The Welsh Language

Aerial view of Aberystwyth

Shwmae and croeso (welcome!) to Aberystwyth University.

Welsh is a living language in Aberystwyth and throughout Wales.  

Did you know that according to the 2011 Census, 562,000 people (19%) speak Welsh, and in Ceredigion, around half (47.3%) the population speaks Welsh? 

Welsh is an official language in Wales and has equal status with English. This means that you will see both languages used on signs and displays. You will also be greeted bilingually on the phone and services will be offered in either Welsh or English. 

The Welsh Government has a strategy, Cymraeg 2050 (Welsh 2050) that aims to have a million Welsh speakers by 2050, and is working closely with all sectors and communities in Wales to raise awareness, promote and encourage the use of Welsh. According to the Welsh Government School Census Results of 2019, 23% of pupils in Wales are educated in Welsh medium schools.

Ceredigion is considered one of the traditional strongholds of the Welsh language. The Welsh language is widely used in the workplace, in education, at home, and is also a vital part of local communities, organisations, clubs and societies.

Here are some fast facts about the Welsh language.


Learning Welsh

Did you know that Welsh is one of the fastest growing languages in the UK, according to Duolingo?

During your time in Aberystwyth, you may like to learn some Welsh. There are plenty of opportunities to do so here at the University. 

If you are under 25, you can register on a Welsh course for free. For further information on learning Welsh during your time at Aberystwyth, please e-mail:  or visit the Learn Welsh Webpage.

Welsh at Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University is a bilingual institution where Welsh is used routinely in its teaching and administration. You may notice that we offer a wide range of Welsh medium modules and degree schemes. Students are able to study every module through the medium of Welsh in some departments or pick and choose Welsh medium and English medium modules so that they may study bilingually in other departments. Students also have the right to submit assessed work and to sit exams in Welsh.

Aberystwyth University operates a bilingual policy to ensure that the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than English. For example, general correspondence to students will be bilingual as well display material, telephone services, websites, and online services. Students also have the right to use Welsh in meetings with the university, and if needed ‘simultaneous translation services’ will be provided to facilitate this. 

This is in line with Welsh language legislation. The most recent piece of legislation relating to the Welsh language, the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, sets out a legal framework which imposes a duty on Universities in Wales, among other organisations, to comply with ‘Standards’ relating to the Welsh language.

The Welsh Language Standards’ purpose is to give more rights for people to use Welsh in their everyday lives. Universities are expected to further develop the use of the Welsh language based on the principle that the Welsh language should not be treated less favourably that the English language.

The University has its own strategy on the Welsh language. The Welsh Language & Culture Sub-Strategy 2019-23 highlights the main activities that make Aberystwyth University an ambitious bilingual institution which facilitates and promotes the use of the Welsh language. ‘Addewidion Aber’ (Aber Pledge) highlights through a series of pledges the University’s commitment to the Welsh language and how we offer a Welsh experience to students.

More information on the Welsh services we provide can be found here:   

Welsh Medium Accommodation

Aberystwyth University offers students a choice of Welsh medium accommodation for students who are Welsh speakers or learners and would like to live and socialise in a Welsh speaking environment. Welsh medium accommodation allows students to live and socialise through the medium of Welsh, meet other Welsh speakers from across Wales and provides opportunities for learners to be immersed in the language. 

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Aberystwyth University works closely with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC) to develop opportunities for students to study in Welsh whatever subject they are studying. CCC aims to increase and ensure more Welsh medium study opportunities, funds scholarships and develops modules and courses for Welsh medium students. The Aberystwyth University branch of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is situated in the Centre for Welsh Language Services. The branch supports the work of the Coleg and acts as a local point of contact for students. You can contact them via

Centre for Welsh Language Services

The Centre for Welsh Language Services promotes the use of Welsh and supports the University in operating bilingually. The Centre’s work includes supporting academic departments to develop Welsh medium projects, providing a translation service, offering a comprehensive support service for staff and students through the medium of Welsh and ensuring that the University is compliant with the Welsh Language Standards.

If you have any questions on how Welsh is used at Aberystwyth University, please contact  


Established in 1973, UMCA (Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth) is a union within the students’ union that represents Welsh speaking students and those learning Welsh. If you’d like to learn more about UMCA, feel free to contact the union: