Course Overview

The Structured PhD in Old and Middle Irish is a four-year, full-time or six-year, part-time programme of study and research and applicants must have a high honours standard in their primary degree or present such other evidence of fitness as will satisfy the Head of Discipline and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. 

As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students may avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules. The wide menu of available options include modules that:

  • are discipline-specific in that they augment the students' existing knowledge in their specialist area (e.g. in languages or literatures)
  • are dissertation-specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project (e.g. in writing)
  • support students' professional development (e.g. through presentation of a paper at an international conference
  • enhance students' employability through generic training (e.g. in computer-based skills).

Students will be assigned a primary Supervisor or Co-Supervisors, and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers, to help plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

Graduates have been very successful in finding employment, in teaching and academic research, publishing, television and radio, print and electronic media, and the management and interpretation of culture and heritage.

Associated Research Centres

The Centre for Antique, Medieval, and Pre-modern Studies at NUI Galway was created by colleagues in ArchaeologyClassicsEnglishFrenchGermanHistoryOld and Middle Irish and Welsh as an initiative operating under the aegis of the Moore Institute

Its primary goals are to help promote, support, and disseminate the research of its members in both individual and collaborative projects to the wider national and international academic community; to create an academic community committed to the highest standards of collegiality and research; and to encourage and serve as a forum for outreach to the non-academic community. 

CAMPS Research Labs provide a forum for staff and graduate students from all disciplines involved to come together in order to present work-in-progress and debate research issues. CAMPS Labs to date have taken a two-hour format, typically initiated with a presentation of specific research themes, questions and challenges, leading into informal and often very wide-ranging discussions.

An Ghaeilge

Gné ar leith de ról OÉ Gaillimh is ea a gealltanas straitéiseach maidir le hardoideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a sholáthar, agus maidir le freastal a dhéanamh ar phobal Gaeilge na hOllscoile i gcoitinne.  Chuige seo, cuireann an Ollscoil réimse leathan de chúrsaí, acmhainní agus áiseanna ar fáil, ar an gcampas féin agus sna hionaid Ghaeltachta atá faoina stiúir, agus tá neart tionscnamh agus scéimeanna ar bun a chuireann go mór le beocht na teanga, agus a spreagann mic léinn atá i mbun  taighde ar an nGaeilge, cuma cén tréimhse atá i gceist.
Ionad tábhachtach don Ghaeilge san Ollscoil is ea Áras na Gaeilge, a bunaíodh i 1992.  Is ann atá Roinn na Gaeilge lonnaithe, agus is ann a reáchtáiltear cúrsaí Gaeilge do mhic léinn agus d’fhoireann na hOllscoile.  Tá seirbhísí eile ar fáil ann chomh maith dóibh siúd ar mian leo an teanga a labhairt nó a chleachtadh, ina measc Caifé na Gaeilge, Seomra na gCumann, agus Téatar Uí Chearbhalláin. 

Programmes Available

Structured PhD (Old and Middle Irish)—full-time and part-time
Applications are made online via the University ofGalway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

Candidates must have a high honours standard in a primary degree in Irish, Welsh, Celtic Studies, or similar, or present such other evidence of suitability as will satisfy the Head of Discipline and the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. Many successful applicants will already hold a Master's degree also.

Admission to the PhD is at the discretion of the potential supervisor and the Head of Discipline. Initial enquiries should be made to the Head of Discipline.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Staff are keen to provide supervision in any area of studies relevant to their specialist interests. These include:

  • Linguistic topics, synchronic and diachronic, within any period of Old and Middle Irish
  • Editing and close reading of medieval Irish prose and verse texts
  • Early Irish law and legal texts
  • Old and Middle Irish poetry and metrics
  • Literary history, incl. studies of textual multiforms, of characteristic genres and themes of medieval Irish writing, of internal and external influences for change, of the reflexes of local and national concerns and patronage, etc.
  • Dindshenchas and the study of landscape, place and identity

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Dr Clodagh Downey; Old and Middle Irish language; medieval Irish literature, including heroic, mythological and king-tales, and dinnsheanchas.

Dr Graham Isaac; Old and Middle Welsh poetry; comparative Celtic and Indo-European linguistics; ancient continental Celtic languages; general linguistics.

Prof. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha (Head of Discipline); Old and Middle Irish language; editing of prose and verse texts; literary history, including issues of genre, hybridisation, authorship, patronage and provenance; early medieval Irish history.

Researcher Profiles

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€14,500 p.a. (€14,640 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information


EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.

Contact Us

Prof. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha
T +353 91 493 010

Mic Léinn Reatha