MSt and MPhil in Celtic Studies

The MSt and MPhil in Celtic Studies are interdisciplinary courses designed to offer you the opportunity to study aspects of the language, literature, history and culture of the Celtic-speaking peoples from antiquity until the present day. While the main focus will be on Celtic languages and their associated literatures, you may also pursue interests in related fields such as history, archaeology or law.

The MSt in Celtic Studies is a nine-month course designed to help those who already possess a good knowledge of Welsh, Irish or another Celtic language to acquire a grounding in areas of Celtic studies which were not part of their first degree course.

The MPhil in Celtic Studies is a 21-month course normally aimed at those who have taken a first degree in a relevant subject area, or those with no previous background in Celtic, but with sufficient linguistic ability to acquire grounding in Welsh and/or Irish quickly.

Celtic Studies at Oxford takes you right to the heart of the language, literature, history and culture of Britain and Ireland from the earliest evidence through to the present day. The subject extends from bardic poetry to modern drama, and covers the history of the Celtic languages up to the present day. As a subject, Celtic intersects with history, literature, linguistics and archaeology, making it intrinsically interdisciplinary.

The strength of Celtic Studies at Oxford is its range and flexibility. You can study modern Welsh or modern Irish alongside medieval Welsh and Old Irish; you can focus on literature, whether medieval or modern, or take a more linguistic approach. You could look at the development of the Celtic family of languages or the structure or social position of these language today from the earliest fragmentary inscriptions to the modern dialects; or you could focus on the genius of the British and Irish poets and story-tellers who created some of the most exquisite and exciting literature in the world; or you could study the historical evidence for the post-Roman period in Britain alongside your study of British and Irish literature from the same period.

Course Structure

The option papers will allow you to study both Irish and Welsh or only one of the two. There is a compulsory language element requiring the close study of texts in the original language(s). You may also access research methodology training as appropriate to your research interests and needs from relevant faculty provision.

In Trinity Term, you will submit a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words on an approved topic.

You will take three option courses over the two years. The option papers will allow you to study both Irish and Welsh or only one of the two. There is a compulsory language element requiring the close study of texts in the original language(s). You may also access research methodology training as appropriate to your research interests and needs from relevant faculty provision.

In Trinity Term of your second year, you will submit a dissertation of 20,000–25,000 words on an approved topic.

Tutors and Teaching

The teaching and dissertation supervision will be led by Professor David Willis, Jesus Professor of Celtic, with additional input from Dr Mark Williams, Associate Professor in Global Medieval Literature. Option papers may taught by members of relevant faculties, in particular English, History or Linguistics.

Find out more

MSt

Admissions Pages

Course code: TS_FY1

Length: 9 months, full-time

MPhil

Admissions Pages

Course code: TP_FY1

Length: 21 months, full-time