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
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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