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MA Medieval Welsh Literature

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Welsh Language Wales: Literature Literature: Specific Periods

Course type


Course Summary

The Aberystwyth University’s MA in Medieval Welsh Literature offers you an exciting opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and literature of the medieval period through historical, social and intellectual approaches. You will study a rich array of Welsh texts and cultural phenomena by engaging with three core modules – The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, Welsh Language I and Welsh Language II – and two further modules from a fascinating selection.

By studying the central canon of Welsh texts, you will develop a sound knowledge of the language, culture and thought of the middle and medieval periods in Wales. You will read and appreciate the most important of Middle Welsh texts in the original language, and you will discuss the narrative techniques, characterisation, themes and structure of these tremendously important texts. You will also encounter important texts from neighbouring cultures and traditions, such as Anglo-Saxon, Irish and Late Latin, so that you may fully contextualise the central literary artefacts of your study.


This MA offers students who have not necessarily had the chance to study for a first degree in Welsh or Celtic Studies to engage closely with the Welsh language and literature of the medieval period while at the same time learning Modern Welsh in order to be able to read and converse confidently by the end of the year. This is a unique combination which is popular with students of cognate disciplines (Modern Languages, Medieval Studies, Old and Middle English, Classics) who wish to improve their language and interpretative skills to equip them for doctoral work. Other students, sometimes with a background in archaeology or history, are interested in knowing more about the culture and language of Wales in the medieval period with an eye to working in the education, heritage, and tourism sectors.

A variety of Welsh texts, from 600 to 1600, will be studied in the original language taking account of their manuscript and cultural contexts, and using a variety of critical approaches including comparative work with texts from neighbouring cultures and traditions such as Irish, Late Latin, and some Anglo-Saxon and Middle English. Our main aim, however, is to equip you with a working knowledge of the Medieval Welsh language, and to ensure that you are fully conversant with the full range of current scholarship including that written in the Welsh language. The dissertation will allow you to develop a topic of your choice and to produce a sustained piece of work up to 20,000 words which will demonstrate to future employers your ability to research independently (under the guidance of a specialist) and to exercise your critical faculties and writing skills at a high level.

Welsh is the everyday language of the Department and the usual language of administration, but learners are given every encouragement to start using the language as soon as they can, and to attend a range of cultural and social events. Staff and students meet in our fortnightly lunch-time research seminars, and the Postgraduate Study Room, located in the heart of the Department, next to the Hugh Owen Library, makes for a good deal of informal interaction between taught Masters’ students, research student, staff and undergraduates. Postgraduate employment stands currently at 100%.


On completion of the module students should be able to: By following this module: 1. You will gain a basic knowledge of both spoken and written Welsh. 2. As well as being able to engage in Welsh conversations in a variety of contexts, you will be able to read simple text written in Welsh unaided and possess the basic linguistic knowledge to read more difficult texts with aids such as dictionaries and glossaries.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Generally, the minimum entry requirement for most Taught Masters courses is a lower second class honours degree (2:2). However, some departments may require 2:2 degrees with a score of 56.5 or above (e.g. Department of International Politics) or relevant work experience (e.g Distance Learning courses).