Welsh & Celtic Studies
By studying Welsh at Aberystwyth University you will be introduced to a fascinating variety of topics that reflect the current research interests of our lecturers. These include: the history of our literature and contemporary literature, literary theory, women and gender studies, creative writing and scriptwriting, registers and dialects of Welsh, the language in professional contexts, translation and adaptation, Welsh and the media, sociology of the Welsh language.
In addition to studying Welsh, we also offer other Celtic languages, including Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Breton. At Aberystwyth, you will study the literature of these languages, medieval and modern, read texts in the medieval and early modern languages, and improve your conversational and written skills in the modern languages. You will also learn about the languages and cultures of the ancient Celts and how they helped to shape modern Europe. The interdisciplinary study of cultures helps us to better understand ourselves, others, and the world around us.
By choosing to study Welsh and Celtic Studies at degree level, you will develop not only your capacity to speak and use Welsh in a wide range of professional and social contexts. You will also consider the place of Welsh in the context of other languages and cultures, and enhance your abilities to speak and learn other languages. This combination is what creates the background and special dynamic for our academic and social lives, and is what makes the Department, and Aberystwyth, an ideal place to study some of Europe's oldest languages.
Why study Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University?
- Leading - The Department leads the sector in fields such as creative writing, Welsh in the professional workplace and translation services. Everybody in the Department shares the aim of promoting a wider understanding of the Welsh language, its history, literature, and its place in the modern world.
- History - This is the oldest department of its kind in Wales (established in 1875).
- Experts - You will be taught by lecturers who are experts in their field.
- Wide choice of modules - You will study fascinating subjects that reflect the current interests of our lecturers: from the history of our literature to contemporary literature; from the sociology of the Welsh language to registers and dialects; from creative writing and scriptwriting to editing and proofreading.
- The National Library of Wales – As well as the extensive resources of the University, we are on the doorstep of the National Library of Wales and its amazing collections of literary and audio and visual media resources.
- A vibrant Welsh community in the heart of Wales - You'll be joining a community where Welsh is an integral part of the social fabric, and you will have the opportunity to live and study in a town that is one of the strongholds of the Welsh language.
- A location like no other - On the west coast of Wales between Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains, you’ll be part of a friendly, outward-looking community - the ideal place to study the rich history and cultural heritage of the Celtic people and regions.
- Good reputation - The standard of research and teaching in this department is one of the highest around.
- A lively Welsh Social Life - You will be able to join the Aberystwyth Welsh Students' Union (UMCA), live in the Pantycelyn Hall or Fferm Penglais , and take place in numerous fun activities that are organised by the union.
- Irish Government Scholarship - You can apply to follow an intensive language course in Ireland, courtesy of the Irish Government.
Employability is embedded in the Welsh and Celtic Studies curriculum that is available to our students. Through our wide range of modules, we aim to nurture the following skills:
- critical skills
- analytical skills
- creative skills
- linguistic ability.
Our modules will:
- reinforce your Welsh or another of the Celtic languages, both written and spoken
- prepare you for the competitive job market
- hone your ability to communicate effectively
- hone your ability to work with others.
A degree in Welsh or Celtic Studies will prove that you can express yourself in either languages effectively and purposefully, both in writing and speech, and as a result it will prepare you for a wide range of jobs.
There is a demand for young professionals who can work bilingually, and the salaries for bilingual careers are on average higher.
Following graduation, our students have gone on to pursue careers in areas as diverse as the publishing industry, tourism, trade, law, teaching, and administration. The list is infinite!
Free access to The National Library of Wales and its amazing collections of literary and audio and visual media resources.
A lively programme of Welsh events, including 'Cicio'r Bar' (Kicking the Bar) - a regular Welsh literary and musical event held at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre; 'Noson Llên a Chân' (an evening of literature and song) held yearly around Christmas time; creative writing and translation competitions and more.
All the work of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies is guided by research and our staff specialise in the language and literature of Wales and the other Celtic countries. We hold open research seminars every term which is an opportunity to listen to specialists in the field and to have discussions with people who are equally fascinated by the subject.
Our research spans the centuries, and includes specialist fields under three broad areas:
- literature and literary criticism
- practice (editing, translation, creative writing etc)
- language studies.
In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) the Department maintained its reputation for research publications of world-leading and internationally excellent standard. 42% of the department’s publications were deemed world-leading (4*) and a further 30% was judged ‘internationally excellent (3*).
Study or Work Abroad
Aberystwyth University offers every student the opportunity to study, volunteer or work in another country either for an academic year, a single semester, or a few weeks during your holidays.
Find more information on our Global Opportunities webpages.
Studying through the medium of Welsh
Aberystwyth University prides itself on being a bilingual University. As a leading Welsh university, we are proud to offer dedicated support services and Halls of Residence for Welsh-speaking students, encouraging the sense of community and the feeling of a home away from home. Qualifying students will automatically receive the University's Welsh-medium scholarships and can also apply for Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol scholarships. Find out more about our Welsh Medium Scholarships here.