Politics and modern history are 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.
Student Satisfaction and Employability Results
Top 10 in the UK for Teaching Quality for the subject of History (The Times and Sunday Times, Good University Guide 2021)
Top 10 in the UK for Student Experience and Teaching Quality for the subject of Politics (The Times and Sunday Times, Good University Guide 2021)
Top 5 in the UK for overall satisfaction for the subject of Politics (NSS 2021)
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.
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 visit, 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.
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|
|Exploring the International 1: Central Concepts and Core Skills *||IP12420||20|
|Politics in the 21st Century||IP12920||20|
|Introduction to History *||HY12120||20|
|‘Hands on’ History: Sources and their Historians *||HY10420||20|
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|Behind the Headlines||IP12620||20|
|Globalization and Global Development||IP12520||20|
|The Making of the Modern World: War Peace and Revolution since 1789||IP12820||20|
|War, Strategy and Intelligence||IP10320||20|
|Europe and the World, 1000-2000||HY12420||20|
|Medieval and Early Modern Britain and Europe, 1000-1800||HY11420||20|
|People, Power and Identity: Wales 1200-1999||WH11720||20|
|The Modern World, 1789 to the present||HY11820||20|
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|People and Power: Understanding Comparative Politics Today||IQ23920||20|
|Making History *||HY20120||20|
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh
What are our graduates doing now?
Graduates from our department have pursued careers in:
- the Civil Service
- security services
- government research departments
- Public Affairs
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
Learning & Teaching
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
- 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 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.
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.
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 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 email@example.com