History of Wales

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The MA History of Wales is this department’s flagship Masters programme, as a leading centre of teaching and research in Welsh history from the medieval to the modern period. It offers you the opportunity to explore the history of Wales from a variety of thematic and chronological perspectives, to develop your research skills in Welsh history (including Welsh language tuition), and to pursue your own research project in an aspect of Welsh history under expert supervision from a specialist in the field. This course draws on the unrivalled expertise of our team of Welsh historians in the department to offer a degree scheme suitable both for those who have studied Welsh history in the past and those for whom it is a new field of study.

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


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.

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.

Course Overview

Why study MA History of Wales at Aberystwyth University?

  • Study just five minutes away from one of five UK copyright libraries, the National Library of Wales, home to a multitude of sources for Welsh history, from the medieval period onwards, including estate, court and church records, maps, photographs, newspapers, private archives of many leading figures in Welsh history, the Welsh Political Archive and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales 
  • Aberystwyth has a long tradition of publishing key works in the history of Wales and many prominent Welsh historians have taught here
  • History has been taught in Aberystwyth since 1872, making our department the oldest in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain
  • All our lecturers are active researchers who publish their work
  • You'll benefit from small group teaching
  • You may be able to undertake a work placement as part of this course with an institution that engages on a daily basis with history

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



Many of our Masters graduates go on to PhD study and academic careers.  Others go on to careers in:

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


This course will empower you to:

  •  Develop your subject-specific knowledge and experience
  •  Develop practical skills with regards to locating,  interpreting and analysing historical sources 
  • Increase your critical faculties
  • Develop study and research skills
  • 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
  • Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of work

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course can be studied one year full-time or 24 to 36 months part-time. This course is delivered primarily via seminars, although some research training modules also incorporate workshops and lectures. Students on this course may also be able to undertake a work placement for credit through the Working with History module.

One of the core modules, 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 course 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?

In the first semester, you will study a core module that introduces you to the key concepts, themes and debates in Welsh history. Throughout the year, you will also study a compulsory research training module (Research Methods and Professional Skills in History).

You will then take a further four option modules, including at least one additional research training module, which will allow you to benefit from specialist research training tailored to your own particular research interests. Option modules cover topics in Welsh history from the medieval to the modern period. Although modules are taught in the English language, there will be opportunities to take Welsh language classes, which will be of particular benefit to those looking to engage with Welsh-medium sources. 

In the final semester, you will complete your 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 largely essay based, with some research training modules also incorporating oral assessment, reports/short projects and practical exercises.

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 at the end of the academic year leads to the award of an MA.