Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  30%
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the significance and role of philosophical and theological thinking in Welsh history.
2. Outline the philosophies and doctrines of key Welsh figures and locate them within broader traditions of international thought.
3. Critically analyze the philosophies and doctrines of key Welsh figures
4. Outline the key tenets of broad schools of philosophical and political thought, such as socialism, nationalism and pacifism.
5. Evaluate the notions of radicalism and emancipation with reference to particular Welsh traditions and thinkers.
6. Compare and contrast key themes in the theories and doctrines in the history of Welsh thought.
7. Speculate on the connections between a variety of historical ideas and trends and contemporary Welsh society.
8. Appraise and put forward philosophical arguments.


This module contributes to the Departmental provision in the Masters in Welsh Politics and Society. Its primary aim is to analyze and evaluate the philosophies and doctrines of some of the most renowned figures of Welsh history. The module represents a history of ideas, and will offer the opportunity for students to develop specialized knowledge of the key concepts and principles of these historic and historical individuals. Special emphasis will be given to analyzing these ideas within an international context, by considering the connections with the events and intellectual trends of the given era. The aim thereby is not only to enrich students' understanding, but also to emphasize how the Welsh have influenced, and been influenced by, the international sphere.

Brief description

This module will discuss and analyze significant Welsh beliefs, theories and visions that exhibit philosophical, political and spiritual aspects – and their relation with the world beyond Offa's Dyke. A range of figures are selected, reflecting in particular the Christian, Nationalist and Socialist traditions that have flourished over the centuries. In particular, the module seeks to ask whether there are particular values or ideas that draw together these traditions, questioning the reified assumption that radicalism is inherent to the Welsh psyche, and asking whether the idea of emancipation may present a credible alternative characterisation. Beginning with Pelagius' rejection of Augustine's doctrine of grace, we will focus on the emphasis in Welsh thought on the pursuit of self-improvement, freedom, and in some cases, utopianism. The ideas of key historical figures, over a vast period, will be considered – from the fourth to the twentieth century. There will also be the opportunity to reflect upon the consistencies and inconsistencies between the separate philosophies and eras under scrutiny, and to ask whether the wisdom of the Welsh, across the ages, echoes in contemporary Wales.


1. The Saints - Pelagius, Illtud and Dewi
2. Hywel Dda's Law
3. Glyndŵr's Vision
4. Richard Price and the American & French Revolutions
5. Robert Owen and Socialism
6. Non-Conformism, Radicalism, and the Young Wales Association
7. David Davies and World Peace
8. Bevan and the Welfare State
9. Raymond Williams' Cultural Theory
10. Gwynfor Evans: Nationalism & Pacifism

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to express themselves to their advantage. They will understand the importance of relevant information and clear argumentation and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct about their aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of two essays will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. Preparing key texts for seminars and preparing presentations will help students to develop their critical faculties and provide the basis for informed problem solving in the seminar room. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and consider possible answers to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical arguments; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of essays will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources, identify the relevant material, and analyze and respond to theoretical arguments will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualize and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module; - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques; - Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems.
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module. Individual presentations will be couched in terms of group activities as it will be expected that other members of the class will respond with questions and constructive criticisms.


This module is at CQFW Level 7