The study of how history is engaged with outside academia is a major growth area of research. The MA History and Heritage at Aberystwyth has been developed both for those who are interested in the academic study of this interplay and those who are interested in pursuing careers in the heritage industry itself. It offers you the opportunity to explore key concepts and debates in heritage studies, to acquire some heritage business related skills, and to participate for academic credit in a work placement with a leading heritage organisation.
Our Masters programme in History and Heritage draws on expertise from across the university to provide a wide-ranging engagement with the concept of ‘heritage’ and ‘public history’.
In Semester 1 you’ll follow a core module that addresses the theory and practice behind heritage studies. This is followed in Semester 2 either by a module on heritage organisations and the presentation of the past, or by one of the option modules offered on our other schemes, where you will be encouraged to focus in particular on the uses of the past in the countries and eras in question.
Alongside this study you will also have the opportunity to develop your practical skills and experiences through a range of skills and research training modules, including courses in basic accountancy and marketing, and through a work placement module where you get to take a full part in the work of one of the major heritage agencies based here in Aberystwyth.
There are also classes to help you research and write your MA dissertation, an original research project (15,000 words) undertaken by you and written over the course of the year under the close supervision of a specialist within the Department.
All our lecturers are active researchers who publish their work, and you will benefit from being taught the latest historical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment the university was placed in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. It submitted 77% of eligible staff and 95% of the university's research was of an internationally recognised standard.
This degree will suit you:
• If you wish to interrogate historical and heritage practises at an advanced level; • If you desire a strengthen your critical and scholarly abilities through engagement with historical sources; • If you wish develop practical skills and gain hands-on experience in Heritage issues; • If you aim to foster transferable skills and engage in professional and personal development for entering employment.
Concepts and Sources in Heritage Studies Dissertation * Research Methods and Professional Skills in History Working with History
Financial Analysis and Decision Making Heritage Organisations and the Presentation of the Past Information and Society Landownership and Society in Wales People and Organisations Post Medieval Palaeography and Diplomatic Rare Books and Special Collections Science, Place and Victorian Culture Sources for Postgraduate Research in the Modern Humanities and Social Sciences The Georgian Spa and Seaside Resort
* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh
Approximately 6 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.
The course is assessed through a diverse range of assignments, including the 15,000 word MA dissertation.
Many of our Masters graduates go on to PhD study and academic careers. Others apply their skills directly within the heritage industry, in tourism, museums and archives, or related branches of public administration, the civil service and local government, or go on to careers in related fields such as teaching, journalism or the broadcast media.
Work placements in collaboration with the National Library of Wales, the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales, or another of the heritage agencies based in and around Aberystwyth, are an integral feature of this MA scheme and give you the experience of applying your skills in a workplace environment.
Every element of the Aberystwyth Masters in Heritage and History enhances your employability in both vocational and more generic work situations. Alongside the development of your subject-specific knowledge and experience, an especially noteworthy strength of this course is the emphasis on personal development. As an emerging Master historian and heritage expert, your strengthened research and critical faculties will make you a strong candidate for any post where ideas and topics need research, analysis, discussion, expansion and classification.
The inclusion of an optional work placement within this course is highly significant. It balances the best of theory and practice, giving you subject-specific and practical expertise, which will set you above your competitors upon entering the jobs market where experience is at a premium. The study skills, technical knowledge and hands-on experience of heritage and historical processes will give you a tremendous advantage in employment within the discipline.
Beyond Heritage and History-related work contexts, employers in any industry value creativity, research, analysis and discursive skills that you will gain in this course. You will develop highly marketable skills which will, upon graduation, stand you in excellent stead for entry into the general jobs market. The organisational skills you will learn on this course will help you direct and therefore make the most of your individual flair, bringing a balance of skills that prospective employers will find attractive.
Advanced Skills in Research, Writing and Reporting
Upon completion of this degree, you will have mastered the diverse skills needed in many employment situations which require thoroughness, flair and clarity in your work disciplines. As the assessment for this Masters course is done through essay-writing, tutorial and seminar presentation, culminating in the dissertation of up to 20,000 words, you will receive much practise in writing and reporting, as well as rigorous feedback on your submissions. This will develop in you a thorough knowledge of the structure, conventions and development of written communications, which will, in turn, make your writing clear, accurate and authoritative.
A host of employers look for accuracy, thoroughness, an eye for detail and the ability to find and prove connections across broad subject matter, and you certainly will have proven yourself, simply by graduating from this prestigious MA course.