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Ancient and Medieval History BA

UCAS code VV19
Year of entry 2018
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Classics »
History »

Drawing on expertise from our Classics and History departments, Ancient and Medieval History offers the opportunity to study the history of Greece and Rome in the Classical period (600 BCE - 700CE) and how that world developed into the Medieval period (c. 600 CE - 1400 CE). The course brings together the two key periods of pre-modern history, offering students the opportunity to compare and contrast pre-modern social and political systems and to develop the knowledge, theories and methodologies necessary for the study of these periods of history.

Taught by a variety of internationally recognised experts, Ancient History allows you will delve into the politics, events and developments underpinning our understanding of many aspects of historical societies and, indeed, our own culture. You will explore themes, key periods and problems in Greek and Roman history, such as the emergence (and fall) of democracy and the rise, decline and fall of Empires.

As a student of Ancient History you will be part of our Classics Department, where the quality of research that informs our teaching and a friendly, individual approach which shapes the way we guide our students combine to create an unbeaten academic experience.

  • The Department of Classics is a centre for excellence in both teaching and research, 98% of our research is recognized as world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognized (REF 2014).
  • A thriving Classics Society contributes to the friendly and sociable atmosphere of the Classics department.

Studying Medieval History is exciting and rewarding; it encourages you to appreciate the human experience in other places and at other times, in a world whose consequences are with us still, be it through the development of international relations, the formation of geopolitical regions (Christendom/ the Islamic world), or the development of town life.

Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems; this cutting edge knowledge informs the curriculum and will enhance your learning experience. By studying History at one of the largest and most influential departments in the country you will be able to choose from an exceptionally broad range of subjects.

  • 96% say that our teaching makes the subject interesting and 94% find the course intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016).
  • World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).

Core modules

Year 1

Greek History and the City State

In this introductory module you will examine Greek history, society, and institutions from the 6th to the late 4th century BC, with particular attention being paid to the problems and methods of reconstructing the past from ancient sources, and the development of the city-state as a form of political organization.

Key Themes in Roman History

This module covers the full chronological range of Roman historiography from the Republic to the Empire to establish certain broad characteristics of periods. You will be taught to understand the relationship between particular events and the development and maintenance of social and political forms.

History and Meanings

This module examines the development of historical writing and debates around the meaning of history. Overall, the framework is chronological, taking you on a journey from Herodotus and other historians of the ancient world, through to the development of history as a professional discipline in the nineteenth century, and finally on to more recent debates about ‘postmodernism’. Both western and non-western history-writing traditions are discussed for comparative purposes. On the way, in both lectures and in small tutorial groups, you will need to think about the nature of historical ‘truth’ and objectivity, and will be asked to reflect upon your own status and practice as historians.

Public History

History has never been so popular. This module explores the development in recent years of ‘public history’, or the ways in which the past is used and written about by academic and popular historians, the heritage industry, journalists, the state, and the wider public. You will examine the nature of ‘public history’ through a series of case-studies, including topics such as how history is presented on the television and in film; history in museums and heritage sites; community and oral history; the memory of the Holocaust; debates in European societies about ‘making amends’ for slavery and the colonial past; and the uses of history in contemporary South Asia. You will be given the opportunity to make your own contribution to the field through your own ‘public history’ project.

Year 2

Independent Essay

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Greek Literature

 

Roman Literature of the Empire

 

Studying Classical Antiquity

 

Introduction to Greek Archaeology

 

Introduction to Roman Architecture

 

Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

 

Republics, Kings and People

 

Rich Tapestry of Life

 

Rome to Renaissance

 

Year 2

The Later Roman Empire

 

Byzantium and its Neighbours, 164 to 1081

 

London Urban Society, 1400 to 1600

 

The Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1095 to 1291

 

Medicine and Society in Medieval Europe

 

Explorers and Inventors in Classical and Late Antiquity

 

Greek History to 404 BC

 

Greek History from 403 BC to 322

 

Greek Historiography

 

Historiography of the Roman World

 

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

 

Rome and its Empire from Augustus to Commodus

 

The Pursuit of Power - Europe, 1000 to 1250

 

Religion, Culture and Society in Europe, 1000 to 1250

 

Politics, Pestilence and War in Late Medieval Europe, 1300 to 1500

 

The Sacred and Profane - Cultural Life in Renaissance Europe

 

Further Latin for Historians

 

Daily Life in Renaissance and Baroque Italian Cities

 

The Silk Road 2 - The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires, 1500 to 1700

 

Year 3

Further Aspects of Modern Greek Language and Culture

 

Hadrian's Wall

 

The City of Athens

 

Gender in Classical Antiquity

 

Alexander the Great

 

Greek Law and Lawcourts

 

Homer (in Translation)

 

The Archaeology of Roman Near East

 

The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

 

Augustus - Propaganda and Power

 

The Roman Novel

 

Art, Architecture and Power in the Roman World

 

Villa, Domus and Palace - Domestic Space and Social Identity in the Roman World

 

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four whole units per year. At least four course units of Ancient History must be taken over the three years of the degree, one at year 3 level and 3 course units of Medieval History, at least one at year 3 level. You will be able to mix Ancient and Medieval courses as suits your particular interests and develop your own specialisms within the flexible provision on offer.

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials, depending on the subjects studied. Much of your work will be outside class: reading in the library or via e-learning resources (we have a comprehensive e-learning facility called Moodle). You will also be preparing for seminars and lectures, working on essays, and undertaking group projects and wide-ranging but guided independent study.

In your final year we provide ongoing support for your dissertation work, which usually includes:

  • Lectures and practical sessions on Dissertation Research Methods e.g. planning your topics, carrying out research, using specialist resources, finding information in print and online, and managing your search results and references. These sessions are run in conjunction with the Library Service and are generally also open to second year students.
  • Short departmental writing ‘surgeries’, in which academic staff offer general writing support if you experiencing problems and/or those who have specific queries.

Assessment takes place by a flexible combination of essays, projects, examinations and tests, various methods being employed depending on the nature of the course unit and the intended learning outcomes. In the third year, you complete a guided and extended piece of independent research, a 10,000 word dissertation on a historical subject.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 16% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 84% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 16% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 84% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 11% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 89% in guided independent study.

Assessment

Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 62% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 38% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 80% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 20% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 70% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 30% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

 AAB-ABB
How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects

Preferred subject: History.  We require at least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with 32 points overall 
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction in a relevant subject area 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus an A-level grade A
BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction in a relevant subject plus A-levels grades A, B 
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
Scottish Advanced Highers AAB-ABB
Scottish Highers AAABB
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass in a relevant subject with at least 24 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall

  • with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore.

For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Studying History both Ancient and Medieval requires research, assessment, reasoning, organization and self-management often on your own or as part of a team.  So, by choosing to study this intellectually demanding discipline you will develop a broad range of skills which are highly prized by employers, including:

  • the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
  • the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise content
  • time management and the discipline to meet deadlines
  • organisation and research skills
  • problem-solving skills and capability

Being able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing is why many Royal Holloway classicists become employed in law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance. Employers like Channel 4, multinational law firm SJ Berwin, The Guildhall (City of London), accountancy firm KPMG, the Natural History Museum, Customs and Immigration, London Advertising, Broadstone Pensions and Investments and the Armed Forces have all recently recruited Royal Holloway alumni from the Department of Classics.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it?  Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates starting their degrees in 2018 is controlled by Government regulations, and details are not yet known. The UK Government has also announced that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our  terms & conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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