Welsh / International Relations

BA Welsh / International Relations Code 5FQL

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By choosing to study the joint honours BA degree in Welsh and International Relations at Aberystwyth University, you will divide your time between the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies and the Department of International Politics - two departments with excellent reputations. The Department of Welsh is the oldest and largest of its kind in the world. It is home to a lively community of students and researchers who share the aim of promoting a wider understanding of the Welsh language, its history, its literature and its place in the contemporary world.

The staff who teach on the course are experts in a variety of fields and, consequently, you will be able to choose from a wide variety of subjects that will be sure to interest you. International Relations is an utterly dynamic subject. It reflects liveliness, energy and world developments that are rapidly changing. This element of the course is studied in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, which is the best department in the UK for studying international relations. The department is also home to the Institute of Welsh Politics. The combination of excellent teaching and exciting research creates a unique and extraordinary experience here within a very friendly environment. There are also numerous opportunities to develop transferable skills which will improve your chances of securing a career.

Course Overview

Why study Welsh and International Relations at Aberystwyth?

  • Ever since the College in Aberystwyth was established in 1872, the Department of Welsh has been contributing to the education and cultural life of the nation, in the field of literature and other media, education, politics and journalism. A number of the most eminent scholars and writers in Wales taught and studied here.
  • The department maintains consistently high standards and offers courses that are attractive, interesting and relevant to a way of seeing Wales and the world through the medium of Welsh. During your time as a student with us, you will be able to choose from a wide variety of modules that encompass a wide range of interests, and you will soon feel at home and become a part of the lively community within the department. You will be taught by experts who are innovators in their specialist areas and you will study an exciting and challenging course. The Department of Welsh is a close-knit, friendly department and our staff take pride in their relationship with the students.
  • According to the last Research Excellence Framework (2014), 90% of the research in the department was recognised internationally. Also, half of the department's research output was considered excellent internationally, and a quarter recognised as the best in the world. By studying here, you will deepen your understanding of the Welsh language, its rich literature, and its culture. In Aberystwyth, it's difficult to avoid the Welsh buzz (language and culture) and this is a big advantage for students who choose to study Welsh as a subject.
  • The International Relations element of the degree focuses on power and justice, conflict and cooperation. You will study the human condition and the way in which human societies engage with each other and deal with all kinds of global changes - economically, culturally and politically. International Relations is an exciting and interdisciplinary subject which looks at Politics, History, Philosophy, Law, Geography and Sociology to try and understand the world around us and the problems facing it today.
  • The Department of International Politics was established in 1919 at the end of the First World War, and this is the first university department of its kind. It continues to be one of the largest politics and international relations departments in Europe, and it has over 40 academic members of staff. The department has a long history of looking at the world and asking basic questions about a range of subjects, such as war, intelligence and security, global poverty, ethics and climate change; how the world came to be what it is today, and how that constantly changes. The combination of excellent teaching and some of the most exciting research in the this field creates a unique and extraordinary experience.
  • The Department is renowned for its innovative research work and is recognised as the best in the UK for the study of international politics. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department was named the best International Politics department in Wales, and 7th best in the UK for the quality of its research, with 69% of publications deemed to be of a standard that meets the best class in the World and excellent at an international level.
  • We have another big advantage in Aberystwyth since the town is home to the National Library of Wales, which is a copyright library. Only five copyright libraries exist in the UK, and our National Library is one of them. It holds more than 6 million books, maps and prints. The Centre for Advance Welsh and Celtic Studies is also nearby. By choosing to come here to Aberystwyth, you will also be joining a lively programme of public lectures, launches, performances and discussions that take place regularly in the Department and elsewhere throughout the year.

Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies are research active scholars and experts in their chosen fields of study, including the study of languages and literatures as well as creative writing.

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
Behind the Headlines IP12620 20
Exploring the International 1: Central Concepts and Core Skills * IP12420 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Globalization and Global Development IP12520 20
Politics in the 21st Century * IP12920 20
The Making of the Modern World: War Peace and Revolution since 1789 IP12820 20
War, Strategy and Intelligence IP10320 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Our Politics graduates have been very successful in finding careers. Some of our graduates have found work in:

  • the Civil Service (especially the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence, and the Department of International Development)
  • international institutes (NATO, the European Union and the United Nations)
  • non-governmental bodies (International Amnesty, Oxfam)
  • political research, with private companies as well as in the Westminster Government
  • the Welsh Parliament and the Senate of Europe.

Others have found work in:

  • the armed forces
  • the media (as journalists or radio or television presenters)
  • law
  • education.

Another popular choice is to stay in higher education, and a good number of graduates choose to study a Master degree or PhD in the Department's impressive school for postgraduates.

Transferable skills

Studying for a degree in Politics will equip you with a wide range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • researching and analysing data
  • thinking creatively and effective problem solving
  • the ability to work independently
  • organisation and time management, including the ability to meet tight deadlines
  • expressing ideas and communicating information in a clear and orderly fashion, both orally and in writing
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team work, the ability to discuss concepts in groups, by discussing a variety of ideas and reaching an agreement
  • IT skills.

Year in Employment

The University runs a Year in Employment Scheme (YES) which offers the opportunity for undergraduate students to take a year out between the second and third years of their course to work for an employer in the UK or abroad. This scheme provides students with a valuable and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and it can help you to stand out in the very competitive jobs market. The University Careers Service can help you to consider your options and find a suitable work placement.

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University Careers Service, which works with local businesses to create paid work placements for students over a period of a few weeks. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will be a worthwhile addition to your CV and will make you more attractive to future employers.

Course Content

What will you learn?

The Department of Welsh offers a large number of modules in the first year that include a review of some of the highlights of our literature, from the 6th century through to the 19th century. By studying these modules, you will be introduced to recent prose and poetry which you will look at critically.

In the first year, there is a series of lectures on different aspects of history and Welsh dialects available to first language students. The module on cultural media is another popular module. It traces the various media that were used to convey culture in Wales.

In the second and third years, you will be able to choose from a wide range of modules. At this point, first language and second language students will be able to choose the same modules. Those modules include subjects as diverse as "Creative Writing", "Welsh: Language of Education and language of Society", "Welsh in the Workplace" and "History and the Essentials of Literary Criticism". You will have the opportunity to choose modules that are of particular interest to you, or choose modules that are more vocational.

The purpose of the first year modules in the Department of International Politics is to provide you with wide-ranging knowledge while you prepare to study in more depth during your second and third years. These modules will introduce you to the key concepts and debates as well as the most important international politics topics. You will follow a core module "Introduction to International Politics". You can also choose from a range of other modules that reflect varied chronology and themes so that you can choose the topics that are of particular interest to you.

In your second and third years, you will have an opportunity to specialise in the subjects that interest you the most. Examples of modules include: "Globalisation, Resistance and Changes in World Politics", "Intelligence and International Security" and "War, Politics and Strategy". These modules reflect the latest research in these areas, which means that Aberystwyth students get to hear the latest ideas even before they are published and sold in the book shops!

How will you be taught?

In the Department of Welsh, the teaching is presented via a combination of traditional lectures, seminars and other innovative teaching methods. The seminars have a more informal atmosphere, so that open discussion can be nurtured. Students' work is assessed by means of exams, continuous assessment, and through setting and marking essays and exercises.

In the Department of International Politics, you will learn via a combination of lectures and seminars. In the lectures, subjects are introduced and key issues are discussed, and in the seminars you will join a smaller group of students to discuss and analyse topics in more depth and in a more informal atmosphere. Seminars are therefore a great way for you to test your own ideas and discuss your own experiences, as well as share experiences and ideas with your fellow students. Some of the modules in Part Two (the second and third years) use seminars only, which is a taste of studying a Master degree, while others use simulations, role play, and the latest e-learning techniques.

The majority of modules are assessed through a combination of exams and essays, but projects, presentations and book reviews are also used to assess students occasionally.

Personal Tutor

A personal tutor will be assigned to you for the entire duration of your degree course, and the tutor will be able to help you with any problems or queries, on an academic or personal level. You are welcome to contact your personal tutor at any time if you need assistance.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC to include B in Welsh 1st or 2nd Language

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

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM, plus B in A level Welsh 1st or 2nd Language

International Baccalaureate:
30-28, plus B in A level Welsh 1st or 2nd Language

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall, plus B in A level Welsh 1st or 2nd Language

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 applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma. 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 are studying a qualification not listed on this page, please get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further advice. For further information, contact

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