This course is concerned with the history of the Celtic peoples from central Europe to Ireland, and from the early Iron Age into the Middle Ages. The focus is on Ireland's affinities with the outside world: our European inheritance in prehistoric times, and the manner in which Ireland influenced European culture in the early Christian period. Celtic literature, mythology, languages, learning, and the Celtic saints are particular topics of study.
Students are encouraged to develop their skills in close reading of sources. You will have the opportunity to study medieval Welsh and Latin, and to take advanced courses in literary studies, palaeography, and textual editing. Provision has been made for supervised independent research to allow you to broaden and deepen your scholarly interests, while a 20,000-word thesis gives scope to postgraduates to complete a significant piece of work in a specific area of interest.
For the full-time one-year option, you are required to choose modules to the value of 50 credits. Most modules have a value of 10 credits and involve weekly classes for the duration of the academic year (24 weeks). Depending on options, a full-time student will have a minimum of 5 classes per week (though many will also contain weekly assignments); students may also choose to attend the two-day palaeography workshop held annually in early September. For one-on-one supervised studies, and for the 40-credit dissertation, students are expected to meet with their supervisors on a regular basis.
After choosing the modules that you wish to study, you are expected to attend regularly and to participate fully in taught classes. Attendance at Old Irish language classes and at the weekly Department research seminar is compulsory. In areas of supervised study, supervisors for the relevant modules will be organised by the teaching staff of the Department. The thesis topic and supervisor will be chosen by you in consultation with members of staff. The MA in Celtic Civilisation entails a lot of reading and study happily, the library facilities in UCC are particularly good in our subject area.
Placement and Study Abroad Information
Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts in Celtic Civilisation, students often go on to PhD degrees at home and abroad. In recent years, many of our students have received scholarships to study for further degrees in North America, Scotland, Germany and Wales, as well as in Ireland. As we have numerous formal links with higher education institutions overseas, students who avail of the opportunity to pursue their doctoral studies in UCC may elect to spend some time abroad as part of their course.
Unique Aspects of the Course
The MA in Celtic Civilisation at UCC offers great training to students interested in the language, literature and culture of the medieval Celtic countries. It provides opportunities for postgraduates to study medieval Irish, medieval Welsh and Latin. You can develop your scholarly potential by directed independent study and taught modules, and by working with staff who are internationally recognised in areas such as medieval Irish Christianity, Celtic mythology, palaeography, textual editing, and legendary history. MA students will join a large cohort of international and Irish students already engaged on postgraduate studies in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, UCC.
On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
- identify basic Old Irish grammatical forms, and translate sentences which illustrate their use
- translate selected passages of Medieval Welsh prose
- transcribe Early Irish texts from manuscript sources
- write and present a seminar paper on an agreed topic
- present the results of supervised research on a topic within the discipline in the form of a fully-annotated thesis.