Postgraduate study

Celtic Studies MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Celtic Studies

A Masters by Research (MScR) programme is ideal if you have a clear idea of the independent research you wish to undertake at masters level. We are happy to discuss your topic with you. We specialise in the languages, literatures and cultures of the Celtic and Gaelic peoples, from Iron Age Europe to the present.

Based in Scotland’s capital and festival city, our research community is at the forefront of policy development and cultural innovation. We work at the cutting edge of linguistic, cultural, literary, and sociolinguistic research in the Celtic languages, with a particular focus on Scottish Gaelic. We play a leading role in relation to language planning and maintenance, particularly for Scottish Gaelic.

Join our community and undertake a 20,000-word dissertation under the guidance of an experienced and well-published supervisor. Our Celtic Studies expertise covers:

  • Old Irish and Middle Welsh language, literature and culture
  • Scottish Gaelic and modern Irish language, literature, and culture
  • sociolinguistics
  • language policy for the Celtic languages

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScR1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MScR2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

This programme includes training on research skills, methods and problems in Celtic and Scottish Studies using a combination of traditional and innovative methods. You will be encouraged and supported to make direct contact with original sources and to gain hands-on experience, whether in reading medieval manuscripts or in handling electronically-stored data.

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the Careers Service and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), you’ll find a further range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills, as well as having access to the University’s fantastic libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Part of a community

As part of our research community, you will be immersed in a world of scholarship, with lots of opportunities to share ideas, learning and creative work. Activities range from a regular seminar series (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 colloquium series with Scandinavian Studies on Thinking About Mythology in the 21st Century.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

Our research resources and facilities are outstanding. We hold the Celtic Class Library, which holds a wide range of specialist materials, and the larger Scottish Studies Library. 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.

You will also have access to the University’s many collections, including of rare books and manuscripts, such as the Carmichael-Watson Collection, the Donald MacKinnon Collection, and the David Laing Collection.

We are founding members of Soillse, the National Research Network for the Maintenance and Revitalisation of Gaelic Language and Culture, the Gaelic Algorithmic Research Group, and Faclair na Gàidhlig, a collaborative project to publish an historical dictionary of Scottish Gaelic.

Passionate about music, literature, song and storytelling, we have strong links with the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Storytelling Centre and National Museum of Scotland, all of which are located close to our buildings in Edinburgh’s historic city centre. We also work closely with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the national Gaelic development agency.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

MScR: A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScR1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScR2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK's governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2022 31 July 2022

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents.

For a Masters by Research programme, you should include:

  • a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate degree)
  • a research proposal - an outline of your proposed area of study, helping us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve

See our guidance:

Before you apply, you should look at the interests and expertise of our research community on the programme website. This will help you decide if this programme is right for you and your supervision needs.

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

Further information

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