The International Relations / History degree at Aberystwyth University is the perfect combination for those seeking to understand the evolution of the political, social and economic world we live in today. It blends the expertise of two departments - our Department of International Politics and our Department of History and Welsh History - giving you the choice from a range of modules and areas of study.
On the International Relations modules, you will reflect on key questions such as: how the international political structures that govern us evolved and why they took the form they did; how relations between states, societies, and peoples have changed over time; and what the central factors shaping those developments have been. On the history modules, you will study the medieval through to the contemporary period and a broad range of themes such as power, violence, migration, gender and ideas.
By choosing to study for this degree, you will also learn about the evolution of key ideas and concepts in politics, history, international relations and historiography. Crucially, you will be a part of an energetic and lively educational and research community in Departments known for their excellence in teaching and innovative research agendas.
Why study International Relations / History at Aberystwyth?
- As a student on this course you will be mentored and guided by lecturers in two departments who are enthusiastic and committed to providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment.
- Our Department of International Politics is the world’s first department of its kind, founded in 1919 after the end of World War I to help the world understand the world.
- Our Department of History and Welsh History is the most established history department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. The Department is committed to small-group teaching and one-to-one support.
- The Department of International Politics operates a prestigious Parliamentary Placement Scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an MS (Welsh Senedd, 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.
- It is also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, 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 within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.
- The Department of History and Welsh History has a Staff-Student Committee which represents your interests and there is a lively History Society which organises guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events.
- The Department also holds a yearly staff-student conference at Gregynog - a beautiful large country mansion and historical educational venue in Mid Wales.
- In the Department of International Politics, all students have the opportunity to participate in the renowned ‘Crisis Games’ - a three-day role playing exercise in political, economic and diplomatic manoeuvre, developing negotiation and communication, critical thinking, team work, and problem-solving skills.
- As a student of our Department of History and Welsh History, you will have access to some of the country's leading libraries and heritage organisations, such as the National Library of Wales - one of only five copyright libraries in the UK - situated just below the university campus, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and Ceredigion Archives. These institutions provide excellent resources for history students.
Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.
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 - 2023
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|
|'Hands on' History: Sources and their Historians||HY10420||20|
|Introduction to History||HY12120||20|
|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|
|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|
|International Relations: Perspectives and Debates||IP20120||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 the two departments offering this degree course have pursued careers in:
- academic scholarship and research
- archive curation and management
- national, regional and local politics
- the Civil Service
- the Police
- the armed forces
- media and the creative industries
- business and entrepreneurship
- security services
- governmental research departments
- public affairs
- social research.
What work experience opportunities are there for me while I study?
Employability is embedded across our teaching. We teach our
students to aim for the career they want, not the job that they can get.
- The Department of International Politics operates a prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an MS (Welsh Senedd, 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.
- he Department is also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, 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 within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.
- As a student in the Department of History and Welsh History, you will be able to take advantage of our 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. Taking part in this placement scheme will give you the opportunity to gain invaluable ‘hands-on’ experience and insights into the heritage sector. It will also look good on your CV!
What skills will I acquire by studying International Relations and History at Aberystwyth University?
Studying for a degree in History / International Relations 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
- 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
- research skills.
What work experience opportunities will be available to me while I study?
Find out about the various opportunities that our Careers Service
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 will be introduced to:
- a range of skills, techniques and practical exercises intended to cover fundamental elements of historians' practice
- the materials that historians have used to understand the past
- primary sources and how to engage critically with them
- the development and progress of international relations during the twentieth century
- central approaches to the study of international relations
- the different methodologies in the analysis of topical issues in world politics
- war, strategy and intelligence.
In your second and third years you will issues such as:
- political theories and concepts
- intelligence and security
- the Cold War & twentieth century history
- European history
- military history since 1800
- 20th and 21st century warfare
- Welsh history
- the conflict and post conflict reconstruction
- Asian history
- history and politics of the Middle East
- key political and historical developments in the USA and Russia.
How will I be taught?
We deliver this degree through the medium of lectures and seminars.
How will I be assessed?
We assess our students through essays, reports, examinations, book reviews, learning logs and presentations.
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.
As a student in the Department of International Politics, you will be encouraged to take part in the Crisis Games, which is a yearly residential activity away from Aberystwyth. Recent Crisis Games themes have included humanitarian crises, the Northern Ireland peace process, and the US presidential election. The Crisis Games 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 that this is the highlight of the year.
I love the International Politics course, because it's a subject that attracts a wide range of people both from around the UK and internationally, meaning you meet a wide range of people and opinions. The seminars allow for great discussion and learning, and the lectures themselves are interesting with just as interesting lecturers! Roxy Taylor
The Department of International Politics has provided me with a new-found understanding of the world through modules on issues surrounding concepts of globalisation to the lives of women in the Third World. With experts in so many fields it is great having such an approachable set of tutors. My three years here at Aberystwyth have been educational as well as enjoyable and I would recommend studying here to anyone. Hannah Mitchell
Great lecturers, great building, great people on the course! Matthew David Bold
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.