Course Overview

The Structured PhD in Celtic Studies 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 are 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 (Celtic Studies/Léann Ceilteach)—full-time
Structured PhD (Celtic Studies/Léann Ceilteach)—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

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

The PhD in Celtic Studies usually involves close study of Celtic languages and literatures (e.g., Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic), but may encompass religion, history, archaeology, and the interface with the Latin and Germanic traditions of the Celtic-speaking regions. Doctoral research usually entails some degree of comparative work.  The sources utilised tend to be medieval, but some topics may require the use of written sources of earlier or later date. For certain topics, knowledge of research methodologies other than those associated with Celtic Studies may have to be attained. The Structured PhD programme provides students with opportunities to acquire such training, and to learn non-Celtic languages (medieval and modern) that may be relevant to their research.

PhD students of Celtic Studies are usually supervised or co-supervised by scholars of Irish, Welsh, or Celtic (languages and literatures), but for some theses, supervisory expertise in archaeology, history, classical languages and literatures, or other disciplines may also be essential.  The list of researcher profiles below is drawn from the disciplines of Archaeology, Classics, History, Old and Middle Irish, and Welsh.

Researcher Profiles

Dr Jacopo Bisagni                            

Prof. Michael Clarke                        

Dr Clodagh Downey                         

Dr Elizabeth Fitzpatrick                  

Dr Graham Isaac                                   

Dr Pádraic Moran                            

Dr Conor Newman                            

Prof. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha              

Dr Kieran O'Conor                             

Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín                                

Dr Mark Stansbury                              

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,250 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Extra Information

EU Part time:  Year 1 [2018/19] €3,575. p.a.

What Our Students Say


Exequiel Monge Allen |   PhD in Celtic Studies/Léann Ceilteach

I came from Chile to Galway in 2013 for my MA in Old and Middle Irish, and I decided to stay for the Structured PhD in Celtic Studies. My research focuses in the religious discourse of early-medieval Irish monks and their reconstruction of Christian theology: the multidisciplinary perspective of the PhD allows me to approach this complex issue from different methodologies. At the same time, Celtic medieval literature being so rich and complex in itself, my first concern has been to acquire and enhance my knowledge of Old Irish language, and in this aspect NUIG has met my highest expectations. Lecturers and colleagues have been both challenging and supportive, as they form a lively community that provides numerous opportunities for academic exchange and discussion (such as conferences and seminars).


  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2019

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2019 PDF (12.6MB)