Postgraduate study

Celtic & Scottish Studies

Awards: PhD, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Celtic & Scottish Studies

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:

  • Scottish, Irish and Welsh Celtic literature and literary tradition in the Medieval and modern periods
  • the Gaelic languages and dialects
  • Celtic sociolinguistics and language policy

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.

Our usual entrance requirement for postgraduate study is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

For a PhD, you should have a masters degree in a related subject, however, you may be admitted if you have other qualifications or work experience that are deemed comparable. You should contact your potential supervisor to discuss.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2016 31 July 2016

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you discuss your research proposal by email with a prospective supervisor.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, Masters by Research applicants should include an outline of their proposed area of study; PhD applicants should include a full research proposal.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH