Aberystwyth UniversityThe establishment of Aberystwyth University is one of the great romantic, indeed heroic, stories of modern Welsh history. It was the work of a small group of patriots, led by Hugh Owen, a London Welshman, who sought from the 1850s onwards to raise enough money by public and private subscription to establish a college of university status in Wales. It was almost an impossible ambition. In 1872, the University was opened in a half-finished hotel building on the sea front in Aberystwyth. There were 26 ill-prepared students and a teaching staff of three.
The first dozen or so years were a desperate hand to mouth struggle for survival. The generosity of a few individual beneficiaries and organised appeals for support from the ordinary people of Wales, kept the University in being, and, perhaps more importantly, deeply rooted it in the affection of the Welsh people. A matter of considerable pride is that the University has made a significant contribution to the education of women, being one of the first institutions to admit female students.
From the 1960s the University relocated from the seafront to the Penglais campus. This finely landscaped site enjoys spectacular views over the town of Aberystwyth and the sea. New buildings, including major arts and science developments, halls of residence, a magnificent Arts Centre and first rate sports facilities are located here. Most recently, major investment from the Welsh Assembly Government has led to the founding of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences.
Despite continuing expansion both of buildings and of student numbers, Aberystwyth has retained its traditional friendly intimacies, its vigorous student social life, and its high academic standards.
In 2007, all the colleges of the University of Wales entered a new phase of existence as independent universities, though strong bonds of co-operation remain, re-affirmed in the St David’s Day accord of 2009 between Aberystwyth and the other four leading universities of Wales. Newly independent, Aberystwyth University reflects with pride on the heritage of its past, and faces the future with the confidence.
The law school
Founded in 1901 as the Department of Law, the Department of Law and Criminology bases itself on a long, reputable and increasingly varied experience of education and academic work. Over the years a large number of well-known legal academics have taught in the Department and its law graduates have made their mark in a range of subsequent careers.
The school is committed to a policy of innovation and development in teaching and research. It regularly reviews both the range and content of our degree schemes and its modes of teaching and assessment in order to respond effectively to the needs and expectations of its student body. We aim to maximise choice in our provision of legal education while ensuring that teaching is informed by up-to-date scholarship at the highest level. All members of academic staff are active in research and publication and participate in national and international debate and policy-making in the legal and related fields. Recently, for instance, staff have been involved in the work of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Countryside Commission for Wales, the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee and the Welsh Assembly Standing Orders Commission.
The Department actively participates in international and European academic networks, for purposes of both student mobility and exchanges (for instance through the Erasmus programme) and staff and postgraduate research. There is a strong international student profile in the Department and there are frequent visits by academics and experts from other countries.
Distance Learning is a flexible approach to study that allows you to work at your own pace in your own place.
Aberystwyth offers Masters courses by Distance Learning through the Departments of Law and Criminology and Information Studies. These departments pursue a student centred, flexible, open learning approach which has proved not only popular with our students, but very successful in managing to make studying at a distance as rewarding and enjoyable as possible. Distance learning students participate in residential study schools and are supported by web-based conferencing facilities which enable them to communicate with each other and the course tutors, easing the feeling of isolation that can sometimes be felt by distance learners.
Students will normally be required to attend residential or study schools in Aberystwyth at various times during their studies. These allow you to participate in case studies, discussions and other exercises which will enhance your understanding of the issues studied. They also provide you with the perfect opportunity to seek individual guidance on your coursework or any other problems you may be experiencing.