Celtic Studies

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

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

Celtic Studies is a fascinating discipline, and this four-year degree will give you the opportunity to gain a unique insight into the culture, literature, history and languages of Britain, Ireland, Europe and beyond from the earliest period to the present day. As well as bringing the Celtic-speaking world to life, this course will also give you the chance to study individual Celtic languages.  

Aberystwyth is renowned for its dedicated exploration of Celtic Studies and is the ideal location for those who wish to develop their interest in this subject. It is located in the heart of Welsh-speaking Wales, where the medieval and modern sit, with ease, side by side. Where better to study Welsh together with some of Europe’s other oldest languages.

You don't have to be fluent in Welsh or Irish to study Celtic Studies, as this is an English-medium course. The equivalent Welsh-medium course is Cymraeg a'r Ieithoedd Celtaidd (Q562). 

By choosing to study Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth you will be joining a department that is one of the liveliest academic and intellectual environments for Celtic studies in the world. You will be taught by an inspirational team of world-leading experts in Welsh and Irish language and literature and you will have a wide choice of stimulating modules to choose from that reflect the latest research interests of our lecturers. You will also have an opportunity to apply for a scholarship to follow an intensive language course in Ireland, courtesy of the Irish Government.  

To complement your studies, you will be able to benefit from a programme of stimulating events by attending a wealth of public lectures, book launch evenings, performances and talks in the Department itself and elsewhere. You can also take advantage of the collections of rare literature in the National Library of Wales which is situated very near Penglais Campus, and enjoy the social elements of the Welsh community here.  

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 - 2024

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
Modern Irish Language and Literature for Non-Beginners IR11220 20
Modern Irish: Introduction * IR10120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Introduction to Old Irish IR12020 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Modern Irish (Language and Literature) IR22320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Modern Irish (Language and Literature) 3+4 IR32520 20

* 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 opportunities for work experience will be available while I study? 

Find out more about the different opportunities offered by the Aberystwyth University Careers Service

Improve your employment opportunities with GO Wales and the Year in Employment Scheme which are managed by the Careers Service.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

We offer modules in Welsh and Irish, but you can also opt to study and explore languages such as Scottish Gaelic, Breton and Manx and the wider Celtic culture. This four-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.  

In the first year you will have the opportunity 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 with evidence of linguistic ability

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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