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Turning points in Welsh history

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This course examines key themes and events in the history of Wales from the Roman invasion up to the present day.

Over 10 weeks, students will explore a variety of significant turning points such as the English conquest of Wales, the Rebellion of Owain Glyn Dwr, the industrial awakening of the Welsh valleys, the emergence of Welsh nationalism and the ways in which the twentieth century has shaped modern day Wales.

As well as addressing the effect that national and international events had on Wales, the course will also examine the political, economic and social changes that impacted upon the lives of those who lived within Wales and experienced these events first hand.

Learning and teaching

This module is taught in 10, two-hour sessions, delivered on a weekly basis.

Classes will be taught through a variety of lectures, workshops, discussion exercises and group work.

Students will be issued with handouts and a reading list, allowing them to read up on relevant topics, as well as allowing them to develop their own interests and identify the key questions which they need to answer in their assessments.

Course outline

  • Week 1: The Roman Invasion and early Welsh communities
  • Week 2: 1066 and what it meant for Wales
  • Week 3: English suppression and Welsh Rebellions
  • Week 4: Tudor Wales
  • Week 5; The Civil War in Wales
  • Week 6: The Industrial Revolution
  • Week 7:  Nineteenth Century Society
  • Week 8: For Wales see England: the Birth of Welsh Nationalism
  • Week 9: The Twentieth Century: Conflict, Protest and Strife
  • Week 10: Post war Wales: Changing fortunes and new horizons


  • Urban and population growth
  • Political and economic developments that shaped Wales
  • The impact of national and international events on Wales
  • The life of the people: occupations, housing, education, religion, culture, recreation and sport
  • Debates surrounding the definition of ‘Wales’ and what it means to be Welsh

Coursework and assessment

Students will have the opportunity to do either a summary/source analysis plus a short essay (750 words) or an essay plan plus an essay of 1,500 words.

Reading suggestions

  • Carter, H., The Towns of Wales (Cardiff, 1965)
  • Davies, J., A History of Wales (London, 1990)
  • Gaunt, P., A Nation Under Siege: Civil War in Wales, 1642-48
  • Jenkins, G., H.  The Foundations of Modern Wales 1642-1780 (Oxford, 1993)
  • Jones, J. G., (ed), Class, Community and Culture in Tudor Wales (Cardiff, 1989)
  • Jones, I. G., Mid-Victorian Wales: The Observers and the Observed (Cardiff, 1992)
  • Moore, D., (ed.), Wales in the Eighteenth Century (Swansea, 1976)
  • Walker, D., Medieval Wales (Cambridge 1990)
  • Williams G., Renewal and Reformation Wales 1415-1642 (Oxford 1993)

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.