Celtic Studies

99% of UWTSD’s Historical and Philosophical Studies students agreed that staff are good at explaining things – National Student Survey 2018.

This unique distance-learning programme allows you to study a wide variety of modules on aspects of the fascinating history, literature and cultural heritage of the Celtic regions in the comfort of your own home.

The programme is taught by staff who specialise in the field of Celtic Studies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS).

Key Facts

UCAS Code: Q500
Course Length:
3 years
Start Date: September

Tuition Fees for 2018/19:
£9000 (Home/EU students)
£11000 (Overseas students)
Scholarships and Bursaries

Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts
Contact Email:

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‘I was able to carry on teaching in Belgium throughout my degree at UWTSD thanks to the flexibility that distance-learning delivery offered, but I still got to know my tutors well. I enjoyed learning Welsh so much that I then went on to take my MA in Celtic Studies entirely through the medium of Welsh. I love visiting Wales and am fascinated by the history and literatures of the Celtic regions.’ - Olga Vanherle, Belgium

Some of the world’s leading experts in the field of Celtic Studies have come together to produce an innovative programme that tutors students in topics such as the early Celts, the druids and Celtic religions, the social histories of the Celtic languages, Celtic hagiography and saints’ cults, classic Celtic literature and folktales, medieval Welsh prose and poetry, representations of Brittany and Cornwall, Welsh and Celtic place names, religious revival in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Wales and the influence of Celtic mythology on contemporary writing.

No previous knowledge of the Celtic languages is required for this programme, as students study texts in translation and the programme is taught through the medium of English. However, students may choose to learn Welsh as part of the programme and it is also possible for students who are fluent in Welsh to study their modules entirely through the medium of Welsh (see BA Astudiaethau Celtaidd).

Students will develop an understanding of the distinctive features and linguistic concepts that define ‘Celtic’ as a language family and how this concept was influentially extended to the realms of literature, archaeology, art, music and cultural identity.

Typical modules include:

  • An Introduction to the Celtic Languages
  • An Introduction to the Celtic Literatures
  • The Early Celts
  • Celtic Religions
  • Welsh Language Skills 1, 2 and 3
  • Social History of the Celtic Languages
  • Celtic Sanctity and Spirituality
  • Revivalists and their Revivals
  • Myths Made Modern: Celtic Myths in Contemporary Hands
  • Representations of Brittany
  • Medieval Welsh Poetry
  • Medieval Prose in Wales
  • Welsh and Celtic Place-Names
  • Cornwall without Cornish
  • The Druids
  • Ancient Celtic Civilisations
  • Ten Welsh Thinkers
  • Singing in Chains: Theory and Practice
  • This programme is taught to you via our unique distance-learning platform, so you can carry on working and keep up with your family commitments while you study for your degree;
  • The modules are taught by scholars from the renowned University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David who have published extensively in their specialist fields;
  • We will guide you through some of the most important texts ever written in Welsh and the Celtic languages (in translation) and help you read critically;
  • Learn where to find the most important sources on the Celtic peoples and how to question the various versions of the past that have been put forward by historians, linguists, folklorists and archaeologists;
  • Learn how to differentiate between the use and abuse of the term 'Celtic';
  • Become creative and gain an understanding of the ancient Welsh strict metres, in both theory and practice, with one of Wales’s leading writers;
  • Consider the role religion has played in the survival and vitality of some of the Celtic languages and how legislation has contributed to their decline, death, vitality or revival;
  • Take advantage of being able to learn modern Welsh at a distance and attend our optional intensive language residential course in the heart of Welsh-speaking Ceredigion;
  • Critically examine the concept of ‘Celtic Christianity’ and study some of the primary sources that shed light on the early Celtic saints and medieval sanctity in Wales and Ireland;
  • Evaluate the relationship between religious thought and society with particular reference to the development of national identity and consciousness;
  • Develop your understanding of the social and historical contexts of Celtic texts and of the connections, similarities and differences between them;develop skills of literary analysis and interpretation as well as basic paleographical skills;
  • Analyse the development of various concepts relating to the Druid, a central figure in Celticism used by social and national movements, from its first mention by the classical authors describing continental Celtic society to twenty-first century use by Neo-Pagan movements;
  • Become familiar with the geography of Celtic place-names and with a wide range of name-types (including Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Cornish Place-names, as well as the Vikings and Celtic place-names).
  • Professor Jane Cartwright
  • Dr Ralph Häussler
  • Dr Robert Pope
  • Dr Mary-Ann Constantine
  • Mr Andrew Currie
  • Mrs Gwen Davies
  • Prof. Dafydd Johnston
  • Prof. Mererid Hopwood
  • Prof. John Koch
  • Dr Marion Löffler
  • Dr David Parsons
  • Prof. Ann Parry-Owen
  • Dr Heather Williams

The programme is assessed in a variety of ways and will include several of the following types of assessment: essays of 1000 to 4000 words in length, book/ journal reviews, essay plans, commentaries, short reports, dissertations of 10,000 words.

Grades are important; however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to their chosen subject area and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds.

To assess student suitability for their chosen course we normally arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your qualifications.

Successful graduates will acquire skills that will lead to a range of possible posts including teaching, the heritage and tourist industry, libraries, archives and information services, local and Welsh assembly government, civil service, administration, proofreading, publishing, journalism, film, television, media, creative arts etc.

Many of our students progress to postgraduate studies at UWTSD/CAWCS: for example the MA in Celtic Studies or MPhil and PhD study. Learning Welsh and becoming bilingual will equip students to work confidently as part of a bilingual workforce in Wales. 

UK/EU Tuition Fees

Visit our UK/EU Tuition Fees section to find out more.

Overseas Tuition Fees

Visit our Overseas Fees section to find out more.

Bursaries and Scholarships

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.

Please feel free to contact the Programme Director, Prof. Jane Cartwright, for further course information: j.cartwright@uwtsd.ac.uk