BA History / English Literature

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

In choosing to study the joint honours History and English Literature Degree at Aberystwyth University you will have the opportunity to combine two highly stimulating academic subjects. The History and English Literature Degree will allow you to immerse yourself in a broad range of historical periods, complemented by the study of literary texts from medieval times through to modern. Graduates of our History and English Literature Degree are much sought by employers for their highly-developed research, analysis, team-work and communications abilities. Expand the sections below to discover more...

Overview

The History and English Literature degree will allow you to place the past in context through the analysis of primary, secondary and literary sources and will enable you to equip yourself with the analytical skills of interpretation and communication that are so vital in everyday life.

Why study History and English Literature at Aberystwyth?

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. Our History lecturers are all active researchers who publish their work, and you will benefit from being taught the latest historical theories and techniques.

The lecturers in our vibrant Department of English and Creative Writing cross a broad spectrum of literary fields. Many are active researchers and published authors and you will receive instruction in the latest critical theories, methodologies and techniques. The university has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It placed the university 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.

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.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction among English students, with 88% satisfaction rate for the quality of teaching

93% of our 2014 English and Creative Writing graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 4 percentage point increase on the previous year and equal to the overall UK sector average (DLHE 2014). This increase reflects 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.

In addition to a fine University library, as a History and English Literature 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 Departments. You will find this an especially valuable resource when writing and researching your dissertation in your third year.

The Department of History and Welsh History offers a range of modules through the medium of Welsh. Further details are available from the Department.

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) You must take the following modules:

Semester 1

Encountering Texts EN10020

Semester 2

Ancestral Voices EN10220

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 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 You may choose up to 40 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Greek And Roman Epic And Drama CL10120

Re-writing, Re-visioning Texts EN10120

American Literature 1819-1925 EN11220

Semester 2

History Of Greek And Roman Ideas CL10320

Contemporary Writing EN10520

Year 2 Core (20 Credits) ENGLISH - You must take the following module

Semester 1

Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues EN20120

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 You should choose at least 20 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Literary Modernisms EN20920

The Shapes Of Tragedy EN22020

Semester 2

Nineteenth Century Literature EN20720

Place And Self EN22120

Literature Since 1945 EN22920

Year 2 Options You may choose up to 40 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Contemporary Queer Fiction EN31620

Forms Of Children's Narrative Prose EN37820

Writing Women For The Public Stage, 1670-1780 EN38720

Semester 2

Society,sexuality And Subversion In The Middle Ages EN31220

Shakespeare, Jonson And Company EN33020

Demons, Degenerates And New Women: Fin De Siecle Fictions EN33420

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

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 ENGLISH - You should take 40 to 80 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Undergraduate Dissertation EN30000

Reading Theory / Reading Text EN30120

Elizabethan Drama: Hieronimo To Hamlet EN30220

Victorian Childhoods EN30320

Twentieth Century Welsh Writing In English EN30420

The American Novel In The Nineteenth Century EN37520

Semester 2

Undergraduate Dissertation EN30040

Romantic Eroticism EN30520

Reimagining The World Wars: Contempoary Historical Fictions EN30720

Haunting Texts EN30820

Detective And Crime Fiction EN34620

A Virtuous Vice? Or: The True History Of The English Novel EN37620

American Literature In The Twentieth Century EN39420

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

Employability

Career prospects

While many History graduates take up careers directly linked to their subject such as working in the fields of archives, heritage or museum management, others find employment in a wide range of related and non-related professional employment, including librarianship, records management, the legal profession, local government, business and finance, the police force, the military, public relations and personnel management. The English Literature part of your degree will prepare you for a career in journalism, media, or advertising, and jobs which incorporate research and professional writing. The research and analytical skills you will develop during your degree will also provide a sound basis for postgraduate study and for a career in academia.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in History and English Literature 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
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
• research skills

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 I learn?

In your first year you will study introductory modules which identify new concepts and historical skills, new methods and periods, and some of the most exciting recent historical works. You will discover techniques for approaching literary texts and be introduced to some of the key figures from literary history. You will develop skills in comparative analysis, and a variety of reading strategies appropriate to different narrative forms. You will also be able to choose modules from a wide selection reflecting a broad chronological and thematic range, so you can study the topics that appeal most to your own personal interests.

In your second year, you will take a module on historical method, which examines the way in which the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time. You can also choose from an extensive list of modules designed to broaden your knowledge, give you an insight into the historian’s craft and focus more closely on different topics and periods. You will further investigate theoretical approaches to the practice of literary criticism, building on the foundations gained in your first year. You will study a range of selected core texts from the medieval period through to the twentieth century, and will have the opportunity to specialize in areas of particular interest to you.

In your third year you will select a number of modules from a wide range offered in both subjects, deploying the critical research skills of a practising historian, and deepening your study of literary authors and texts. These Include such diverse topics as Elizabethan drama, modern ghost stories, and American literature, or Wales under the Tudors, and Victorian culture and society. You will also have the opportunity to undertake an extended piece of independent research for your dissertation on a subject of particular interest to you.

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 texts or historical documents; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; select the most relevant contextual details; and articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject.

How will I be taught?

The aims of the syllabus are to communicate the variety and excitement of current approaches to the academic study of history and literary criticism, and to teach such key skills as information retrieval, interpretation and self-expression.

This course will be delivered through a programme of lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed learning designed to stimulate your academic interest in History and English Literature and nurture your personal and intellectual development. Both departments are committed to delivering innovative and high quality teaching that will allow you to realise your potential, and to meet your learning expectations. Some preparatory reading in advance of your seminars will enable you to fully engage in the more detailed discussions and sharing of ideas that take place, and the small numbers of students in each seminar group means that you will receive a lot of attention from the lecturers. The one-to-one tutorial gives you the opportunity to receive individual attention and useful feedback from your lecturer on the coursework that you have submitted. Coursework will develop your capacity to research, analyse and present an argument clearly and coherently, while seminars will help you hone your presentation skills.

You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including examinations, assessed essays, projects, and presentations.

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

What I love about studying History at Aberystwyth is everything! It is such a great degree scheme, with a wide range of modules to choose from in each year of study. The tutors are fantastic and always helpful and knowledgeable. Everyone within the department is friendly - staff and students alike - which creates a lovely working atmosphere. We have a fantastic resource just down the road, the National Library of Wales, which not only contains every book published in the UK after 1911 but is also a beautiful building to study in and commands the best view over the whole of Aberystwyth town. Studying History at Aberystwyth was the best decision I have ever made! Rachel Twomey

What I love about the English Literature course at Aberystwyth University is the diversity which is offered. From the beginning of the degree to nearly finishing I have studied such a wide range of literature, some of which I didn't even know existed. I feel this has broadened my mind and provided me with a wide understanding of the different types of literature which will benefit me in my further studies. Chloe Morgan

Key Information Set