The MA Modern History at Aberystwyth offers you the opportunity to study modern British, continental European, American and/or world history from the early 19th century to the present with a team of leading specialists in their fields. The course embraces a range of perspectives including political, diplomatic, social, cultural and media history, and also provides you with intensive training in research skills and methods for modern history, including the opportunity to develop or enhance your knowledge of a European language.
One year full-time, or up to three years for part-time study
Approximately 10 hours a week in the first two semesters. During
semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your
The course is assessed through a diverse range of assignments, including the 15,000 word MA dissertation.
Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of
56.5 or above. 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.
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.
Our Masters programme in Modern History draws on the Department of History and Welsh History’s longstanding research strengths in modern British, continental European and American history, and its recent investment in Southeast Asian history, to enable you to develop your own research interests in the field of modern history.
In Semester 1 you’ll follow a core module that addresses the concept of political culture (addressing such issues as the public sphere, community and participation, the role of the media, etc.) in the modern era. This is followed by a wide range of options in Semester 2 on topics ranging from science and the Victorians to popular memory and the Second World War, from inter-war international diplomacy to policymaking and the American public.
Alongside this study, you will benefit from specialist research training tailored to your own particular research interests: for instance, the use of public opinion data or private correspondence, visual and sound media, newspapers and broadcast sources, oral history, etc. You will also have the opportunity to study a modern European language at either beginners or advanced level.
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.
If you wish to interrogate historical practices at an advanced level;
If you desire a strengthen your critical and scholarly abilities through engagement with historical sources;
If you wish to develop practical skills and gain hands-on experience in researching Modern History;
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 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 the Department for further information).
Every element of the Aberystwyth Master’s in Modern History enhances your employability in both vocational and more generic work situations. Alongside the development of your subject-specific knowledge and experience as a Media Historian, an especially noteworthy strength of this course is the emphasis on personal development. 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.
Advanced Skills in Writing and Reporting
As the assessment for this Master’s 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 make your writing clear, accurate and authoritative. These skills will stand you in good stead for your future progression into employed and academic environments.
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.