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About the course

The MA History of Wales is this department’s flagship Masters programme, as the world’s leading centre of teaching and research in Welsh history from the medieval to the modern period. It offers you the opportunity to explore the history of Wales from a variety of thematic and chronological perspectives, to develop your research skills in Welsh history (including Welsh language tuition), and to pursue your own research project in an aspect of Welsh history under expert supervision from a specialist in the field.

Our Masters programme in the History of Wales draws on the unrivalled expertise of our team of Welsh historians in the department to offer a degree scheme suitable both for those who have studied Welsh history in the past and those for whom it is a new field of study.

In Semester 1, you’ll follow a core module which introduces you to key themes and debates in Welsh history. This is followed in Semester 2 by a range of options covering topics in Welsh history from the medieval to the modern period.

Alongside this study you will benefit from specialist research training tailored to your particular research interests: for instance, palaeography; the use of public opinion data or private correspondence; visual and sound media; newspapers and broadcast sources; oral history, etc., as well as tuition in the Welsh language.

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 study the History of Wales at an advanced academic level;
• If you desire a strengthen your critical and scholarly abilities through engagement with historical sources;
• If you wish explore your enthusiasm for this exciting and highly satisfying subject;
• If you aim to foster transferable skills and engage in professional and personal development for entering employment.

Course content

Core modules:

Dissertation: Welsh History *
Research Methods and Professional Skills in History
The Making of Modern Wales

Optional modules:

Class and Community in Wales 1850 - 1939
Gerald of Wales
Information and Society
Landownership and Society in Wales
Media History: An Introduction
Political Culture in Modern Britain, Europe and the Usa
Post Medieval Palaeography and Diplomatic
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (1120)
Sources for Postgraduate Research in the Modern Humanities and Social Sciences
Working with History

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Contact time

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.

Careers & Placements

Many of our Masters graduates go on to PhD study and academic careers. Others apply their skills in heritage administration, 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 available for course credit in some schemes (please contact us for further information).


Every element of the Aberystwyth Masters in the History of Wales enhances your employability. 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, 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.

Throughout the course you will demonstrate initiative and self-motivated learning, supported by the crucial self-awareness to be flexible and independently-minded. Allied with strengthened skills in communication, you will be fully confident in framing coherent and insightful questions and expressing them in oral and written form.

Employers in every industry value such skills and the pattern of creativity, research, analysis and discussion you will undertake in this course creates highly marketable skills which will, upon graduation, stand you in excellent stead for entry into the 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 Writing and Reporting

This course will encourage precision in your writing abilities, not only in the historical transcription and calendaring skills relevant to certain modules, but also in reporting, presenting and adhering to specific editorial rules in your assignments. You will be trained in editorial methods of historical texts, their development and the principles of authentication. Strong emphasis is placed on applying theory to practice so your individual skills in the interpretation and transcription of manuscript sources will be stretched. This practical demonstration of theory ensures that our Masters graduates are adaptable and can apply their written expertise to the demands of the modern workplace.

As the assessment for this Masters course is done through essay-writing, tutorial and seminar presentation, culminating in the 20,000 word dissertation, you will receive much practice 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. These skills will stand you in good stead for your future progression into employment.

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.

Visit the History of Wales - MA page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!





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