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UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Celtic Civilisation

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitleCeltic Civilisation
Duration3 or 4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesSee Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

Celtic Civilisation offers an innovative perspective on early Irish culture and opens a rich world of myth, legend, poetry and tradition, revealing Ireland’s place in early Europe as well as its links with other Celtic regions. As a student of Celtic Civilisation you will learn about the history of the Celtic peoples of Europe; fascinating legends; Ireland’s longstanding contacts with neighbouring traditions; issues of gender and identity in medieval Irish society; and 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. 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.

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.

Year 1 Modules

  • CC1111 The Ancient Celts (5 credits)
  • CC1112 Celtic Religion and Mythology (5 credits)
  • CC1113 Celtic Literature (5 credits)

Note that, as a Group 6(b) subject listed in the Arts Subjects Groups table, Celtic Civilisation cannot be combined with Italian or Geography from second year.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

  • Celtic Civilisation modules normally comprise 24 hours of lectures per semester. 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. 
  • For the Directed Study in Medieval Culture module (CC2010), students will be responsible for executing an extended research project — the assessment will be based on an annotated bibliography (25% of total mark), a presentation to department staff and fellow students (25%), and an essay (50%).

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.

Dr Marie-Luise Theuerkauf, Graduate

Find Out More

UCC was the first university to offer a course in Celtic Civilisation and has gained international recognition as a pioneer in the area. The course is run by the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, one of only two such departments in the world. Our academic staff include some of the foremost experts who are currently active in such fields as Celtic mythology, tales of the Irish hero Finn and his companions, saints, the lore of places, the poetic voice, early Irish Christianity and the Arthurian legend. Our Department is also the centre in UCC for the larger subject area of Celtic Studies, including the medieval history and literature of Wales and Scotland, the deeper past of the Celtic-speaking peoples and the origins and interrelationships of the Celtic languages. This places our students at the very heart of Celtic Civilisation studies in all its permutations.

Extensive enrolment by mature and international students adds to the diversity of the learning experience.

If you are passionate about Ireland’s rich cultural heritage, if you are fascinated by history, or if you are gifted with a curious mind and a strong imagination, a love of story, and a willingness to delve into the tales and lore of a many-sided and ancient tradition, then Celtic Civilisation might be the course for you.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Work Placement

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences (CACSSS), which is home to the Department of Early & Medieval Irish, will support you in developing your career interests through a workplace engagement. This Professional Work Experience module (PX3001) may be taken in any year of your undergraduate studies.

Study Abroad

If you study Celtic Civilisation through Arts 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.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduate Study Options

Further study options for students who graduate with Celtic Civilisation as part of their degree include

The Department of Early and Medieval Irish has multiple posgraduate study options and research areas for graduates of Celtic Civilisation. 

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.

Career Opportunities

Celtic Civilisation is an excellent qualification for careers involving familiarity with the Irish past, and with Irish tradition and culture, or as a preparation for further study in this and related fields. Graduates are employed in a range of sectors, including:

  • archivism
  • community work
  • conservation
  • development
  • heritage management
  • journalism
  • librarianship
  • public service
  • research
  • tourism
  • teaching/academia


You can take this subject through a number of undergraduate programmes. You must meet the requirements for the programme that you apply for.

This subject has no requirements additional to the overall programme requirements.

Fees and Costs

See the Fees and Costs information for the programme that you are applying for.

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.

How To Apply

To study this subject, you must apply to an undergraduate programme that offers this subject. You will then select it as one of your subject options in First Year.

This subject is offered through the following programmes:

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact