You are viewing this course for September start 2024
The Modern and Contemporary History degree at Aberystwyth University covers the period from the French Revolution to the present day. It explores an era marked by mass participation, whether in politics, war or culture. It illuminates the contradictions of modernity - characterized by utopian experiments and their often nightmarish outcomes, by the proclamation of human rights, genocide and ethnic cleansing, and by the promise of reason, science and technology.
By choosing to study this degree scheme, you will benefit from the broad range of expertise of our modern Historians whose work spans the globe. Learn about the impact of the two world wars, about imperialism and decolonisation, Asia’s journey through the modern age and the great changes to life and society that have occurred in our recent past.
Why study Modern and Contemporary History at Aberystwyth University?
- History has been taught in Aberystwyth since 1872, making our department the most established in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain.
- Our teaching is innovative, research-based and designed to develop students’ transferable skills in areas such as analysis, interpretation and communication, which prepares them for a wide range of careers.
- You will be taught by experts who specialise in a wide range of modern and contemporary topics, from Asian migration in the modern world and Media and Society in twentieth century Britain, to Weimar Germany and the Third Reich.
- As an Aberystwyth History student, you will have full use of the National Library of Wales, one of the five Copyright Libraries of the UK and Wales’s leading archive repository.
- As part of your degree, you will have the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university, to undertake Heritage sector work placements and to plan for your future career.
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.
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.
|'Hands on' History: Sources and their Historians
|Introduction to History *
|Europe and the World, 1000-2000
|Medieval and Early Modern Britain and Europe, 1000-1800
|People, Power and Identity: Wales 1200-1999
|The Modern World, 1789 to the present
|Making History *
* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh
What career prospects are there for a Modern and Contemporary History graduate?
Our graduates have been successful in securing a profession in many different fields, including:
- the Civil Service
- the media
- the armed forces
As a department we are very proud of our notable and esteem alumni:
- Dr Tim Brain, former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire
- Guto Bebb, Member of Parliament
- Dr Joanne Cayford, BBC
- Berwyn Davies, Head of the Welsh Higher Education Office Brussels
- Iwan Griffiths, Sports reporter for the S4C (Welsh language broadcast channel).
Heritage sector student placements
Our department 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 are valuable additions to the CV!
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?
Click here to 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.
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 may discover:
- new concepts and historical skills
- new methods and periods
- Russian history
- Britain and the First World War
- exciting recent historical works
- our choice of other modules which reflect a broad chronological and thematic range.
In the second year you may explore:
- historical method, which examines the way in which the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time
- crime, riots and morality in Wales (1750-1850)
- the Victorian culture and society
- an insight into the historian’s craft
- our different topics and periods from our extensive module list.
In your third year you may study:
- a special subject which enables you go into in depth research, using original sources all of which enabling you to deploy the critical; research skills of a practising historian
- British society and the French revolution
- Russia and Stalinism
- Germany and the Nazi regime
- the Vietnam War.
How will I be taught?
The different modes of learning, teaching and assessment employed by History & Welsh History department will enable you to develop skills in small group presentation (seminars and oral assessment), formal writing (essays), research and the development of ideas in written form (a dissertation), and working as part of a team (seminars and student conferences, such as the annual Gregynog Medieval Colloquium). History & Welsh History also maintains individual academic tutorials for all students - rare outside Oxbridge - and has a supportive system of personal tutors. Through this one-to-one contact, you will be able to discuss possible careers, or perhaps further study, with academic mentors.
With a wide range of modules to choose from I was able to pursue the things I was interested in as well as discovering aspects to History I previously had not thought I would ever be able to look at. Being able to study everything from the industrial revolution to niche subjects was the kind of experience that drew me to Aberystwyth, and you don't find that anywhere else! John Samuel Hewish
Typical Entry Requirements
UCAS Tariff 120 - 96
A Levels BBB-CCC
GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh
BTEC National Diploma:
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.