MA Early Celtic Studies (MA)
The Master of Arts in Early Celtic Studies is designed to introduce students to aspects of the Celtic World through archaeological, historical, literary and mythological sources. The degree offers students the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of people for whom the term Celtic has been applied from the earliest European evidence through to the historical and literary evidence of early medieval Britain. Cardiff's location in western Britain makes it geographically central to much of the material under discussion. The specialist library facilities are strong on the subject. The course is taught through the medium of English though there are many opportunities to learn Welsh - a living and vibrant Celtic language. Staff are specialists in the field and students are given closely supervised introduction to the sources. Students are taught in small groups and are expected to contribute in seminar leading.
The MA in Early Celtic Studies is an interdisciplinary degree which is suitable for students from a wide range of backgrounds. All students take a series of core modules which aim to develop research skills, an understanding of the various kinds of source material, as well as methods of written and oral presentation appropriate to the subject. These core courses are run in conjunction with other MA and MSc degrees in the School of History and Archaeology and the Department of Welsh and are partly tailored to either the literary, historical, or archaeological backgrounds of individual students.
Students take 180 credits of modules over one or two years (i.e., full- or part-time). Of these, 40 credits come from core skills modules and 60 come from the dissertation module. Students acquire the remaining 80 credits from a choice of specialised modules.
Please note that some modules are subject to review and may change prior to academic year 2013-2014.
Skills Modules (40 credits)
- Writing Archaeology - 10 credits (HST300)
- Research Methods - 10 credits (HST301)
- Speaking Archaeology - 10 credits (HST302)
Special Topic Modules (80 credits chosen from the following)
- The Early Celts - 40 credits (HST533)
- The Mabinogion - 40 credits (CYD732)
- The Arthur of the Welsh - 40 credits (CYD733)
Dissertation (60 credits)
- The MA Dissertation - 60 credits (HST590)
To find out about funding opportunities please visit our Postgraduate Funding Opportunities page .
The following books offer an introduction to the types of approaches and the range of material contained in the Cardiff MA in Early Celtic Studies. Prospective students should consider this list as required preliminary reading.
Cunliffe, B.W. 1991. The Ancient Celts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Aldhouse-Green, M.J. 1995.The Celtic World. London: Routledge.
Aldhouse-Green, M.J. 1989.Symbol and Image in Celtic Religious Art. London: Routledge.
Aldhouse-Green, M.J. 1995. Celtic Goddesses Warriors, Virgins and Mothers. London: British Museum Press.
Leclant, J. and Moscati, S. 1991. The Celts. London: Thames and Hudson.
Chapman, M. 1992. The Celts The construction of a Myth. New York: St Martin's Press.
Eluere, C. 1993. The Celts First Masters of Europe. New York: Abrams.
James, S. 1999. The Atlantic Celts: Ancient People or Modern Invention? Madison, WI.: University of Wisconsin Press.
Raftery, B. 1997. Pagan Celtic Ireland: The Enigma of the Iron Age. London: Thames and Hudson.
Rankin, D. 1996. The Celts and the Classical World. London: Routledge.
Rees, A. and Rees, B. 1961. Celtic Heritage. London: Thames and Hudson.
Bromwich, R., Jarman, A.O.H. and Roberts, B.F. (eds.) 1991. The Arthur of the Welsh. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Jones, G. and Jones, T. (trans.) 1974. The Mabinogion. London: Dent and Sons.
Padel, O.J. 2000. Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Prospective students may also wish to view the web pages of Juliette Wood, a professional folklorist and Celtic scholar and one of the tutors for this degree.
Learning Outcomes and Career Preparation
A particular strength of the Cardiff MA in Early Celtic Studies is the preparation it provides for students wishing to pursue non-archaeological careers. Thus, in addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical archaeological knowledge, the Cardiff MA offers students the chance to acquire and perfect valuable skills critical to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for students to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.
Upon completion of the MA in Early Celtic Studies (and all other MA and MScs offered in Archaeology and Conservation at Cardiff), students will have acquired the following skills.
Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.
Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional medium; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.
Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.
Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; to use e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web; to find, manage and utilise information and data.
Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals and to adapt to changing circumstances.
Above all, by the end of the Cardiff Masters degree, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.
Students applying to take the MA should have (normally) one of the following qualifications:
- at least an Upper Second Class (2.i) undergraduate degree in Archaeology or a related subject.
- An undergraduate degree in archaeology or a related subject from a non-UK university. We encourage applications from students whose undergraduate degrees are from non-UK universities. Please contact the postgraduate admissions tutor to discuss particular requirements.
- Experience, qualifications or achievements in museums, heritage management or another field of relevance. Potential applicants are required to contact the post-graduate admissions tutor.
For more information contact: