Celtic & Scottish Studies

Postgraduate study

Providing excellent teaching and supervision, we offer postgraduate programmes ranging from one-year masters degrees to PhDs.

What's it like to study here?

Our award-winning department is small, friendly and innovative. Students come from a range of disciplinary and personal backgrounds, so your undergraduate degree does not need to have been in Celtic and Scottish Studies to apply.

Photo of Celtic and Scottish Studies team with recording equipment

Based in Scotland’s capital and festival city, we are at the forefront of policy development and cultural innovation. Working at the cutting edge of linguistic, cultural and sociolinguistic research in the Celtic languages, we lead the way for future language planning and maintenance, particularly for Scottish Gaelic.

As a postgraduate student, you’ll have lots of opportunities to engage in our community, including regular seminar series throughout term time (with talks by staff, research students and visiting speakers), the annual O’Donnell Lecture, performances and traditional music sessions, and a range of conferences, including a yearly colloquium on Thinking About Mythology in the 21st Century. 

Passionate about music, literature, song and storytelling, we have strong links with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Storytelling Centre and National Museum of Scotland. We also have a great relationship with student societies, including An Comunn Ceilteach (The Highland Society), organisers of the city’s largest annual cèilidh.

Our research resources and facilities are outstanding. We are ideally placed to explore the theory and practice of working with archives, drawing extensively on an unrivalled range of sound, video, film and photographic resources in the School of Scottish Studies Archives, including as a catalyst for performance. You can also draw on the expertise of our Traditional Artist in Residence.

I think the thing that has influenced and inspired me most has been the people, and how inviting and welcoming the whole community has been in this department. Through being actively involved in conferences, students learn quite a bit about how information is transmitted among academics and also presentation skills, which are important for so much.

Dhanya BairdDhanya is a Celtic & Scottish Studies PhD student who has organised and presented at multiple conferences

What can I study?

For 2024 entry, we are offering two Masters by Research degrees and our PhD in Celtic Studies and Scottish Studies.

Applications to start a programme in September 2024 are now open.

Find out more about our research programmes

Not sure which programme is right for you?

We're happy to help you decide.

Email us about postgraduate study in Celtic and Scottish Studies 

It’s impossible to do justice to the positive impact that the staff - teaching, administrative, and Archive - have had on me. Right from the start, they communicated a real enthusiasm for and delight in the subject area, and a warm collaborative openness towards the students which manifested itself in giving us freedom to let us explore our own research interests.

Dr Ella LeithElla has completed an MA (Hons) and MSc by Research in Scottish Ethnology and a PhD in Celtic & Scottish Studies with us


Research Excellence Framework 2021

Photo of panellists talking at an event with a graphic saying 3rd in the UK

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), our research was submitted in Modern Languages and Linguistics (UOA 26).

The results reaffirm Edinburgh’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities - third in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research in UOA 26, according to Times Higher Education's REF power ratings.

The Research Excellence Framework is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Our REF performance recognises that our excellent work has a direct impact both nationally and internationally in politics, business and the third sector.

Explore research in Celtic and Scottish Studies

Read more about LLC's performance in REF 2021

QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

QS World Rankings graphic on orange background, text says #3 in the UK, World Top 10

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages.

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

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Modern Languages (10).

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

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Are you currently studying with us?

There’s lots more information for taught and postgraduate research students on our LLC Student Information Hub. You will need your student log in to access the site.

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Where to next?

Take me to all postgraduate study options in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures