BA

Politics and Modern History

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The Politics and Modern History degree at Aberystwyth University is a perfect pairing for students interested in understanding both political theory and the recent past. This degree combines the expertise of political scientists and historians in an integrated course structure that allows you to choose from a range of history and politics modules. Teaching will be shared between the Department of International Politics and the Department of History and Welsh History.

As part of this degree you will explore key themes such as power, violence, economics and society as well as how these forces have shaped the modern world. You will also learn about the development of political thought and international relations and the impact of ideas in forming the political structures we live in. 

Course Overview

Why study Politics and Modern History at Aberystwyth?

  • You will be taught in two departments with long and prestigious histories. History has been taught at Aberystwyth since 1872, and the Department of International Politics was the world's first when it was founded in 1919.
  • You will be guided and mentored by lecturers who are enthusiastic and committed to providing you with an innovative and dynamic learning environment.
  • We have one of the biggest libraries in the world, the National Library of Wales, on our doorstep. This copyright institution receives a copy of every book published in the UK.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in numerous extra-curricular activities during your degree. In the History department, you will have the chance to join the Aberystwyth University History Society and take part in social events and trips to museums and galleries and other history-rich venues. In the International Politics department, you will have the opportunity to take part in the prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) and be active contributors to ‘Interstate’ - the oldest student-run international Politics journal in the UK.
Our Staff

Staff in the Department of History and Welsh History are active researchers and experts in their field of History. Most are qualified to PhD level and hold PGCHE. To find out more about our staff, please visit our departmental staff page.

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

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.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Making History * HY20120 20
People and Power: Understanding Comparative Politics Today IQ23920 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
A War on the Mind: Propaganda and Secret Intelligence from the Great War to the 21st Century IP28320 20
African-American History, 1808 to the Present HY28320 20
Between Revolution and Reform: China since 1800 HY28520 20
Britain and Ireland in War and Peace since 1800 IP28820 20
Britain and World Politics from Global Empire to Brexit: The Diplomacy of Decline IQ22620 20
Capitalism and International Politics IQ22820 20
China From the Opium War to the Present IP29820 20
Climate Change Politics IP21420 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP20720 20
Climate Coloniality IP29520 20
Contemporary Latin America IP28720 20
Crime, Riot and Morality in Wales 1750-1850 WH23420 20
Culture, Society and the Victorians HY29320 20
Devolution and Wales IP25020 20
Economic Diplomacy and Leadership IQ24320 20
Environmental History of the Neotropics (Latin America and the Caribbean) in the Capitalocene HY29120 20
European Security in 21st Century IP23620 20
Famine in Medieval England HY25520 20
From Poor Law to Welfare State: Poverty and Welfare in Modern Britain, 1815-1948 HY29220 20
Gender, Conflict and Security IP26720 20
Germany since 1945 HY29620 20
Global Politics and the Refugee Regime IQ25520 20
International Politics and Global Development IP29220 20
International Politics and the Nuclear Age IP20420 20
International Relations: Perspectives and Debates IP20120 20
Intervention and Humanitarianism IQ20220 20
Knowing about Violent Conflict in International Politics IQ24420 20
Magic in the Middle Ages: From Antiquity to the Eve of the Witch Craze HY25920 20
Media and Society in Twentieth Century Britain HY27520 20
Medieval England and Germany, c. 1050-1250 HY25620 20
Middle Powers in the Global Political Economy IQ27120 20
Militaries and Crisis: Where Strategy Meets Society IP20820 20
Nationalism in Theory and Practice IP29920 20
Political Theory IP22220 20
Politics in Diverse Societies IQ23720 20
Questions of International Politics IP26820 20
Race in Global Politics IQ20020 20
Refugee Simulation IQ25620 20
Roads to Modernity: Germany and Japan in the Age of Empires, 1860s-1930s HY28920 20
Russian Security in the 21st Century IP21820 20
Russian intelligence from Lenin to Putin IQ24920 20
Science, Religion and Magic HY28620 20
Science, Technology, and International Relations IP23020 20
Southeast Asia at the crossroads (c.1400 to the present) HY29920 20
Strategy, Intelligence and Security in International Politics IQ25120 20
Terrorism & Counter Terrorism in the Modern World: Policing, Intelligence & War IP24520 20
The Arab-Israeli Wars IP21320 20
The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY29720 20
The BRICS in World Politics IQ20320 20
The British Army's Image in Battle, from the Crimean to the Present IQ20920 20
The British Isles in the Long Eighteenth Century HY22020 20
The European Reformation HY26520 20
The European Union: Politics, Policies, Problems IP23820 20
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module IP22320 20
The Long Shadow of the Second World War IP22720 20
The Making of Europe: Christendom and beyond, c. 1000-1300 HY25720 20
The Nazi Dictatorship: Regime and Society in Germany 1933-1945 HY29420 20
The Past and Present US Intelligence IP26020 20
The Politics and Paradoxes of International Organisations IQ26020 20
The Second World War in Europe IP26420 20
The Tudors: A European Dynasty? HY20920 20
Total War, Total Peace IQ23420 20
Trade Wars and the Liberal Order IQ21620 20
UK Politics Today: A Union Under Strain? IQ23820 20
Wales and the Kings of Britain: Conflict, Power and Identities in the British Isles 1039-1417 WH20120 20
Wales under the Tudors WH23520 20
War Crimes IQ25720 20
War, Politics and People: England in Context in the Fourteenth Century HY26720 20
Warfare after Waterloo: Military History 1815-1918 IP25320 20
Women and Global Development IP29620 20
History as myth-Making: the 'Myth of the Blitz' HY23420 20
Interdisciplinary and decolonial history HY24320 20
Memory, Myth and History: Investigating Medieval Chronicles, c. 1000-1250 HY24120 20
Reading a Building HY23120 20
Recounting Racism: Oral History and Modern American Race Relations. HY25020 20
Seals in Their Context in Medieval England and Wales HY24420 20
Victorian Visions: Exploring Nineteenth-Century Exhibitions HY24620 20

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
A War on the Mind: Propaganda and Secret Intelligence from the Great War to the 21st Century IP38320 20
African-American History, 1808 to the Present HY38820 20
Between Revolution and Reform: China since 1800 HY38520 20
Britain and Ireland in War and Peace since 1800 IP38820 20
Britain and World Politics from Global Empire to Brexit: the Diplomacy of Decline: IQ32620 20
Capitalism and International Politics IQ32820 20
China From the Opium War to the Present IP39820 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP30720 20
Climate Coloniality IP39520 20
Contemporary Latin America IP38720 20
Crime, Riot and Morality in Wales 1750-1850 WH33420 20
Culture, Society and the Victorians HY39320 20
Devolution and Wales IP35020 20
Economic Diplomacy and Leadership IQ34320 20
Environmental History of the Neotropics (Latin America and the Caribbean) in the Capitalocene HY39120 20
European Security in the 21st Century IP33620 20
Famine in Medieval England HY35520 20
From Poor Law to Welfare State: Poverty and Welfare in Modern Britain, 1815-1948 HY39220 20
Gender, Conflict and Security IP36720 20
Germany since 1945 HY39620 20
Global Politics and the Refugee Regime IQ35520 20
International Politics and the Nuclear Age IP30420 20
Intervention and Humanitarianism IQ30220 20
Knowing about Violent Conflict in International Politics IQ34420 20
Magic in the Middle Ages: From Antiquity to the Eve of the Witch Craze HY35920 20
Media and Society in Twentieth Century Britain HY37520 20
Medieval England and Germany, c. 1050-1250 HY35620 20
Middle Powers in the Global Political Economy IQ37120 20
Militaries and Crisis: Where Strategy Meets Society IP30820 20
Nationalism in Theory and Practice IP39920 20
Political Theory IP32220 20
Politics in Diverse Societies IQ33720 20
Race in Global Politics IQ30020 20
Refugee Simulation IQ35620 20
Roads to Modernity: Germany and Japan in the Age of Empires, 1860s-1930s HY38920 20
Russian Security in the 21st Century IP31820 20
Russian intelligence from Lenin to Putin IQ34920 20
Science, Religion and Magic HY38620 20
Science, Technology, and International Relations IP33020 20
Southeast Asia at the crossroads (c. 1400 to the present) HY39920 20
Terrorism & Counter Terrorism in the Modern World: Policing, Intelligence & War IP34520 20
The Arab Israeli Wars IP31320 20
The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY39720 20
The BRICS in World Politics IQ30320 20
The British Army's Image in Battle, from the Crimean to the Present IQ30920 20
The British Isles in the Long Eighteenth Century HY30120 20
The European Reformation HY36520 20
The European Union: Politics, Policies, Problems IP33820 20
The Long Shadow of the Second World War IP32720 20
The Making of Europe: Christendom and beyond, c. 1000-1300 HY35720 20
The Nazi Dictatorship: Regime and Society in Germany 1933-1945 HY39420 20
The Past and Present of US Intelligence IP36020 20
The Politics and Paradoxes of International Organisations IQ36020 20
The Second World War in Europe IP36420 20
The Tudors: A European Dynasty? HY30920 20
Total War, Total Peace IQ33420 20
Trade Wars and the Liberal Order IQ31620 20
UK Politics Today: A Union Under Strain? IQ33820 20
Wales and the Kings of Britain: Conflict, Power and Identities in the British Isles 1039-1417 WH30120 20
Wales under the Tudors WH33520 20
War Crimes IQ35720 20
War, Politics and People: England in Context in the Fourteenth Century HY36720 20
Women and Global Development IP39620 20
Britain at War 1939-45 (Part 1) HQ37520 20
Britain at War 1939-45 (Part 2) HQ37620 20
Bywyd a Gwaith ym Meysydd Glo Prydain, 1842-1914 (Rhan 1) HP37420 20
Bywyd a Gwaith ym Meysydd Glo Prydain, 1914-1948 (Rhan 2) HP37520 20
Cathedrals in Medieval England and Wales Part 1 HQ33320 20
Cathedrals in Medieval England and Wales Part 2 HQ33420 20
Dissertation * HY30340 40
From Burma to Myanmar (Part I): colonial Burma under British rule (1824-1941) HQ39220 20
From Burma to Myanmar (Part II): Challenges for a young nation state since 1942 HQ39320 20
Gwrthryfel Glyndŵr 1: Hynt a Helynt y Gwrthryfel HP33120 20
Gwrthryfel Glyndŵr 2: Cwestiynau Allweddol HP33220 20
Ritual, kingship and power in Norman and Angevin England: methods, sources & actors (Part 1) HQ33120 20
Ritual, kingship and power in Norman and Angevin England: methods, sources & actors (Part 2) HQ33220 20
The English Reformation, 1520-58: Revolution and Counter Revolution HQ35020 20
The English Reformation, 1558-1648: Consolidation and Conflict HQ35620 20
The Invisible Empires: The First Ku Klux Klan and American Society, 1865-1915 HQ39620 20
The Invisible Empires: The Second Ku Klux Klan and American Society, 1915-1944 HQ39720 20
The Irish in Britain, c. 1850-1922 (Part 2): Community and Conflict HQ35520 20
The Irish in Britain, c.1815-70 (Part 1): Migration and Settlement HQ35420 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Careers

What are our graduates doing now? 

Graduates from our department have pursued careers in: 

  • the Civil Service
  • security services
  • government research departments
  • Public Affairs
  • education
  • social research.

What opportunities are available to me while I study at University?

Employability is embedded across our teaching. We teach our

students to aim for the career they want, not the job that they can get.

  • Parliamentary Placement scheme - This prestigious scheme operated by the Department of International Politics enables you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer. During this time, you will write reports and speeches, undertake research projects, and respond to constituency issues. There may be further opportunities for you to get involved in elections and various international issues.
  • Heritage sector student placements - The Department of 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. These placements provide the opportunity for ‘hands-on’ experience and insights into the heritage sector, and will be valuable additions to your CV!
  • Interstate - The Department of International Politics is also home to the oldest student-run international politics journal in the UK, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.

What skills will acquire if I studied Politics and Modern History at Aberystwyth University?

Studying for a degree in Politics and Modern History will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
  • effective
  • problem-solving and creative thinking skills
  • effective presentation
  • research skills
  • the ability to construct informed arguments under time pressure
  • the ability to work independently
  • time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
  • using the most up-to-date resources and digital platforms.

International opportunities

Aberystwyth University offers you the opportunity of a lifetime to study, volunteer or work in another country, for an academic year, a single semester or a few weeks during your holidays. Explore other cultures, challenge yourself and gather experiences which will help with your career. Time spent exploring a new culture can sharpen your interpersonal skills, improve your language ability, and broaden your international mindset. Find out where you can go.

Alumni mentoring and graduate talks 

The eMentoring Scheme will enable you to make contact with past

graduates in a range of careers within a safe and supportive environment, offering you the chance to find out how they progressed into their current roles and what insights they can offer you as you think about your next steps. The Department of History & Welsh History collaborates with the Careers Service with the aim of arranging talks from alumni at different stages of their careers, such as the successful ‘From university to a career in cultural heritage: first steps’, presented by a recent graduate who secured a place on a prestigious Tate Gallery traineeship.

What other work experience opportunities exist while studying? 

Find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

International opportunities

Information about opportunities to spend time abroad during your degree can be found under the 'Studying Abroad' tab in the main left-hand menu on the homepages of both departments.

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 will discover:

  • historical skills
  • new methods and periods
  • the most exciting recent historical and political works
  • the development and progress of international relations during the twentieth century
  • a range of perspectives and approaches to the study of international politics.

In the second and Third year you will explore topics such as:

  • historical method
  • political theory
  • early modernity in Europe
  • war and society in History
  • the evolution of warfare since Napoleon
  • romantic Wales
  • gender in History
  • British society and the French revolution
  • Napoleon
  • Britain at war
  • the Third Reich
  • the Vietnam War
  • ritual , kingship and power in Norman and Angevin England
  • political and historical aspects of the Cold War
  • the intelligence and security in the twentieth century
  • the role of warfare in the history of key states and regions (such as the USA, Russia UK & Ireland, and the Middle East).

How will I be taught?

We deliver this degree through the medium of lectures and seminars.

We will assign you a personal tutor who will be with you throughout your degree, this person will help you any problems whether these are academic-related or personal issues.

We assess our students through essays, reports, examinations, book reviews, learning logs and presentations.

We encourage our students to take part in the Crisis Games, which is a yearly residential activity away from Aberystwyth. Crisis games have been based on humanitarian and environmental crises, the Northern Ireland peace process, the US presidential election, war between Russia and Georgia, Iran’s nuclear programme, Brexit. The Crisis Games will allow you to learn about aspects of international politics which cannot be taught in lectures and seminars, especially the constraints which political leaders face in responding to various crises. This is no doubt, the highlight of the year. 

Student Testimonials

The Politics and Modern History course at Aberystwyth University provided me with an excellent opportunity to experience the expertise of two fantastic departments. The VI35 course is tailored especially for students who are fascinated about how our world has changed over time, and the important political components of that change. The ability to choose from an extended list of modules in both departments has allowed me to focus on the aspects of historical and political change that I find the most interesting. Furthermore, the staff and their expertise have provided me with an exceptional learning experience and outstanding student support.

Alan Donaldson

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-MMM

International Baccalaureate:
30-26

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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