BA Archaeology & Ancient History and History

Image for Archaeology & Ancient History and History BA

This course is in clearing

This course is in international clearing

Archaeology, Ancient History and History are complementary subjects that can all be studied alongside each other at degree level. On this innovative degree programme you will explore the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Western Asia, Greece and Rome, and prehistoric and historic societies in the Mediterranean, Europe and Britain. You will have the chance to investigate unfamiliar territory and to question some of the myths, preconceptions and prejudices that surround these disciplines from the Middle Ages to almost the present day.

By interpreting historical and archaeological evidence together, you can build a rounded picture of the life and culture of these societies.  Students on this programme rate it extremely highly - 92% reported that they are satisfied with the quality of the course in the latest National Student Survey. 

Course fact file

UCAS code: VV14

Duration: 3 Years

Typical Offer: ABB (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Details

You will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you’re a fully supported and active learner. Our degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that’s highly sought after by employers in today’s intellectual, professional and creative industries.

Whatever your interests - whether cultural, social, military, political, economic or religious history - there is someone teaching your kind of history. You will be taught by ancient historians specialising in Egypt, Western Asia, Greece and Rome, and archaeologists whose expertise covers north-west Europe, Classical Greek and Roman societies, and early medieval states in Europe and the Mediterranean.

We place a distinctive emphasis on the combination of archaeological and historical approaches in the study of the ancient world, and the range of expertise available ensures that a wide choice of periods, countries and cultures may be studied. To a large extent you can build your own degree from the options available.

Why study this course

  • Highly rated department – The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology is ranked 8th by the Complete University Guide for Archaeology.
  • Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds at Birmingham. The Department of History was ranked first in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • Exceptional learning resources – you will have access to a range of learning resources including environmental and material culture teaching collections; the Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology Museum; the Eton Myers Collection at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts; and the Danford Collection of African Art and artefacts.
  • Flexibility – you will be able to specialise as you progress, culminating in a final year dissertation that allows you to carry out in-depth research into topics of your choice.
  • Be a part of an exciting department – You will join a lively environment with many opportunities to enhance your student experience, including the highly active Birmingham Ancient History, Classics and Archaeology Society (BACAS) who organises events such as film nights and museum trips throughout the academic year. 

Open day talks

Modules

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

In this programme, you study half of your modules (60 credits) in Archaeology and Ancient History and half in History (60 credits)

First year

Archaeology & Ancient History: This year you gain a firm grounding in the history and archaeology of the ancient world through introductory lecture courses ranging from the history and archaeology of the ancient civilisations of Egypt to the theory and practice of archaeology and the study of human societies and cultural change. You also gain practical experience through archaeological field training.

History: The first year is the foundational year in an academic process that will see you progress from being a dependent to an independent learner. You will study modules spanning the early medieval to late modern periods. You can choose either Discovering the Middle Ages and Living in the Middle Ages or The Making of the Modern World 1500-1815 and The Making of the Contemporary World 1815-2000 (20 credits per module). These explore fundamental themes and issues focused on key periods  and indicate the kinds of questions historians explore and some of the methods they employ in answering them. You will also study Practising History (A): Skills in History (Autumn semester) and Practising History (B): Approaches to History (Spring semester), which look more closely at the techniques of the historian and at the nature and evolution of key historical debates. 

Second year

Archaeology & Ancient History: You may choose a historical core module investigating Greek and Roman society, or one which will provide you with expertise in major archaeological sub-disciplines and professional techniques (for example, forensic or environmental archaeology). You also choose from a range of options in history, archaeology, literature, culture, language, myth, religion, art and philosophy.

History: The second year is an intermediate year that builds on the foundations laid in the first year of study. You engage in Group Research and extend your historical knowledge through two (20 + 20) subject-specific modules chosen from a wide range of available from Option A in the Autumn semester and Option B in the Spring.

Final year

Archaeology & Ancient History: You may choose either an archaeological core module or a historical one – this time focusing on Ancient Egypt and Western Asia. You also make your choice from our menu of options. The highlight of the final year is your dissertation: a substantial research project on a subject of special interest to you.

History: The third year represents the culmination of undergraduate study and the final stage of your transition to an independent learner. You hone your historical skills in Advanced Option A or Advanced Option B and you also undertake an in-depth Special Subject module, which is chosen from a variety of available subjects. 

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding
 
Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: ABB

Required subjects and grades: A Level History, Medieval History or Ancient History at grade A

International baccalaureate update

Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.

International students:

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Learn more about applying.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and welfare advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Transition review - you will undergo a formal transition review during your first year with an academic member of staff. They will see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support.
  • Academic Skills Centre - the centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

Assessment methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Employability

Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development – a balance that is highly sought after by employers in today’s competitive graduate market.

By studying Ancient History and Archaeology and History at the University of Birmingham, you will acquire skills highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market:

  • Understanding complex information
  • Writing clearly and effectively
  • Building a case to critically assess a particular point of view
  • Independent thought
  • Ability to communicate to a variety of different audiences
  • Strong research methods

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 4th in the UK for graduate prospects in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015. Our graduates have excellence employment prospects with 90% of History graduates and 85% of Archaeology graduates entering work or further study, within six months of graduation.

You will be in high demand and well placed to forge a rewarding career in a variety of spheres, including:

  • Law
  • Education
  • Media
  • Publishing
  • Local government
  • International Development
  • Museums and charities
  • Cultural and heritage organisations

Therefore studying this degree programme at the University of Birmingham opens the doors to a wide range of careers. Some graduates will go onto undertake further study and research in pursuit of higher degrees. 

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.