2024 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Celtic

Why choose Celtic at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh has a long-established Gaelic community and a lively contemporary cultural scene. From the National Library of Scotland to the National Museum of Scotland, its collections are outstanding, as are the University's own resources for the study of Celtic.

  • A leading centre for the study of minority languages, we have played a key role in teaching, researching and promoting Scottish Gaelic since 1882, influencing language policy and revitalisation.

  • Passionate about music, literature, song and storytelling, we regularly hold events for staff, students and visiting guests to speak, perform or present research. We have a Traditional Artist and Gaelic Writer in Residence, and student-led An Comunn Ceilteach (The Highland Society).

  • You will graduate with the skills to take advantage of Celtic’s growing profile, both in Scotland and internationally. There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3.

Study abroad

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 Year 4, Celtic MA (Hons)
Jessica Year 4, Celtic MA (Hons)

Introducing Celtic

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 growing numbers of new speakers and audiences.

Celtic at Edinburgh is at the heart of this lively contemporary scene and leads the way for future language planning and maintenance, particularly for Scottish Gaelic. We work at the cutting edge of linguistic and sociolinguistic research.

You can take Celtic as a single honours degree programme, or jointly with one of a number of other subjects including Scottish Ethnology, Linguistics, Law, Scottish Literature and Scottish History.

Whichever programme you choose, you will engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise in Years 3 and 4, developing your expertise in the periods and disciplines of Celtic studies that interest you most.

At all levels, we have an extensive range of courses to choose from, covering extraordinarily rich literary and oral traditions from the Middle Ages to the present day.

When you graduate, you will have the combination of broad cultural education and specialist knowledge valued by employers worldwide.

Language learning

You can choose to study Scottish Gaelic from Year 1, and continue to learn about Scottish Gaelic language, literature, and culture throughout your studies.

If you choose this pathway through your programme, it does not matter if you are a complete beginner in Scottish Gaelic; we stream our Year 1 classes to suit all levels of prior knowledge or none.

You can also learn a medieval Celtic language at honours level (Years 3 and 4). For this path, you will study Celtic civilisation and literature in Years 1 and 2, with texts presented in English translation.

Both Old Irish and Middle Welsh are available, and students may choose to study one, or both.