MA Local History
South West Wales since 1800
Are you interested in the history of your area?
If so, why not turn your interest into a qualification?
- How do we define 'local history'?
- How does local histor y relate to the wider Welsh and British contexts?
- What factors forged the lives of the ordinar y people of SouthWest Wales in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
- What sources are available for indepth local histor y research?
- What skills will be fostered by an MA in Local Histor y?
Bursaries & Scholarships
In recent years, local history groups have flourished in our communities. This course offers the guidance and support of professional historians for such interests. Although it focuses upon the specific local history of South West Wales, it will also draw upon a general awareness of historical trends and a detailed working knowledge of Welsh history.
While the course concentrates upon the fostering of skills and techniques relevant to the study of local history, and the application of those skills in pursuing specific studies based on SouthWest Wales, the methodolog y can be applied to the study of other regions and localities. The practical research element will familiarise students with research strategies and resources and will encourage students to under take their own individual original research based upon their personal interests. Successful
presentations could be considered for publication in relevant local history journals or as monographs.
The course offers focused support in practical research skills and techniques and detailed analysis of primary material, much of it
untapped, which exists in both Welsh and English. Students will be able to make use of the excellent facilities available in local county libraries and record offices.
You'll get an opportunity to discover the rich blend of cultural, religious, industrial, social, educational, linguistic and economic characteristics which forged the society in SouthWest Wales from 1800. The modules are:
- Agricultural Experiences
- Educational Experiences
- Industrial Experiences
- Popular Culture 1860 - 1960
- Religious Experiences
- Social Experiences
The course offers focused suppor t in practical research skills and techniques and detailed analysis of primar y material, much of it untapped, which exists in both Welsh and English. Students will be able to make use of the excellent facilities available in local county libraries and record offices.
The course is assessed through:
- Course work assignments
- A 20,000 word dissertation on an agreed topic
A Postgraduate Diploma in Local History can be awarded for successful completion of the taught element of the degree scheme.
The course tutors are established authorities on various aspects of Local History and have all published relevant articles and books on themes related to the course. They have all been involved with the course since its inception in 1995. The main tutors are:
Mr Conway Davies, who is researching aspects of Poor Law provision and the history of health in the locality, delivers the agriculture, popular culture, industrial, religious and social experiences.
Dr Russell Grigg, a widely published writer on aspects of social and educational history delivers modules on educational, religious and industrial experiences, as well as popular culture.
The MA is taught in small seminar groups and through personal tutorials as required.
- Established in 1995 - this course is unique in Wales
- Experienced and dedicated staff
- An opportunity to pursue an individual, personal and original research project in local history
- Attractive to anyone interested in the history of SouthWest Wales, in the methodology of practical historical research and of course in historical debate and inquiry
- Ample library and archival resources in the locality
- An opportunity to submit work in Welsh and, if there is sufficient demand, to take certain modules through the medium of Welsh
The programme will enhance students’ awareness of historical techniques and Historiographical approaches both to the study of History in general and to that of the Local History of South-West Wales in particular. The methods of historical research are applicable to all fields of study, ranging from the global to the local. While the programme will concentrate on a specific locality, students will be encouraged to develop a historical framework which transcends parochial interests. Students will develop the critical edge which differentiates the rigorous post-graduate approach from undergraduate study. Students will engage critically with ongoing historical, historiographical and theoretical debates and reflect upon the relationship between history and adjacent disciplines such as cultural studies and sociology. They will acquire the skills necessary to investigate and interpret the different sources associated with the study of local and regional histories, and apply those skills to specific texts and issues. In addressing these issues the programme adopts a thematic and case study approach. Rather than merely focussing on a narrow period or region of study, it draws together case studies from across Wales, England and further afield.
This will be achieved by:
- promoting an understanding of the intrinsic value of Local History as an area of academic study;
- appreciating the use of the local study to articulate broader historical trends and issues;
- researching and evaluating the range of primary sources relevant to the study;
- the ability to read and use texts and other source materials, both critically and emphatically, while addressing questions of genre, content, perspective and purpose;
- discussing and critically assessing different historiographical approaches to aspects of history;
- developing intellectual independence through bibliographic skills; the ability to gather, sift, select, organise and synthesise large quantities of evidence; the ability to formulate appropriate questions and to provide answers to them using valid and relevant evidence and argument;
- appreciating the complexities and diversity of situations, events and past mentalities; enhancing transferable skills of research, interpretation and critical evaluation.
In order to achieve fully the aims of the programme, students will be able to demonstrate a systematic knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of:
Knowledge and understanding
- an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the main forces (political, economic and cultural) which have shaped the history of South West Wales during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries;
- an appreciation of the complex nature of historical evidence, through working closely with primary source material; including documents, visual evidence, film, literature and oral history, and to be able to identify, evaluate and contrast information and concepts from a range of contemporary sources;
- reflect upon the historiographical debates and questions which have underpinned the rationale, theories and interpretations of the particular programme of study;
- conduct research independently into a chosen topic; to apply the appropriate research methodologies; to view the evidence gathered, evaluate its reliability, validity, relevance and significance; to plan and manage the findings and to present them in a detailed, coherent and scholarly fashion;
- assimilate knowledge and interpretations presented in lecture form, and to select and summarise notes as necessary;
- work independently, manage time effectively and exercise self-discipline; ensuring sound preparatory work and punctual presentation of assessed work;
- communicate knowledge and understanding of historical topics in a variety of written forms including the dissertation, assignments, and seminar papers with clarity, accuracy and coherence;
- communicate knowledge and understanding of historical topics orally in an effective and confident manner through individual seminar presentations, viva voce, and group discussions;
- illustrate competency in ICT including the use of web sites and other electronic sources; appreciate the value of self-assessment; to respond constructively to feedback on assessment and to act upon advice given and suggestions made.
- being able to think critically and be creative: manage the creative processes in self and others; organise thoughts, analyse, synthesise and critically appraise. This includes the capability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, detect false logic or reasoning, identify implicit values, define terms adequately and generalise appropriately;
- being able to solve complex problems and make decisions: establish criteria, using appropriate decision-making techniques including identifying, formulating and solving problems; and the ability to create, identify and evaluate options; the ability to implement and review decisions;
- the ability to conduct research either individually or as part of a team through research design, data collection, analysis, synthesis and reporting;
- using information and knowledge effectively: scanning and organising data, synthesising and analysing in order to abstract meaning from information and to share knowledge.
- an ability to critically reflect on their own value system and their own practice;
- a critical ability to question concepts and theories encountered in their study;
- a thorough and in-depth understanding of the significance and limitations of theory and research.
- numeracy and quantitative skills;
- effective use of Communication and Information Technology;
- effective two-way communication: listening, effective oral and written communication of complex ideas and arguments, using a range of media;
- high personal effectiveness: critical self-awareness, self-reflection and self management; time management; sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and the ability to continue to learn through reflection on practice and experience;
- abilities in research methodology.
Mode of Study
This programme is flexible in structure and is available on a full time or part time basis
- Carmarthen Campus
- Distance Learning
- MA (180 credits)
- PG Diploma (120 credits)
- PG Certificate (60 credits)
Fees are reviewed annually - please contact us for details
Further information contact
This information is intended as a guide only. Please contact us to discuss the course.