BA

History / English Literature

Key Facts

Code QV31
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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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 increasingly sought after by employers for their highly-developed research, analysis, team-work and communications abilities.

Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of History (NSS 2016)
Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of English (NSS 2016)

Department of History and Welsh: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of History and Welsh History who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Department of English and Creative Writing: 96% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of English and Creative Writing who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views

Overview

Why study History/ English Literature at Aberystwyth University?

  • History has been taught in Aberystwyth since 1872, making our department the oldest in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain
  • We offer you opportunities to engage with a wide variety of approaches to literature and cultural history, combining critical thinking with scholarship
  • The department is home to New Welsh Review, Wales’ foremost literary magazine - this could be an exciting opportunity for you to get involved
  • You will have the opportunity to explore literary theory - philosophical and conceptual ideas that inform, challenge and problematize the ways we read
  • Our degrees are innovative ensuring you can get the best qualification
  • Rated high by our students in the National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Our subject areas range from early to modern history, political history, social history, economic and cultural history
  • We have a copyright library on campus, the National Library of Wales
  • Exciting exchange opportunities available
  • You will be immersed in a supportive and vibrant community of creative and critical thinkers, literary experts, and published scholars from every field
Our Staff

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

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Modules

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.

Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues
Making History
Early Modernity In Europe
The Challenge To Christendom
War & Society In History
Exploring Nineteenth-century Exhibitions
Germans And Nazism Since 1933: Reading Public Opinion Surveys, Diaries And Memoirs
History As Myth-making: The 'myth Of The Blitz'
History In Cartoons: Studying Georgian Satirical Prints
Image Wars In Southeast Asia: Studying 20th Century Propaganda
Investigating Georgian And Victorian Landscapes
Journalism And The Writing Of History
Medieval Chronicles: Historical Writing In The British Isles 540-1300
Seals In Their Context In Medieval England And Wales
Literary Modernisms
The Shapes Of Tragedy
Literature Since 1945
Nineteenth Century Literature
Place And Self
Contemporary Queer Fiction
Forms Of Children's Narrative Prose
Writing Women For The Public Stage, 1670-1780
Demons, Degenerates And New Women: Fin De Siecle Fictions
Shakespeare, Jonson And Company
Society,sexuality And Subversion In The Middle Ages
An Age Of Empire: Britain And Ireland, 1850-1914
East & West In The Age Of Crusades, C. 1070 - C. 1290
Germany Since 1945
Politics And Society In Twentieth-century Britain
Science, Religion And Magic
The Atlantic World, 1492-1825
Civil War And Revolution In Stuart Wales, 1603-1714
Crime, Riot And Morality In Wales 1750-1850
Culture, Society And The Victorians
Expansion, Intervention And Influence: The United States As A Continental Power
From Black Death To Great Fire: The British Town 1349-1700
The British Isles And The ‘english Revolution’
The Soviet Union And The World, 1917-1991
Trosedd, Terfysg A Moesoldeb Yng Nghymru 1750-1850
War, Famine And Plague: England In The Fourteenth Century

Modules delivered partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Llunio Hanes
Concro'r Byd: Tŵf A Chwymp Ymerodraethau Prydain A Ffrainc
Gwrando Ar Hanes: Y Mudiad Hawliau Sifil Yn America
Gwrthdaro A Chydfodolaeth: Cymru O’r Normaniaid Hyd Glyndŵr
Oes Yr Ymerodraeth: Prydain Ac Iwerddon, 1850-1914
Rhyfel Algeria 1952-1964

Employability

A degree in History with English Literature is the “gold standard” for any employment setting where communication is valued. All of our modules deliver key skills that enable you to build a comprehensive C.V. that evidences your diverse range of competencies.

Our graduates have been successful across the widest possible range of career destinations:

  • Broadcasting
  • Journalism
  • Archivist
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Education
  • Civil Service
  • Business
  • Finance
  • New Media

As a department we are very proud of our notable and esteem alumni;

  • Dr Tim Brain, former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire
  • Guto Bebb, Member of Parliament
  • Dr Joanne Cayford, BBC News presenter
  • Berwyn Davies, Head of the Welsh Higher Education Office Brussels
  • Iwan Griffiths, Sports reporter for the S4C (Welsh language broadcast channel)

Heritage sector student placements

Our department has strong links with the heritage sector, and an established portfolio of student placements. In the past, students have spent up to three weeks at the National Library of Wales (including Welsh-medium opportunities), the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historic Monuments of Wales, and the Society of Antiquaries of London. These placements provide the opportunity for ‘hands-on’ experience and insights into the heritage sector, and are very valuable for the CV!

Tweets from 2014 Society of Antiquaries’ placement students:

‘Got to see three copies of the Magna Carta at once today!’ ‘Kudos to Aber Uni for helping me get the placement, can't wait for tomorrow’ 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

International opportunities: Erasmus & the Study Abroad programme

Having a range of experiences is very valuable for life after university, and excellent opportunities are provided by the Erasmus or Study Abroad schemes. History & Welsh History have established Erasmus exchange programmes with universities in Germany, Prague, Budapest and Norway. The Department also has links with a number of American colleges.

Alumni mentoring and graduate talks 

The Alumni Mentoring Scheme will enable you to make contact with past graduates in a range of careers in a safe and supportive environment. History & Welsh History also arranges talks from alumni at different stages of their careers. Recent talks include ‘From university to a career in cultural heritage: first steps’, presented by a recent graduate who now has a place on a prestigious Tate Gallery traineeship.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you will discover;

  • Historical skills, new methods and periods
  • New techniques for approaching literary texts
  • Key figures from literary history
  • Skills in comparative analysis
  • New reading strategies

In your second year you will explore;

  • Historical method- which enables you to explore the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time
  • Historian’s craft
  • Theoretical approaches to the practice of literary criticism
  • Core text from medieval period through to the twentieth century

In your third year you may study;

  • Elizabethan drama
  • Modern ghost stories
  • American Literature
  • Wales under the Tudors
  • Victorian culture and society
  • Independent research project

How will I be taught?

Our degree is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. We also encourage self-directed learning designed to stimulate your academic interest in English Literature and nurture your personal and intellectual development.

You will be assessed through essays, exams and oral presentation. You will also be required to complete additional, non-assessed, assignments and to work with others on particular tasks.

Further information

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; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject; and respond to any task with creativity, flair and style.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or pastoral issues. Your personal tutor will also be responsible for delivering tutorials that will help you in the development of key skills. 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

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30 points overall with 6 points in English Literature at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
65% overall with 70% in specified subject

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