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MA Early Celtic Studies (MA)


Course Aims

The MA 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 to whom the term Celtic has been applied, from the earliest European evidence through to the historical and literary evidence of early medieval Britain.

Course Description

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 a closely supervised introduction to the sources. Students are taught in small groups and are expected to contribute to 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, and methods of written and oral presentation appropriate to the subject. These core modules are run in conjunction with other MA and MSc degrees in the School of History , Archaeology and Religion and the School of Welsh, and are partly tailored to the literary, historical or archaeological backgrounds of individual students.

Available Modules

Students on the MA select a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:

  • 40 credits of core skills modules (Group 1)
  • 80 credits of option modules selected by the student (Group 2)
  • 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff)

Core modules (Group 1):

  • Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
  • Postgraduate skills in Archaeology and Conservation

Option modules (Group 2):

  • Post-Roman Britain and Ireland
  • The Early Celts
  • Celtic Mythology and Religion
  • The Mabinogion
  • Arthur of the Welsh

Dissertation (Summer): After successful completion of the taught element of the degree scheme, students carry out research and write this up as a dissertation (maximum length 20,000 words). This presents an opportunity for further specialisation and allows students to demonstrate their command of research skills.

Special Features

  • Concentrated study of Celtic world.
  • Literary, historical and archaeological approaches.
  • Opportunities for inter-disciplinary approaches.
  • Expert supervision of dissertation topics.
  • Opportunities to participate in excavations run by the School.

Skills Acquired

In addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical knowledge of their chosen area of Archaeology, the MA provides the opportunity to acquire and perfect valuable skills that are applicable 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 them to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.

Upon completion of the MA in Archaeology (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.

Entry Requirements

1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject.

Suitable for graduates in Archaeology, History, Welsh and related humanities and social science disciplines.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Contact Information

Dr Steve Mills

Position:Lecturer in IT Applications
Dr Steve Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75655Extension: 75655
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