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Literatures of Wales MA/PGDip


Course facts

  • Name: Literatures of Wales
  • Qualification: MA/PGDip
  • Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

I ddarllen disgrifiad o’r cwrs yma mewn Cymraeg, ewch i’r dudalen yma.

Taught jointly by the Schools of Welsh and English, the Literatures of Wales MA is the first course anywhere in the world which focuses on the study and comparison of texts from the two main literary traditions in Wales (where necessary in English translation). Wales is the only one of the British Celtic nations to retain a widely-spoken, viable indigenous language and a vibrant contemporary literature. It is also the only British nation whose distinctive Anglophone literature remains marginalised within its own education system. At university level, the linguistic divide of the twentieth century encouraged the separate study of the two literatures, a schism which modern scholarship has only recently started to overcome. Bangor – a genuinely bilingual cultural centre – is an ideal place in which to study these two literary traditions from Wales, and to consider the question of what happens to English-language literature when it is not the principal tradition.

Further Details

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

Part One:

The first part of the course comprises three modules which seek to provide students with an understanding of modern Welsh literary and cultural history, enable them to develop their understanding of key issues in modern Welsh literary scholarship and consider key issues across both literary traditions, from a cross-community perspective.

  • Introduction: ‘Who Speaks for Wales?’: In this introductory module, students will be asked to consider how issues of identity pertinent to Wales from 1840 to the present have been understood. Typically, students will study internal difference within Wales, Britishness, notions of Celtic identity, Wales as a postcolonial nation, parallels with other ‘dominated’ British nations, nationalist movements. Work by the following writers might be studied: Hywel Teifi Edwards, Saunders Lewis, Raymond Williams, Matthew Arnold, J.R. Jones, M. Wynn Thomas, Tony Conran, Dai Smith, Kirsti Bohata.
  • Welsh Modernity: Students will be asked to consider the ways in which literature across both linguistic traditions registers the arrival of modernity, and the changes subsequently wrought. Themes might include industry, class, urbanisation, capitalism, rural culture, religion, linguistic change and exile. Writers to be studied might include Caradoc Evans, Lynette Roberts, Caradog Pritchard, Dylan Thomas, Kate Roberts, R.S. Thomas, Arthur Machen, Emyr Humphreys, Idris Davies.
  • Gender and Wales: Students will study the relation between gender and the Welsh nation, and how gender roles have changed over the last century. Themes might include sexuality, masculinity and industry, gendered representations of the colonised space, the male body, women and representations of land. Writers to be studied might include: Elin ap Hywel, Jan Morris, John Sam Jones, Glyn Jones, Jane Aaron, Lewis Jones, Gwyneth Lewis, Rhys Davies, Amy Dillwyn, Menna Gallie.

Part Two:

Preparation of a 20,000-word Dissertation, written in English or Welsh, on any aspect of the literatures in which the student is interested a subject of your choice, researched and written under the individual supervision of a subject specialist.

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Literatures of Wales Modules page.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to this programme should have a good first degree in a relevant subject (e.g. English Literature, Welsh, or History). Practical experience may also be accepted. Applicants will be judged on their individual merits, with work experience and other factors also considered. The ability to speak Welsh is not a requirement for this course; Students will have the opportunity to take Welsh lessons. For international students whose first language is not English, the entry requirement includes an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall (with no mark below 6.0 in any aspect of the test).

International Students

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email


How to Apply

Home/EU students

Home/EU students: apply online yourself with the help of our Guidance Notes on online application for Home/EU students. We strongly recommend you read these before you start to apply online.

Apply online

Once you have read the Guidance Notes you should apply using our Online Application form.

Need help applying? Home/EU students please contact:

Postgraduate Admissions: or write to:

Admissions Office
Bangor University
LL57 2TF

Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717.

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here. For further guidance click here

Need help applying? International students please contact:

International Education Office: or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When to apply

The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer.

Careers and Employability

By providing students with the unique opportunity to study with the best fellow-scholars from both literary and cultural traditions, the course equips students for a wide range of careers in the Welsh public and private sectors. For any job in which an understanding of both linguistic cultures is important, this course is an ideal training. It also provides a sound basis for further postgraduate study within Wales, or beyond. 

Further information

Next steps