Research course


Aberystwyth University · Department of History and Welsh History

Entry requirements

2:1 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Aberystwyth boasts research facilities unparalleled at most UK universities and the town’s outstanding resources in books and manuscripts greatly enhance Aberystwyth’s appeal to the historian. The Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University has a well-established reputation for innovative and internationally recognised research, and is keen to recruit enterprising and imaginative graduate students to read for PhD and MPhil degrees.

Why undertake a PhD or MPhil in History at Aberystwyth University?

History has been taught at Aberystwyth University since the university’s founding in 1872, making our department the oldest in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain.

Aberystwyth boasts library resources amongst the best in Europe and contains expansive source material for the medieval, early modern and modern periods. The university’s Hugh Owen Library houses more than 700,000 volumes, a number of unique research collections, and subscribes to more than 3,500 current periodicals. The Hugh Owen Library is also one of only two designated European Documentation Centres in Wales and contains considerable resources for historians interested in the USA.

Situated next to the university campus is the National Library of Wales, one of the UK’s five copyright libraries, which houses more than 6,000,000 volumes and offers immediate access to all copyright publications issued in the UK. The National Library houses many collections relating to the British Isles in general, and has been since its inception the world's leading repository for archives relating to the history of Wales and beyond, many of them still awaiting exploration. Further information about research resources in Aberystwyth is available.

Aberystwyth is also home to a number of research-led institutions that are useful to historians of many periods and interests. These include (besides the National Library), the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, and the Ceredigion Record Office.

Aberystwyth University has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014), which placed the university in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. The Department has eighteen academic members of staff, whose teaching and research expertise ranges across the second millennium and into the twenty-first century, encompassing Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US, with a particular focus on political and historical cultures, the history of science and medicine, and media as well as social and economic history. It also has close links with other centres of historical study in the university, and – through conferences, workshops and its series of research seminars - offers access to a wide range of international scholarly networks. All of our lecturers are research active and are recognised as leading authorities in their respective fields.

Department specialisms

The main focus of the Department’s research is on four chronological periods – Medieval, Early Modern, Modern British and European and Modern Wales – and three thematic areas: Historiography, Technological, Scientific and Medical History, and Media History. In addition, the department maintains traditional strengths in, in the broadest terms, religious, political, cultural, social and economic history.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Information for international students can be found here: Information for International Students : Aberystwyth University

Fees and funding

For funding available to UK students: UK Students : Study With Us , Aberystwyth University

For funding available to International students: International Students : Study With Us , Aberystwyth University

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Prof Björn Weiler