Irish & CelticSchool of Arts, English and Languages | PhD
In Irish and Celtic Studies you will be part of a vibrant research area that is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in the languages, literatures, histories, linguistics, visual cultures, and cultural identities of Europe and beyond. Here you will work in a dynamic and forward-looking research group that engages in cutting-edge scholarship across all periods of the Irish language, both on an individual and collaborative basis. You will be able to develop your own research potential as part of a community of research students in Modern Languages that is driven by interdisciplinarity, collaboration and innovation in the advancement of knowledge.
Irish & Celtic Highlights
World Class Facilities
- Students have access to a range of state-of-the-art facilities including the McClay Library and the Graduate School, and can take part in the bespoke Queen’s University Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Our programmes are delivered and supervised by internationally recognised experts in the fields of Irish language and literature.
- Irish and Celtic Studies has a strong interdisciplinary focus and is actively involved with colleagues in History, English, Politics, Creative Arts and Education.
Irish and Celtic Studies at QUB ranks 1st in the UK for Research Quality and 2nd for Research Intensity [Source: Complete University Guide 2021]
Irish and Celtic Studies aims to promote and disseminate cutting-edge research across all periods of the Irish language and our research students play a full and active role in the wide range of research activities undertaken within the School.
- Irish and Celtic Studies is part of the Modern Languages research cluster, which provides a vibrant environment for both disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship.
- The cluster is recognised as a centre of excellence for research into the languages, literatures, histories, linguistics, visual cultures, and cultural identities of Europe and beyond.
- Irish and Celtic Studies at QUB ranks 1st in the UK for Research Quality and 2nd for Research Intensity [Source: Complete University Guide 2021].
- Languages at Queens was ranked third in the UK in the most recent research assessment and 85% of our research was judged to be of international excellence.
- Students are integrated into a very lively, diverse and award-winning interdisciplinary research community.
- Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities including the McClay Library and will receive high quality professional training through the Graduate School, to equip them for a wide variety of careers within and beyond academia.
PhD opportunities are available in:
- Historical linguistics
- Language politics
- Paremiology and Phraseology
- Memory Studies
- Early modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic language and literature
- Language and identity in Ireland and Scotland
The research profile produced by the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) graded 85% of research activity in Languages as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
Irish and Celtic Studies at QUB ranks 1st in the UK for Research Quality and 2nd for Research Intensity [Source: Complete University Guide 2021].
Doctoral graduates in Irish typically go on to hold posts in academia, government, business and in Irish language promotion. Recent graduates have taken up posts in the European Commission, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, University College Dublin, University College Cork, New York City University and the Department for Communities (formerly DCAL).
People teaching you
Dr Marcas Mac Coinnigh
Professor Greg Toner
Professor Mícheál Ó Mainnín
You will normally register, in the first instance, as an ‘undifferentiated PhD student’ which means that you have satisfied staff that you are capable of undertaking a research degree. The decision as to whether you should undertake a PhD is delayed until you have completed ‘differentiation’.
Differentiation takes place about 9-12 months after registration for full time students and about 18-30 months for part time students. You will submit work to a panel of up to three academics and this is followed up with a formal meeting with the ‘Differentiation Panel’. The Panel then make a judgement about your capacity to continue with your study. Sometimes students are advised to revise their research objectives or to consider submitting their work for an MPhil qualification rather than a doctoral qualification.
To complete a doctoral qualification you will be required to submit a thesis of approx. 80,000 words and you will be required to attend a viva voce [oral examination] with an external and internal examiner to defend your thesis.
A PhD Programme runs for 3-4 years full-time or 6-8 years part-time. Students can apply for a writing up year should it be required.
Please review the eligibility criteria on the webpages. If you believe that you meet these criteria
then follow the steps below:
Select ONE potential supervisor from our list of Academic Staff https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/find-a-phd-supervisor/?school=School%20of%20Arts,%20English%20and%20Languages /) and send an email containing:
- A brief CV (1-2 pages maximum)
- A concise statement that you are interested in studying for a PhD, stating when you would start,
and how you would plan to fund the research A brief statement of the research question or interest, and how you think the question could be investigated.
Our academic staff welcome approaches from prospective students; staff can liaise with applicants to develop a research proposal of mutual interest. The potential supervisor should get back to you within a couple of weeks. They may invite you to meet with them or they may invite you to apply formally.
If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Dr Marcas Mac Coinnigh (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be happy to help.
For part-time study – the closing date for this option is 31st August each year. For full-time study (self-funding) – for those full-time candidates who do not wish to compete for a studentship or who are not eligible to compete for a studentship the closing date is 31st August each year.
For full-time study and application for a scholarship/award; please be aware that awards are only available to full time students. Candidates wishing to apply for scholarships available within the School must apply for full-time study at the same time. Available scholarships and closing dates are detailed on the School's Scholarships web page: https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Study/FundingScholarships/#postgraduate.
Assessment processes for the Research Degree differ from taught degrees. Students will be expected to present drafts of their work at regular intervals to their supervisor who will provide written and oral feedback; a formal assessment process takes place annually.
This Annual Progress Review requires students to present their work in writing and orally to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.
The final assessment of the doctoral degree is both oral and written. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.
Supervisors will offer feedback on draft work at regular intervals throughout the period of registration on the degree.
Full time PhD students will have access to a shared office space.
A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. While a Master’s degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) is not essential, it is desirable and applicants without this qualification will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,596|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,596|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£4,596|
|EU Other 3||£18,000|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Irish & Celtic costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.
How do I fund my study?1.PhD Opportunities
Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes
We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.3.PhD loans
The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.4.International Scholarships
Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.
Funding and Scholarships
The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.
How to Apply
Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.