Why Study Celtic and Medieval Studies?
We offer a range of interrelated postgraduate programmes taught by experts across academic Schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Business. This allows our students to develop detailed knowledge and essential skills in the particular disciplines, while also being able to engage fully in the wider academic community. The interdisciplinary expertise provides study opportunities across a range of relevant fields and languages, and language training includes Modern and Middle Welsh at all levels.
Staff at the School of Arts, Culture and Language include experts in Medieval and Early Modern English and French literature; Medieval Welsh literature and Celtic Studies; the languages and cultures of Germany, Italy, Iberia and China; and early musical culture. The School of History and Archaeology contributes expertise in Welsh, English and European history of relevant periods, as well as the prehistory of ‘Celtic’ Britain and Europe.
The core modules of each individual MA course ensure you develop an in-depth understanding of your chosen field, but the exact focus of the course of study (especially in the case of the final dissertation) will depend upon your particular interests. Whether you choose to specialise in Welsh, Celtic, British or European medievalism, whether your interests lie in Welsh or Irish prose, poetry and historiography, or Arthurian studies, you can choose from a wide range of optional modules, all supported by the superb resources of Bangor University Library and Archives collections.
We have close connections with many universities worldwide, especially in the USA and particularly with Welsh and Celtic Studies at Harvard University, with whom we have a PhD student exchange programme. We encourage our MA students to take advantage of many special opportunities to travel to conferences.
We are a bilingual university: it is possible to study a large number of our modules through the medium of Welsh and English, and written work may be submitted in either language. A full range of language classes are available at all levels, and students are encouraged to make full use of the opportunities to engage with the richness of the area’s linguistic environment, where a majority of people have Welsh as their first language.
Career Opportunities in Celtic and Medieval Studies
As well as being qualifications in their own right, these MA programmes provide an excellent foundation for further research at PhD level. Training in medieval palaeography and book history is one key skills area you can choose to develop, while there are regular opportunities to volunteer in our Archives and Special Collections or work with staff on a variety of projects. Our students organise the interdisciplinary annual ‘Medievalism Transformed’ conference, now in its 17th year.
The enhancement of knowledge and development of skills help strengthen your career prospects, preparing you for a wide variety of jobs inside or outside academia: e.g., as researcher, educator, journalist, arts/heritage officer, translator, or work in publishing, local government, etc.
You can enjoy teaching of a high standard delivered by true experts in their field. Take a look at our staff profiles to find out more.
Our Research in Celtic and Medieval Studies
The diverse and interdisciplinary natures of Celtic, Welsh, Arthurian and Medieval studies are well represented at Bangor University, drawing together research expertise across language, literature, history, archaeology and music.
Bangor University’s contribution to the growth of Welsh and Celtic scholarship, and Arthurian Studies has been recognised internationally since the foundation of the University in 1884. It was here that Sir John Morris-Jones compiled his monumental Welsh Grammar (1913), which forms the basis of the modern literary language, and the key editorial tradition of scholars such as Ifor Williams (Canu Aneirin, Canu Taliesin, etc.) continues to our times.
Bangor University has expertise across all major fields of Celtic literature, language and history, and staff include some of contemporary Wales’s leading writers and creative practitioners, in both prose, poetry and drama. The exceptionally rich archaeological landscapes of north-west Wales provide a natural focus for our research analysing past societies, their settlements and material culture from the late Mesolithic to the post-medieval.
Excellent research and teaching of Arthurian Studies has been cemented through the foundation of the University’s Centre for Arthurian Studies, serving as a hub for international research exchange through long-standing connections to the International Arthurian Society. Alongside the Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book, and the R.S. Thomas Research Centre, it offers impressive resources, including rare editions, for researchers in all of these areas.