. You will learn to think independently, and to analyse and assess a body of material, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and present your conclusions in well-written, lucid prose, as well as verbally. Our friendly academic staff – all of whom are internationally reputed, published historians – will be on hand to guide you and provide feedback on your performance.

You may choose to specialize in History from the beginning of your first year, or you may choose to combine the study of history with a subsidiary subject taken from elsewhere in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science. These subjects may include Archaeology, Politics, English Literature, Sociology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Languages, and more.

Key Facts

UCAS Code V100
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available 100-110 students each year.
Typical applications received 800
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAA / ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Lloyd Bowen
Tel Number 029 2087 4313
Email address
School website
Facebook Visit our Facebook page

BA History is a three year degree programme. It 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.

Year One

Core Module in Year One:

  • History in Practice

Typical Optional Modules in Year One:

  • Medieval Europe
  • Modern Wales
  • The Making of the Modern World
  • Early Modern England and Wales
  • Making Global Empires: Asia & The West

Year Two

A selection of Year Two courses:

  • Approaches to History
  • Exploring Historical Debate: An Independent Study
  • An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space, and Power in the United States, 1775-1898
  • War, Peace and Diplomacy c.900 c. 1250
  • Warfare in the Byzantine World
  • Heresy and Dissent 1000-1450
  • Poverty and Relief in Medieval Europe
  • History and ICT: A Guided Study
  • Migrant Wales 1790-1939
  • The British Civil Wars and Revolution, c.1638-1649
  • Building the Modern World
  • Being Human: Self and Society in Britain from Darwin to the Age of Mass Culture
  • Nations, Empire and Borderlands from 1789 to the Present
  • From King Coal To Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales, 1939-2000
  • India and the Raj 1857-1947
  • The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-war Era
  • Europe East & West, 1945-1995
  • Modern European/Russian History
  • Into the Vortex: Britain & the First World War
  • Making Empires: Britain and the World, 1541-1714
  • Medicine & Modern Society, 1750-1919
  • ‘The Devil’s Brood’: The Angevin Kings of England, 1154-1272
  • A Warfare State? Britain, Science and Policy, c.1900-1970
  • France since 1898: From Dreyfus to the National Front
  • Party and Politics: Britain since 1867
  • A Great Leap Forward: China Transformed 1840-Present
  • Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain 1880-1918
  • The dynamics of witchcraft, 1450-1750

Year Three

A Selection of Year Three courses:

  • Slavery and Slave Life in the United States of America, 1619-1865
  • The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.400-c.1087
  • Sexuality and the Social Order in Medieval Europe
  • The Military Orders, 1100-1320
  • Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and Ireland
  • Biography and German History from Bismarck to Goebbels
  • Germany’s New Order in Europe, 1933–1945
  • Politics, Economics and Strategy: Britain's European Dilemma 1951-1975
  • Race, Sex and Empire: India 1765-1929
  • Glimpses of the unfamiliar: travellers to Japan from 1860 to the postwar era
  • Culture, Society and Identity in Wales 1847-1914
  • Cymru a’r Rhyfel Mawr, 1880-2014
  • Class, Protest and Politics: South Wales 1918-39
  • Identity and the British State: Wales, 1485-1660
  • Modern European/Russian History
  • Europe and The Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth Century
  • Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century Britain
  • The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture, 1800-1914
  • Fascism & Antifascism in France, 1934-45
  • Crime in England and Wales 1500-1750
  • Dissertation

*The modules available can change from year to year depending upon staff and teaching schedules, and are not guaranteed.

History at Cardiff is an exciting, cutting edge degree that teaches you to become an independent learner and researcher under the guidance of our approachable academic staff.

A major difference between School and University is that you will prepare for classes through independent, guided reading and writing, contribute to informed discussion, and produce your own, reasoned conclusions, backed by evidence.

Most History modules are taught through a combination of lectures, private study, seminars and individual feedback. Lectures, usually one per week, provide guidance concerning the issues and problems to be followed up in your own reading and writing. For each seminar you will do six to eight hours of preparation, and in the session itself you will use the knowledge thus acquired to present and test your arguments. In the process, you will also receive feedback on them from lecturers and fellow students. In your essays you will combine a range of sources – sometimes contradictory – into a coherent argument of your own, backed by evidence. Again, you will receive individual feedback from lecturers, in writing and orally.

Core courses in Years One and Two usually comprise weekly lectures, supplemented by fortnightly seminars in small groups. In Year Two and especially Year Three, the emphasis shifts further towards seminar work, with individual supervision for extended essays and dissertations. In total, you would be expected to work 35-40 hours per week.

You will be assessed largely by written examinations and coursework essays. You will also write longer essays, source criticisms, critical reviews of scholarly articles, and a dissertation, and you will give oral presentations in certain courses.

Our courses are the product of rigorous design work and of continuous re-evaluation. Academics staff, students and outside experts work together to ensure that degree schemes meet quality standards in their disciplines. Student representatives play a full part in the Departmental Board of Studies and its Working Groups.

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support. The University and Students Union also offer a range of advice and counselling services.

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.

Typical A-level Offer


History at minimum of grade B. Not including General Studies

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core, with an AA at A-level to include History
Typical Int Bacc Offer  32-36 points, including scores of 5/4 at Higher Level

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

History Graduates find work in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment, including teaching, journalism, the law, television research, the military, and personnel management. Some graduates choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cardiff or elsewhere, and some have become internationally reputed historians.

Cardiff University gives its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. History students are able to attend interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help identify their skills and attributes.

In 2010, 62% of the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation while a further 22% were engaged in further study.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Mrs Lisa Watkins  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74313 



School Website:

More information

School of History, Archaeology and Religion