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Irish - Old & Middle Irish

Your course
The MA in Old and Middle Irish is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in the Irish language and literature of the period c.600–c.1200. It is aimed at those who already have a good basic knowledge of Irish (Medieval or Modern) or another Celtic language and, in exceptional circumstances, at those who have an appropriate other background to undertake the study of Old and Middle Irish from the beginning.


1. You gain a thorough grounding in the native language of medieval Ireland and a deep understanding of its deservedly famous literature.

2. If your background is in Modern Irish, this course will open a panorama on the entire Gaelic tradition. If you have prior knowledge of other languages or literatures, it will greatly enrich your understanding of medieval Europe and Ireland's place in it.

3. The programme provides an excellent foundation for MLitt and PhD higher research programmes.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
QQI Level 8 degree or equivalent, Second Class Honours or equivalent. IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.


1 year, full-time; 2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

Career opportunities
Graduates have found employment in teaching and academic research, publishing and the print and electronic media, and have developed careers in the interpretation and management of culture and heritage. The programme provides an excellent foundation for higher research programmes (MLitt and PhD) in many fields of Irish language and Celtic Studies of the medieval, the early modern and the contemporary period. The skills acquired are also highly relevant for research in medieval Irish history and archaeology.

Further enquiries

An tOllamh
Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha
T: +353 91 493 010

Subjects taught

The programme offers taught modules in the following:
• Grammar of Old and Middle Irish
• Literary History 600–1200
• Close reading of medieval Irish texts
• History, scholarship and culture in medieval Ireland
• Comparative Celtic linguistics.

Application date

1OMI1, full-time; 1OMI2, part-time.

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System.

When To Apply: NUI Galway does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers will be issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!