Masters degrees in Celtic Studies explore the culture, languages and history of the Celtic nations and regions. The most commonly studied of these are Scotland, Wales and Ireland, although places like Cornwall and Brittany have their own proud Celtic heritage.
Other postgraduate specialisms in this field include Archaeology, Gaelic Studies and Viking Studies, along with courses dedicated to specific Celtic nations, for example Scottish Studies and Welsh Studies.
These Masters usually take an interdisciplinary approach, combining elements of linguistics, literature and history to give students a fascinating insight into the Celtic cultures.
If you’re fluent in one of the Celtic languages – Welsh or Gaelic, for example – some institutions even allow you to complete the programme in that language. You might also have the chance to study medieval Celtic languages.
Afterwards you could find employment in the tourism and heritage industries, using your knowledge of the Celtic world to help preserve endangered cultures. Alternatively, your critical and linguistic skills will be valued in professions such as journalism, publishing and teaching. Finally, a Masters is an ideal springboard to a career in academia and further research in Celtic Studies.
This Masters in Celtic Studies is an interdisciplinary programme specialising in the medieval Celtic languages, literature, history and archaeology covering the whole span of the Middle Ages from the 6th to the 16th centuries.
You will take two core courses, choose two optional courses (one per semester) and study a Celtic Language. You will also produce a 10,000-15,000 word dissertation on a specialist topic agreed with your supervisor.
You will also take a course in one of the medieval Celtic languages at introductory or advanced level. You may, if appropriate, take a course in Scottish Gaelic instead.
You may alternatively, with the approval of the programme organiser, take a taught course from a related Master’s programme or take another language course.
You will write a dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words on a topic of your choice, benefitting from the expert supervision of our staff.
Graduates have secured jobs in academia, museums and government heritage bodies; publishing and book marketing; primary and secondary teaching, and teaching English as a foreign language abroad.
The programme also provides an excellent platform for you to move onto PhD studies and an academic career.
This unique, interdisciplinary programme provides students with a professional grounding in the fields of Celtic and Scottish Studies. It caters for a wide range of interests, with pathways in Traditional Arts and Culture, Medieval and Early Modern Celtic and Gaelic Development and Policy.
You will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding in professional research methods and inquiry, language skills, literary and textual analysis or fieldwork and archiving, and a range of core topics in Celtic and Scottish studies.
You will undertake full research training in Celtic and Scottish studies. You will learn to analyse and synthesise this knowledge in an interdisciplinary context, question assumptions about the primacy of one specific discipline over others and receive an introduction to subjects which you may not have experienced at undergraduate level. You will also have the opportunity to take courses offered by the School of History, Classics & Archaeology.
The programme takes one academic year (12 months) of full-time study, or two years (24 months) of part-time study (part-time options are only available for UK or EU students).
You will complete one core course (20 credits total), five option courses (100 credits total) and a dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits).
Option courses may include:
The internship is an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience in an area relevant to their studies. The economic environment is challenging for many graduates, and evidence of an internship is often a decisive factor in hiring decisions.
The internship has three main elements:
The precise nature of the internship will depend on agreements with the host institution, but it is likely to involve archival work, research assistance, curatorial work, or work in public relations.
Participating institutions may include Storytelling Centre, the National Library of Scotland Special Collections and Manuscripts departments, the National Sound Archive, the National Museums of Scotland, The School of Scottish Studies Archives, and the special collections of Edinburgh University.
You will develop the critical skills to evaluate and compare texts and a historical understanding of literature and culture, as well as transferable skills such as carrying out academic research, writing commentaries and essays, improving your analytical thought, using electronic resources and giving oral presentations.
You will gain:
There are a wide range of sectors within which you could apply your knowledge and skills such as journalism; social, government or cultural research; publishing; higher education; advertising; arts administration; information work; or programme research in broadcasting.
Our area of study is the languages, literatures and cultures of the Celtic and Gaelic peoples, from Iron Age Europe to the present.
As a postgraduate research student, you will benefit not only from our highly regarded academic staff and impressive collection of research resources but also from our commitment to enhancing your research skills through a mandatory comprehensive training programme.
Our field of research spans a number of disciplines. Recent work has encompassed archaeology, divinity, education and linguistics, with thesis topics including Gaelic oral literature and Celtic history.
Our research interests include:
A comprehensive training programme by the department of Celtic and Scottish Studies and generic training offered by the School and College is mandatory for all students. Generic training offered by the School and College is optional.
We use a combination of traditional and innovative methods to impart research training. Students are encouraged to make direct contact with original sources and to gain hands-on experience, whether in reading medieval manuscripts or in handling electronically stored data.
Research training and expert research supervision are provided, linked to the specific research topic. Primary sources are emphasised and the combination of archive work and fieldwork particularly encouraged.
You will have access to an outstanding range of facilities and resources for your research. The Celtic Class Library, which holds a wide range of specialist materials, and the larger Scottish Studies Library are situated within the department, and the National Library of Scotland is within a short walk. The School of Scottish Studies Archives include songs, tales and the Linguistic and Place-names Surveys of Scotland.
You will be given comprehensive training in the use of these resources, and will be encouraged to use original sources, and to gain hands-on experience, whether in reading Medieval manuscripts or in handling electronically stored data.
The Masters in Celtic & Viking Archaeology provides an introduction to both theory and practice in approaches to early medieval archaeology, based on our particular research strengths in the settlements and material culture of Celtic, Pictish and Viking peoples, and in the archaeology of kingship and political development.
You will take two core courses and three optional courses. For the MLitt you will produce a dissertation on a specialist topic agreed with the course convenor.
The core courses provides you with a theoretical background to the study of early medieval archaeology, examining themes such as burial, settlement, material culture, religion through a series of case studies. You will also get training and support in a wide variety of research methods including library skills, humanities computing, writing and presenting papers.
Three optional courses must be selected, two of which from the following
You may also choose one of the following options
Graduates have gone on to work for various heritage bodies such as the National Museum of Scotland, and for UK-based commercial archaeology firms.
The programme provides an excellent platform for you to move onto PhD studies and an academic career. The wide variety of specialist optional courses allow you to tailor your particular programme experience towards a direction that best suits your future plans upon completion.
Positions held by recent graduates include Field Archaeologist, Open Learning Tutor, University lectureships and research managers.
Research and field collection in Scottish Ethnology encompasses the areas of oral narrative, song and instrumental music, material culture, social organisation, custom and belief, and place names.
Both oral and written sources are emphasised and Scotland offers excellent opportunities for fieldwork in Scots and Gaelic.
We use a combination of traditional and innovative methods to impart research training.
You will be encouraged to make direct contact with original sources and to gain hands-on experience, whether in reading medieval manuscripts or in handling electronically stored data.
Research training and expert research supervision are provided.
The School of Scottish Studies Archives includes over 12,000 hours of sound recordings, an extensive photographic and video collection, manuscripts, linguistic and place-name surveys, and donated collections such as: