History and Welsh History

Key Facts

Code VVC2
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB with B in any subject

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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In choosing to study a History and Welsh History degree at Aberystwyth you will immerse yourself in a wide range of historical periods with a specialism in Welsh history, and you will gain an understanding of how and why the world has evolved the way it has. This course is student-focused and you will be able to build on your existing knowledge of history whilst pursuing what fundamentally interests you. Our History graduates are sought by employers for their highly developed research, analysis, teamwork and communications abilities.

Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of History (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)

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


The History and Welsh History degree scheme allows you to benefit from studying at the world’s leading centre of teaching and research in Welsh history as well as providing the flexibility to explore a range of other historical topics according to your own interests.

Why study History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth?

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. 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.

As a major centre of Welsh and Celtic scholarship, Aberystwyth is home to a wealth of books, newspapers, paintings, photographs and manuscripts relating to the history of Wales and her people. 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 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.

The Department also offers a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the Department.

Our Staff

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


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.





Above national average of history graduates in work six months after graduation!

Alumni from the Department 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.

Heritage sector student placements

History & Welsh History 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. From 2014/15 it is anticipated that placements will also be available in Cardiff and Shrewsbury. 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’ 

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.

Year in Employment Scheme (YES) and GO Wales 

Students can participate in the YES between their penultimate and final year of a degree, spending twelve months in paid work gaining valuable experience before completing their degree. GO Wales offers paid work experience for students, while GO Wales Tasters offer short unpaid placements. Some of the Departmental student placements are offered as GO Wales Tasters, and History & Welsh History fully supports students who wish to participate in YES or GO Wales.

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 and Assessment

The different modes of learning, teaching and assessment employed by History & Welsh History will enable you to develop skills in small group presentation (seminars and oral assessment), formal writing (essays), research and the development of ideas in written form (a dissertation), and working as part of a team (seminars and student conferences, such as the annual Gregynog Medieval Colloquium). History & Welsh History also maintains individual academic tutorials for all students - rare outside Oxbridge - and has a supportive system of personal tutors. Through this one-to-one contact, you will be able to discuss possible careers, or perhaps further study, with academic mentors.

Support from the Careers Service

History & Welsh History has a dedicated link careers adviser, who supports departmental initiatives, provides career talks, workshops on writing CVs and job applications, and offers one-to-one advice. You can access the Careers Service drop in service on a daily basis, or book a longer guidance appointment with a careers adviser.

Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)

You have the opportunity to engage with and record your personal development and achievements throughout your time at university, through an easily accessible structured process. Engaging with HEAR will equip you with the tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Teaching & Learning

On this course you will divide your time equally between studying Welsh history and a choice of other historical topics. There will be some core modules, designed to ease the transition from school to university and to develop key skills, but you will also have a wide choice of option modules covering a range of historical periods and geographical locations. The course will be taught through a variety of methods, including large-group lectures, interactive small-group seminars and individual tutorials. We are committed to student-led, innovative teaching, treating each student as an individual and helping you to fulfil your potential.

Among many skills you will learn: to develop your powers of analysis and critical reflection; to engage with and evaluate critical debates; to develop your own arguments and present them in oral and written work; to apply key theoretical concepts to your study of particular historical periods; to analyse and evaluate primary sources; to work collaboratively and independently and to manage your time effectively.

Most modules will be assessed through essays and exams – both timed exams and takeaway exams that can be completed independently over several days. Some modules include other forms of assessment such as individual projects and oral history interviews. In your final year you will have the opportunity to undertake sustained independent research for a dissertation on a topic of your choice, either relating to Welsh history or another historical theme.

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

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

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB with B in any subject

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

UCAS Tariff:
114 - 128

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30-32 points overall

European Baccalaureate:
70-75% overall

Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary. For further information, please contact

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