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Welsh (BA)

  • Q560

3 years (full-time) / Options available please contact the Admissions Tutor. (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Our BA in Welsh is an innovative and socially-relevant programme which is taught by one of the UK’s top-ranked schools of its kind. The programme’s main aim is to produce graduates who have three key attributes: firstly, a thorough academic and practical understanding of the Welsh language, its literature and culture; secondly, a high level of skill in written and spoken Welsh; and thirdly, well-developed employability and creative skills that are highly valued in today’s competitive workplace.

The programme has been carefully designed with these attributes in mind, and so offers a wide range of core and optional modules which will provide you with a thorough grounding in language and literature as well as the opportunity to specialize in areas of personal or vocational interest. Another key aim is to enable you to find inspiration and fulfilment in the study of the Welsh language and its culture.

There is increasing demand for high quality Welsh-speaking graduates, and a heightened awareness of the culture and language of Wales since devolution has enhanced the position of the Welsh language in academia, government and society. Studying at Cardiff is a great opportunity to benefit from ground-breaking and socially-relevant research, and to take part in the development of Welsh in the twenty-first century.

Key Facts

UCAS Code Q560

3 years

How to apply
Typical places available The School admits about 40 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 130
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer BBB
Admissions Tutors Dr Rhiannon Marks
Tel Number

+44 (0)29 2087 4843

Email address
School website
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

There are opportunities for students wishing to study part of their course through the medium of Welsh. Scholarships may also be available courtesy of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Visit for further information and terms and conditions.

The BA in Welsh is a three-year programme which has two routes, one for students who have studied Welsh as a first language, and one for students who have studied Welsh as a second language. In the first year these cohorts are taught separately. The students of the two routes come together for some modules in Year 2, and in the Final Year, everyone is taught together. At the end of the programme all students receive the same degree—a BA in Welsh.

The programme’s philosophy is based on developing your key skills (linguistic, analytical, creative and employability) while also enabling you to become an independent learner at a high level. This philosophy is reflected in the structure of the three years of the BA in Welsh. For both routes, the emphasis in Year 1 is on developing skills in the fields of language and literature, and all students follow a set number of core modules with a high number of contact hours. The School of Welsh makes special arrangements for second-language students to spend extra time developing and practising their language skills in Year 1.

In Year 2, the core linguistic elements of the programme concentrate on language skills within both an academic and a vocational context, and include a period of work experience in a workplace in which Welsh is used on a daily basis. Over Year 2 and the Final Year, we also provide a series of core modules to enable you to develop a broad understanding of the development of the Welsh language, its literature and culture.

In the Final Year, you will undertake an extended essay or project which enables you to use the range of skills that you have developed during the programme and to further your ability to operate as an independent learner. These essays or projects may lead on to further research, or prove to be an effective showcase for your achievements from the point of view of future employers.

Alongside these core elements, the BA in Welsh offers numerous optional modules, including several with have direct relevance to specific fields of employment, such as language planning, scriptwriting and translation. Whatever your interests, there should be optional modules that meet yourn attractive feature of our programme is its flexibility – you may specialise in literary studies, medieval or modern, language studies, or you may take a combination of modules reflecting your own particular academic interests and vocational needs.

The course structure, on a year-by-year basis, is as follows:

Year One First-language Route

You will normally study 80 credits in Welsh, made up of the following four modules:

  • Cyflwyniad i’r Gymraeg [Introduction to Welsh]
  • Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg [Welsh Literature]
  • O Destun i Draethawd [FromEssay]
  • Cymru a’i Diwylliant [Wales and its Culture]

In addition, you will take credits in another subject or subjects, up to 120 credits in total, e.g., Archaeology, Education, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Journalism, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Religious Studies, and Sociology. Some students choose to continue with the subjects they studied for A-level, while others venture into new areas.

Year One Second-language Route

Normally, students who have studied A-level Welsh as a second language follow this route. However, we will consider your linguistic skills, both oral and written, before coming to a final decision on which route you will follow. Students must study 80 credits in Welsh:

  • Sgiliau Cyfathrebu [Communication Skills]
  • Gloywi Iaith [Improving Language Skills]
  • Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg [History of Welsh Literature]
  • Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg Fodern [Modern Welsh Literature]

In addition, you will take credits in another subject or subjects, up to 120 credits total, e.g., Archaeology, English, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Journalism, Music, Politics, and Religious Studies. Some students choose to continue with the subjects they studied for A level, while others venture into new areas.

(On both routes, all modules in the School of Welsh are taught through the medium of Welsh.)

Year 2 First-language Route

You will take one compulsory linguistic core module:

  • Cymraeg y Gweithle a’r Gymuned [Welsh in the Workplace and the Community]

Year 2 Second-language Route

You will take two compulsory linguistic core modules:

  • Sgiliau Cyfathrebu Uwch (Year 2 second-language route) [Further Communication Skills]
  • Ysgrifennu Estynedig (Year 2 second-language route) [Extended Writing Skills]

Year 2 and the Final Year (both routes): compulsory core modules

As well as the compulsory Year 2 modules noted above, single honours students will take the following modules during Year 2 and the Final Year:

  • Cyflwyniad i Hanes yr Iaith [History of the Welsh Language]
  • Ailddehongli Llenyddiaeth yr Oesoedd Canol [Reinterpreting Medieval Welsh Literature]
  • Dadeni a Diwygiad 1550-1900 [Renaissance and Revival 1550-1900]
  • Llenyddiaeth er 1900 [Literature since 1900]

Compulsory Final Year extended essay or project

You will have a choice of either a 4,000 or a 8,000 word essay or project (20 or 40 credits), which will be completed under the direction of a member of staff who is an expert in the relevant field.

Optional Modules: Year 2 and the Final Year (both routes)

Individual modules are normally offered in alternative years, and so may be available in Year 2 or in the Final Year:

  • Amlddiwylliannedd yn y Diwylliant Cymraeg [Multiculturalism in Welsh-language Culture]
  • Canu'r Gymru Newydd: Barddoniaeth 1990-2010 [Poetry of the New Wales: Poetry 1990-2010
  • Cyfieithu Proffesiynol [Professional Translation]
  • Cyflwyniad i Astudiaethau Gwerin [Introduction to Welsh Folklore]
  • Cymdeithaseg yr Wyddeleg [The Sociology of the Irish Language]
  • Cymraeg i Oedolion [Teaching Welsh to Adults]
  • Cymru ar Daith: Llên Teithio Gymraeg [Wales on the Move: Welsh Travel Writing]
  • Cynllunio Ieithyddol [Language Planning]
  • Y Chwedl Arthuraidd [The Arthurian Legend]
  • Dafydd ap Gwilym [Dafydd ap Gwilym]
  • Y Ddrama Gyfoes [Contemporary Drama]
  • Y Ferch yn yr Oesoedd Canol [Women in Medieval Wales]
  • I Fyd y Faled [The World of the Ballad]
  • Gwleidyddiaeth a Phropaganda yn Llenyddiaeth yr 20g [Politics and Propaganda in 20th Century Literature]
  • Hanes y Ddrama [History of Welsh Drama]
  • Hunaniaeth a Diwylliant y Wladfa [The Identity and Culture of the Welsh Colony in Patagonia]
  • Iaith, y Ddinas a Chymdeithas [Language, the City and Society]
  • Iaith, Gwleidyddiaeth a Gwrthdaro [Language, Politics and Conflict]
  • Llenyddiaeth Plant [Children's Literature]
  • Llên y Ddinas [Urban Literature]
  • Merched a Llên yn y Cyfnod Modern [Women and Literature in the Modern Period]
  • Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi [The Four Branches of the Mabinogi]
  • Rhyddiaith Ddiweddar [Modern Welsh Prose]
  • Saunders Lewis [Saunders Lewis]
  • Sgriptio [Scriptwriting]
  • Sosioieithyddiaeth [Sociolinguistics]
  • Theori a Beirniadaeth Lenyddol [Literary Criticism and Theory]
  • Williams Pantycelyn a'r Emyn [Williams Pantycelyn and the Welsh Hymn]
  • Ysgrifennu Creadigol [Creative Writing]

The School of Welsh delivers a stimulating and challenging learning experience for all its students, enabling them to succeed in a competitive environment. Its teaching is research-led, which means that you will be taught the latest ideas by internationally recognised scholars who are themselves shaping the future of their fields. The School has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and has been especially commended for its facilities and the academic care it gives to its students. In both its teaching and research it has forged close links with the community in Cardiff, in the rest of Wales and beyond. Teaching is mainly through lectures and seminars in which you will be able discuss your subject in small groups, although one-to-one tutorials, workshops and language classes (particularly for the second-language route) also play an important part. All modules benefit from electronic teaching materials which are hosted on the Learning Central website, Cardiff University’s on-line Virtual Learning Environment. Strong pastoral support within the School is supplemented by university-wide assistance in housing, finances, counselling, disability and dyslexia, and career development. You will usually take six 20 credit modules each year. During Year One, a module normally has one lecture and one seminar a week, although this may vary according to the nature of the module in question. In addition, you will meet with your personal tutor weekly in small groups and follow a programme in which you learn how study Welsh at a high level, develop new skills and manage the transition into higher education. During Year 2 and the Final Year, you will spend more of your time in independent guided study. Even so, a 20 credit module will normally have a weekly lecture and a fortnightly seminar. In the final year, you will work on an individual project with one-to-one supervision from an academic member of staff. Work experience is also an integral part of the learning experience, and our students are placed in a variety of fields which include the media, education and the National Assembly. We consider it to be crucial that you take primary responsibility for your own learning and take advantage of the learning opportunities that we provide – such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, feedback sessions, and workshops. Alongside these, independent study is also required for developing research skills and knowledge of the field. This includes background reading, preparing for seminars, conducting research, completing assessments, and revising. Our degree programmes are carefully designed so you will experience a range of assessment methods, including coursework essays, written examinations/class tests, dissertations, written reports, portfolios, and oral examinations. This is to ensure that you are able to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to the utmost of your ability.

Typical A-level Offer BBB, including Welsh

No specific subjects required, but A-levels must include a minimum of 2 traditional academic subjects.

Typical WBQ Offer Pass the Advanced Diploma with Grade A in the Core and grades BB at A-level, including Welsh.
Typical Int Bacc Offer  30 points, including at least 5 in Welsh at Higher Level
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

With the growing demand for a knowledge of Welsh in many fields (including the media, education, local and national government, and various fields in both the public and private sectors), a degree in Welsh or in Welsh combined with another subject provides a valuable qualification for posts requiring bilingual personnel. Many of our graduates have secured careers in law, government, the media, the performing arts, administration and teaching at all levels.

In 2010, around half the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation while a further 33% were engaged in further study with others taking time out to travel or do voluntary work.

Next intake: September each year

More information