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Course summary

Doctorate-level study is an opportunity to expand upon your interests and expertise in a community that really values research; and to make an original, positive contribution to learning in Celtic Studies and Scottish Studies. We specialise in the languages, literatures and cultures of the Celtic and in particular the Gaelic peoples, from Iron Age Europe to the present. Also in Scottish Ethnology, the study of Scotland's traditions, belief systems, and forms of cultural expression. Research community Based in Scotland's capital and festival city, our research community is at the forefront of policy development and cultural innovation. We work at the cutting edge of linguistic, cultural, literary, and sociolinguistic research in the Celtic languages, with a particular focus on Scottish Gaelic. We play a leading role in relation to language planning and maintenance, particularly for Scottish Gaelic. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), our research was submitted in Modern Languages and Linguistics. The results reaffirm Edinburgh’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities - third in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research in Modern Languages and Linguistics according to Times Higher Education's REF power ratings. Join our community and undertake a specialised research project under the guidance of experienced and well-published supervisors. Celtic studies Our Celtic studies expertise covers:

  • Old Irish and Middle Welsh language, literature and culture
  • Scottish Gaelic and modern Irish language, literature, and culture
  • Celtic sociolinguistics and language policy
  • Gaelic linguistics, dialectology, and language technology
  • The 'Celtic Revival' in Scotland
Scottish studies and ethnology Our Scottish studies and ethnology expertise covers:
  • oral narrative
  • song and instrumental music
  • material culture
  • social organisation
  • custom and belief
  • place names
  • heritage studies
  • Gaelic and Scottish language and culture in the diaspora
Interdisciplinary research Working with colleagues elsewhere in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, and across the wider University, we are able to support PhD theses crossing boundaries between disciplines and/or languages. Your thesis Over the course of your PhD, you will be expected to complete an original body of work under the expert guidance of your supervisors leading to a dissertation of between 70,000 and 100,000 words. You will be awarded your doctorate if your thesis is judged to be of an appropriate standard, and your research makes a definite contribution to knowledge.


See the University of Edinburgh website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on the University of Edinburgh website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

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Celtic Studies and Scottish Studies at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS