BA History / Film and Television Studies

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

The Aberystwyth Joint Honours Film and Television Studies schemes provide a rigorous and challenging programme of study, combining practical and theoretical approaches to the examination of film and television histories, productions, institutions and audiences.

Overview

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

The Department is one of the largest and most highly regarded in Britain in terms of staff reputation and the quality of the student experience. We can offer you an unrivalled range of student choice, staff expertise, and state-of-the-art facilities for practical work, including industry standard HD and digital cameras, editing suites, viewing areas and practical work spaces, so that you can utilise your creative skills to the full. Further facilities are available to you through our strategic partnerships with Boom Pictures Cymru, Wales’s largest independent television production company; Theatr Arad Goch, an Aberystwyth-based community theatre; and BBC Wales, whose local offices and studios are housed within the Department. The National Sound and Screen Archive of Wales is also situated next to the campus in the National Library of Wales, so that you can benefit from an unrivalled source of material.

90% of our 2014 Theatre, Film and Television graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 7 percentage point increase on the previous year (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.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest campus arts centres in the UK, is situated on the main university campus, and is a popular venue where you can stage your work and enjoy performances and screenings of all kinds.

History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the University in 1872, making the Department of History and Welsh History the oldest History department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. Despite our heritage we continue to innovate to ensure that you get the best History degree you possibly can.

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 and several continents. The single honours History degree scheme (V100) is the most popular course in the department, and our students consistently rate it very highly in the National Student Surveys.

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 of History and Welsh History, and the lively History Society organises a programme of guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events throughout the year.

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 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.

Our Staff

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

All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.

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 (60 Credits) Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Studying Film FM10120

Semester 2

Studying Television FM10220

Introduction To Media Production (semester 2) FM10520

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 Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students, may subject to the demands of their other scheme, take one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Studying Media FM10620

Hollywood Cinema: 1917-1960 FM10920

British Cinema FM11020

Semester 2

Studying Communication FM10720

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 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 Joint Honours Film and TV Studies Students must take a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum of 40 credits from the following critical theory modules:

Semester 1

Television Genre FM20620

Documentary Screens FM20720

Film Genre FM20920

Fairy Tales FM26120

Semester 2

Hollywood Cinema (1967-now) FM21020

Contemporary Television Drama FM21220

Case Studies In Contemporary Art Cinema FM24420

Digital Culture FM25520

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 Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students must take a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Writing For Film And Television FM21620

Creative Documentary FM26520

Semester 2

Creative Studio FM25420

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

Final Year Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies Students must take at least 20 credits from the following critical theory modules (including the Independent Research Project NB: this is worth 40 credits: 20 in each semester):

Semester 1

Cinema And Stardom FM31320

Experimental Cinema FM34520

Moving Image Technologies: How Pictures Became Animated FM35820

Independent Research Project FM36000

Semester 2

The Surveillance Society FM32420

Film Authorship FM32920

Independent Research Project FM36040

Television And Society In Britain In The 20th Century FM36220

Final Year Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students may take up to 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Experimental Media Production FM33500

Documentary Production FM33700

Fiction Film Production FM34200

Scriptwriting 1 FM37020

Semester 2

Experimental Media Production FM33540

Documentary Production FM33740

Fiction Film Production FM34240

Scriptwriting 2 FM37120

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

Employability

The degree scheme provides a balance between critical approaches and creative practical experience to develop the skills needed for career opportunities within the creative industries and beyond. Students are supported through every year of study to enhance their employability skills and are encouraged to develop their reflective practice and self-motivation. 

Students learn how to become effective communicators and how to work as part of a team when collaborating in production groups. You will have access to some of the most up-to-date facilities such as a multi-camera high definition digital television studio, high-definition digital video cameras and digital and video projection facilities to develop your practical production work skills. Special master classes are arranged with specialists including: pitching competitions, sound design workshops, production design for film, hair and make-up design and special effects and presenting yourself professionally. Students can also develop their experience and knowledge of working in a bilingual environment and students can perform through the medium of Welsh and English.

The Department has excellent links with local, national and international production companies providing students opportunities to gain an insight into the industry and develop their networking skills. A guest speaker programme gives students access to industry experts to develop their knowledge of the creative industries and showcase their work and ideas.

Work placements are actively encouraged to allow students to develop the transferable and professional skills which will enable them to succeed in the workplace. In recent years students have been able to take placement opportunities with the BBC, Fiction Factory and Boom Pictures.

The Department has a close working relationship with the Careers Service and a link careers adviser will work with you to support your career development at university and the transition into the workplace. Careers events are held in the department to make students aware of opportunities available to them such as the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) and GO Wales. These schemes provide opportunities to gain valuable experience in the workplace and test out your career ideas. 

Many students find employment with film and television companies, working as researchers, editors, floor managers, camera operators, designers or directors. Equally many graduates find employment in a variety of different areas including teaching, administration, marketing public relations, and advertising. Your degree will provide you with excellent inter-personal skills and transferable skills including experience in group work, leadership, planning, budget management and personal motivation.

Alumni from the Department of History and Welsh History include Dr Tim Brain, former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire; Guto Bebb MP; Dr Joanne Cayford, BBC News producer; Berwyn Davies, Head of the Welsh Higher Education Office Brussels; and Iwan Griffiths, sports reporter for S4C

History is a subject that can lead into a wide range of careers. Graduates from the Department of History & Welsh History have for example found work as teachers, lawyers, archivists, publishers, politicians and civil servants, and also in the media, big business, the armed forces, and as entrepreneurs. This is because History is a subject that equips you with the skills to discover, analyse and interpret information, and to present your findings in a clear and convincing manner – as well as providing insights into humanity throughout the ages.

The Department of History & Welsh History is proud of the careers forged by its graduates and offers guidance and support about life after university, directed by an academic employability coordinator. This includes support from your personal tutor; talks, workshops and one-to-one sessions provided through the Careers Service; access to mentoring from alumni; and student placements in heritage organisations.

Transferable Skills

In addition to subject specific skills and knowledge, studying for a degree in Film and Television Studies and History will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include the ability to:

               apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations

               research, evaluate and organise information

               structure and communicate ideas effectively in a variety of situations and using a variety of means

               work independently and with others

               effectively organise your time and deploy your skills

               listen to and make use of critical advice

               be self-motivated and self-disciplined

               use a range of information technology skills and resources

               be entrepreneurial in developing projects

You will be able to gather, assimilate and interpret intellectual and aesthetic material independently and critically, deploying creative and imaginative skills developed through the realisation of individual and group practical and research projects. You will also have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently and creatively through oral, written and visual means to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames with specific resources and to specific deadlines.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The Film and Television Studies degree scheme have been carefully designed to ensure an integrated academic experience which will enrich and inform the development of your creative, critical and technical skills through innovative practical work and challenging scholarly enquiry.

In the first year, you will be introduced to the study of film and television and will develop your practical skills in all stages of the media production process. If you have studied History before, it will set your previous historical studies in a wider context; if you have not taken History at A level, it will serve as an ideal introduction to the subject. The module identifies new concepts and historical skills, new methods and periods, and some of the most exciting recent historical works. You will also be able to choose other 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 the second and third years you will continue to develop your production skills and build up expertise in key production techniques. You will also study the specific histories and traditions of film and television. In your second year, you will also 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.

In your final year you will have the opportunity to focus on a specific area including experimental media, documentary, narrative fiction or scriptwriting. Alternatively, you may wish to produce an original piece of scholarship, the dissertation, you will have the opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest to you. In your third year, as well as choosing a number of modules from a wide range, you select a special subject which enables you to study a specific historical topic in depth and allows an extensive use of original sources, deploying the critical research skills of a practising historian.

You may also undertake work experience as part of your course, which will enhance your employability prospects and enable you to gain and reinforce transferable skills.

How will I be taught? 

You will be taught through a complementary set of teaching and learning methods and approaches, ranging from formal lectures and seminars to screenings, technical demonstrations and group-based project work. This diversity of activity is an essential part of the Department’s philosophy, and creates a uniquely exciting and productive learning environment. 

You will be assessed through a variety of methods including group-devised productions, individual film and video projects, research projects, practical analyses, production diaries and creative scriptwriting as well as formal essays and examinations. In addition, supplementary assessment methods such as storyboards, screenplays, pitches, treatments and films are designed to generate a working portfolio of material which you will be able to present to potential employers.

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 most about Film and Television Studies is the teaching staff. They are experienced professionals who are dynamic, enthusiastic and most importantly, approachable; it makes learning fun and my confidence has improved as a result. I also enjoy the various modules on offer. The practicals are great as they allow me to experiment with my own ideas but at the same time they teach me valuable skills. My favourite modules so far are Scriptwriting; Imagining the Short; and Writing for Film and Television. I love to write creatively and these modules enable me to develop my imagination. 

Angela Wendy Rumble

Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University is brilliant. The course has a great atmosphere which you can tell from how well-connected the students and lecturers are. The academic side of the course is illuminating, touching on a wide variety of topics and dealing with each of these in detail, which works well even for those students who want to focus more on the more practical modules. In addition the department provides plenty of opportunities for work experience as well as chances for students to hone their skills out of the classroom with departmental equipment. There is also a well-supported film society. 

Joe Williams

What I love about Film and Television Studies is the variety of different areas I've had the opportunity to be a part of. Last year I would never have had the confidence or know-how to organise a production team, to make and market short films and to work in a 3 camera studio. What I wanted from Aberystwyth University were the skills to become a film-maker; what I got were practical skills, knowledge of academic debates, and contacts that have given me an insight into the film and television industry. 

Peter Gosiewski

I love History (V100) because it's the perfect course for people who enjoy history, but don’t know what area of History that they prefer most. I came to university in this position, but this course offers you a chance to study many different periods. During my time on V100 I have studied many different eras and events, from the Black Death and Medieval Wales, right up British Politics in the twentieth century. I love V100 because it does not constrain you like other courses and allows you discover your true inner Historian. 

Christopher Pines

Studying History at Aberystwyth has been brilliant. The ability to pick modules and cater to your tastes has allowed me to pursue what I want. If I want to study Russia I can. Alongside this the great teaching staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge who provide excellent teaching. I can approach them very easily and they are willing to give me the time and support I need. I can ask for help with essays and advice on what to read and research. Reading is key as a historian and both the Hugh Owen Library and National Library of Wales are great resources for getting books. In my two years of studying history I have not once regretted my choice, and going into my third year I cannot wait.

 Connor Lambert

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

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