Welsh and Music (BA)

The Joint Honours degree in Music and Welsh provides the opportunity to specialise in two university honours subjects.

This Joint Honours degree provides students with the opportunity to develop a range of important transferable skills in both disciplines, leading the way to a variety of potential career opportunities. Undergraduate programmes in both the School of Music and the School of Welsh are flexible and challenging, allowing students to specialise and develop their own interests whilst acquiring a thorough grounding in music aesthetics, analysis, composition, ethnomusicology, music history, performance, the Welsh language, its literature and culture.

The Welsh programme is relevant to contemporary Wales and delivered by a school noted for its research quality and impact. 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 grounding in language and literature as well as the opportunity to specialise in areas of personal or vocational interest.

Key facts

Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School of Welsh typically has 30 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe school of Welsh typically receives 100 applications.
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerBBB. Three A levels, including Music and Welsh. Two AS subjects may be considered in lieu of a third A-level. General Studies A level is not accepted. All joint honours applicants with Music are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one instrument or voice at the time of application. Consideration will be given to applicants who are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Practical and Grade 8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerTypical offers would be BB (to include Music) plus Welsh Bacc (Grade A in the Core). All joint honours applicants with Music are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one instrument or voice at the time of application. Consideration will be given to applicants who are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Practical and Grade 8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 points in total with Music Higher Level 6 points required
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Welsh, Music

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Keith Chapin , Admissions Tutor

    Dr Rhiannon Marks , Admissions Tutor

      Miss Laila Khan , Course Administrator

        Welsh medium provisionThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

        In your first year, you may combine modules in Welsh and Music with a selection of modules offered by a range of other programmes across the University. If you decide to opt for this route, you will be required to complete a minimum number of credits per academic year in the School of Welsh and the School of Music.

        First language Welsh students will take 60 credits in Welsh while second language students will take 80 credits in Welsh. 

        In years two and three, you will split your time equally, choosing modules offered in Welsh and Music.

        Year one

        Students of this course can choose to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) core and optional modules. These can be chosen from modules from participating Academic Schools.

        Year two

        Year three

        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.

        School of Welsh
        We provide exciting and challenging teaching in order to help our students succeed in a competitive environment. One of our core principles is that the teaching is informed and led by research. You will therefore learn about the latest ideas from scholars who are contributing to the development and future of their specialist subjects.

        The teaching is usually delivered through the medium of lectures and seminars which provide you with the opportunity to discuss the subject matter in detail within small groups. However, there is also an important role to be played by one on one tutorials, workshops and languages classes (especially for those following the second language route).

        Each module is supported by electronic teaching materials shared via Learning Central, part of the University’s virtual learning environment. You will receive personal pastoral care within the School, alongside the University’s central support services for accommodation, counselling, disability, dyslexia, finance and careers.

        Our programmes have been carefully designed and planned to ensure you experience a range of assessment methods including coursework essays, examinations/written class tests, dissertation, portfolios, written reports and oral examinations. This helps to ensure that you can demonstrate your skills to the best of your ability and reach your potential.

        School of Music
        Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals, one-to-one tutorials, rehearsals, and instrumental tuition. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors. Assessment, including coursework, exams, practical work, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned

        Instrumental tuition is fully funded by the School of Music on your principal study instrument. This includes accompaniment at your final recital. Students receive 22 half hour lessons over the course of the year.

        School of Welsh
        The demand for Welsh speakers means that a degree in Welsh can be a highly valuable for jobs and roles that require bilingual speakers. Many of our graduates are now following careers in areas such as law, politics, media, performing arts, administration and education, and at all levels.

        In 2013/14, 100% of the School’s graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

        School of Music
        In 2013/14, 98% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

        The skills developed within a music degree help our students to progress to a wide range of careers, both within and beyond the music profession.

        Employability skills are embedded in modules at the School of Music so that you will learn both music-specific and academic skills that are transferable to other domains, especially the workplace. Our new second-year modules on the Business of Music are designed to help you better understand different branches of the music profession and provide an opportunity to undertake a short placement in a music- or arts-related area.

        Our annual series of talks on Careers in Music offer a great chance to meet professionals active in a range of fields such as performance, music education, music journalism, arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.

        The School of Music's second-year modules The Business of Music I/II are designed to help you better understand the music profession. They also offer the opportunity to undertake - either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits - a short placement in a music- or arts-related area.


        3 Year(s)

        Next intake

        September 2016

        Places available

        Typical places available

        The School of Music admits around 70 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

        The School of Welsh admits around 35 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

        Applications received

        Typical applications received

        The School of Music = 450

        The School of Welsh = 130


        QAA subject benchmark

        QAA subject benchmark

        Welsh, Music

        What are the aims of this Programme?


        Welsh is an exciting, broad and challenging academic discipline which involves producing, presenting and interpreting written texts and oral subjects, as well as the nature and history of the language. Studying the Welsh language fosters an open and flexible mind as well as the ability to consider different concepts. In turn, this will enable students to discuss and interpret modern developments as well as the cultures and values of the past. After studying Welsh, students will be ready to take advantage of all the opportunities that the language offers in today’s world.   

        CardiffUniversity’s School of Welsh has a definite vision with regard to its graduates. This vision is based on the belief that developing excellent academic skills provide the necessary ammunition to pursue a successful career in a wide range of fields. As a result, a typical Welsh graduate will be a successful communicator with the ability to analyse and interpret the world around them in a critical and creative way. They will have the ability to act independently at a high level, and their skills will benefit them in the academic world as well as in the workplace. These skills will be based on a sound knowledge and understanding of the Welsh language, its literature and culture, as well as an informed awareness of its place in the modern world.

        Students at the School of Welsh will study at a vibrant university in the capital city of Wales, where opportunities in the Welsh language are expanding continually. One of the main characteristics of Cardiff University, and also the School of Welsh, is the emphasis placed on research-led teaching. In other words, students at the School of Welsh will be taught by members of staff that produce research of the highest quality, who then use this research when teaching a wide range of areas. Students will also benefit from opportunities to use their skills and knowledge in different contexts, be they academic (including a research project) or practical (including work experience).  

        The knowledge and skills of those students that graduate from the School of Welsh will be suitable for a wide range of occupations, including the following fields: education, media and other creative industries, the heritage industry, local and national government, business and marketing. A degree in Welsh is also excellent preparation for further study, whether in the field of Welsh itself, in other related academic areas or in occupational fields such as education, the law and public relations.

        The BA in Welsh and Music conforms to the standards set out in the Credit and Qualification Framework for Walesand the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)benchmarks. 


        The BA (Joint Honours) in Welsh and Music offers candidates the opportunity to pursue an advanced programme of study, dividing their modules equally between Music, Welsh and in the first year potentially one further subject area.  While the programme stipulates no compulsory modules in either Music or Welsh, it enables students to gain experience of a wide range of Welsh literary texts, periods, movements and genres as well as a number of musical disciplines, including performance, free and stylistic composition, historical and critical musicology, ethnomusicology and acoustics.  While the programme has produced high achievers in such areas as performance and composition, it is especially suited to those interested in seeing music within a broad cultural context, one that embraces the literary, the social and the political.  The option, offered by both subjects, to write a dissertation in the final year enables students if they wish to choose a topic that draws on both disciplines of the degree.  The programme is especially suited to those seeking a career in teaching or academia, arts administration or areas in which music sits alongside other disciplines, but it can just as effectively lead on to other types of graduate employment, or provide the foundation for postgraduate study in music or Welsh.

        What is expected of me?


        Teaching sessions at the School of Welsh are interactive and practical, and therefore students are expected to attend every one of their classes (be they lectures, workshops, seminars or other sessions). In some cases, for example maternity or disability, we may make alternative arrangements for you.

        BA in Welsh and Music modules vary in terms of length, but as a rule they will be 20 credits. Each 20 credit module will require at least two hundred hours of study, including the hours spent attending classes, studying independently, preparing assessments and/or sitting examinations and tests. There will usually be approximately 30 hours of contact with a tutor for each 20 credit module, although this can vary in relation to the nature of the module.  

        Students and members of staff are expected to respect Cardiff University’s Policy on Dignity while Working and Studying, which can be seen here. You should develop a professional attitude towards your work, including attending personal tutor sessions, checking your e-mails regularly and responding to them, being punctual when attending classes, and informing the School when you are absent. The School of Welsh is committed to helping you throughout your studies, so please tell us if you have any concerns. We will respect your confidentiality on every occasion. 


        Students are expected to:

        • attend punctually all timetabled classes (i.e. lectures, seminars, tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons), notifying the relevant School (in advance where possible) in cases of unavoidable absence.
        • prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars and tutorials.
        • complete their assessments on time, following the instructions given.
        • engage in between three and six hours of independent study (or private practice) for every taught hour of study.  Increasing independence of learning is expected in both subjects as the programme progresses.
        • familiarize themselves with School and University policies and regulations (e.g. School handbooks).

        The programme seeks to integrate disabled students as fully as possible into academic life by making existing classes as accessible as possible and, in the rare cases where these attempts prove inadequate, to provide an alternative, active learning experience of equivalent quality.  A student who experiences a change in their personal circumstances (e.g. maternity/paternity) should consult their personal tutor with a view to following the university guidelines on Interruption of Study.

        In the Music element of the programme, students are expected to manifest (and can, on certain elective modules, be awarded credit for) a commitment to the musical and intellectual life of the School of Music through participation in performance activities and attendance at performances and public lectures.

        Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.l

        How is this Programme Structured?

        This is a 3 year full time programme, consisting of 120 credits a year.

        Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

        No specific equipment required

        What skills will I practise and develop?


        This degree programme will allow you to develop many valuable skills. Some of them will be specific to the field of Welsh, while others will be more general and very relevant to the workplace. These include the following skills: communication and presenting information, ideas and debates (orally and in writing, individually and as part of a team); using information technology (linguistic software, word processing, data bases, the internet); analysing and presenting numerical information; working in a group and developing interpersonal skills; identifying, recording and communicating relevant attainments with regard to your career; managing your own learning (including time-management); showing a commitment to continuous learning and development.  

        The project/extended essay will help you to gain in confidence when working independently and will give you the opportunity to gain experience of a wide range of practical research skills. The sessions with a director will allow you to develop detailed discussion skills and to develop original ideas. 


        In addition to the discipline-specific skills outlined in the learning outcomes above, the programme fosters a range of generic and employability skills.  These include

        • advanced oral and written communication skills
        • analytical thinking
        • independent learning, and the ability to use electronic and other sources of information appropriate to the project chosen
        • critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice)
        • coping with uncertainty/complexity
        • creativity and innovative thinking
        • digital and IT literacy
        • the ability to direct their own academic and professional development

        Practical music activities, where undertaken, embed such skills as leadership, teamwork (including formative input in a group situation) and self-management.

        How will I be taught?


        The BA in Welsh and Music uses several different methods of learning and teaching. During your degree, you will attend lectures, contribute to seminars and group work, complete practical tasks, undertake a period of work experience and complete an extended piece of independent work under the guidance of a tutor. The learning will usually take place in the Humanities Building, although it is possible that you will undertake field work away from the campus. 

        The programme is based on a range of core (mandatory) and optional modules. Usually, a module will include a series of lectures or workshops supported by seminars for smaller groups, where the field in question can be discussed in more detail. Every year, you will be required to study 60 credits in the School of Welsh and 60 credits in Music. Most modules in the Schoolof Welsh are 20 credits in length. 

        There are two routes in the first year, one for students that have studied Welsh as a first language and the other for students that have studied Welsh as a second language. Both routes will include core modules in the fields of literature and language. There will be an opportunity to discuss literature from different periods and to look at the Welsh language in terms of its grammar and its place in modern Wales. The first year will equip you with the research and presentation skills that you will need to complete your degree.

        Furthermore, during the second year, you will follow a further module (or modules in the case of the Welsh as a second language route) on the Welsh language and the different ways in which it is used in today’s Wales, including a period of work experience. You will also follow several optional modules in fields of your choice.

        In the final year, you will choose further optional modules, as well as writing an extended essay or project on a subject of your choice – either 5,000 words (20 credits) or 10,000 words (40 credits). 


        The BA in Welsh and Music modules involve a range of learning and teaching styles, including (but not limited to) lectures, small-group seminars and workshops, individual tutorials or solo instrumental tuition, ensemble instrumental tuition and practical rehearsals, and independent study.  Supplementary resources are available through various channels, including Learning Central (the university’s Virtual Learning Environment) and from commercially available software resources for which the School holds licences.

        Requests for reasonable adjustment in the provision of teaching and/or learning materials can be made to the Schools’ Disability contacts, who will liaise with the Disability and Dyslexia Centre as required.

        How will I be assessed?


        During your time studying for a BA in Welsh degree, you will be assessed using each one of the following methods:

        • essays
        • examinations
        • reports
        • individual oral presentations
        • self-appraisals
        • extended essay or project (up to 5,000 or 10,000 words)

        Depending on your degree route and your choice of modules, you could also be assessed using the following methods:

        • classroom tests
        • group presentations
        • portfolios (of linguistic exercises or creative work)

        There will also be opportunities to prepare formative tasks. These are tasks that do not count towards your final mark but which give you the opportunity to receive feedback on your progress. These tasks can be oral presentations during seminars, drafts of essays, short written pieces or computer-based tasks. The feedback can be in oral, written or electronic form.

        The School of Welsh welcomes applications from disabled students; we may be able to offer alternative assessment methods in some cases. 


        Assessment in Welsh and Music may involve any one or a number of the following:

        • Performance
        • Continuous assessment followed by final presentation/performance/practical test
        • Essays/exercises
        • Written examinations
        • Dissertations/portfolios
        • Oral presentations
        • Self-evaluation
        • Reports on fieldwork, practical work or other empirical study

        Guidance on specific provision and reasonable adjustments in assessment for disabled students or those affected by the consequences of ongoing illness or injury are set out in School Handbooks.  Adjustments to the conduct of an assessment are usually possible unless the mode of assessment is integral to the learning outcomes of the module concerned (e.g. performance as a mode of assessment on a performance module).  Such competence standards may sometimes limit the availability of adjustments or alternative assessments in English too: such restrictions are noted in the Module Descriptions.


        In Welsh, written feedback is provided on both formative and summative assessment and students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with module tutors in seminars and, where appropriate, on a one-to-one basis in office hours.

        In Music, many of the Year 1 modules involve regular oral feedback on weekly tasks.  In Years 2 and 3 feedback is received in group seminars and workshops, individual lessons and one-to-one tutorials, and in written comments on summative assessments.

        How will I be supported?


        We will support your studies in several ways. Firstly, you will have a personal tutor who will meet you at least three times a year to discuss your progress and any other matters that arise. You will be given punctual feedback on all your assessments (including examinations), and your personal tutor will be able to help you make effective use of the feedback in order to improve your work in the future. Several modules also include formative assessments. You will receive feedback on these assessments, but they will not count towards your final grade. 

        Every module will use the Learning Central website, which is CardiffUniversity's Virtual Learning Environment. Through the Learning Central site, you will have access to materials that are relevant to the module, such as multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises, discussion circles etc.

        You will have an opportunity to reflect on your progress and the skills that you have developed through a section of Learning Central called Personal Development Planning. There, with help from your personal tutor, you will be able to record your achievements in different fields (whether they are part of the curriculum or not).

        Furthermore, centrally, the university offers a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.


        Every student is assigned a personal tutor in each School and will meet him/her for regular progress meetings.  There are forms to complete before each meeting: these are designed to help you reflect on the written feedback and the reasons for the marks you have received from the previous round of assessment.  You should take the opportunity to discuss this feedback and your reflections on it with your personal tutor.

        In addition, students may make appointments to see their personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis about any issues.  Staff may also be contacted by email.

        Use of Learning Central, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, will vary from module to module as the module leader feels appropriate for the specific contents of the module but will normally at least include making lecture handouts available online.

        Careers advice is available from the Schools’ designated career consultants in the university Careers Service.  In addition, the School of Music provides its own Careers in Music talks.

        What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?


        A typical BA in Welsh and Music graduate will be able to do the following:

        ·         demonstrate intellectual skills that enable close reading, description, analysis and the production of different types of texts (including producing texts in the field of creative writing in the case of some students)

        ·         analyse the core role of language in the process of creating meaning, and the ability to appreciate the affective force of language

        ·         appreciate how cultural preconceptions affect the process of forming an opinion

        .         evaluate relevant texts, concepts and theories in the field of Welsh and discuss them by using appropriate vocabulary

        ·         show an understanding of a range of texts from different historical periods and from different genres

        ·         show a good understanding of the position and importance of the Welsh language in the modern workplace

        ·         implement the knowledge, understanding and skills that they have developed:

        o   in the workplace, by completing a period of work experience and a critical evaluation of the experience

        o   by completing an essay or extended project which is a product of independent study under the guidance of a tutor, showing the relevance of that work in relation to the next step of your career

        ·         utilise basic numerical skills when evaluating data in relation to the Welsh language

        ·         use information technology to present and analyse materials in an effective and polished manner, including the use of software to correct and improve the language

        ·         produce written and oral Welsh of a high standard

        ·         use other written linguistic registers, orally and in writing, in different contexts, including the workplace


        Graduates from this programme will be able to demonstrate:

        • a significant degree of specialist knowledge and understanding in one or more of the following: Welsh language, history and culture.
        • a significant degree of specialist knowledge, creativity, skill and understanding in one or more of the following: performance, composition, ethnomusicology, music analysis, historical/critical musicology.
        • an awareness of the component subdisciplines of music and a working competence in more than one in addition to their chosen specialism(s).
        • an understanding of a range of musical styles and techniques, through pastiche composition, analysis and/or critical commentary of music.
        • knowledge of appropriate critical vocabulary and terminology.
        • an awareness of the shaping effects of social, historical and cultural circumstances on the production and meaning of both music(s) and text(s).

        Other information


        The following are amongst the most significant characteristics of this degree programme:

        ·      the opportunity to follow a degree programme that develops skills that are relevant to both the academic world and the workplace.

        ·      the emphasis on practical research skills, that will benefit you throughout your career

        ·      the emphasis placed on independent learning in a supportive environment

        ·      the experience of being taught by staff that will recognise you as an individual

        ·      the experience of being taught by lecturers that undertake original research work of the highest quality and push the field’s boundaries


        In the School of Music composition workshops, performance masterclasses, the university concert series, the John Bird lecture series (presentations by visiting academics) and the careers talks provides numerous opportunities for contact with active professionals in the discipline.

        Admissions tutors

        Dr Keith Chapin , Admissions Tutor

          Dr Rhiannon Marks , Admissions Tutor

            Miss Laila Khan , Course Administrator

              Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.