Celtic Studies

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You are viewing this course for September start 2022

The BA Celtic Studies degree scheme at Aberystwyth University gives you the opportunity to study Welsh alongside other Celtic languages, including Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Breton. You will also have the opportunity to study their literature, medieval and modern. You will be able to improve your conversational and written skills in the modern languages, and read texts in the medieval and early modern languages, as well as learn about the languages and cultures of the ancient Celts, and how they helped to shape modern Europe. 

There will be an opportunity to spend a semester abroad in one of our partner institutions in Ireland, Brittany or elsewhere in Europe. 

The Celtic Studies course is designed to be accessible to those who have no prior knowledge of any Celtic language.

Course Overview

Why study Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth?

  • International Reputation - The department is one of the liveliest academic and intellectual environments for Celtic studies in the world.
  • A location like no other - On the west coast of Wales between Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains, you’ll be part of a friendly, outward-looking community - the ideal place to study the rich history and cultural heritage of the Celtic people and regions.
  • Expertise - The department is a world-renowned centre for research and home to an inspirational team of world-leading experts in Welsh and Irish language and literature.
  • Other Celtic Languages - You will have the opportunity to learn Scottish Gaelic and Breton as well as their respective literature.
  • Student Satisfaction - In the recent student satisfaction survey, the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies was top in the UK for Celtic Studies (NSS 2020).
  • Wide Choice - You will have a wide choice of stimulating modules to choose from that reflect the latest research interests of our lecturers.
  • A Vibrant Welsh Community - You will flourish in our vibrant, Welsh community. Not only do we have a Students Union, but UMCA (Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth) hosts many events and societies for those who wish to be part of the wider welsh community.
  • Stimulating Events - Studying here will provide the opportunity to attend a wealth of public lectures, book launches, performances and talks in the Department itself and beyond.
  • The National Library of Wales - The library is a stone throw away from our Penglais Campus. It is one of a kind in Wales, allowing students unlimited access to its rare collection of literature.
  • The Centre of Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies - The Centre is a dedicated research institute, located alongside the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
  • Irish Government Scholarship - You can apply to follow an intensive language course in Ireland, courtesy of the Irish Government.
Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies are research active scholars and experts in their chosen fields of study, including the study of languages and literatures as well as creative writing.

Modules September start - 2022

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Introduction to the Literature of Gaelic Ireland IR11720 20
The Celts: A Contested Legacy IR11820 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Introduction to Modern Irish Language I IR10620 20
Introduction to Modern Irish Language II IR12220 20
Modern Irish Language and Literature for Non-Beginners IR11220 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Introduction to Old Irish IR11920 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Middle Irish Texts in Context IR22520 20
Modern Irish (Language and Literature) IR23120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


During the course, you will develop a host of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers. Here are some examples:

  • exploring and analysing data
  • thinking creatively and effective problem solving
  • working independently
  • organising and managing time, including the ability to meet tight deadlines
  • expressing ideas and communicating information clearly and coherently, orally and in writing
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team work - the ability to discuss concepts in groups, discussing various ideas and reaching an agreement
  • information technology skills.

What can I do with a degree in Celtic Studies?

Many fields value the broad training in the Humanities and exposure to cultural and historical concepts that a degree like Celtic Studies provides. The transferable skills that you gain can be put to full use in your chosen career.

Graduates in Celtic Studies go on to a variety of careers including teaching, administration, the media and the public sector, both here and abroad.

The skills of research and analysis that you will have developed will also be a solid foundation for studying at postgraduate level and for a career in academia.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department.

Course Content

What will I learn?

We offer modules in Welsh and Irish, but students can also opt to study and explore languages such as Scottish Gaelic and Breton and the wider Celtic culture. This three-year degree has been designed to allow you to explore your interests in areas such as: 

  • Welsh literature 
  • women's poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • early Irish saga literature 
  • comparative Celtic philology 
  • Gaelic bardic poetry 
  • Old Irish and Middle Welsh 
  • the Mabinogion 
  • Celtic literature of landscape
  • King Arthur of the Welsh. 

The first year will enable you to consider the broad questions of identity, culture and literature, while introducing you to a modern Celtic language. In subsequent years you will concentrate on expanding and consolidating your knowledge of modern and historical Celtic languages, as well as the literature and culture of Celtic-speakers from the earliest history to the present day.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of traditional lectures, seminars and other innovative teaching methods. In the seminars, the groups are smaller and the atmosphere more informal, to foster open discussion.

How will I be assessed?

Your work will be assessed through a combination of course work and examinations.

Personal Tutor

A personal tutor will be allocated to you for the duration of your degree course. The tutor will be able to help you with any problems or queries that you may have, whether academic or personal. You are welcome to contact your personal tutor at any time if you need assistance.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-CCC gyda thystiolaeth o allu ieithyddol

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM with evidence of linguistic ability

International Baccalaureate:
30-26 with evidence of linguistic ability

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall with evidence of linguistic ability

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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