Historical Studies

iHumanities Distance Learning

Why does history matter?

Everybody and everything has a history – not just people. Language, culture, traditions, religions, buildings, even technologies have an historical context. History is not simply something to be read – it provides our lives with important frames of reference and a sense of identity. History shaped the world we live in today and is an ongoing active process. Historians interpret how people, societies and cultures perceive themselves, and how these perceptions have changed over time. This narrative, interpretative process is an essential part of how we as humans make sense of our place in the world.

Interested in Historical Studies?

We provide interdisciplinary, online BA Degrees and MA programmes, such as Medieval Studies, Celtic Studies, Heritage, and Conflict and War, all of which embrace different subjects such as English, Theology, and Archaeology.

Whether studying at undergraduate or postgraduate level, our courses will enable you to develop skills in close-reading and interpretation of archival, material, iconographic and visual sources related to your period of interest. On our distance-learning programmes, this is within your reach wherever you are.

Our own interest in different periods underlies our programme offer: from individual modules to degree schemes, you are assured of a tutor as passionate about the subject as you are.

Module snapshot:

Dr Alexander Scott (Lecturer in Modern History, UWTSD, Lampeter) talks about one of the modules he teaches, ‘Screening the Past: Film and History.’

Explore our archives – a wealth of historical sources at your fingertips

Whether studying for one of our online BA Degrees or one of our online Master’s degrees,  we’ll encourage you to explore history through a variety of lenses, incorporating different approaches and discovering those best suited to your material. The Roderic Bowen Library and Archive is situated on campus and with its fine collection of digitised medieval manuscripts and facsimiles, is a wonderful addition to the resources UWTSD has to offer. If you are studying at a distance, staff will also guide you in your work with online digital archives both at UWTSD and around the world.

Roderic Bowen Library and Archives

Prof. Janet Burton (UWTSD, Lampeter) and Dr Harriett Webster (UWTSD, Lampeter) in the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives talking about one of its items: a monastic Bible

Fostering research skills

For our postgraduate programmes, you’ll take a module on research methods designed to introduce you to the nuts and bolts of research, as well as bibliographical and archival sources. A key aim of this module is to develop your awareness of the information technology relevant to your specific historical period: you’ll be trained in the use of traditional bibliographical and archival search facilities and how to use online databases and research methods. Students will also explore how technological advances in the field of digital humanities are impacting knowledge and understandings of the past.

From the old to the new – studying History in the modern era

You’ll also be able to choose from a range of modules which fit the changing landscape of society at large, giving you an opportunity to explore historical themes, topics and eras, all the while building on the skills developed in the research module.

Some of the modules for the MA Historical Studies include, for example, ‘Fact or Fiction? Literature and History,’ ‘Women in the Middle Ages,’ ‘Welsh History and Heritage,’ ‘Screening the Past: Film and History,’ ‘Introduction to Digital Humanities’ and ‘Celtic Arthur and the Mabinogion Tales.’

Heritage as Agent:

Dr Alexander Scott here talks about his research in urban regeneration in Liverpool.

Saints, sinners, and Cistercians

The modules you’ll take will of course depend on your programme of study.

For the BA Celtic Studies, you’ll be able to choose from a range of fascinating topics such as the early Celts, the druids and Celtic religions, Celtic hagiography and saints’ cults, classic Celtic literature and folktales, medieval Welsh prose and poetry, representations of Brittany and Cornwall, Welsh and Celtic place names, and the influence of Celtic mythology on contemporary writing.

For the MA in Celtic Studies, you’ll be able to choose from a similar range of subjects at a more advanced level, such as folklore, gender studies, the sociology of language, Arthurian Literature, early and late medieval literature, religion, and spirituality. Modules include, for example, ‘Conceptualizing the Celts,’ ‘Women in the Middle Ages,’ ‘Celtic Arthur and the Mabinogion Tales,’ ‘Celtic Sanctity, Spirituality and Hagiography’ and ‘Celtic Revivals: 1700 to the Present.’

Hear what our students have to say about the MA Celtic Studies:

For the MA in Medieval Studies, you’ll usually begin the programme by studying the research module. This introduces you to key skills such as palaeography and dating systems, and how to use archives and manuscripts – both in archives and online. You’ll also be able to choose further modules in medieval history, including, for example, ‘The Cistercian World’ which questions the realities of the foundation of arguably the most successful monastic order
of the Middle Ages.

Other modules explore topics such as women in the Middle Ages, the life of Thomas Becket and other saints, medieval practices of hagiography and history-writing, and the relationship between history, literature, cinema and digital technologies.