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BA Ancient and Medieval History

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
V116
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (International)
More detail.

To understand fully the modern world - its culture, language, political systems and people – you need to take a long perspective. Studying undergraduate Ancient and Medieval History goes back to the roots of modern civilisation in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages. 

Our degree course has a distinctive emphasis on using literature, history and archaeology in the study of the ancient world, and we offer a range of expertise.  The chronological sweep is wide, from around 3000BC to 1500AD and you can study Europe, the Mediterranean and Asian civilisations.  One aspect of study is social history: how people in the past lived, worked, traded and enjoyed their leisure.  Studying such a diverse range of societies and cultures enables you to analyse and reflect on the complex relationship between the Ancient and Medieval worlds.

The first year of your degree course represents a foundation year in which we instil core skills and knowledge for historical enquiry.  In the second year, the emphasis on small group teaching and independent learning increases and you develop as an historian of the ancient and medieval worlds.  In the final year you study medieval and ancient modules, along with a Dissertation, using primary sources to answer a historical question which you have developed since your second year. 

My favourite undergraduate module at the moment covers war all the way from the Crusades until the War on Terrorism. It gives me a real depth of knowledge about the art of war and how it has changed throughout time.

Eve

Why study this course?

  • Excellent reputation - History is ranked 11th in the The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
  • Outstanding student experience - 100% of our undergraduate students agreed staff were good at explaining things in the National Student Survey 2020.
  • Strong employability - 90% of our graduates enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017) in a wide range of professions, including accountancy, charity work, housing, law, publishing, politics and teaching. 
  • Broad portfolio - We are very conscious that a true appreciation of the ancient and medieval world requires as varied an approach as possible. At the beginning of your degree course you will study broad time periods and issues but you will get to focus on particular topics of your choosing all the way through. 
  • Resources - We have excellent library facilities with the University Library situated by the History Department and we have the Hilton and Styles libraries in the Arts Building. The Cadbury Research Library is home to the University of Birmingham’s historic collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs and associated artefacts. The collections which have been built up over a period of 120 years consist of over 200,000 rare printed books including significant incunabula, as well as over 4 million unique archive and manuscript collections.

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Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2021. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

 

First year

Compulsory modules

  • Discovering the Middle Ages (20 credits)
  • Living in the Middle Ages (20 credits)
  • Practising History A: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Practising History B: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Rethinking the Ancient World A: Mythology and Identity (10 credits)
  • Rethinking the Ancient World B: Other Voices (10 credits)

Optional modules

Students must choose 40 credits of optional modules which typically includes:

  • The Greek World (20 credits) 
  • Beginners Latin/Greek (20 credits)
  • The Roman World (20 credits) 
  • Classics in the 20th and 21st centuries (20 credits)
  • The History of Africa and its Diaspora (20 credits) 
  • Beginners Latin/Greek (20 credits)

Descriptions of first year Ancient and Medieval History modules

Second year

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methods A & B (10+10 credits)

Optional modules

Students must choose 100 credits of optional modules. 

Students may also take the Professional Skills module (20 credits) in place of one of their optional courses in either CAHA or History.

Descriptions of second year Ancient and Medieval History modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (40 credits)

Optional modules:

  • Students must choose 80 credits of optional modules

Descriptions of final year Ancient and Medieval History modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB
General Studies:
Not accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus B at A-level.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level.

Access programmes:  Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 at Level 3 of which 30 must be at Distinction and 15 at Merit.  All remaining credits must be at level 2 or above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Pathways to Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. We are proud to offer prospective applicants at one of our partner institutions the support of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes to access a degree at the University.

We have a range of initiatives for Year 12 students to help make informed decisions about higher education. Our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme, for Year 13 students, allows participants to experience university study and prepare for the transition to university.

Successful completion of one of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes means students may be eligible for extensive financial support and an alternative offer, typically up to 2 grades below the standard offer, along with other benefits.

To find out more, please visit the Pathways to Birmingham webpage.

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 one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

As far as I know, this is a unique case. I think you’ll agree that it’s exceptional in many ways, but historians often undertake micro-histories of cases like this in order to expose some of the more generally relevant conditions of the past.

Professor Karen Harvey

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

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 advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to 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.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

 

Contact hours

In your first year you can expect about 8 hours of contact time per week. You can expect about 7 hours of contact time per week in your second year and about 6.5 hours of contact time per week in your final year. There are also many additional activities that are available to students.

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.

 

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

90% of our graduates enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

As an Ancient and Medieval History student, you will have an excellent opportunity to develop skills that are attractive to employers, including:

  • Strong communication skills
  • A deep understanding of the past
  • The ability to research, analyse and interpret complex information
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Handling complex information
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments
  • Managing your time and prioritising your workload

These are key skills that will enable you to pursue either further study in History disciplines or move into employment in a wide range of other careers. Our graduates have gone on to careers in: 

  • Accountancy
  • Charity work
  • Housing
  • Human Resources
  • International Development
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Publishing
  • Politics
  • Retail Management
  • Teaching
  • Library and Archive work
  • Postgraduate study

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the most targeted university by the country’s top graduate employers according to The Graduate Market 2021 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisers and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internships, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in the The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities