James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Michelle Rafferty

After graduating from Aberystwyth University with a First Class degree in History and Welsh, I decided to continue to study for a MA degree in Welsh History. During this postgraduate course, I had the opportunity to develop as a young academic and learn many transferrable skills. The core modules of the course concentrated on developing our historiographical skills, but there were also opportunities for us to discuss our dissertation subjects in a one-day conference as part of the ‘Research Methods and Professional Skills in History' module. I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my work to this audience. My dissertation was entitled 'Gwaith y Diafol? Astudiaeth o lofruddiaeth yng Nghymru, 1750-1780' (‘The Work of the Devil? A study of murder in Wales, 1750-1780) and looked at the nature of murder in eighteenth-century Wales using evidence from the Great Sessions Court, and how images of the devil were used in the popular literature of the period.

I am now starting on my PhD course at Aberystwyth University, and have been awarded an AberDoc Scholarship by the University. I know that I am facing three years of hard work, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge. My long-term ambition is to follow an academic career and being able to contribute to Welsh–medium scholarship.

I would like to thank the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for the generous financial support which allowed me to study full-time, but also, and mainly, for being willing to invest in me as an individual.