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BA Archaeology & Ancient History and History

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
VV14
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

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

The University of Birmingham's Archaeology & Ancient History and History degree is taught in an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner.

You will explore the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Western Asia, Greece and Rome, the prehistoric and historic societies of Europe and Britain though to the Middle Ages, and then follow events around the world almost to the present day.  During the course you will have the chance to study unfamiliar territory and to question some of the myths, preconceptions and prejudices that surround the three disciplines. By interpreting historical and archaeological evidence together, you can build a rounded picture of the life and culture of these societies.  

You will be taught by ancient historians specialising in the period, archaeologists whose expertise covers north-west Europe, Classical Greek and Roman societies, early medieval states in Europe and the Mediterranean and historians whose interests are global in cultural, social, diplomatic, military, political, economic or religious history.

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 across the three disciplines ensures that a wide choice of periods, countries and cultures may be studied.

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

I love the undergraduate degree course at the University of Birmingham because of the wide range of modules I'm offered. First year compulsory modules cover such different and interesting areas of ancient history, literature and archaeology that I don't feel restricted in my learning.

Jessica

Why Study this Course?

  • Breadth of expertise - While many Ancient History programmes focus on Greece and Rome, at the University of Birmingham you will have the opportunity to study a wide range of ancient societies with exciting opportunities for specialisation in Achaeology, Ancient History, or both disciplines. 
  • Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds at Birmingham. Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History 1st in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, while the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology ranked in the Top 5.
  • 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; and the Danford Collection of African Art and artefacts.
  • Employability - studying Archaeology & Ancient History and History at the University of Birmingham, will enable you to acquire skills that are highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market.
  • Be a part of an exciting department – You will join a lively University environment with many opportunities to enhance your student experience, including the highly active Birmingham Ancient History, Classics and Archaeology Society (BACAS), which organises events such as film nights and museum trips throughout the academic year.

Open day talks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs

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 2020. 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.

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

First year

Archaeology & Ancient History compulsory modules

  • Project A (10 credits)
  • Project B (10 credits)

Optional modules

  • 40 credits of Archaeology and Ancient History optional modules

Descriptions of Archaeology & Ancient History modules (compulsory and optional)

History compulsory modules

  • Practising History A: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Practising History B: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Discovering the Middle Ages (20 credits)

Optional modules:

  • The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (20 credits)
  • The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present (20 credits)
  • The History of Africa and its Diaspora (20 credits)

Descriptions of History modules (compulsory and optional)

Second year

Archaeology & Ancient History

  • 80 credits - optional modules
  • 60 credits - optional modules
  • 40 credits - optional modules

Descriptions of Archaeology & Ancient History second year modules

History

  • 80 credits - Group Research; History Option A; choose two from History Option B, History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited   
  • 60 credits – Group Research; History Option A; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills    *please note: places on this module are limited   
  • 40 credits – Group Research; History Option A

Descriptions of History second year modules

Final year

Archaeology & Ancient History

  • 80 credits - Dissertation or Extended Essay; optional modules, including Ancient Languages at appropriate level
  • 60 credits - Dissertation or Extended Essay; optional modules, including  Ancient Languages at appropriate level
  • 40 credits - Dissertation or Extended Essay; optional module, including Ancient Languages at appropriate level

Descriptions of Archaeology & Ancient History modules

History 

  • 80 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option A and B
  • 60 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option
  • 40 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation

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

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

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including an A in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry 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 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.

The Ancient Greeks believed that the gods were angry with humans and decided to wipe them all out in a great flood. One man survived, Deucalion. His son Hellen was born from the Earth and he is the first Greek.

Dr Andrew Bayliss

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 to have 9-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures and small-group teaching. 

In your second year, you can expect to have 8-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision.

In your third year, you can expect to have 8.5-9.5 contact hours, depending on your module choices. As before, these will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision. There are also many additional activities that are also 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. 

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 Archaeology & Ancient History 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

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

There is a range of opportunities through our Careers Network and beyond. For example, 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.

Current partners include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, and the Library of Birmingham. There are also internships available at the University’s own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

There are regular events each year covering careers in teaching, events management, working with charities and more, to help you meet potential employers and learn more about a range of sectors.

There are also summer internship opportunities and work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. You may also want to apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement through our Global Challenge Internship Programme.

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 College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project run by one of our researchers in drama and theatre. You gain work experience over the summer after your first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.

Our employer-endorsed Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

There are also a huge number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, our students’ union, which cover a wide variety of interests across drama and the arts.

With more than 300 societies and groups at The Guild, there is something for everyone.If your interest does not yet have a group, then The Guild will support you to set it up and find likeminded individuals to join you.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities