BA

Modern and Contemporary History

Key Facts

Code V191
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB with B in any subject

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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The Modern and Contemporary History degree covers the period from the French Revolution to the present day. It explores an era marked by mass participation, whether in politics, war or culture. It illuminates the contradictions of modernity- characterized by utopian experiments and their often nightmarish outcomes, by the proclamation of human rights, genocide and ethnic cleansing, and by the promise of reason, science and technology.

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

Overview

Why study Modern and Contemporary History 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.
  • Our degrees are innovative ensuring you can get the best qualification.
  • You will study in a University that is ranked top 4 in the UK and 1st in Wales for student satisfaction (NSS, 2016). 
  • Our subject areas range from early to modern history, political history, social history, economic and cultural history.
  • In addition to a fine University library, as a History student at Aberystwyth, you will have access to the National Library of Wales. One of only five copyright libraries in the United Kingdom, with over six million books, maps, prints and manuscripts, this prestigious library is situated within a five-minute walk of the Department. You will find this an especially valuable and helpful resource when studying your special subject and writing your dissertation in your final year.
  • Exciting exchange opportunities available.
Our Staff

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

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.

Employability

What career prospects are there for a Modern and Contemporary History graduate?

Our graduates have been successful in securing a profession in many different fields, including:

  • Education
  • Law
  • Archivists
  • Publishers
  • Politicians
  • Civil Servants
  • Media
  • Armed Forces
  • Entrepreneurs

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 
  • 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’ 

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 may discover:

  • New concepts and historical skills
  • New methods and periods
  • Russian History
  • Britain and the Frist World War
  • Exciting recent historical works
  • Our choice of other modules which reflect a broad chronological and thematic range

In the second year you may explore:

  • Historical method, which examines the way in which the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time
  • Crime, Riots and Morality in Wales (1750-1850)
  • The Victorian Culture and Society
  • an insight into the historian’s craft
  • our different topics and periods from our extensive module list

In your third year you may study:

  • A special subject which enables you go into in depth research, using original sources all of which enabling you to deploy the critical research skills of a practising historian
  • The British Society and the French revolution
  • Russia and Stalinism
  • Germany and the Nazi regime
  • The Vietnam War

 How will I be taught?

The different modes of learning, teaching and assessment employed by History & Welsh History department 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.

Student Views

With a wide range of modules to choose from I was able to pursue the things I was interested in as well as discovering aspects to History I previously had not thought I would ever be able to look at. Being able to study everything from the industrial revolution to niche subjects was the kind of experience that drew me to Aberystwyth, and you don't find that anywhere else! John Samuel Hewish

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB with B in any subject

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM

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 ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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