History and Heritage

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.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Employability
  • How to Apply

Key Facts


One year full-time, or up to three years for part-time study

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.  

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.


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.

For more information on this scheme please see the Department of History and Welsh History website.

Our Staff

Department of History and Welsh History lecturers are all qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (20 Credits) you must take the following

Semester 1

Research Methods And Professional Skills In History HYM0100

Semester 2

Research Methods And Professional Skills In History HYM0120

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) you must take the following

Semester 1

Concepts And Sources In Heritage Studies HYM5120

Working With History HYM9900

Semester 2

Working With History HYM9920

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) you must take the following

Semester 3

Dissertation 2 HYM1160

Year 1 Options you must take at least one of the following

Semester 2

The Georgian Spa And Seaside Resort HYM3720

Heritage Organisations And The Presentation Of The Past HYM5220

The Allure And The Uses Of The Past: Historical Culture In Modern Europe HYM5720

Rare Books And Special Collections ILM8120

Year 1 Options you must take at least one Research Training option from the following

Semester 1

Sources For Postgraduate Research In The Modern Humanities And Social Sciences HYM1220

Post Medieval Palaeography And Diplomatic ILM4120

Information And Society ILM5120

Financial Analysis And Decision Making MMM7120

People And Organisations MMM7220


Qualification:             MA in Heritage and History

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.


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.

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622841

Fax: (01970) 622676


Department of History and Welsh History 

Hugh Owen Building

Penglais Campus

Aberystwyth University

SY23 3DY

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further: