Master of Arts in Celtic Studies

Master of Arts in Celtic Studies (Thesis-based)

StFX is pleased to be able to offer the only terminal MA in Celtic Studies in North America,  a 36-credit program of study based on coursework and a thesis.   The program prides itself on its focus on the individual student. Only 1-3 students are accepted into the program each year; each student meets with the Chair of Department and the Graduate Studies Coordinator to create an individual program that reflects the student’s main interests. This focus on the individual has led to extremely motivated students.  

Students will typically choose one of two streams:  modern Scottish Gaelic, for students with prior knowledge of the language, or medieval Irish or Welsh. All MA students are required to take Old Irish (also called Old Gaelic) as a basis for the modern Gaelic languages (Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic) and the core of the field of medieval Celtic Studies.

The program draws on the rich Gaelic tradition in Nova Scotia maintains strong ties with the local Gaelic community.  The Department also enjoys a positive reputation for its teaching and research internationally, with strong links with Harvard University and the University of Toronto in North America; University of Glasgow, and University of Edinburgh in Scotland; Trinity College Dublin and the University of Limerick in Ireland; and Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Successful students complete this program with the skills required for academic research in the field of Celtic Studies at an advanced level, and potentially for admission to a PhD program. They are also well-prepared for careers in a broad variety of fields that require an academic mindset and skills, including work in cultural institutions, businesses and tourism, education, and those who specialize in the Gaelic language have the additional option of pursuing career opportunities in Gaelic-speaking regions, including Nova Scotia.

Contact the Department:
Students who are interested in applying to the program should contact the department prior to submitting an application to discuss research areas and opportunities.

Masters of Arts in Celtic Studies
Graduate Coordinator:  Dr Ranke DeVries  ph 902.867.2206

Available funding
Students who apply prior to February 15 will be considered for scholarships to offset the cost of tuition and some portion of living expenses. 

  • StFX Graduate Scholarships
  • StFX Teaching Assistantship
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships (Masters)

Funding opportunities for thesis-based graduate students.

Master of Arts Admission Requirements: 

  • Normally an undergraduate Honours degree or equivalent concentration in the subject area (typically about 20 undergradaute courses in the subject area). Examples of related disciplines might include Irish Studies, degrees in the various Celtic languages (Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Breton), History, Linguistics and English, with a specialization in medieval culture.
  • Minimum 70% average.
  • Language requirement: IELTS 6.5 with no band below 6.
  • Thesis-based Masters are for exceptional stuents who have demonstrated scholarly potential.  Meeting the minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance.

Available funding
Most students accepted into the MA program will be offered a funding package that will offset  the cost of tuition and some portion of living expenses. 
Students who apply prior to February 15 may be eligible

  • StFX Graduate Scholarships
  • StFX Teaching Assistantship
  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships (Masters)

Application Deadline  

  • February 15, 2021 for September, 2021 start for students who want to be considered for StFX scholarships. Some external scholarships have earlier deadlines. 


1. Contact the Celtic Studies Graduate Coordinator to confirm that there is space in the program and that the program is a good fit.

2. Download and fill-in the Application Form 

3. Gather the supporting documents:

  • Complete application form 
  • Statement of intent (See the Application Form for details)
  • ​Two reference letters (See the Application Form for details)
  • Original transcripts:  No students will be accepted to the university until original transcripts have been received and verified.  Arrange to have sealed transcripts sent from each college or university you have attended.
  • ​​​Evidence of language proficiency​

4.  Pay the application fee
 You can pay the application fee one of the following three ways:

  • Write your credit card information in the section of the application form called “Checklist for Applicants” (You will find this on the signature page)
  • Call the Admissions Office during business hours (8:30am-4:30pm AST) and pay by credit card over the phone.  Toll free number: 1-844-299-2527.
  • Send a money order by post or courier to the Admissions Office:

 StFX Admissions Office
2329 Notre Dame Avenue 
2nd Floor Nicholson Tower
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Canada B2G 2W5

 5.  Submit documents

  • Documents can be mailed or emailed to the StFX Admissions Office
  • Reference letters must be emailed or mailed by the referees.
  • Offical transcripts must be sent by the insitutions you have attended.