Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Celts: A Contested Legacy
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 1 x 1 Hour Seminar
Lecture 9 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2,000 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 10 minute presentation  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 hour exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2,000 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 10 minute presentation  10%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   2 hour exam 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

distinguish between the ways in which the term ‘Celtic’ is used in a number of disciplines including linguistics, archaeology and history

recognize the chronological evolution of the term ‘Celtic’ since its first occurence in Classical sources

recognize the main concepts surrounding the people known as the Celts, and be able to evaluate the evidence associated with them critically

discuss a number of theoretical viewpoints such as structuralism and post-colonialism as they relate to the concept of Celtic culture

Brief description

This module analyses and challenges concepts about the Celts and their relevance to the modern world, giving the students an intellectual framework in which they may pursue a number of issues relating to Celtic Studies. Her we shall analyse the term ‘Celt’, and ask ‘Who were the ancient Celts?’ What types of evidence can we use to answer this, and what are the pitfalls? Are the Irish and Welsh ‘Celts’? How did modern ideas about the Celts develop, and how have they been (ab)used? In particular, the issue of ‘Celtic continuity’ will be addressed. We shall examine descriptions of Celtic-speakers across the centuries. We shall also discuss pagan Celtic religion and so-called ‘Celtic’ institutions such as druids and bards.


• The Celtic languages I: Introduction
• The Celtic languages II: Where and when were they spoken?
• Questioning Celticity, and ‘Celtoscepticism’
• Problems of Celticity: the evidence of language, archaeology, history and genetics
• Britons, Irish and Celts
• Rediscovering the relationship between the Celtic languages
• ‘Creating’ Celticity I: the legacy of the Classical authors
• ‘Creating’ Celticity II: Romanticism
• The Ancient Celts in their own words
• The Britons and the Irish in their own words
• Celtic continuity I: theoretical framework
• Celtic continuity II: case studies
• Celtic institutions I: Pagan Celtic religion
• Celtic institutions II: druids
• Celtic institutions III: bards
• Summary and revision

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not relevant
Communication Written: clear articulation of ideas and analysis in written assignments. Verbal: class contribution, presentation and interaction.
Improving own Learning and Performance By independent research; tutor feedback on written work and oral contribution in class; interaction of peers during seminar; developing time/work management skills; reflecting upon presentational skills and other written work.
Information Technology For research purposes (assignments and presentations); word-processing. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources; accessing Blackboard for course materials.
Personal Development and Career planning Not relevant
Problem solving By critical engagement (verbal and written) with intellectual concepts.
Research skills Through independent research for written assessment, presentation and oral contribution in class. Using electronic research and bibliographical resources
Subject Specific Skills Getting to grips with concepts relating to Celticity
Team work Working in groups to prepare presentations


This module is at CQFW Level 4