Post-16 Education Enrichment Event

Welcome from the Institute Director

Welcome to this series of interactive workshops provided by the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology at Aberystwyth University.

Our aim is to provide you with general background on a range of topics, as well as giving you extra information and case-study material that you can use.  For those thinking about applying to University, our Schools Liaison Team are also on hand to give you information about applying to University and to give advice about the UCAS process and student finance.

We are always keen to hear from students with ideas and suggestions for future events so please do contact us. I hope you enjoy the day!

Professor Neil Glasser
Director, Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology
E-mail: nfg@aber.ac.uk

Workshop A: Climate Change: Causes and Impacts

Workshop A: Climate Change: Causes and Impacts

Presenter: Professor Neil Glasser

Synopsis: This interactive session provides a concise and engaging introduction to the nature and effects of climate change. After outlining the science of climate change, the session will explore its likely impacts and how humans can respond to the threats it poses. This session consider the particular role that geographers have in considering both the human and physical aspects of climate change. 

Workshop B: Understanding and Managing Floods

Workshop B: Understanding and Managing Floods

Presenter: Dr Hywel Griffiths

Synopsis: Floods are one of the most devastating natural disasters that affect humanity, and although we know why rivers flood, it is often difficult to predict and manage their impacts. This workshop will review the various causes and impacts of floods on physical and social systems and introduce new perspectives on river flood management, including using geomorphology and historical records and natural flood management techniques. Students will then work in groups to consider flood management options in a real-world case study.

Workshop C: Do Historians Tell the Truth?

Workshop C: Do Historians Tell the Truth?

Presenter: Dr Alastair Kocho-Williams

Synopsis: All Historians say they want to find out what really happened in the past, but can we trust them? In this session we will think about why people write History, and whether it matters that most have more complex motivations than to simply understand the past.

Workshop D: Germans in 1945: Victims or Villains?

Workshop D: Germans in 1945: Victims or Villains?

Presenter: Dr Arddun Arwyn

Synopsis: The horrors committed during the Holocaust and the Nazi occupation of Europe and Africa are widely known. The Nuremberg Trials of 1946 identified and brought a number of the Nazi regime's most infamous criminals to justice. But what about the German people? In this session we shall investigate the experiences of Germans at the end of the war and investigate to what extent were the German people victims or villains.

Workshop E: Brexit – Independence or Isolation?

Workshop E: Brexit – Independence or Isolation?

Presenters: Dr Brieg Powel & Dr Alistair Shepherd

Synopsis: On the 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. This decision has significant ramifications for the UK, its constituent nations, and the European Union. This interactive workshop explores the main political, economic and societal implications of Brexit. What kind of relations can and should the UK establish with the EU after it leaves? Will Brexit lead to an independent Scotland? What does the political fallout mean for the future of UK political parties? What divisions has this exposed within UK society and how might they be overcome? This workshop allows students to explore and discuss these issues and step into the role of the UK government ministers and advisers to make decisions that will shape the UK for decades to come.

Workshop F: US Presidential Elections – Winner Takes All?

Workshop F: US Presidential Elections – Winner Takes All?

Presenters: Dr Brieg Powel & Dr Alistair Shepherd

Synopsis: In November 2016 the citizens of the United States of America will elect a new President. The choice does not just affect those living in the USA, it also affects the UK, Europe and the wider world. This interactive workshop explores the main themes and strategies of the candidates seeking election, the possible implications of a victory for either the Republicans or the Democrats for the USA, but also the wider world, and what the US elections may tell us about politics in the 21st century. Who will win? Why will they win? What will they plan in their first 100 days? This workshop allows students to debate these questions and scenarios and step into the role of presidential advisers to shape their political candidate’s agenda.

Workshop G: How credible are we? Memory and eye witness test

Workshop G: How credible are we? Memory and eye witness testimony

Presenters: Dr Nigel Holt & Dr Rachel Rahman

Synopsis: Modern forensic techniques, such as DNA, show us just how unreliable eyewitness testimony can be – many miscarriages of justice have resulted simply from mistaken identifications. During this workshop you will take part in some basic memory experiments to demonstrate how our brain processes, stores and retrieves information. Using these ideas we will then consider how psychology can be more effective at providing accurate eye witnesses testimony.

Workshop H: How ethical can we be?

Workshop H: How ethical can we be? The challenges of ethical dilemmas in psychological research

Presenters: Dr Nigel Holt & Dr Rachel Rahman

Synopsis: The British Psychological Society have strict regulations regarding the ethical conduct of psychological research. However, some cases may not be as ethically straightforward as they seem. This workshop will use some example case studies to facilitate debate about the most appropriate way to address ethical dilemmas in psychological research.

Introducing your University Experts

‌Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

Dr Hywel Griffiths

‌‌Dr Hywel Griffiths is a geographer with a broad range of research interests, including studying the rates, processes and controls of river erosion, reconstructing historical floods using historical documents and geomorphology, and the relationships between people and their environment, particularly cultural perceptions of flooding and water. This research has taken him to Patagonia and South Africa, but the majority of his work is done on Welsh rivers. His teaches modules on geomorphology and hydrology, and leads fieldtrips to locations in Wales and Ireland. He is happiest when wandering along a riverbank.‌‌‌

Professor Neil Glasser‌‌‌Professor Neil Glasser

Neil Glasser is Professor of Physical Geography at Aberystwyth University. His research interests are how ice sheets and glaciers react to climate change over different timescales and how glaciers and ice sheets change our landscapes. He has undertaken fieldwork on glaciers in a number of different parts of the world, including both the Arctic and the Antarctic, South America, Iceland, Norway and the Himalayas. In January next year (2017) he will be part of a major research trip to Queen Maud Land in Antarctica as part of an international team trying to understand how the Antarctic Ice Sheet has reacted to long-term climate change.

Department of History and Welsh History

Dr Arddun ArwynDr Arddun Arwyn

Dr Arddun Arwyn is one of the Admissions Tutors for the Department of History and Welsh History.  She specialises the history of Germany in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her current research project is centred on the ethnic cleansing of Germans from Eastern Europe after the Second World War, with particular focus on the history of the province of East Prussia. Using a range of sources including oral history interviews, memoirs, published and documentary material, Arddun is interested in addressing wider questions not only in German history but also in memory and migration studies.

Dr Alastair Kocho-WilliamsDr Alastair Kocho-Williams

Dr Alastair Kocho-Williams is one of the Admissions Tutors for the Department of History and Welsh History, with specific responsibility for postgraduate admissions. His teaching interests are on twentieth Century Russia and Modern Europe, with particular interests in foreign policy and the 1920s and 1930s. Alastair’s research interests are Soviet foreign policy, International Communism and Soviet anti-imperialism (with a particular focus on India). He also has a research interest in the history of beer and brewing and owns a brewery in Pembrokeshire.


Department of International Politics

Dr Brieg PowelDr Brieg Powel

Dr Brieg Powel’s present research and teaching explores the association between war, the state, and the subject. Building on historiographical research of military revolutions and different eras in military history, he explores the relationship between the state and the soldier as a means of re-examining our understandings of the military foundations of political authority. He is also a member of the Department's schools and colleges’ liaison and marketing team.

Dr Alistair ShepherdDr Alistair Shepherd

Dr Alistair Shepherd is the admissions tutor for the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University. He is responsible for Open Days, Visiting Days, schools activities and international partnerships. His teaching and research interests encompass international relations, Europe, and national and international security.




Department of Psychology

Dr Nigel HoltDr Nigel Holt

Dr Nigel Holt is the Head of the Department of Psychology at Aberystwyth University. His research interests are in the relationship between sound and different aspects of cognition including memory, attention and performance and he also does work on the psychology of time and cycling. He has been a senior examiner with a major A-level exam board, is an author of AS and A2 textbooks and is also an editor and author of leading European undergraduate textbooks.

Dr Rachel RahmanDr Rachel Rahman

Dr Rachel Rahman is the Admissions Tutor for the Department of Psychology. She specialises in health and exercise psychology and focuses on motivation and behaviour change in clinical contexts as well as issues surrounding quality of life and service provision for patients and carers. In addition to health psychology, Rachel also teaches modules on research methods and statistics.