Literature. Archaeology. Language. History. Culture.

In the Maynooth University Department of Early Irish and Celtic Studies, we study the languages, literatures, history and material culture of the Celtic-speaking world. Our students have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, from heroic literature to pre-historic archaeology, from the role of women in medieval Celtic societies to the history of Celtic languages.

We are a diverse and friendly department: most of our students take Early Irish and Celtic Studies for the BA degree, but each semester we are also delighted to welcome many international students who choose to take some of our modules in order to find out about Irish history, literature and culture during their stay in Ireland. Our students not only benefit from the intrinsic interest of learning about Celtic societies, but also develop important transferable skills through the analysis of primary sources, the writing of essays and the study of language.

'Medieval Irish and Celtic Studies' is one of the subjects of the BA undergraduate programme, and it offers the opportunity to study the history, culture, language and literature of medieval Ireland and related societies. Our courses are also open to Erasmus and other international students studying at Maynooth University for one or two semesters.

For postgraduates, we offer a taught MA, as well as MLitt and PhD programmes, which are primarily research-based.

People in our department are interested in all aspects of society and culture in the ancient and medieval Celtic-speaking world, especially:

  • linguistics
  • language contact
  • women in Irish literature and history
  • early Irish poetry
  • religion in early medieval Britain and Ireland
  • medieval philosophy and theology


Early Irish Deparment
The Department of Early Irish in October 2016.
The Three Porfessors of Old Irish - Maynooth University
The three professors of Old and Middle Irish to date have been An tAthair Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, Kim McCone and, presently, David Stifter.