UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Celtic Civilisation

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code

    Subject available through multiple programmes

  • Subject Title

    Celtic Civilisation

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 or 4 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Refer to CK101 and CK108 See Requirements for full details.

Course Outline

Celtic Civilisation is a subject for those with a passion for Ireland’s rich cultural heritage and fascinating legends, for the history of the Celtic peoples of Europe, for Ireland’s longstanding contacts with neighbouring traditions, for the dynamics and ideology of medieval Irish society, and for how Ireland assimilated European culture while in turn influencing it.

In the lectures you will follow the Celtic peoples from central Europe to Ireland, and from the early Iron Age into the Middle Ages; you will learn about topics such as Celtic literature, history, mythology, languages, laws and spirituality.

As you progress, you are encouraged to develop your skills in analysing the sources and in expressing your ideas. Those taking courses in related subjects such as Irish history, archaeology, folklore, or Irish language and literature will find Celtic Civilisation complements their studies in these areas.

Students can choose Celtic Civilisation as part of the Arts Degree (CK101), Arts International (CK108), Arts-Music (CK104), Film & Screen Media (CK105), Applied Psychology (CK120), English (CK109), Drama & Theatre Studies (CK112), Economics (CK212), Digital Humanities (CK118).


Celtic Civilisation offers a broad new perspective on early Irish culture, revealing Ireland’s early European inheritance as well as its links with other Celtic regions. The course requires no previous knowledge or language skills and opens up a rich world of myth, legend, poetry, history and traditions, providing an understanding of the past that will enrich your view of the present. It complements courses in related areas such as archaeology, history, or Irish language. Moreover, it provides you with transferable interdisciplinary and analytical skills.

All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 Modules:

  • CC1111 The Ancient Celts 
  • CC1112 Celtic Religion and Mythology
  • CC1113 Celtic Literature 

Year 2 Modules:

Celtic Saints;  Exile and Longing: Early Celtic Lyric Poetry; Learning and Society in the Celtic Countries  The Celtic Languages;  Early Irish Spirituality;  Directed Study in Medieval Celtic Culture;  Gender, Image and Identity in Medieval Ireland

Year 3*/4 Modules:

The Mabinogi:  Legends of Medieval Wales;  Ireland and Scotland;  Otherworld Journeys and Saintly Visions in Celtic Literature;  Irish Historical Tales;  The Finn Cycle;  Research Project;  Early Irish I;  Early Irish II;  The Roots of the Arthurian Legend

*BA International students spend third year studying in an approved foreign university in a country of the student's major language or subject.  They will return to complete their final year in UCC in Year 4.

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of Programme Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: Celtic Civilisation modules normally comprise 24 hours of lectures per semester, accompanied by PowerPoint presentations and printed handouts. First year joint honours students will typically have 3 hours of lectures per week plus tutorials. The subject is taught by a close-knit and enthusiastic group of lecturers, and class sizes are generally kept in the small to medium range. Material presented in lectures, together with supplementary reading, are made available on each module’s Blackboard (UCC’s virtual learning system) site.

Expected reading hours: You will be provided with reading lists. Recommended books, as well as course-specific sourcebooks, are placed in the Boole Library’s High Demand Collection for you. All courses also have extensive online and digital materials supplied through the individual Blackboard sites and other online databases such as the Celtic Digital Initiative http://sulis.ucc.ie/cdi/. Tutorials accompany the three first-year modules. Like all Arts subjects, Celtic Civilisation enables you to learn how to analyse and present material through class assignments.

Why Choose This Course

I came to UCC from Germany in 2007 ... I enjoyed Celtic Civilisation so much that I transferred to UCC’s program.

Marie-Luise Theuerkauf


Find Out More

UCC was the first university to offer a course in Celtic Civilisation. The course provides a comprehensive overview of the origins, ideology, society and history of the medieval Celtic peoples, together with their interactions among themselves and their influence farther afield.

A particular focus on early medieval Ireland also finds expression in the close study of a wide range of early Irish tales, poems and other works. Extensive enrolment by mature and international students adds to the diversity of the learning experience.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad: If you are studying through the BA International, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities abroad. We currently have links with universities in: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden Mexico, and the USA.

Work placement: If you study through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

An undergraduate degree in Celtic Civilisation, besides preparing you for further study in the field of Celtic Studies, can also provide an additional qualification – and a mark of distinction – for students pursuing advanced degrees in such fields as Classics, English, History or Medieval studies.

It is also a useful qualification for those seeking employment in the heritage and broadcasting sectors.


Refer to CK101 and CK108

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130. Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees.

Two Kavanagh Celtic Civilisation entrance Scholarships, of €250 each, are awarded annually to incoming first year students who are registered for 15 credits of Celtic Civilisation, based on their overall performance in the Leaving Certificate Examination.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

EU Applicants: The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over): See the CAO Mature Applicants page and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) page for essential information on the application process for mature students.

QQI FET: See our QQI FET Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants: Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page.

All Applicants: Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Please check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact