Celtic & Scottish Studies

Welcome to Celtic and Scottish Studies, the longest established Celtic department in Scotland, and home of the School of Scottish Studies Archives.

The study of Celtic at the University of Edinburgh goes back to 1882, while the School of Scottish Studies was founded in 1951 to collect, archive and promote the cultural traditions of the nation.

Brought together in 2001, our multidisciplinary team delivers teaching and supervision across a broad range of specialist areas and is committed to excellence in research and publication.

We also play a highly visible public role, ranging from advising government and other bodies on language issues involving Gaelic at all levels, to developing and supporting public and community engagement with the traditional arts in Scotland and beyond.

Browse our staff directory

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Choose from a range of four-year MA (Master of Arts) honours degrees in:

  • Celtic (single and joint honours)
  • Scottish Ethnology (single and joint honours)
  • Scottish Studies

We also support Moray House School of Education and Sport in delivering Primary Education with Gaelic.

Choose a Masters by Research or PhD in your area of interest and expertise, from traditional arts and culture to Gaelic development and policy. 

We welcome students from a range of backgrounds, so your undergraduate degree does not need to have been in Celtic and Scottish Studies.

Explore our archives

Established in 1951, the School of Scottish Studies Archives comprise extensive collections on the cultural traditions and folklore of Scotland and its people. At their core is the ethnological fieldwork undertaken by staff and students over the past 70 years, including a sound archive of some 33,000 recordings, a photographic archive containing thousands of images from the 1930s onwards, a film and video collection, and a manuscript archive.

Find out more about the School of Scottish Studies Archives

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QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages and for English Language and Literature.

We are ranked 4th in the UK in the broad subject area of Arts & Humanities.

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for English Language and Literature (9) and Modern Languages (10).

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are based on the results of major global surveys of employers and academics, along with research citations.

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Browse the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024 on Top Universities

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Research Excellence

The University of Edinburgh is ranked Top 3 in the UK for research in Modern Languages and Linguistics.

As reported in Times Higher Education, the rankings are based on the quality and breadth of our research in Modern Languages and Linguistics, including in Celtic and Scottish Studies.

They come from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) – the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Explore research in Celtic and Scottish Studies

Read more about LLC's performance in REF 2021

Photo of Fraser Fifield in Sandy Bell's pub

From 2022 to 2025, our Traditional Artist in Residence is Scottish multi-instrumentalist and composer, Fraser Fifield.

Watch, listen to or read an interview with Fraser

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Our current Gaelic Writer in Residence is author, poet and storyteller, Martin MacIntyre.

Read an interview with Martin