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Celtic Studies (MA)

Our Celtic Studies programme is a unique distance-learning programme that offers students interested in Welsh and Celtic Studies the opportunity to study various aspects of the history, literature and cultural heritage of the Celtic regions in their own homes.


You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 

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Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home: £7,800
Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Overseas (distance/online): £10,400
Fees are for the whole course.
  • If you would like to learn more about the history, literature, religion and cultural heritage of the Celtic regions, this programme is ideal for you.
  • You’ll be able to choose from a wide range of interesting topics taught by experienced university lecturers who are specialists in their fields.
  • Since the course is a distance-learning course, you do not need to move to Lampeter and sacrifice your day job, as you can study from the comfort of your own home using our VLE (virtual learning environment) and the course content and reading material we provide.
  • You’ll learn where to find the most important sources on the Celtic peoples, Arthurian literature, folklore, druids and Celtic saints and how to question the various versions of the past that have been put forward by historians, linguists, folklorists and archaeologists.
  • You’ll gain research skills which will be a sound basis for further study, as well as a range of important skills which can be easily transferred to the workplace.

What you will learn

Course Overview

This multidisciplinary master’s degree allows students to study a wide variety of subjects in the following fields: early and late medieval history and literature, Welsh language, gender studies, Arthurian literature, folklore, religion, spirituality and iconography.

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 study 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 Astudiaethau Celtaidd (MA)] or receive supervision and communication in Welsh, but opt to write their assignments in English.

In Part One, each module is worth 30 credits and in addition to the two compulsory modules HPCS7003 Conceptualizing the Celts and HPCS7002 Celtic Arthur and the Mabinogion Tales, students will choose two optional modules from the list of optional modules noted below.

In Part Two, students are given the opportunity to research in detail a topic which has particularly appealed to them and write an extended dissertation. They will be allocated a supervisor to help guide them through their dissertations. We also collaborate with the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and some of our MA students are supervised by staff from the Centre who also offer great expertise in Celtic Studies.

Available through the medium of English or Welsh. Students with no previous knowledge of Welsh are given the opportunity to learn Welsh as part of the programme.

Module Topics

PG Cert, PG Dip & MA

Conceptualizing the Celts (30 credits; compulsory)

This module provides students with a critical understanding of the wider context and background of Celtic identity, language and history and enables students to critically assess and evaluate differing interpretations of the cultural identity of the Celts.

Celtic Arthur and the Mabinogion Tales (30 credits; compulsory)

This module provides students with a systematic understanding of the content, context, cultural and historical importance of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi and examines a range of medieval Celtic Arthurian sources.

PG Dip & MA

Women in the Middle Ages: Sources from the Celtic Regions (30 credits; optional)

This module provides students with an advanced knowledge of the complex range of extant sources relating to medieval women’s lives in the Celtic regions.

Celtic Sanctity, Spirituality and Hagiography (30 credits; optional)

In this module, students will briefly consider the pre-Christian background to Celtic spirituality and the concept of the ‘druid’; consider the coming of Christianity to Wales and Ireland and be encouraged to critically evaluate the notion of ‘Celtic Christianity’; trace the development of hagiography as a genre and consider the evidence for a number of saints’ cults in the Celtic regions examining sources such as saints’ Lives, medieval poetry, holy wells and church dedications, folklore and oral traditions.

Welsh for Beginners (30 credits; optional)

This module allows students to develop an understanding and appreciation of Welsh grammar, syntax and lexis and acquire general communicative skills in the Welsh language.

Celtic Revivals: 1700 to the Present (30 credits; optional)

This module will give students a broad and detailed knowledge of the ways in which texts and ideas drawn from Celtic literature, history, and scholarship have been received in modern culture. The module will provide students with a detailed overview of well-known 'Celtic Revival' movements, concentrating in particular on the eighteenth-century 'Bardic revival' in Wales and Scotland, and the Irish Revival at the turn of the twentieth century. The module will end by reflecting on the reception and revival of the Celts in twentieth and twenty-first century culture, including the significance of revived Celtic themes in contemporary fantasy literature, neo-pagan religion, and national thought.


Dissertation (60 credits; compulsory)

Students are given the opportunity to research in detail a topic which has particularly appealed to them and write an extended 15,000 word dissertation.


The modules are assessed by a variety of assessment methods: short essays (2,500 words), longer essays (4,000-5,000 words), comparative analyses, literary reviews and appreciations, short assignments, linguistic exercises, oral assessments and one 15-000-word dissertation.

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Applicants are expected to have a good first degree (a first or upper second), although every application is considered in its own merit, so places may be offered on the basis of professional qualification and relevant experiences. Candidates with a lower degree classification or no degree may be admitted at Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma level, with an opportunity to upgrade to Master’s level if satisfactory progress is made.

Career Opportunities

This programme is ideal for those who want to learn more about the history, literature and cultural heritage of Wales and the Celtic regions in order to improve their job prospects. Many of the students who undertake the course on a part-time basis are already in employment and wish to gain a postgraduate qualification as a possible means to promotion or change of job role. Former students include journalists, writers, storytellers, teachers, lecturers, editors and people who work in the tourist or heritage industries. Many of our students have also gone on to further research in Celtic Studies at PhD level.

Additional Costs

Students may spend up to £300 per year on books and additional related materials.

Student Quotes

Jeanne Mehan, Gearhart, Oregon

"I had long been interested in Celtic Studies, but never had the opportunity to study the subject properly as an academic student. I was delighted to find this distance-learning programme at Lampeter that I could follow whilst working and living in America. I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of topics and texts covered by the different modules – everything from Arthurian tales to folklore customs.

I now feel I have a much more thorough knowledge of the texts I used to read purely as a hobby and I also took the opportunity to learn Welsh as part of my programme and visit Lampeter for additional intensive language courses. I became particularly interested in Welsh saints while I was working on my dissertation and I am now completely fascinated by them. Since graduating with a distinction I have enrolled on a further research programme and am currently researching the daughters of Brychan Brycheiniog for a PhD."

Bursary / Scholarship Information

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 Scholarships and Bursaries section.


Please visit our Accommodation pages for more information

Further Information

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions related to the University or to this course in particular.