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Welsh and Celtic Studies (MA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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Start date

Conversion course

This is a conversion course. No prior knowledge or specific degree is required but you need to demonstrate interest and understanding of the subject.


Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Join us to explore Welsh literature, language and culture through an international and interdisciplinary lens.


International application

Develop an understanding of minority-language cultural and linguistic issues that can be related to other international contexts.



Work with leading, and research-active, experts in Welsh and Celtic literature, culture and language.


Professional experience

Benefit from opportunities and training which will develop your professional profile and your employability skills.


Flexible study

Choose to study through the medium of Welsh, English or bilingually, and tailor the programme to your interests.

Our MA Welsh and Celtic Studies programme allows you to investigate and explore the relationship between literature, language, culture and identity across the centuries – from medieval literature to contemporary fields such as language planning and policy.

This is an open and flexible programme, enabling you to tailor its content to your interests and matched with the wide-ranging and diverse research specialisms of our staff.

Under the supervision of renowned experts in their fields, you'll become part of a dynamic, challenging and transformative research and scholarship community. One of our main strengths is the impact and influence of our research on the world around us – politically, linguistically, culturally and socially. We have broken new ground in a range of different subject areas, and these advances inform our MA programme.

Choosing to study with us is an opportunity to engage with diverse and highly-relevant topics concerned with Welsh and other languages, such as:

  • Welsh literature and literary criticism
  • Creative writing
  • Children’s literature
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Language acquisition
  • Dialectology
  • Language planning and policy
  • Translation theory and methodology.

Recent MA students have undertaken original and penetrating research in several notable fields, including: linguistic landscape mapping; creative literary critcism; intertextual research and Welsh medieval literature; and digital technologies and minotiry languages.

You can study this programme through the medium of Welsh or English; or a combination of both.

“What I’ve enjoyed most has been the opportunity to experience different aspects of Welsh as a discipline, from literature to language, and language policy to language sociology. I have to confess that many of these fields were unfamiliar to me but by being introduced to the diversity of the subject area I have discovered and researched new areas of interest that I would never have known about before starting at the School.”
Osian Morgan, MA Welsh and Celtic Studies

Where you'll study

School of Welsh

We are committed to the development of language, society and identity in contemporary Wales through teaching and research of the highest standard.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 0679
  • MarkerColum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.

Academic requirements

Typically, you will need to have either:

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject such as Archaeology, Celtic Studies, Geography, History, Languages, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Sociology, Welsh, or Welsh Creative Writing, or an equivalent international degree
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification
  • or relevant professional experience evidenced by a reference.

Other essential requirements

You will also need to provide:

  • a personal statement which does not exceed 500 words. Your personal statement should detail your research interests and commitment to Welsh and Celtic Studies. Our modules offer two main learning pathways broadly related to 'Sociolinguistics' and 'Literary and Cultural Studies'. Please indicate which pathway you would wish to follow, and your specific interests within that pathway (e.g. Sociolinguistics: language acquisition, bilingualism, language policy and planning, dialectology; Literature and Culture: medieval literature and culture, modern literature, creative writing, literary theory, children's literature, life writing).
  • two references. These can be academic or professional and should detail your suitability for the programme. They should be signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent

Welsh language requirements

This programme is taught through the medium of English or Welsh, or a combination of the two. If you wish to learn Welsh or improve your oral or written skills, you will have the opportunity to follow Welsh beginners or improvers classes.

Application deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet the entry requirements we will contact you to discuss your application and the course in more detail. This is due to the flexible nature of this programme, which is tailored to reflect your research interests and our staff expertise. Any offers are made subject to pre-agreement of module selection and intended research pathway.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

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 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 modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/24 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

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.

Learning and assessment

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 employability training and engage with workplaces, 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.

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 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.

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). 

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.


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.

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

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £8,950 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £20,450 £2,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

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


Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Careers and placements

This programme offers academic training of the very highest standard in the field of Welsh and Celtic Studies for those who are interested in following a career in fields concerned with language and planning, the media, heritage, government, management, public relations, marketing, the creative industries, teaching, and research.

You’ll gain knowledge and nurture skills which are considered assets in a range of different careers. You’ll also undertake employability training and engage with workplaces as part of the Academic and Professional Research module.


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.

“I was fortunate to undertake a work placement which complemented my learning. I worked with an artistic producing company called Adverse Camber, which promotes storytellers across the UK, creating a platform for the development of exciting new performance pieces. I served as a Producing Fellow for its festival, the Leeds Storytelling Takeover, which was an excellent opportunity to explore the possibilities and challenges of the contemporary UK storytelling scene”.
Emma Watkins, MA Welsh and Celtic Studies (Fulbright Scholar)


Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2023 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Scheme

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in 2023/24.


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. 

Studing in Welsh

Up to 100% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.