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Celtic Studies guide

If you want to learn about one of the formative cultures of Great Britain and Ireland, then Celtic Studies could be the perfect subject for you.

Viking wood carving depicting a wolf or a dragon, low depth of field


  1. What's Celtic Studies?

  2. Why study Celtic Studies?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Celtic Studies graduate?

  4. What qualifications do you need?

  5. What degrees can you study?
  6. How will you be assessed?

  7. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Celtic Studies?

A degree in Celtic Studies can vary depending on the university, but there will be a focus on the historical culture that formed the foundations of the British Isles.

Perhaps the most significant area of Celtic Studies is Celtic languages. Although for many they aren’t a primary form of communication, languages such as Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic have been the subject of revival efforts in recent years. 

Other areas of study can include Celtic literature, art and culture, including a focus on the religious and spiritual habits of Celtic people.

Why study Celtic Studies?

A Celtic Studies degree will give you an exclusive insight into the fascinating medieval and modern Celtic cultures of Great Britain and Ireland. 

Many books, films and TV series have influences from Celtic culture such as the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. If you’re curious about Celtic Studies, it may interest you to see how Celtic culture affected these popular titles and many others.

Depending on your course, you may get the opportunity to learn (at least in part) the language that underpins the particular aspect of Celtic culture you're studying. You may also be able to spend time studying in Ireland or Brittany.

The potential for research during a Celtic Studies course provides the opportunity to develop your skills in this area, as well as acquiring new skills for the analysis of data. Additionally, through your written work, you'll develop your ability to articulate information in a clear and concise manner.

Like most university degrees, a Celtic Studies course will have deadlines for the submission of work. In turn, this helps to improve your ability to work independently, your time management and your self-motivation skills. Furthermore, courses that include seminar groups will give you the chance to work in a team, discussing concepts and theories that have arisen in your studies.

Celtic Studies has one of the lowest unemployment rates of any university subject, and its student satisfaction scores are among the highest for any university in all subject areas. 

What jobs can you get as a Celtic Studies graduate?

Some of the professions that Celtic Studies graduates go into include teaching; work in museums and government heritage bodies; writing, editing and publishing; and research and academic work.

Professional job: Usually needs a degree
Non-professional job: Doesn't usually need a degree

What qualifications do you need?

Entry requirements vary from institution to institution, but A Levels (or equivalent) in English, History or a modern language can be useful. Always check the specific requirements of the university/course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • BA Celtic Studies
  • MA Celtic Studies
  • BA/MA Celtic Studies as a joint honours

Joint honours options include combinations with subject areas such as Classics & Ancient History, English Literature, Linguistics, Geography and a foreign language.

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually in the form of written examinations at the end of modules or semesters. Usually, a dissertation project is undertaken during the final year of study.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include in Celtic Studies, Welsh History, Celtic Archaeology, Gaelic, Irish and Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

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