History and Heritage

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The study of how history is engaged with outside academia is a major growth area of research.  The MA History and Heritage at Aberystwyth has been developed both for those who are interested in the academic study of this interplay and those who are interested in pursuing careers in the heritage industry itself.  It offers you the opportunity to explore key concepts and debates in heritage studies, to acquire some heritage business related skills, and to participate for academic credit in a work placement with a leading heritage organisation.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:1 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent. Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Fees and Finance

Applications can be made online by visiting our Postgraduate Application Portal, or can be made offline (by post or email). Please see our How to Apply page for more detail. 


One year full-time, or up to three years for part-time study

Contact Time:

Approximately 6 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The course is assessed through a diverse range of assignments, including the 15,000 word MA dissertation.  

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.


For more information on the course, please contact Dr Michael Roberts at

For more information on the application process or entrance requirements, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office at or +44 (0) 1970 622270. 

Course Overview

Why study MA History and Heritage at Aberystwyth University?

  • Study just five minutes away from one of five UK copyright libraries, the National Library of Wales 
  • Undertake a work placement as part of this course with an institution that engages on a daily basis with history 
  • Our Department has strong links with the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments and the National Library of Wales - two nearby and significant organisations
  • History has been taught in Aberystwyth since 1872, making our department the oldest in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain
  • Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014
  • All of our lecturers are research active and are recognised as leading authorities in their respective fields
  • Benefit from small group teaching
  • Benefit from expertise across the university when engaging with the concepts of heritage and public history
  • Engage with a major growth area of research and gain hands-on experience in Heritage issues

Modules September start - 2024

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.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Qualification:             MA in Heritage and History


Graduates from the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth have expansive and varied careers. Many of our Masters graduates go on to PhD study and academic careers.  Others go on to careers in:

  • Museums and archives
  • heritage administration
  • tourism
  • public administration
  • the civil service
  • local government
  • teaching
  • journalism
  • the broadcast media
  • publishing


This course will empower you to:

  • Increase your critical faculties
  • Develop study and research skills
  • Gain academic and practical expertise of heritage and historical processes
  • Develop strong writing and analytical skills as well as the capacity to work independently
  • Develop your abilities in structuring and communicating complex ideas clearly, accurately, and authoritatively 

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course can be studied one year full-time or 24 to 36 months part-time. Depending on the modules chosen, the course is delivered through a combination of seminars, tutorials, workshops, and a compulsory work placement with a heritage agency.

The core module, Research Methods and Professional Skills in History, will also require students to attend Departmental Research seminars, where students will be immersed into the research culture of the Department.

Throughout the year students will also receive workshops to aid them in researching and writing their dissertation, and during the final semester, students will arrange their level of contact time with their assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

When studied full-time, the first two semesters consist of six 20 credit modules. Students will take the following core modules: Concepts and Sources in Heritage Studies, Research Methods and Professional Skills in History, and Working with History, a work placement module for academic credit, where students play a full part in the work of a major heritage agency.

Students then take a further three optional modules, including at least one additional research training module. Option modules are varied and allow students to direct their study of heritage organisations and the presentation of the past in a historical context.

In the final semester, students complete their MA dissertation, an original research project (15,000 words) undertaken under the close supervision of a specialist within the Department.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment for this course is varied. Depending on the modules taken, students will be assessed via a combination of essays, reports, group projects, practical exercises, oral assessments and written examinations. Assessment for the Working with History module consists of a 2,000 word analytical diary, a 4,000 word essay, and a short oral presentation.

The Research Methods and Professional Skills in History module will be assessed via an oral assessment of MA conference presentation, an assessed outline of an MA conference presentation, a critical assessment of a departmental research seminar, and a dissertation research proposal.  

Successful submission of the MA dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MA.