Celtic & Scottish Studies

Undergraduate study | Celtic

Uncover Celtic's rich languages, literatures, histories and cultures as part of a single or joint honours degree.

Why study Celtic in Edinburgh?

Celtic has been taught at Edinburgh since 1882, making us the longest-established department of our kind in Scotland.

Our award-winning community is small and friendly. We teach Celtic in multiple degree combinations, so you can take it as a single honours degree or jointly with other subjects.

Celtic civilisations produced the earliest vernacular literature in Europe after Latin and Greek. Today Celtic languages and cultures continue to flourish in writing, song, theatre, the media and more, with a broad international reach and a steady stream of enthusiastic new speakers, audiences and career opportunities.

Based in a city with a long-established Gaelic community, and with strong links to Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Celtic at Edinburgh leads the way for future language planning and maintenance, particularly for Scottish Gaelic. We work at the cutting edge of linguistic and sociolinguistic research in the Celtic languages and reflect this innovation in our teaching.

On campus and in the city

We are based in the historic heart of a world-leading festival city, close to the National Library of Scotland and National Museum of Scotland.

The Main University Library is just across the square from us, as is the School of Scottish Studies Archives. From ancient manuscripts to contemporary recordings, these give you access to a treasure-chest of Gaelic stories, songs, customs, and beliefs.

In addition to the summer and winter festivals, Edinburgh has a lively year-round contemporary cultural scene.

There are conversation groups for practicing Gaelic socially, fèisean for performers, and an annual festival, Seachdain na Gàidhlig.

Discover more about resources and facilities in Celtic and Scottish Studies

Studying Celtic allows me to better understand and appreciate Edinburgh; it provides a special experience to my time here in Scotland and at the University. Even those modules that seem far removed, such as studying the Medieval Celtic languages (as I have), help students to understand the nuances and importance of the individual identities behind the Celtic nations.

Jessica, Celtic and Scandinavian Studies MA (Hons), 2023


Get to know us better

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Thinking of joining us this year or next? Explore what it's like to study and live in Edinburgh. 

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QS World Rankings by Subject 2023

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.

Other ways to learn Scottish Gaelic at Edinburgh

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If you're not on one of our degree programmes, you can still learn Scottish Gaelic with us!

As an undergraduate student of most subjects at the University of Edinburgh, you can take Scottish Gaelic as an outside subject in one or both of Years 1 and 2 of your programme, depending on your timetable.

Find out more about outside subjects 

Gaelic is also available as a Short Course through the Centre for Open Learning . These courses have a fee, but students get a 33% discount. Classes are in the evening, and there are options for complete beginners.

Browse Gaelic courses in the Centre for Open Learning