Welsh Politics and Society (Specialist)

Key Facts

Course Code L299ES
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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This innovative scheme provides a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding contemporary Wales. The scheme will equip postgraduate students with a strong grounding in the historical, cultural, socio-economic and political context of contemporary Wales; critical engagement with key intellectual debates regarding Wales’ politics, society and history; knowledge of the constitutional arrangements and institutional structures which shape devolved government and policy-making in Wales, and an understanding of the broader UK and European context and trends in territorial politics, regional policy and governance.

Key Facts


One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Approximately 12-14 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


Assessment will be through a combination of examinations, project work, short reports, essays and dissertation.  It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

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.


Why study MA Welsh Politics and Society at Aberystwyth University?

  • Develop an advanced level understanding of the context to, and developments in, politics and society in Wales and a critical awareness of the broader context of contemporary Welsh politics
  •  This course emphasises employability, with students having the option of completing a work-based learning module
  •  This scheme forms a key component of the work of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society (WISERD) at Aberystwyth University, enabling students to study in the context of a world-leading research centre on contemporary political, social and economic issues of relevance to Wales
  •  Opportunity to participate in Centre for Welsh Politics and Society thematic groups and workshops
  •  Benefit from the expertise of three prestigious departments at Aberystwyth University as part of this interdisciplinary masters course (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Department of History and Welsh History and Department of International Politics, the latter of which houses the scheme)
  •  The Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University is the world’s first university department of International Politics and is ranked in the top 40 in the world for academic reputation (QS, 2017), with 76% of its publications deemed either world leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014) 
  • This programme also offers tranches of modules as 5-credit CPD provision which is ideal to enhance the employability of those already in work but seeking to develop their expertise in particular areas
Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and 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.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Human Geography Theory and Method GGM1320 20
Research Methods and Professional Skills in History HYM0120 20
Understanding Wales in an Age of Global Transformation * IPM6620 20
Welsh Politics and Society Dissertation * GGM3560 60


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Class and Community in Wales 1850 - 1939 WHM1220 20
Language Policy and Planning in Wales Today * IPM9520 20
The EU in Crisis? Integration and Fragmentation IPM0220 20
The Making of Modern Wales WHM1920 20
The State Through the Ages * IPM4220 20
Working with History HYM9920 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh



Our graduates have expansive career opportunities. Previous graduates from this scheme have gone on to work:

  • in politics at the local government,  sub-state, state and EU-levels
  • for the Civil Service in Wales and at an UK level
  • as journalists and broadcasters
  • within academia
  • as governmental and social researchers
  • as political assistants and advisers
  • for NGOs, third sector organisations and charities
  • for Think Tanks
  • for Public Affairs companies
  • as teachers
  • in the private sector, including leadership roles in business/industry (CEOs/Chairmans)
  • with international organisations


This course is also valuable preparation for PhD study.


This MA Programme will empower you to:

  • Develop a strong grounding in the historical, cultural, socio-economic and political context of contemporary Wales and engage critically with key intellectual debates and policy issues
  • Develop your abilities in structuring and communicating complex ideas efficiently
  • Enhance your skills in argument formation, debate, and presentation
  • Develop research and study skills
  • Develop strong analytical skills
  • Write for and speak to a range of audiences
  • Evaluate and organise information
  • Work effectively independently and as part of a team
  • Work within time frames and to specific deadlines
  • Reflect and self-improve

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This is a one year full-time course, divided into three semesters and delivered primarily through seminars and workshops. During the first two semesters, you will normally take one two-hour seminar per module per week.

Students will be immersed into the vibrant graduate culture of the Departments contributing to the scheme and will have further contact with academic staff through participation in Centre for Welsh Politics and Society thematic groups and workshops, attendance at departmental research seminars, and through staff office hours.

Throughout the year students will 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?

Students on this course will undertake a core module which introduces them to how contemporary major global transformations play out at the sub-state level in the specific Welsh context.

Students will then undertake one of two research training modules (either Research Methods and Professional Skills in History or Geographical Research Methodologies) followed by a further four modules from a variety of option modules offered by the Department of International Politics, the Department of History and Welsh History, and the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. Examples of option modules can be found in the modules tab.

This scheme also allows students the option to study a work-based learning module. Past students have worked for the Political Unit at BBC Wales, the National Assembly for Wales, and in Ceredigion County Council European unit.

In the final semester, students undertake a 60 credit master’s dissertation.  

How will I be assessed?

This scheme offers a range of assessment methods. Depending on the modules chosen, assessment may include essays, reports, presentations, research proposals, policy recommendations and literature reviews. Work experience modules also entail journals/reflective diaries.

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