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Ancient and Medieval History (BA)

  • V116

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

This course offers you the opportunity to combine the study of two different areas within a single, coherent degree programme. This integrated programme spans the Mediterranean and European worlds from the emergence of Greek communities after the end of the Bronze age to the end of the medieval period. It offers a balance between modules on historical periods (such as fifth and fourth century BC Greece, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Roman Republic, the Early and Later Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades, and the Angevin kings of England) and thematic social and cultural aspects (such as warfare, religion, politics, kingship, art, medicine, slavery, gender and ethnicity).

The discipline is concerned with the understanding of ancient and medieval societies through the interpretation of surviving evidence and the construction of historical arguments.

The Ancient and Medieval History degree at Cardiff will provide you with a critical understanding of the essential characteristics and achievements of societies in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, which have exercised a profound and continuous influence on the subsequent development of European and many other societies and cultures. As a student at Cardiff, you will have the opportunity to study two historical fields which are most commonly pursued in isolation from one another, but where continuities and changes can be profitably explored.

Key Facts

UCAS Code V116
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits 260 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 1,650
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB
Admissions Tutors Dr Shaun Tougher
Tel Number 029 2087 4821
Email address
School website

This is a three year long degree programme comprising of some core modules that provide essential skills and training as well as a wide variety of optional modules for you to select from in order to tailor your degree to meet your interests.

You can also take further courses in the humanities and social sciences thereby developing the range of skills and knowledge required of the historian, and providing a broad based first year which equips you with a range of skills and knowledge.

Year 1

In the first year, students take two Ancient History modules, which provide a general introduction to Greek and Roman history, and a History module which covers the history of Europe during the middle ages. They also take a further 20-credit History module or two 10-credit Archaeology modules covering the ancient and medieval periods. Thus, in their first year, BA Ancient and Medieval History students take:

  • Introduction to Ancient Greek History
  • Introduction to Roman History
  • Medieval Europe

and 20 credits from the following modules:

  • Modern Wales
  • Making of the Modern World
  • Early Modern England and Wales
  • History in Practice: Fury, Folly and Footnotes
  • Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World
  • Post Roman and Medieval Britain

In addition, first-year students take 40 credits of modules from a wide range of options in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, or in any other school of the university (subject to timetable and entry requirements).

Years 2 & 3

In the second and third years, students take 120 credits of modules in each year, 60 in Ancient History and 60 in Medieval History.

All students take certain core modules that provide essential historical skills, either:

  • Approaches to History

or both of:

  • Literary Evidence for Ancient History
  • Material Evidence for Ancient History

and one of the following:

  • Independent Second Year Study
  • Exploring Historical Debate

You will also have the opportunity to select from optional modules in both Ancient History and Medieval History.

Ancient History optional modules include:

  • The Roman Army
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Expansion and Conflict in the Greek Poleis
  • Kingdoms, Cities and Hellenization
  • Rome and Carthage
  • Conquest and Crisis: the Roman Republic
  • Roman Imperial History 31 BC-AD 138
  • The Later Roman Empire AD 284-602
  • Byzantium: The Golden Age, c. AD 850-1050
  • Julian the Apostate
  • Greek and Roman Medicine
  • Gods and the Polis
  • Roman Religion
  • Greek Values
  • Athens in the Age of Demosthenes and Lykourgos
  • Science and Technology in the Graeco-Roman World
  • Army and Society: Homer to Alexander
  • Hellenistic Art and Architecture
  • Life in Ancient Rome
  • Early Rome: History and Legend
  • Houses in Roman Italy
  • The Etruscans: History and Society
  • Art and Power in Rome, 211 BC - AD 138

Language modules - optional

  • Reading Latin 1
  • Reading Greek 1
  • Reading Latin 2
  • Reading Greek 2
  • Latin Historical Texts
  • Greek Historical Texts

Medieval optional modules include:

  • The Crusades: Holy War and Jihad, 1000-1300
  • ‘The Devil’s Brood’: The Angevin Kings of England, 1154-1272
  • Heresy and Dissent 1000-1450
  • The Military Orders 1100-1320
  • Slavery and Sin
  • The Later Roman Empire 284 – 602
  • Dissertation

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion offers programmes that are exciting, cutting edge, research- led and in tune with demand. The School maintains a thoroughly student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills and offering the highest quality learning environment in which individuals can develop.

Teaching is delivered through a mixture of lectures, practicals, seminars, workshops, field courses and tutorials. Staff place value on small teaching groups and tutorials, and on contact with students. They believe that seminars and tutorials are an essential part of learning: they allow you to develop your skills in setting out your ideas and arguments and in communicating your knowledge, skills which are developed through the range of assessment methods we use in our modules. In addition, our degrees focus strongly on the development of skills essential for many careers.

The School’s programmes develop a range of important intellectual skills, including critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. You will also gain valuable practical skills — for example, team-working, independent research and time management.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor who is able to advise on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner. Students may have problems from time to time and the personal tutor system is designed to overcome these as effectively and quickly as possible. Strong pastoral support within the School is supplemented by university-wide assistance in housing, finances and career development.

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  AAB (to include History/Ancient History)
Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core, with AA at A-level (to include History/Ancient History)
Typical Int Bacc Offer  34 points, including a score of 6 at Higher Level History

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.

The School believes in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. Some of our graduates enter professions which make direct use of their academic expertise such as work in archives or museums. The majority however compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.

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: Dr Shaun Tougher  

Telephone: +44 (0) 29 2087 0903 



School Website:

School Contact

Name: Mrs Lisa Watkins  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74313 



School Website:

More information

School of History, Archaeology and Religion