About the Department of History and Welsh History

Aberystwyth University’s History Department is celebrating after it scored an amazing 95% for overall satisfaction in the UK National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.

History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the University in 1872, making the Department of History and Welsh History the oldest history department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. The Department is committed to small-group teaching and one-to-one support, and our flexible course structures mean you can tailor your degree to reflect your own needs and interests.

The teaching and research interests of our academic staff span the period from the medieval to the modern world, and are reflected in a broad range of political, social and cultural history modules. We pride ourselves on the friendliness and informality of relations between staff and students. Our Staff-Student Committee represents your interests and there is a lively History Society which organizes guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events.

As a history graduate you will have learnt how to think independently, analyse critically and write clearly. The historian’s skills of interpretation and communication are highly valued by employers. While many of our graduates take up careers directly linked to history such as teaching, archive work and museum management, the majority enter fields as varied as accountancy, banking, advertising, retail management, public relations, the computer industry, hospital administration, local government, the police force, social work, journalism and the media.

The Department offers a number of placements every year with a range of employers in the heritage sector. We also provide a range of opportunities for students to identify, and nurture, the transferable skills that will make them competitive candidates once they complete their degree.

NSS: Making history at Aber University

Aberystwyth University’s History Department has achieved an impressive score of 95% for overall student satisfaction in a UK-wide survey - significantly higher than the UK figure of 86%.

The Department received strong results overall, with the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) also recording scores of 94% for the quality of teaching, 92% for its academic support and 90% for learning resources and organisation and management.

The History Department’s achievements are part of a wider success story at Aberystwyth University which has been rated in the top ten across the UK for overall student satisfaction and first in Wales in this year’s NSS.

Dr Martyn Powell, Head of History at Aberystwyth University, said: “After increases in all NSS scores in 2015, with the exception of overall satisfaction which remained level, the Department of History and Welsh History recognised that it would be a considerable challenge to improve again. Yet the 2016 results have gone one better and showed increases in every single area. Teaching has gone up from a creditable 90% to 94%, whilst overall satisfaction is now at 95%.

“These results reflect the department’s mission to provide research-led teaching throughout its offering, with an accent on small groups (both essay tutorials and seminars) and a sociable, tight-knit atmosphere. This was reflected in particular in the academic support category; our marks here are well above the sector average, both as a department and in our flagship single honours V100 History degree. The results for the latter this year were especially notable, teaching satisfaction being at 98 per cent and overall satisfaction at 97 per cent. There has never been a better time to study History at Aberystwyth.”  

The National Student Survey (NSS) collects data from 155 of the UK’s Higher Education Institutions and is recognised as an influential source of information for prospective students when considering their options.

If you’re interested in studying at Aberystwyth University’s History Department and finding out why our students are so satisfied with their courses, it’s not too late. We still have some clearing places left for the 2016-17 academic year or come along and visit during one of our Open Days.

The NSS figures follow closely on the heels of the latest employability figures for UK universities which showed that 92% of History graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University.

The National Student Survey is carried out annually by IPSOS Mori on behalf of all the UK’s higher education funding councils and other bodies, interviewing around 312,000 final year students in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

But don’t take our word for it – this is what our students have to say about studying in Aberystwyth…

Lloyd – Year 2; History and Welsh History (VVC2)

Louise – Year 2; History (V100)