School of Welsh and Bilingual Studies

Promoting bilingualism : celebrating culture

welsh bilingual studies

Welcome to the School of Welsh and Bilingual Studies

We are based on the Carmarthen and Lampeter campuses and specialise in all aspects of applied linguistics, such as language planning, translation and language teaching methodology, as well as the cultural and literary heritage of Wales.

Our mission is to actively respond to the needs of Wales and its people, through promoting the use of Welsh in a variety of vocational fields, whilst also looking at language and culture in a wider global context.  A good example of this is the BA Applied Bilingualism (Welsh with English), which is a new degree scheme on the Carmarthen campus, for those who have studied Welsh as a second language. This innovative degree course offers students the opportunity to learn new skills relevant to the world of work, as well as strengthening their linguistic skills in both languages.

A pioneer in the field of e-learning, the School also offers a range of courses through interactive online provision, such as the Certificate in Practical Welsh available from beginners’ level through to advanced level.  Learn to speak Welsh wherever you live, in your own time, from the comfort of your own home. Alternatively you can attend one of our residential courses on the Lampeter campus which is situated in the middle of the market town, in the Teifi Valley in Ceredigion.

Residential courses for those wishing to improve their written skills in Welsh are also offered on the Lampeter campus and these are a popular CPD option as is the distance learning certificate and diploma in Professional Communication. Other career-orientated options include the PG Certificate in Language Policy and Planning and the PGCert in Interpretation taught through weekend sessions in collaboration with external partners. Another option is the PGCert in Subtitling, which like the PGCert in Interpretation is the only course of its kind in Wales. All once again respond to the needs of the Welsh workforce.

For prospective students interested in studying for an MA, our MA in Bilingualism and Multilingualism takes full advantage of the rich linguistic experience offered by Wales’ own bilingual context, but also looks in detail at the wider international picture. Equally popular with students worldwide is the MA Celtic Studies which enhances students’ understanding of our Celtic heritage through a medieval pathway, a spirituality pathway and a pathway concentrating on culture and society. Both MA courses are available completely online .

MRes (Masters of Research) degrees will be available in both these fields, for those wishing to research a particular subject area in greater depth.  The School also has a growing number of MPhil and PhD students and our experienced staff, who have published widely, are recognised authorities in their chosen fields.

Our distinctive academic portfolio continues to expand and develop. Through our wide range of learning and training opportunities, the School makes a significant contribution to the creation of a bilingual Wales as well as raising awareness and appreciation worldwide of the rich culture and history of the Celtic nations. 

School staff are research active and highly thought of in their respective fields. The following three books were published recently.

Dr Christine Jones:
Welsh Grammar you really need to know (July, 2013)

Prof Jane Cartwright :
Mary Magdalene and her Sister Martha: An Edition and Translation of the Medieval Welsh Lives (Nov, 2013)

Dr Rhiannon Ifans:
Cywyddau Ymryson Syr Dafydd Trefor (Dec2013)

Dr Christine Jones specialises in the fields of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and dialectology and has published extensively in these fields. She has also written or edited over 20 books for learners of Welsh and many of these such as A Complete Welsh Course (2010) and Essential Welsh Grammar (2010) are standard texts and sold world-wide. She is acknowledged as an expert in the field for Welsh to Adults and has contributed to Welsh Government policy in this area -Raising our Sights: Review of Welsh for Adults (2013).  She is at present working on a volume on language teaching methodology, to be published by the University of Wales Press early in 2016.

Dr Jane Cartwright’s research interests include medieval Welsh religious history, the cult of the Virgin Mary, the history of the nunneries in medieval Wales, virginity literature and Welsh saints' cults. Jane is one of the leading scholars working in the field of Middle Welsh hagiography and she is currently working on a major research project on ‘The Cult of Saints in Wales:medieval Welsh-language sources and their transmission’. This four-year AHRC-funded project will make a vast corpus of medieval Welsh texts venerating saints available to an international audience for the first time and involves collaboration between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, King’s College London and the National Library of Wales. Previous publications include Y Forwyn Fair, Santesau a Lleianod (Cardiff, 1999), Celtic Hagiography and Saints' Cults (Cardiff, 2003) and Feminine Sanctity and Spirituality in Medieval Wales (Cardiff, 2007).

Dr Rhiannon Ifans’ main field of research is medieval Welsh literature, both poetry and prose. She is the foremost scholar working in the field of the Welsh carol and related texts. She has also published extensively on Welsh folk life and folk culture and Welsh theatre. Recent research by Rhiannon proves that the first published literary volume by a woman was the work of Jane Ellis, an important milestone in the assessment of Welsh publishing. She is at present working on an English volume entitled Welsh Valentine Songs and a paper, 'The plygain carol-singing tradition in Wales'.

Dr Hywel Glyn Lewis is involved in a wide range of research in the development of bilingual education in Wales. He has also played an international role in the field of bilingualism and language planning as a member of the executive committee of the Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL), the Network for the Promotion of Language Diversity, and as vice-chairman of the Education Society of the European Regions. He has recently been invited to engage with the Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwe language community in northern USA and southern Canada to investigate and lecture on issues of language revitalization.

Staff regularly give papers in conferences and two International Conferences were organised by the School in 2013. The first on the Cult of Saint Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins was organised by Dr Jane Cartwright in July 2013 and a further conference organised by Dr Hywel Glyn Lewis on the Cognitive and Intellectual Advantages of Bilingualism was held in September 2013.

Why Study Here

Staff in the School of Welsh and Bilingual Studies are experts in their chosen fields and have extensive experience in both online and campus delivery. Student surveys and External Examiners’ reports frequently comment on the high level of support provided to all students. Practical and professional, the School takes pride in its range of innovative, contemporary courses and varied teaching and assessment methods.


As noted earlier, the majority of our programmes are career orientated vocational courses. These range from a series of postgraduate certificates offered through weekend campus based sessions such as the Certificate in Language Policy and Planning, to online courses such as the BA in Bilingualism and Multilingualism or the Certificate in Professional Communication. The postgraduate certificates all include a 35 hour work placement.

Blended learning opportunities for those wishing to learn Welsh or strengthen their existing knowledge, in order to improve their job opportunities include the Certificates in Practical Welsh: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels. The ability to communicate effectively is one of the skills most valued by employers, and the main objective of the BA Applied Bilingualism (Welsh with English) is to create individuals who are ready to undertake any of the numerous jobs that place value on high level communication skills.

As a School we specialise in online and distance courses such as the MA in Bilingualism and Multilingualism or the MA Celtic Studies and attract students from all over the world to these programmes along with the online language courses.

The flexible online programmes enable international students to choose from a wide range of historical, cultural and sociolinguistic modules and study in their own home at their own pace. These are unique courses, providing study opportunities for international students, not available elsewhere.

We very much welcome applications from international students and look forward to welcoming you to the School.

The School has a growing number of postgraduate students undertaking either a PhD or a MPhil and will be offering prospective students the opportunity to study for a MRes qualification from September 2014, in the following fields:

MRes Bilingualism and Multilingualism

MRes Celtic Sanctity and Spirituality

Students are encouraged to attend research seminars organised by the University as well as relevant conferences, but you will not be expected to attend regular lectures/classes. The staff of the School have a wide range of interests and expertise including:

  • dialectology                               
  • sociolinguistics
  • dialect literature and literary dialect                           
  • bilingual education                       
  • language planning              
  • second language acquisition including Welsh for Adults          
  • Celtic folklore
  • Welsh history
  • medieval poetry and prose
  • saints’ cults and legends
  • religious texts and church history
  • cultural heritage

Current and recently completed MPhil/PhD dissertations include:

  • Ashley Beard, ‘Second Language Teaching Pedagogy in English medium Schools’
  • Catherine Morgan, ‘Welsh Second Language and trainee teachers’ School-based Experience’
  • Ruth Thomas, ‘The Dialect Literature of Pembrokeshire’
  • Sydney Parker ‘The Acquisition of Temporal Expression in the Interlanguage of Adult Learners of Welsh’
  • Elizabeth Krajewski 'Archetypal Narratives: Towards a Theological Appreciation of early Celtic Hagiography'
  • Jeanne Mehan 'The Daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog'

The School of Welsh free on-line dictionary and grammar can be found here

01/04/2015: Remembering Cliff Tucker

On Thursday evening, 26 March 2015, the Cliff Tucker Memorial Lecture was held on the Lampeter Campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The lecturer was the renowned art historian Peter Lord, and his lecture was entitled ‘Engagement and Escape: Welsh Painting during the Great Depression 1918–1939’. The content of Welsh paintings changed following the Great War: the nationalistic strivings and romanticism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were replaced by depictions of the brutal reality of industrial life, especially the domestic poverty of the South Wales Valleys and the coastal industrial towns. Many painters received financial and social support from Winifred Coombe Tennant (‘Mam o Nedd’) of Cadoxton Lodge, Neath, who bought a number of their works.

The lecture was well received and was followed by a buffet supper in the University’s Lloyd Thomas Dining Hall.

01/03/2015: Welsh in Kyrgyzstan, Asia

Dydy llawer o Gymry ddim yn gwybod bod gwlad o’r enw Kyrgyzstan yn Asia, a dydy llawer o Kyrgyz ddim yn gwybod bod gwlad o’r enw Cymru ar y rhan arall o’r byd. Beth bynnag, eleni roedd Dydd Gŵyl Dewi’n wahanol i rai myfyrwyr yn Bishkek, Prifddinas Kyrgyzstan.

Siarl (Carles), o Llión a Chatalwnia yn wreiddiol, a Flora, o Hwngari yn wreiddiol, dyn ni. Roedd Siarl wedi astudio MA Astudiethau Celtaidd a'r Dystysgrif mewn Cymraeg Ymarferol ym Mhrifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant a chyn hir, mae Siarl yn dechrau ei PhD yno hefyd yn Ysgol y Gymraeg ac Astudiaethau Dwyieithrwydd.Roedd Flora wedi gorffen ei MA mewn Dwyieithrwydd ac Amlieithrwydd y llynedd. Ar hyn o bryd, dyn n'ni gweithio yn Bishkek ond mae ein calonnau yng Nghymru. Felly, roeddwn ni eisiau dod â darn o Gymru yma. Dwedon ni lawer o bethau am ein gwlad fach ac am yr iaith Gymraeg wrth ein myfyrwyr. Roedd y plant â diddordeb ym mhopeth am Gymru, felly dysgon nhw Galon Lân yn Gymraeg! Ar 27 Chwefror, canon nhw’r gân gyda’r faner Kyrgyz a gyda’r Ddraig Goch o flaen y myfyrwyr eraill, yr athrawon ac un cynrychiolydd o'r Cenhedloedd Unedig yn Kyrgyzstan.

Buodd eu perfformiadd yn llwyddianus iawn. Orffenodd y hanes ddim yno. Prynhawn dydd Gwener (bore dydd Gwener yng Nghymru) cafodd pawb yng Nghymru wrando arnon nhw ar y rhaglen Dylan Jones ar BBC Radio Cymru. Aeth ein ‘Diwnod Cymraeg’ yn rhyngwladol!

Carles Fernandez a Flora Kimlosi

BBC Radio Cymru - Timeline Photos | Facebook

Dyma'r link (erthygl) i BBC Calon Lân Kyrgyzstan

Calon Lân Kyrgyzstan

Tra bod cymunedau dros Gymru gyfan yn dathlu dydd gŵyl ein nawddsant, mi fydd 'na ddathlu mawr yn digwydd dros bedwar ban byd hefyd.

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01.12.2014: The First Plygain Service of the Season

On Monday, 1 December, our traditional Plygain carol service was held in the University Chapel of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, on the Lampeter Campus. According to tradition Plygain services are held between the beginning of Advent and Candelmass, that is between 1 December and 2 February. As this particular Plygain takes place on the first Monday in December, and as the first Monday this year fell on the first of the month, the Lampeter Plygain was the first to be held throughout Wales.

The service was very well attended, as has been the case for some years now, many coming to listen, others to sing. Many felt blessed by the meeting, and it proved to be an extremely satisfying start to the Plygain season. Part of the Evensong service was conducted by the Reverend Ainsley Griffiths, Chaplain of the Carmarthen Campus, and the organist was Mrs Glynis Morris. The following singers took part: The Lampeter Campus Plygain Party, Corisma, Delyth Morgans Phillips, Twynog Davies, Rhiannon Ifans and Trefor Pugh, the Llandeilo Mixed Choir, Parti Meibion Llandeilo, Parti’r Penrhyn, and Rhian Morgan and Heledd Cynwal. After the men who had taken part had sung ‘Carol y Swper’ [‘the Supper Carol’], mulled wine and the first mincepies of the Season were served in the Old Hall.

An item discussing this service was broadcast the following morning on Radio Cymru, when several members of the congregation were interviewed by Sara Gibson.

The service was arranged by Dr Rhiannon Ifans of the School of Welsh and Bilingual Studies, and it was sponsored by the School and by the Faculty of Social Sciences at UWTSD. It was good to see the President of the University, Dr R. Brinley Jones and Mrs Stephanie Jones, attending the service as usual.

Prof. Sabine Asmus
External occasional marker

Dr Gwen Awbery
Honorary Research Fellow

Prof Jane Cartwright
Tel: 01570 424870

Andrew Currie
Lecturer and Welsh Language Services Coordinator
Tel: 01267 676846

Gwen Davies
Tel: 01570 424898

Dr Rhiannon Ifans

Dyson Research Fellow

01570 424765

Mrs Barbara Jones


01570 676672

Dr Christine Jones

Head of School

01570 424931
01267 676774

Mrs Meinir Jones


01267 676928

Dr Hywel Glyn Lewis

Senior Lecturer 

01267 676680

Mr Geraint Lloyd


01267 676841

Gwyn Nicholas

Welsh  Tutor


Mrs Carol Thomas

External occasional