Welsh (for Beginners)

BA Welsh (for Beginners) Code Q522 Attend an Open Day Attend an Open Day

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

There has never been a more exciting time to study Welsh at university level. The establishment of the Welsh Parliament (Y Senedd) and the extension of powers to it in recent years has added to the need for high-calibre graduates who can join a professional, bilingual workforce and work confidently through the medium of both Welsh and English.  

By choosing the Welsh for Beginners degree in Aberystwyth, you’ll be joining a community where Welsh is an integral part of the social fabric, and you’ll have the chance to live and study in a town which is a stronghold of the Welsh language. The BA Welsh (for Beginners) degree scheme is a four-year course, and as well as developing your fluency and confidence in Welsh – both written and spoken - it will give you the opportunity to learn about: literature, culture, politics, history, and sociology

Aberystwyth is located in an area that is steeped in history - an environment where the medieval and modern sit side by side, with ease. It is the ideal place to study one of Europe's oldest languages. Register now on the four-year BA Welsh (for Beginners) degree and let your Welsh adventure begin! 

Course Overview

On this BA Welsh (for Beginners) degree course you will learn Welsh as a complete beginner and you can look forward to becoming a fluent speaker, reader and writer of Welsh by the end of your studies. 

You will start by studying intensive language modules that introduce you to vocabulary, simple patterns and everyday phrases where the emphasis is on speaking the language, and you will be taught in small, friendly groups by teaching staff who are experts in their field. As you move on through the course, you will join other students in the department and will become immersed in Welsh literature. 

We offer exciting modules on all our courses, and Aberystwyth and its vibrant Welsh community is a place where you can flourish. To complement your studies, you will be able to take advantage of the proximity of the National Library of Wales and its wonderful collection of literary, audio and visual resources, and benefit from the lively Welsh social life in Aberystwyth. You can join UMCA, the union for Aberystwyth’s Welsh students, live in Pantycelyn hall or Fferm Penglais, and take part in a variety of fun activities that are organised for our Welsh speaking students. 

Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies are research active scholars and experts in their chosen fields of study, including the study of languages and literatures as well as creative writing.


During the course, you will develop a host of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers. Here are some examples:

  • exploring and analysing data
  • thinking creatively and effective problem solving
  • working independently
  • organising and managing time, including the ability to meet tight deadlines
  • expressing ideas and communicating information clearly and coherently, orally and in writing
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team work - the ability to discuss concepts in groups, discussing various ideas and reaching an agreement
  • information technology skills.

What can I do with a degree in Welsh?

Feedback from employers consistently shows that a degree in Welsh is a sign of achievement at a high level, and there is evidence that there is great demand for graduates of this calibre in a variety of jobs.

Graduates of the Welsh Department enter into excellent jobs. Many go into education, while the Welsh media attracts many into performance, administration and production. Some of the department's graduates go into some aspect of social work or law. As a result of Welsh Language Legislation and the establishment of the National Assembly, there has been an increase in demand for civil servants who have Welsh language skills, and for translators and administrators across several areas. The combination of Welsh and Accounting and Finance offers a range of career prospects, from the tourism or book publishing industry to the police. The skills of researching and analysing that you will develop during your degree course will also provide a solid foundation for studying at postgraduate level and for a career in academia.

Learn more about the jobs of some of our graduates on the page Ydy fy swydd yn dy siwtio? / What job would suit you?

What opportunities for work experience will be available during my studies?

Learn about the different opportunities offered by our Careers Service.

Improve your employment opportunities with GO Wales and the Year in Employment Scheme (YES), both of which are managed by our Careers Service.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?  

In your first year, you will study our intensive language modules. At the start of the course you will focus on getting to grips with Welsh grammar and learning vocabulary. You will have an opportunity to practise your new knowledge in various contexts so that you get accustomed to everyday language and develop your skills in speaking Welsh. As you gain confidence, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to read and write the language. You will also learn about Welsh literature from the middle ages to the present, reading translations of some works, and you will study a selection of texts in more detail. 

In your second year you will consolidate and strengthen the oral skills that you learned from scratch in your first year, and you will also discover Welsh culture, social history and its institutions. There will be a focus on standard spoken Welsh and subjects relating to Wales and the contemporary world in general. You will also develop writing skills and reinforce your understanding of Welsh grammar. 

In your third year you will be introduced to the basic principles of standard Welsh where the focus will be on the registers of the language alongside the characteristics of standard Welsh such as spelling conventions and mutations. You will also have an opportunity to develop the speaking and practical skills that will be of benefit to you in the bilingual workplace in Wales. 

In your final year we will nurture your ability to write standard and correct Welsh and to speak it eloquently.  

How will I be taught? 

Teaching in the Welsh Department happens through a combination of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. The atmosphere in seminars is more informal, to foster open discussion.

How will I be assessed?

Your work will be assessed through exams, continuous assessment and through marks awarded for essays and exercises. 

Personal Tutor 

You will be assigned a personal tutor for the duration of your degree course. The tutor will be able to help you with any academic or personal issues. You are welcome to contact your personal tutor at any time if you need assistance.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC with evidence of linguistic ability

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM with evidence of linguistic ability

International Baccalaureate:
30-28 with evidence of linguistic ability

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall, with evidence of linguistic ability

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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