Course Overview

The Structured PhD in Old and Middle Irish is a four-year, full-time or six-year, part-time programme of study and research and applicants must have a high honours standard in their primary degree or present such other evidence of fitness as will satisfy the Head of Discipline and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. 

As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules. The wide menu of available options include modules that:

  • are discipline-specific in that they augment the students' existing knowledge in their specialist area (e.g. in languages or literatures)
  • are dissertation-specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project (e.g. in writing)
  • support students' professional development (e.g. through presentation of a paper at an international conference
  • enhance students' employability through generic training (e.g. in computer-based skills).

Students will be assigned a primary Supervisor or Co-Supervisors, and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers, to help plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

Programmes Available

Structured PhD (Old and Middle Irish)—full-time and part-time
Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

The minimum qualification is a primary degree in Irish, Celtic Studies, or similar, with a Second Class Honours, Grade 2 (or an equivalent international qualification).  Many successful applicants will already hold a Master's degree.

Admission to the PhD is at the discretion of the potential supervisor and the Head of Discipline.  Initial enquiries should be made to the Head of Discipline.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

The following types of doctoral research would align well with the specialist interests of the staff:

(i) preparation of critical editions of prose or verse texts of all kinds from any period of Old or Middle Irish;

(ii) linguistic topics, synchronic and diachronic, within any period of Old and Middle Irish;

(iii) literary history, incl. studies of textual multiforms, of characteristic genres and themes of medieval Irish writing, of internal and external influences for change, of the reflexes of local and national concerns and patronage, etc

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Dr Clodagh Downey; Old and Middle Irish language; medieval Irish literature, including heroic, mythological and king-tales, and dinnsheanchas.

Dr Graham Isaac; Old and Middle Welsh poetry; comparative Celtic and Indo-European linguistics; ancient continental Celtic languages; general linguistics.

Prof. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha (Head of Discipline); Old and Middle Irish language; editing of prose and verse texts; literary history, including issues of genre, hybridisation, authorship, patronage and provenance; early medieval Irish history.

Researcher Profiles

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,250 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2020/21

Extra Information

EU Part time:  Year 1 [2020/21] €3,575. p.a.

Contact Us

Prof. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha
T +353 91 493 010

Mic Léinn Reatha


  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2019

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2019 PDF (12.6MB)