Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Early Medieval Welsh Poetry
Academic Year
Semester 2
Some knowledge of Welsh will be required to study this module.
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (3,000 words)  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (3,000 words)  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. ​Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the nature and purpose of the early Welsh heroic and saga poetry, and its relationship to other literatures, especially in Anglo-Saxon England and Ireland, and the Classical tradition.

2. Demonstrate a specialist knowledge of the political and cultural framework of Wales and North Britain in the immediate post-Roman centuries and in the early Middle Ages.

3. Demonstrate a mastery of the close study of key texts (some in translation, but a representative sample in the original) and study of their main literary, stylistic and metrical features.

4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the current debates concerning the poetry, especially those turning on problems of text transmission and dating.

5. Demonstrate a specialist knowledge of the manuscript sources for early Welsh poetry ​

Brief description

An overview of the earliest poetry in Welsh (hengerdd). We will look at poems attributed to Aneirin and Taliesin in the sixth century, and also at some of the ‘saga’ poems concerning Llywarch Hen, Heledd and so on. We will read extracts of the texts in the original, and consider questions of date, authorship, purpose and so on, as well as themes and the influence of these poems on Welsh literature


Series of 10 lectures on the background, themes etc. of the hengerdd + 10 textual sessions to read a selection (Poems of Taliesin, Canu Aneirin, Canu Heledd etc.) in the original.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication The students will be expected to use clear and correct language both written and oral.
Improving own Learning and Performance The students will have to improve their work in response to constructive criticism from their tutors and fellow students
Information Technology The students will be expected to use word processors and on-line resources where appropriate.
Personal Development and Career planning They will learn skills which are important in academic work.
Problem solving Problems arising from the work will be solved by students in seminars and in their written work
Research skills Research skills will be an important part of completing assignments. Students will be expected to use on-line resources where appropriate.
Subject Specific Skills The ability to reason and to treat a range of sources critically
Team work The students will have to discuss and respect the points of view of their fellow students.


This module is at CQFW Level 7