History has been taught as a subject at British universities for over a century.  The University at Aberystwyth was founded in 1872 and History has been there since its foundation. The Department of History and Welsh History is located on the University Campus close to the University Library, the Union, the Sports Hall and most of the Halls of Residence. It has a staff of eighteen teachers, whose teaching and research expertise ranges widely, and has close links with other centres of historical study in the University. Since books are the tools of the historian, it is worth noting that Aberystwyth is particularly well served in this respect. Its University Library, built up over a century, is very good.  Furthermore, Aberystwyth is the home of the National Library of Wales, one of the five copyright libraries of the United Kingdom; its outstanding resources in books and manuscripts greatly enhance Aberystwyth’s appeal to the historian. Considerable investment has been made in Information Technology in recent years, and Aberystwyth offers excellent facilities and resources in computing, with a range of training courses appropriate for the humanities and an abundance of workstations to enable students to work independently.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • How to Apply


The M.Phil and Ph.D degrees are research-based degrees, in which students undertake individual research projects under close academic supervision from within the department.  They can be studied full- or part-time.

The M.Phil normally takes one year of full-time research (two years part-time), after which students complete and submit a dissertation of around 60,000 words. 

The Ph.D normally takes three years of full-time research (five years part-time), after which students complete and submit a dissertation of 80-100,000 words.

The average total duration of the degree (full-time) therefore tends to be around two years for an M.Phil and between three and four years for a Ph.D.

Those interested in these possibilities are encouraged to contact the Postgraduate Tutor so that a viable research topic can be evolved through discussion with members of staff. Members of the department are always happy to consider research proposals relating to any aspect of their period of expertise, and to discuss with applicants the appropriate sources and methodologies for their project.

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.

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 (40 Credits) Arts Research Students must take the following centrally provided research training modules

Semester 1

Research Skills And Personal Development PGM0100
Principles Of Research Design PGM0210
Ways Of Reading PGM0410

Semester 2

Research Skills And Personal Development PGM0120

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

The admissions requirements for the MPhil and PhD programmes are as follows:

  • The minimum basic entry requirement for a MPhil or PhD is normally an Honours Degree (Class 2 Division 1) or equivalent
  • Non-native English speakers are required to take a University recognised test of academic English language proficiency with required minimum proficiency levels equating to an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 580 (paper based test) or 237 (computer based) with an essay rating of 5.0. Applicants who have successfully undertaken a Bachelors degree in a UK University are exempt from this requirement

To apply for a research course, please see our How to Apply page