BA Politics / History

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

In choosing to study this Politics and History Degree at Aberystwyth University you will explore the fundamental political concepts which shape our daily life: justice, freedom, power, and citizenship. You will consider how factors such as ethnicity, gender, and ecology reflect and produce changes in political thought and how all these ideas are translated into practice. This Politics and History degree is therefore not only about politicians and governments, but about all the groups and organisations which influence politics - national and multinational companies, trade unions, and civil society groups - so that you will emerge from your degree in Politics and History equipped for political engagement in many contexts. You will be studying in the longest-established Politics department in the UK, and taught by high quality, enthusiastic staff, and upon successful graduation you'll possess the essential skills and capabilities demanded for employability. Expand the links below to discover more...

Overview

Why study Politics and History at Aberystwyth?

Founded in 1919 after the end of World War I, the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth is the world’s first university department of International Politics. The Department has over 30 academic and research staff, all of whom are research active and teach on the undergraduate programmes. The Department's vibrant and cosmopolitan learning environment welcomes students from all over the world, and provides a lively venue for contemporary and international political debate.

The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales with 76% of publications submitted rated as world leading and internationally excellent.

Our lecturers are committed to excellence in both teaching and research, providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment. Research excellence feeds directly into undergraduate teaching, so that you are exposed to the very latest and most innovative ideas in the field even before they have become generally available through publication. We firmly believe that the synergy between research and teaching makes for a thought-provoking education.

The Department operates a prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer. During this time you will write reports and speeches, undertake research projects, and respond to constituency issues. There may be further opportunities for you to get involved in elections and various international issues.

The Department also has links with carefully selected universities in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia, offering you an excellent opportunity to expand your academic and social horizons by spending a part of your university experience abroad. 

The Department is also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.

History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the University in 1872, making it the oldest History department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. The interests of our lecturers span the period from antiquity to the modern world, so we can provide you with a broad range of political, social, economic and cultural history modules from all periods. 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..

In addition to a fine University library, as a History student at Aberystwyth you will enjoy full membership of the National Library of Wales. One of only five copyright libraries in the United Kingdom, with over six million books, maps, prints and manuscripts, it is situated within a five-minute walk of the Department. You will find this especially valuable when studying your special subject and writing your dissertation in your third year. Through our close association with the National Library we are also able to offer you exciting work placement opportunities there.

You will find a very friendly and welcoming community in the Department, and the lively History Society organizes a programme of guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events throughout the year. The Department has established links with a number of universities overseas, so we can also provide you with the opportunity to spend a period of time abroad immersing yourself in a different and exciting historical culture.

91% of our 2014 History graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 10 percentage point increase on the previous year (DLHE 2014). The number of those entering professional level work or graduate level education also increased by 15 percentage points over the year, compared with a 2.5 percentage point increase nationally.

These increases reflect our investment in innovative and strategic student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic Institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

Both departments offer a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the departments.

Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

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 Options Year One students - ALL History and Welsh History joint honours students MUST take the Department's Part One core module (through medium of English or Welsh):

Semester 1

Cyflwyno Hanes HA12120

Introduction To History HY12120

Year 1 Options All students MUST take the Department's core module Exploring the International 1 and 2 (40 credits over both semesters)

Semester 1

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 1 GW12420

Exploring The International 1 IP12420

Semester 2

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 2 GW12520

Exploring The International 2 IP12520

Year 1 Options Part One students may take the following optional modules

Semester 1

Behind The Headlines IP12620

The Making Of The Modern World: International History Since 1789 IP12820

Understanding The Social World SA10120

Semester 2

War, Strategy And Intelligence IP10320

Approaching The Political IP10820

Year 1 Options Year One students - History and Welsh History joint honours students must take a further 40 credits worth of modules in the History & Welsh History department:

Semester 1

Concwest, Uno A Hunaniaeth Yng Nghymru 1250-1800 HC11120

Cymru A'r Byd: Cysylltiadau A Dylanwadau 1860 - 2000 HC11520

Stuart England: War, Political Crisis And Social Change 1629-1714 HY11920

Russia Since 1900 HY12020

Nationalism, Totalitarianism And Democratization: Czechoslov HY12220

Soldiers, Saints & Serfs: England, 1042-1154 HY14320

Conquest, Union And Identity In Wales 1250-1800 WH11120

Semester 2

Y Dirwasgiad Mawr: Hanes Cymharol America A Phrydain HA10620

Argyfwng, Gwrthryfel A Ffydd Yn Ewrop C.1000-1540 HA10820

Oes Y Fictoriaid HA13820

Age Of Magna Carta-england And Its Neighbours C1180-c1280 HY12520

Three Queens And Their Subjects HY12720

Britain And The First World War HY13220

Modernity And The Making Of Asia HY15220

From Revolution To World War: Wales 1789-1914 WH11620

Year 1 Options Student wishing to study modules through the medium of Welsh can take the following:

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

Y Tu ôl I'r Penawdau GW12620

Creu'r Byd Modern: Hanes Ryngwladol Ers 1789 GW12820

Concwest, Uno A Hunaniaeth Yng Nghymru 1250-1800 HC11120

Cymru A'r Byd: Cysylltiadau A Dylanwadau 1860 - 2000 HC11520

Semester 2

Pobl A Lle DA10110

Amgylchedd Cymru DA10810

Rhyfel Strategaeth A Chuddwybodaeth GW10320

Defnyddio Syniadau Gwleidyddol GW11220

Argyfwng, Gwrthryfel A Ffydd Yn Ewrop C.1000-1540 HA10820

Year 2 Options Students must take the following Degree Scheme Core Module (IP32220 or GW32220) in International Politics in order to be eligible to graduate.

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Political Theory IP32220

Year 2 Options Year Two students MUST TAKE the History and Welsh History Year2 CORE module in semester one (in either English or Welsh):

Semester 1

Llunio Hanes HA30120

Making History HY30120

Year 2 Options Year Two students MUST TAKE one 20-credit SURVEY module in Dept. History & Welsh History in Semester One:

Semester 1

Concro'r Byd: Tŵf A Chwymp Ymerodraethau Prydain A Ffrainc HA31820

The Challenge To Christendom HY31020

Early Modernity In Europe HY31120

War & Society In History HY31620

Year 2 Options Year Two students should choose one 20-credit SKILLS module in Dept. History & Welsh History in semester two:

Semester 2

Gwrando Ar Hanes: Y Mudiad Hawliau Sifil Yn America HA34720

Investigating Georgian And Victorian Landscapes HY32720

History As Myth-making: The 'myth Of The Blitz' HY33420

Germans And Nazism Since 1933: Reading Public Opinion Surveys, Diaries And Memoirs HY33520

Image Wars In Southeast Asia: Studying 20th Century Propaganda HY33720

Journalism And The Writing Of History HY33920

Medieval Chronicles: Historical Writing In The British Isles 540-1300 HY34020

History In Cartoons: Studying Georgian Satirical Prints HY34320

Seals In Their Context In Medieval England And Wales HY34420

Exploring Nineteenth-century Exhibitions HY34620

Year 2 Options OR Year Two students should choose one 20-credit OPTION module in Dept. History & Welsh History in either semester one or semester two:

Semester 1

Gwrthdaro A Chydfodolaeth: Cymru O’r Normaniaid Hyd Glyndŵr HC32220

Oes Yr Ymerodraeth: Prydain Ac Iwerddon, 1850-1914 HC34320

East & West In The Age Of Crusades, C. 1070 - C. 1290 HY35120

Politics And Society In Twentieth-century Britain HY37620

Science, Religion And Magic HY38620

Germany Since 1945 HY39620

The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY39720

Rhyfel Algeria 1952-1964 IE20420

An Age Of Empire: Britain And Ireland, 1850-1914 WH34320

Semester 2

Trosedd, Terfysg A Moesoldeb Yng Nghymru 1750-1850 HC33420

The British Isles And The ‘english Revolution’ HY35720

From Black Death To Great Fire: The British Town 1349-1700 HY36120

War, Famine And Plague: England In The Fourteenth Century HY36720

Expansion, Intervention And Influence: The United States As A Continental Power HY39120

Culture, Society And The Victorians HY39320

The Soviet Union And The World, 1917-1991 HY39520

Crime, Riot And Morality In Wales 1750-1850 WH33420

Civil War And Revolution In Stuart Wales, 1603-1714 WH36220

Available both years Options Students must take 120 of their 240 credits in Part Two (year 2 & final year) in International Politics dept; and should also take 120 credits in their `home' department (usually 60 credits from each per year) -including core module credits

Semester 1

Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol GQ30920

Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed GQ33420

Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer GQ33720

Cymru A Datganoli GW35020

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol GW35620

The Vietnam War IP31920

Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances IP33320

European Politics IP33820

The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice IP34320

Wales And Devolution IP35020

Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918 IP35320

Intelligence And International Security IP35620

The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence IP36020

Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy IP36520

Contemporary Latin America IP38720

The League Of Nations IQ32420

Capitalism And International Politics IQ32820

Total War, Total Peace IQ33420

Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice IQ33720

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol GW39220

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

War, Politics And Strategy IP30320

Special Forces: Theory And Practice IP31520

The Cold War IP32020

Political Theory IP32220

Eu Simulation IP34020

Ideas And Practice In American Politics IP34420

The Cuban Missile Crisis IP35520

America At War: A Military History Of The United States IP36920

Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800 IP38820

International Politics And Non-western Worlds IP39220

Global Economic Governance IQ30820

Espionage Studies IQ31320

Global Health And International Politics IQ32020

Gender And Sexuality In Latin America IQ32320

The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001 IQ32620

Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics IQ33620

Final Year Options Final Year students MUST TAKE one 20-credit SURVEY module in Dept. History & Welsh History in Semester One:

Semester 1

Concro'r Byd: Tŵf A Chwymp Ymerodraethau Prydain A Ffrainc HA31820

The Challenge To Christendom HY31020

Early Modernity In Europe HY31120

War & Society In History HY31620

Final Year Options Final Year students should choose 20-40 credits worth of OPTIONAL modules in the Department of History and Welsh History in either semester one or semester two:

Semester 1

Gwrthdaro A Chydfodolaeth: Cymru O’r Normaniaid Hyd Glyndŵr HC32220

Oes Yr Ymerodraeth: Prydain Ac Iwerddon, 1850-1914 HC34320

East & West In The Age Of Crusades, C. 1070 - C. 1290 HY35120

Politics And Society In Twentieth-century Britain HY37620

Science, Religion And Magic HY38620

Germany Since 1945 HY39620

The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY39720

Rhyfel Algeria 1952-1964 IE20420

An Age Of Empire: Britain And Ireland, 1850-1914 WH34320

Semester 2

Trosedd, Terfysg A Moesoldeb Yng Nghymru 1750-1850 HC33420

The British Isles And The ‘english Revolution’ HY35720

From Black Death To Great Fire: The British Town 1349-1700 HY36120

War, Famine And Plague: England In The Fourteenth Century HY36720

Expansion, Intervention And Influence: The United States As A Continental Power HY39120

Culture, Society And The Victorians HY39320

The Soviet Union And The World, 1917-1991 HY39520

Crime, Riot And Morality In Wales 1750-1850 WH33420

Civil War And Revolution In Stuart Wales, 1603-1714 WH36220

Available both years Options Students must take 120 of their 240 credits in Part Two (year 2 & final year) in International Politics dept; and should also take 120 credits in their `home' department (usually 60 credits from each per year) -including core module credits

Semester 1

Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol GQ30920

Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed GQ33420

Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer GQ33720

Cymru A Datganoli GW35020

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol GW35620

The Vietnam War IP31920

Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances IP33320

European Politics IP33820

The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice IP34320

Wales And Devolution IP35020

Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918 IP35320

Intelligence And International Security IP35620

The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence IP36020

Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy IP36520

Contemporary Latin America IP38720

The League Of Nations IQ32420

Capitalism And International Politics IQ32820

Total War, Total Peace IQ33420

Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice IQ33720

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol GW39220

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

War, Politics And Strategy IP30320

Special Forces: Theory And Practice IP31520

The Cold War IP32020

Political Theory IP32220

Eu Simulation IP34020

Ideas And Practice In American Politics IP34420

The Cuban Missile Crisis IP35520

America At War: A Military History Of The United States IP36920

Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800 IP38820

International Politics And Non-western Worlds IP39220

Global Economic Governance IQ30820

Espionage Studies IQ31320

Global Health And International Politics IQ32020

Gender And Sexuality In Latin America IQ32320

The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001 IQ32620

Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics IQ33620

Employability

Career Prospects

Your joint honours BA in Politics and History will prepare you for a broad range of employment and further training options. Your political training will suit you for work as a civil service fast streamer, a government social research officer, a politician's staff worker, public affairs consultant or social researcher. Your historical expertise will help you in a career as an academic librarian, archivist, heritage manager, or museum conservator.

Recent statistics from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) show that over 82% of History graduates and over 82% of Politics graduates find either paid employment or continue with further study upon graduation.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Politics and History will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form

• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills

• the ability to work independently

• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines

• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form

• self-motivation and self-reliance

• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

• research skills

Throughout your training you will develop a wealth of subject-specific skills and other generic professional skills that can be easily transferred into almost any graduate or professional employment situation.

You will be able to: read and evaluate source material quickly and efficiently; select and deploy the most appropriate of a range of critical methodologies; and deliver cogent and compelling arguments. You will have also proven your abilities in writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, working effectively with others, and delivering work in time to meet specific deadlines. In addition to these skills, you will benefit from the prestige of holding a joint honours degree from one of the UK's foremost universities. 

Year in Employment scheme (YES)
The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will you learn?

How will you be taught?

This course will be delivered through a programme of lectures and seminars designed to stimulate your academic interest in both history and politics, whilst nurturing your personal and intellectual development. The fusion of these two courses will hone your critical faculties, arm you with a number of methodological approaches to your subjects and encourage original thought. As you study, you will be both challenged and inspired by our staff, who have created a vibrant culture of creativity and intellectual curiosity perfect for the study of history and politics. 

Crisis Games play a very important role in the life of the Department of International Politics, and form part of a twice-yearly residential course away from Aberystwyth. The Department of International Politics was the first university in the UK to use crisis simulations to connect classroom learning with the real-world complexities of international politics. In recent years the Crisis Games have been based on the humanitarian crises in the Congo and Darfur, an Arctic environmental disaster, nuclear testing in North Korea, Saudi Arabia and the politics of the Middle East, the Northern Ireland peace process, the US presidential election, and war between Russia and Georgia. During the course of the simulation you will learn about aspects of international politics which cannot be taught in lectures and seminars, especially the constraints which political leaders face in responding to various crises. For many students, the Crisis Games are the highlight of the course.

Most modules are assessed through a combination of a variety of methods, including essays, reports, examinations, projects, book reviews, and presentations.

As you study, you will develop a range of skills which will benefit you in further study or any graduate workplace. You will learn to: employ multiple critical techniques when approaching historical sources; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; select the most relevant contextual details; and articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

This is a course that is different from any other. It examines elements of power, order and security more than any other discipline. In essence, it focuses on the way in which societies and governments react to certain events. It entails the study of knowledge in so deep and complex a way that, in the end, nobody can ever possess it completely. Passion is one thing and reason is something else, but the two things combined make Politics. A story of love and death -incline and decline - so charming that you can only love it once, meaning for ever... Antel Ompeintat

What I love about my course is the variation in module choices, the depth of discussion and the freedom to take a unique perspective on an issue whilst still remaining in a structured environment. Alex John Haden

What's great about political studies is the variety of choice you have in exactly what you want to study. Politics is such a broad subject and therefore needs a wide variety of modules to study. Furthermore as a subject it encourages interaction and participation. There is no other course that has quite the same level of interaction between students. Emma Rammell

Key Information Set

Key Facts

UCAS Code: LVG1

Tariff Required: 300 - 320

Entry Requirements: Grade B in any A level subject required. GCSE: Grade C in English or Welsh.

Course Length: 3 Years

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