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Why studying for a PhD in the Welsh medium is a no-brainer

Anys Wood, PhD student at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, answers our questions about her research and why she chose to study her PhD through the medium of Welsh.

Anys Wood

Can you tell us a little bit about your research project?

My research will bridge existing studies about Welsh women and Liberalism and the establishment of a Welsh political Nationalism in 1925.

I hope to explain the influence of the dynamics of ideology, gender and class on political developments in the period before, during and after the First World War. I’ll be exploring how women's political identity was created and how it was reconstructed over time, assessing the factors behind the changes.

How does your research differ from what’s been done before?

The late Historian, Ursula Masson, produced detailed studies of women in the Liberal party in Wales from 1880-1914. But I think there’s scope to extend this type of further study by looking at a broader spectrum of political parties and expanding the study period until 1925.

The existing work on Welsh women in politics also focuses on those that were within one party only. I hope that my research will examine the roles of women within the wider political developments such as the growth of the Labour Party, the decline of the Liberal Party and the development of nationalism.

"If you can study through the medium of Welsh and you have the confidence to do so, then go for it."

Which women in the political world (past and present) interest you? The Megan Lloyd Georges or the Margaret Thatchers or both?

The women that interest me aren't well known, but rather the ones that were in the thick of political activity on a local level in Wales. What drove these women to act within political parties really interests me.

Have you had the opportunity to take part in any extra-curricular activities that will help your research?

I was part of the CUROP project (Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities programme) a few years ago under the tutelage of Dr Martin Wright. I worked as Martin’s research assistant, collecting information that would help him with his work. Martin is now my PhD supervisor.

Why did you choose to study your PhD through the medium of Welsh?

It was a natural choice for me after studying Welsh A level and several Welsh medium modules in my undergraduate degree. Even though I’m equally fluent in both Welsh and English languages, I prefer to write in Welsh if possible so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to study for my PhD in the Welsh medium.

What advice would you give a prospective student who wants to study a PhD through the Welsh medium in Cardiff University?

If you can study through the medium of Welsh and you have the confidence to do so, then go for it. I don’t feel there are any disadvantages and it’s also an opportunity to add work of a scholarly quality in the Welsh medium. Certainly in my field this doesn’t happen often enough. I’m always pleased when I come across a Welsh medium publication in my area of study. There’s also support for Welsh medium study via the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s Scholarship Awards for Postgraduates which I was lucky enough to benefit from.

What are your future plans?

I don’t have any concrete plans at present after completing my PhD. Although I do hope that I can pursue a career as a Lecturer. I’d also like to continue research and writing about my subject.