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Course content

About the course

This innovative scheme provides a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding contemporary Wales. It complements the development of the WISERD-Centre for Welsh Politics and Society at Aberystwyth University as a world-leading research centre on contemporary political, social and economic issues of relevance to Wales with its core members drawn from the Department of International Politics, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences and Department of History and Welsh History. The scheme will equip postgraduate students with a strong grounding in the historical, cultural, socio-economic and political context of contemporary Wales; critical engagement with key intellectual debates regarding Wales’ politics, society and history; knowledge of the constitutional arrangements and institutional structures which shape devolved government and policy-making in Wales, and an understanding of the broader UK and European context and trends in territorial politics, regional policy and governance. It also places a strong emphasis on enhancing employability and work-based learning.

This degree will suit you:

• If you want to study Welsh Politics and Society at Masters level
• If you wish to develop a critical appreciation of Welsh politics and society
• If you wish to nurture a career in politics and policy within Wales or in other parts of the UK and beyond
• If you desire formal recognition of skills highly sought-after by any postgraduate employer

Course content

Core modules:

Geographical Research Methodologies
Research Methods and Professional Skills in History
Understanding Wales in an Age of Global Transformation *

Optional modules:

Class and Community in Wales 1850 - 1939
Landownership and Society in Wales
Postcolonial Politics
Postgraduate Work Experience
Rural Economy, Society and Policy
The Making of Modern Wales
The State Through the Ages *
Welsh Politics and Society Dissertation *
Working with History

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Contact time

Approximately 12-14 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


Assessment will be through a combination of examinations, project work, short reports, essays and dissertation. It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.


Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your Masters will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained political specialist with a strength in depth of knowledge on vital subjects such as the political, economic, cultural and social context of politics in Wales today as well as the key institutions and actors in contemporary Welsh political life. You will also graduate with a wealth of postgraduate-level skills which are transferable into any workplace.

The scheme places a strong emphasis on enhancing the employability of graduates by offering students the option to study work-based learning modules as we know that students benefit hugely from such experiences. Past examples include working for the Political Unit, BBC Wales, National Assembly for Wales, Ceredigion County Council European Unit. Some of the modules associated with the scheme are also innovative by including expert practitioners in the teaching.

The programme also offers tranches of modules as 5-credit CPD provision which is ideal to enhance the employability of those already in work but seeking to develop their expertise in particular areas.

The scheme’s track record strongly indicates that it provides solid employment enhancement for those interested in pursuing careers related to Welsh politics and policy, from the civil service, to journalism, to political lobbying. It has also proven to be valuable preparation for PhD study.

Key Skills and Competencies

Study Skills

Alongside the wealth of world-class critical expertise, you will master highly desirable skills in academic research, analysis, argument-formation, presentation and debate. You will also prove your abilities in reflection and self-improvement; you will be able to identify your academic weaknesses and remove them whilst building on your strengths.

Self-Motivation and discipline

Studying at Masters level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, but you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree. This process of independent study at an extremely high level will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

Transferable Skills

The International relations Masters programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines.

Visit the Welsh Politics and Society (Specialist) - MA page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!




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