Gaelic Studies Degree Programs and Courses

Gaelic refers to a group of closely related languages native to Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Other Celtic languages, including Gaulish, Cornish and Welsh, are more distantly related. In addition to the language, Gaelic studies introduces you to the history, music, literature and folk customs of the Gaelic-speaking world. Read on to learn more about degree programs and courses. Schools offering Culture & Media Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Gaelic languages originated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Gaelic courses teach students the language as well as the literature, music, and history of Gaelic-speaking people. Gaelic language degree programs are not available, but some schools do offer language courses and certificates.

Certificates Some schools offer Celtic studies certificates that include Gaelic courses
Training Students taking Gaelic courses often learn about the related culture, customs, and history
Programs Study abroad programs in Ireland or Scotland are useful for students interested in Gaelic

Why Should I Take Gaelic Studies Courses?

If you're of Irish, Scottish or other Celtic descent, you might want to study the Gaelic language to learn more about your ancestry. You may also wish to enroll in Gaelic studies courses as you prepare to travel or study abroad in Ireland, Scotland or another Gaelic-speaking part of Europe. Gaelic language and culture courses can also enhance your studies of English, comparative literature, history or linguistics. By learning a language other than English, you gain intercultural understanding that can enrich your personal as well as professional life.

What Courses Can I Take?

Studies of the Gaelic language, both Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic, typically include beginning, intermediate and advanced courses. You might also take a variety of courses that introduce you to the wider context of Gaelic and the other Celtic cultures. These may include some of the following:

  • English history
  • European archaeology
  • Irish history
  • Modern Irish literature
  • Modern Scottish literature

What Degrees Can I Earn?

You'll find several colleges and universities offering Gaelic studies or Gaelic language courses, but none currently offer degrees in Gaelic studies. Celtic language, Irish studies and Celtic studies programs are available, however, some of which include courses in Gaelic language and culture. At some schools, you can earn a Celtic studies certificate along with a bachelor's degree in another discipline.

Celtic studies programs are typically offered as minors or concentrations at the undergraduate level; master's degree programs may include courses of study in Celtic languages or Irish literature and culture. Some programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels offer study-abroad options to schools in Ireland or Scotland through which you may increase your command of the language, as well as learn more about the culture.

How Do I Take Online Courses?

In addition to on-campus courses, you can choose Gaelic studies courses offered solely online or courses that combine classroom and online work. To participate in an online program, you purchase a textbook. Some of your online coursework is self-directed, allowing you to work at your own pace. Other coursework is interactive, meaning that you go online at specified times to take part in group discussions or to work one-on-one with the instructor.

Some schools with online programs include:

  • University of Dundee
  • The Open University
  • Gaelic College
  • Sabhal Mor Ostaig

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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