Welsh / Welsh History: Fully Funded Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Swansea Welsh Medium PhD Scholarship: The Life and Work of Norah Isaac

   School of Culture and Communication

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About the Project

Funding providers: Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Swansea University

Subject areas: Welsh, Welsh History, History fo Education/ Higher Education

Project start date: 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project supervisors:

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Welsh

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

The life and work of Norah Isaac is the subject of this project. Norah Isaac was a pioneer in the world of Welsh-language education and in the world of Welsh drama, and a great promoter of the Welsh language. Although short articles on her life have been published over the years, there has not been a comprehensive biography written to date. This project will go some way to remedy this shortcoming in Welsh historiography, and achieve a number of scholarly objectives. It will present a detailed and thorough study of Norah Isaac, her life, her work and her legacy. It will also promote studies of leading women in Welsh history, contributing to the agenda of the Welsh Government, the BBC and other bodies to promote awareness of the history of the hidden female heroes of Wales.  

The research will need to consider different aspects of Norah Isaac's life: her upbringing and childhood, the establishment of the first Welsh-language school in Aberystwyth, her contribution to Urdd Gobaith Cymru and her relationship with Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards, her publications, her time as a lecturer at Trinity College, Carmarthen and at Barry College. 

Her personal papers are in the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and other documents are in a private personal collection. It is anticipated that conducting interviews with prominent Welsh people who knew Norah Isaac and worked with her is a possibility for securing a complete picture of her contribution and of the world of education in Wales in the twentieth century and of the Urdd movement in particular. There is also an audio-visual archive for her. 

The aim of the research will be to cover and highlight Norah Isaac's significant contribution to the world of education and the creative industries and to the Welsh language in twentieth century Wales.

Applicants are encouraged to submit initial inquiries about submission awards - and to do so before the closing date; submit these enquiries to the relevant staff member(s) in the faculty. 


Candidates must have attained, or must be expected to attain, a first-class honours degree and/or a distinction at master’s level. 

  • Where applicants have multiple master’s degrees, a distinction must be held in the degree that is most relevant to the intended PhD study. 
  • If you are currently studying for a master’s level qualification with an expected award date that is later than 01/10/2024, you should hold a minimum of an upper-second-class (2:1) honours degree.   
  • You should be able to demonstrate a pass with a minimum grade average of at least 70% for your part-one master’s degree modules (the taught aspect of your master’s course rather than a research-focused dissertation) and submit your dissertation by no later than 30/09/2024.  

If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements.

Applicants must be able to begin their course of study in October 2024. As a cohort-based programme, deferral to an alternative enrolment window within the academic year or to another academic year is not permissible. 

Welsh language Requirements:  

Standard programme entry requirements apply, with the additional requirement of being able to confidently write in Welsh (and or/hold a Welsh literature GCSE grade C or above). 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is – at this time – open solely to applicants who are eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK (United Kingdom) rate, as defined by UKCISA regulations

History & Archaeology (19) Languages, Literature & Culture (21)

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24).
Additional research expenses will also be available.

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