Welsh and Celtic Studies (MA)

This programme offers the opportunity to explore a wide-ranging and stimulating subject area. Taught through the medium of Welsh and/or English, the programme is tailored to your own needs and interests.

The MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies offers you the chance to explore the relationship between literature, language, culture and identity across the centuries. From medieval literature to contemporary language planning and policy, the exact content of the course will be tailored to suit your individual research interests and based on our areas of expertise.

The areas of research that we offer and which are available to you include: creative writing through the medium of Welsh, language policy and planning, language acquisition, sociolinguistics, performance theory, medieval and modern prose and poetry, translation theory and methodology, ethnology and folk studies, creative writing, children’s literature, gender studies and literary theory and criticism. Great emphasis is set on placing the School’s academic research within a comparative international context.

Working with leading experts in these fields will allow you to develop advanced academic skills in your chosen area of study and undertake original research. Examples of ground-breaking MA research in recent years include linguistic landscape mapping, creative literary criticism, intertextuality and medieval Welsh literature, and digital technologies and minority languages.

Distinctive features

  • Work with leading experts in Welsh and Celtic literature, culture and language in Wales’s capital city.
  • Develop an understanding of minority-language cultural and linguistic issues that can be related to other international contexts.
  • Gain research and professional transferable skills of the highest quality.
  • Experience working at one of Cardiff’s cultural, educational, commercial or political institutions integrated as part of the MA’s work placement programme.
  • Choose to study through the medium of Welsh, English or bilingually.
  • Benefit from a wide range of Welsh language modules available to learn Welsh or improve your skills in the language, free of charge.
  • Participate in regular research seminars with postgraduate research students and staff.

I started as a first year BA student in the School of Welsh in 2012, and five years later, i’m still here studying for my doctorate. During my BA course, I gained experience in researching and learning about many different areas that related to Welsh language, culture and literature, and I gained an increasing interest in literature. After finishing my undergraduate course, I was keen to develop my interest by following an MA course. It was an amazing experience to work with the School’s tutors, and I began to concentrate mainly on researching Children’s Literature in Welsh. To anyone that has an interest, apply to start your career as a student in the School of Welsh, I’m hoping you’ll enjoy it much as I did.

Megan Morgans, MA Welsh and Celtic Studies

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMA
ModeFull-time
Other ways to study this course
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

All candidates who have met the minimum entry requirements will be invited to discuss their application further. However, this discussion will not form a formal part of the selection process. Selection will be made based on the application form and supporting documentation. If further clarification is needed with regards to the application, you will be invited to a formal interview.

You should have a first or upper second-class UK honours degree or alternative international qualification in an appropriate subject. Applications are particularly welcomed from students from a wide range of backgrounds, including Welsh, Celtic Studies, History, Geography, Archaeology, Languages, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Sociology, and Welsh Creative Writing.

If your first language is not Welsh or English you will normally have to satisfy the English Language requirements for entry to the university by attainment of a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS. You are expected to satisfy the School with regards to the standard of your Welsh and/or English, as appropriate. If your oral or written Welsh is not fluent will have the opportunity to follow Welsh beginners or improvers classes.

We will consider non-standard applications on a case by case basis. Please contact us directly.

Decisions will be made on a continuous basis throughout the year based on your application form and the references received. There is no formal deadline for applications to this programme.

This is a 12-month full-time MA programme.

The core module will provide an introduction and analysis of the key attributes of contemporary scholarship (research methods, ethics, communication, information and digital literacy).

The two special subjects you select will allow you to apply those attributes in relation to specific areas of research within Welsh and Celtic Studies. You will work with leading scholars to explore your chosen field and will present your findings in traditional essays, creative writing portfolios, seminar papers and reflective reports as appropriate.

The pinnacle of the course will be the Extended Research Project (60 credits) where you will, under the supervision of a member of staff, formulate and explore original research questions that will allow you to produce an insightful and rigorous dissertation or project (up to 12,000 words) that will enhance contemporary scholarship on Welsh and Celtic Studies.

As a full-time student you will be expected to attend approximately 4-6 hrs of teaching sessions a week during both semesters.

 

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

This MA degree uses many different methods of teaching and learning. During your degree you will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, complete practical tasks, undertake a work placement and complete extended pieces of independent work under your tutor’s supervision.

The learning sessions will be interactive and practical and you are therefore expected to attend every class (be they workshops, seminars, tutorials, lectures or other sessions). In some cases, for example maternity or disability, we may make alternative arrangements for you.

Resources and Facilities

You will work closely with academic researchers within the School who will share their expertise and knowledge through small-group teaching. Furthermore, Cardiff University library has a specific collection of printed and manuscript materials relating to many aspects of Welsh and Celtic Studies in its Salisbury Collection.

Cardiff, as capital city of Wales, has important museums and archives that welcome researchers from the School, such as National Museum Wales and Glamorgan Archives. Our staff have also produced pioneering digital archives that will be of benefit to you, such as the Ann Griffiths Archive and Ballads websites.

Tutors

More information on our research can be found via the two Research Themes below.
 

Literature and Culture

  • Prof Sioned Davies (medieval prose, performance theory, translation)
  • Dr Dylan Foster Evans (medieval poetry, nineteenth century)
  • Dr Rhiannon Marks (modern prose, critical theory)
  • Dr Llion Roberts (modern poetry, life writing)
  • Dr Siwan Rosser (children’s literature, early modern literature, folklore)

Language and Society

  • Dr Jeremy Evas (language and technology, language planning, second-language acquisition)
  • Dr Dylan Foster Evans (Cardiff and the Welsh language)
  • Prof Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost (linguistic minorities, language planning)
  • Dr Jonathan Morris (sociolinguistics and bilingualism)
  • Dr Iwan Wyn Rees (dialectology, the historical development of the Welsh language)

The research interests and expertise of our academic staff span many fields related to Welsh and Celtic studies, in both the medieval and modern period. Staff research particularly focuses on fields related to language policy and planning, language acquisition, sociolinguistics, sociology of the Irish language, performance theory, tales of the Mabinogion, theory and methodology related to translation, textual criticism, Welsh poetry of the Middle Ages, historiography and literature, ethnology and folk studies, creative writing, the Welsh colony in Patagonia and the Welsh in America, the ballad and the folk song, children’s literature, gender studies, literary theory and criticism, identity, ethnicity and multiculturalism. Great emphasis is set on placing all of our academic research within a comparative international context.

A full list of staff profiles can be found on the Academic Staff pages of our website.

How will I be supported?

We are committed to supporting you throughout your studies. You will have a personal tutor and you may turn to him/her throughout your study period to discuss academic issues and to receive guidance and information about a range of other issues. Module leaders will also be on hand to offer subject-specific advice.

As necessary, teaching staff will put material relevant to the modules on Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment (Learning Central). There will also be an opportunity for you to reflect on your progress and on the skills you will develop through a section on Learning Central called Personal Development Planning. There, with the assistance of your personal tutor, you will be able to record your achievements in various fields (be they part of the curriculum or not).

You should develop a professional attitude towards your work, including attending personal tutor sessions, checking your email messages regularly and replying to them as needed, being punctual whilst attending classes, and informing us when you are absent. We are committed to supporting you throughout your studies, so should anything be worrying you remember to let us know. We will respect privacy on every occasion.

Cardiff University also has a range of central services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent library and resource centres. If your oral and/or written Welsh is not fluent you will be able to take advantage of our provision for learning and improving Welsh.

Feedback

Small-group and individual tutoring on this MA programme will allow you to benefit from regular informal and formal opportunities for feedback on your work. Constructive feedback given on formative tasks set during the semester will allow you to become familiar with the marking criteria and expected standards before submitting work to be formally assessed. These formative tasks may be oral presentations in seminars, drafts of essays, short written pieces or computer tasks. 

You will receive prompt feedback on all your assessments which may be given orally, in writing or electronically. Feedback will always include specific comments on the work submitted and suggestions for improvement.

How will I be assessed?

This MA programme is innovative in its use of a variety of methods of assessment. As well as developing essential research and essay/dissertation-writing skills, you will give a 15 minute seminar presentation on an area of your research, undertake a period of work placement (and produce a reflective report of the experience in the context of your academic and professional skills and career plans), and form a detailed research proposal (for the extended research project).

The main assessment periods will be at the end of the Autumn Semester (January) and the end of the Spring Semester (April/May).

In part one, you will follow three core modules and complete the following assessments:

Academic and Professional Research (40 credits) - seminar paper presentation, work experience report and research project outline

Special Subject 1 (a subject of your choice related to Welsh and Celtic Studies) (40 credits) - critical review (2,000 words) + essay (6,000 words)

Special Subject 2 (a subject of your choice related to Welsh and Celtic Studies) (40 credits) - essay (8,000 words)

In Part 2, you will work on an extended research project (60 credits) and complete a dissertation (12,000 words). This dissertation can take the form of an essay, project or creative portfolio.

What skills will I practise and develop?

This degree programme will enable you to:

  • Show, on a high level, knowledge and understanding in fields related to Welsh and Celtic Studies.
  • Appreciate scholarly criticism as an essential element for intellectual research.
  • Communicate coherent and intelligent arguments related to Welsh and Celtic studies in seminars and in written assignments.
  • Engage with a wide range of bibliographical, manuscript, archival and electronic sources.
  • Write and present work of a high standard in an appropriate style.
  • Use information technology to enhance your research.
  • Produce research following recognised academic and professional practices.
  • Show the necessary skills for further research (such as a PhD) and for positions in a wide range of contexts by developing transferrable skills, including the ability to communicate both orally and in writing, to practise information technology skills, to come to reasonable conclusions in complex and uncertain situations, to question and analyse practices and opinions, to adapt to changes, and to react positively to further training and life-long learning.

Originally from New York, my interest in Welsh literature from the Middle Ages was behind my decision to take the MA Welsh and Celtic Studies at the School of Welsh, Cardiff University. The University’s facilities and the School staff have contributed significantly to what I believe is the most valuable academic experience of my life.

Joseph Shack, MA Welsh and Celtic Studies

This degree offers academic training of the highest standard in Welsh and Celtic Studies to those interested in a career in language, planning, media, heritage, government, management, public relations, marketing, the creative industries, education and research. You will develop knowledge and skills regarded as assets in a wide variety of posts and undertake a work placement as part of the Academic and Professional Skills module.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No

Work experience is a core requirement of the MA programme, forming a part of the Academic and Professional Research module. A five-day placement will allow you to explore how your academic and personal skills relate to the requirements of a professional workplace in an area related to your research. You will write a report to evaluate and reflect on your experience. Previous MA students have undertaken placements with organisations such as the National Assembly of Wales, Glamorgan Archives, translation services, media companies and schools.

The research-led teaching on the MA offers you the chance to develop fieldwork skills, where applicable. We provide training in data collection, interpretation and research ethics.