About This Course
J.R.R. Tolkien once asserted that Welsh “is of this soil, this island, the senior language of…Britain; and Welsh is beautiful”. As Wales develops into a dynamic bilingual country there has never been a more exciting time to study the most vibrant of the Celtic languages. Follow the story of Welsh from the medieval tales of the Mabinogion to the multifaceted Welsh-language culture of contemporary Wales. This four-year programme is designed for beginners and unconfident speakers. It includes an intensive language-focussed Foundation Year, followed by the comprehensive Welsh (second-language pathway) three-year BA degree scheme.
Along this path, Welsh-medium teaching increases gradually as your skills develop, and special modules are designed to facilitate 'crossing the bridge' from learner to enterprising speaker with a degree in Welsh .
Don't worry if you don't have A levels Welsh - we are always happy to consider other qualifications, and alternative experiences: Welsh is a subject for students of all backgrounds. And this four year course allows complete beginners to study with us, even if they have never spoken a word of Welsh.
Doing a degree in Welsh allows you to enjoy and appreciate one of Europe's richest literary cultures - the culture of Wales. You will be given every help to fully participate in the Welsh life of the university and the locality, and you will also learn about Welsh in wider international contexts. We ask questions such as how the fate of the language compares with languages such as Basque and Irish, or how Welsh writers and poets have responded to global themes such as slavery, the Holocaust and the ecological challenge of the modern world.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- A world-renowned centre for the study of Welsh and Celtic Studies.
- Study in the unique Celtic linguistic environment of Gwynedd (north-west Wales) where Welsh remains the language of the majority.
Additional Course Options
This course is available with a Placement Year option where you will study for 1 additional year. The Placement Year is undertaken at the end of the second year and students are away for the whole of the academic year.
The Placement Year provides you with a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop valuable skills and contacts through working with a self-sourced organisation relevant to your degree subject. The minimum period in placement (at one or more locations) is seven calendar months; more usually you would spend 10-12 months with a placement provider. You would normally start sometime in the period June to September of your second year and finish between June and September the following year. Placements can be UK-based or overseas and you will work with staff to plan and finalise the placement arrangements.
You will be expected to find and arrange a suitable placement to complement your degree and will be fully supported throughout by a dedicated member of staff at your academic School and the University’s Skills and Employability Services.
You will have the opportunity to fully consider this option when you have started your course at Bangor and can make an application for a transfer onto this pathway at the appropriate time. Read more about the work experience opportunities that may be available to you or, if you have any questions, please get in touch.
This course is available with an International Experience Year option where you will study or work abroad for 1 additional year. You will have ‘with International Experience’ added to your degree title on graduating.
Studying abroad is a great opportunity to see a different way of life, learn about new cultures and broaden your horizons. With international experience of this kind, you’ll really improve your career prospects. There are a wide variety of destinations and partner universities to choose from. If you plan to study in a country where English is not spoken natively, there may be language courses available for you at Bangor and in your host university to improve your language skills.
You will have the opportunity to fully consider this option at any time during your degree at Bangor and make your application. If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch.
Read more about the International Experience Year programme and see the studying or working abroad options on the Student Exchanges section of our website.
During the Foundation Year, you will follow intensive language courses with professional tutors from the Welsh for Adults Centre, a centre with over 40 years experience of providing language learning courses. Learn more about Welsh literature, history and culture. You then have three years learning through lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will write essays, undertake various weekly exercises and tasks, reading and preparing for seminar discussions. Assessments vary from coursework to exams. At least half of your modules in your second year will be specially designed for students from a second language background, in order to develop specific skills. You will join first language students in other modules, and special tutorials will be arranged to support you. Additional language support is also provided in the third and fourth years.
After the Foundation Year you will have the opportunity to build on your experiences and open new doors: e.g. discussing the language in contexts relating to its history and present-day state, learning new critical skills and responding initially to literature. In the following two years, you will have a wide choice of modules: e.g. the Welsh novel; Welsh theatre; modern poetry and eisteddfod odes (awdlau); television dramas; Dafydd ap Gwilym; the Mabinogion - or why not study American Welsh culture and even ask "What is Literature?" Language modules range from historical to sociological, from the opportunity to learn Irish or Breton to modules that develop professional Welsh language skills in the workplace and also Welsh language skills for creative purposes. In the final year, you will have the opportunity to explore in more depth a topic of particular interest to you, and write a dissertation. Students have recently written dissertations on individuals such as Dafydd ap Gwilym, Caryl Lewis, Meic Stevens and Geraint Jarman, and on areas such as eco-criticism, gender and transgender, literature and slavery, attitudes to linguistic regeneration, and football in literature.
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 Welsh for Beginners BA (Hons) Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
General University Facilities
Library and Archive Services
Our four libraries provide a range of attractive study environments including collaborative work areas, meeting rooms and silent study spaces.
We have an extensive collection of books and journals and many of the journals are available online in full-text format.
We house one of the largest university-based archives not only in Wales, but also the UK. Allied to the Archives is the Special Collections of rare printed books.
There is a range of learning resources available, supported by experienced staff, to help you in your studies.
The University’s IT Services provides computing, media and reprographics facilities and services including:
- Over 1,150 computers for students, with some PC rooms open 24 hours a day
- Blackboard, a commercial Virtual Learning Environment, that makes learning materials available on-line.
General University Costs
Home (UK) students
- The cost of a full-time undergraduate course is £9,000 per year (2021/22 entry and 2022/23 entry).
- The fee for all placement, international, and sandwich years is £1,350 (2021/22 and 2022/23).
- More information on fees and finance for Home (UK) students.
International (including EU) students
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for additional guest tickets (c.£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
Offers are tariff based, 88 - 112 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification e.g.:
- A Levels (including grade B in a Humanities subject, e.g. English, French, German, History, Geography, Religious Studies). A level Welsh is not required. General Studies and Key Skills not normally accepted.
- BTEC National/Extended Diploma and Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM-DMM
- International Baccalaureate Diploma (including grade H5 in a Humanities subject)
- Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted
- City & Guilds Advanced Technical Extended Diploma: case by case
- Access course in the area of Arts or Humanities: Pass
- T-levels: considered on a case-by-case basis.
International Candidates: school leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements), details here.
We also welcome applications from mature learners.
*For a full list of accepted Level 3 qualifications, go to www.ucas.com.
General University Requirements
To study for a degree, you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points. For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com.
We accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds and consider each application individually.
All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.
As part of the University’s policy, we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.
We also consider applications from mature students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more information about studying as a mature student, see our Studying at Bangor section of the website.
EU and International Students' Entry Requirements
For detailed guidance on the entry requirements for EU and International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages. International applicants can also visit the International Education Centre section of our website for further details.
Bangor University offers International Incorporated Bachelor Degrees for International students whose High School qualification is not equivalent to the UK school leaving qualification. The first year (or Year 0) is studied at Bangor University International College, an embedded College on our University campus and delivered by Oxford International Education Group.
Bangor's second language students have enjoyed great success recently. Many have gained first class degrees, and some have won University awards for their work (competing with first language students). Some have chosen to go on to successful careers where their Welsh language skills are essential; others have decided to stay in academia, and complete postgraduate degrees in Welsh, either here at Bangor or at other universities internationally.
There has never been a more exciting time to study Welsh at Bangor. There has never been more demand for a workforce that can use Welsh at senior professional levels. The goal is clear, it has been set by the Welsh Government: a million Welsh speakers by 2050 and a truly bilingual Wales.
In pursuit of this goal there will be a considerable demand for confident Welsh speaking graduates. A degree in Welsh will qualify you as well as any other route in the Humanities would - and doing so better than many other subjects. Employability statistics show, year on year, that graduates from the School of Welsh succeed exceptionally well in finding qualified work. The ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written Welsh is an essential skill in an ever-increasing number of jobs, and Welsh is not a subject that closes any doors on finding work internationally either.
The remarkable professional success of our students in employment - and their varied careers - already proves how entirely relevant this course is to the requirements of contemporary Wales. A proportion of graduates go into education, to be primary and secondary teachers, headteachers, education officers and directors of education. Others go into further education and others become university lecturers. Teaching Welsh for adults is also a key area. Television and digital and print media - including the BBC centre in Bangor - offer a cross-section of interesting jobs and have attracted other alumni into book publishing, creative writing and television scripting, public relations and marketing. There is also continuing demand for bilingual administrators and local government officers.
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA)
The BEA is a comprehensive online course that you can work through at your own pace, taking you through all the steps you need to take to explore, prepare and apply for your dream career.
Bangor University runs a paid internship scheme within the university’s academic and service departments.
Volunteering widens your experience and improves your employability. Find out more about volunteering on the Students’ Union’s website.