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Does the idea of learning new languages appeal to you, particularly the languages of Celtic origin? Are you interested in pursuing a career field in which your knowledge of these languages could help you qualify for and excel in a rewarding position? If so, you may be an ideal candidate for the Master of Arts degree program in Irish and Celtic Languages. The Irish and Celtic languages, which date back to the sixth century and continue to flourish to this day, are an exceedingly interesting field of study. Whether you’re pursuing this degree to help advance your career prospects or merely for personal enhancement, the knowledge you’ll gain during the course of the program will be quite rewarding. Below we have compiled some key information about the Master of Arts degree in Irish and Celtic languages, including some important details about the course, the typical admission requirements and a sample of what students will learn while pursuing this degree.
Master of Arts Degree in Irish and Celtic Languages: Course Details and Admission Requirements
The Master of Arts Degree in Irish and Celtic Languages is a graduate-level program that is offered at many major colleges and universities throughout the world, particularly those in the United Kingdom, the region of the world in which these languages are most prevalent. The program typically spans two to three years in duration depending on the student and the institution, and is open to all graduate students who share an interest in discovering and mastering these ancient languages.
To qualify for admission into the Master of Arts degree program in Irish and Celtic languages students must, at minimum, possess a bachelor degree in the same or related field, with a grade point average of 2.5 or better in all core and elective coursework. Many institutions may also require a passing score on an entrance examination prior to admission and/or a personal interview with the program faculty.
What Are the Irish and Celtic Languages?
The term Celtic can be used to describe many different aspects of the Celtic world, but it is first and foremost a linguistic category, referring to the closely related languages within the Indo-European family. The modern Celtic languages are divided into two subgroups:
- Goidelic Languages. The Goidelic languages are perhaps the most studied of all the Celtic languages. They include Scottish Gaelic, Manx Gaelic and Irish, the latter being the most popular language studied by graduate students, largely because of the rich Irish literary tradition.
- Brythonic Languages. The Brythonic languages include Breton, Cornish and Welsh, the official language of Wales that is typically one of the main focal points of the program.
In ancient times, there were also several other Celtic languages that were widely spoken on the European mainland—Gaulish, Lepontic, Celtiberian—but none of these survived into the modern era. As result, very few programs include these languages as part of the curriculum.
This is but a small sample of what students will learn while participating in the Master of Arts degree program in Irish and Celtic Languages. Although the curriculum for this field of study may vary slightly from one institution to the next, at most colleges and universities the main focus of the program is on the languages with the most substantial literature: Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and, to a lesser degree, Breton.