Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Celtic

Why choose Celtic at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Edinburgh provides an outstanding learning environment for those interested in Celtic and Gaelic and the University offers great experience in language teaching. We have previously won the Best Department category in the Edinburgh University Students' Association Teaching Awards.

  • Edinburgh is a leading centre for the study of minority languages, language planning and language maintenance in the Celtic context.

  • Our facilities include unrivalled library resources for students of Celtic and Gaelic, innovative courses as well as sound, video, film and photographic resources from the School of Scottish Studies' archives, offering you unique opportunities for the study of traditional Gaelic literary and cultural heritage. You can also access important collections in the National Library of Scotland, National Museum of Scotland and National Archives of Scotland, which are all located close to the University.

Study abroad

I’m not only learning what my courses are teaching me directly, like new languages, cultures and literature, but being taught to be inquisitive and ask questions about everything.

Mika Cook 3rd year MA (Hons) Celtic & Scandinavian
Mika Cook 3rd year MA (Hons) Celtic & Scandinavian

Celtic civilisations have contributed substantially to European literature and culture since the earliest times. Many contemporary writers in Celtic languages are internationally recognised figures, and contemporary cultural expression in Celtic languages, through various media, is vibrant.

Celtic at the University of Edinburgh focuses on the Scottish Gaelic language but also covers Modern Irish and the Medieval Celtic languages. In addition to language and literature courses, we offer you the opportunity to explore Celtic history and culture in early and modern times.

Year 1

If you are already qualified in Scottish Gaelic, you will study Gaelic 1B, focusing on Scottish Gaelic language and literature. If you are a beginner you will study Gaelic 1A, concentrating on language learning. Introduction to Gaelic Language & Culture includes a basic language-learning opportunity. Celtic Civilisation 1A and 1B provide overviews of the social and cultural history of the Celtic peoples from late prehistoric times to the present, including language, literature, religion and art.

Year 2

The two Year 2 language courses expand and develop your familiarity with Scottish Gaelic language and literature. Gaelic 2A builds on the work of Gaelic 1A, while Gaelic 2B builds on the work of Gaelic 1B. Celtic Literature 2A and 2B use translations to bring you into close contact with a variety of early and modern literary texts in early Irish, medieval Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and early modern and modern Irish. Celtic Literature 2A plus 2B qualifies you for the medieval curriculum at honours level. Gaelic 2A or 2B qualifies you for either the medieval or modern curriculum.

Year 3

You will choose courses from two curricula - medieval or modern. The medieval curriculum concentrates on early Irish and Welsh language and literature, history and culture. The modern curriculum is concerned with Gaelic Scotland and Ireland from around 1600 to the present and includes advanced Gaelic language work aimed at developing high-level oral and writing skills.

Year 4

As Year 3.

Our facilities

Teaching will take place within the University's Central Area, in modern lecture theatres and seminar rooms. You will have access to the University's libraries, the School of Scottish Studies Archives, which include extensive Celtic library holdings, and general computer facilities, in George Square.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to study abroad through Erasmus and the University's international exchange programme.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams.

Our Celtic graduates have always been very successful in gaining academic, educational, administrative, political and journalistic employment.

Thanks to the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, the creation of BBC Alba, the Gaelic digital television service, and the ongoing expansion of Gaelic-medium education, among other developments, there has been increased demand for highly educated Gaelic speakers and cultural leaders, particularly within the education sector, Gaelic-related research, and media and broadcasting.