Judged best in the field
Topopleiding 2021

According to the highly regarded Keuzegids 2021, Celtic Languages and Culture is once again among the top programmes in Dutch academic education. 

About the Celtic Languages and Culture programme

Before the beginning of the Christian era, Celtic-speaking people populated an area covering almost all of Europe as we know it today and developed rich cultures. In the Middle Ages, these same people were living in countries and regions still inhabited by Celtic-speaking peoples to this very day - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. Their culture is still giving rise to questions today in the 21st century. How do you pronounce Old Irish? Was King Arthur a real person? Which traces of the Celts are still evident in today's modern world? By studying Celtic Languages and Culture, you will learn how to find answers to all of these questions and also to distinguish between myths and reality.

Literature and culture

Gods, heroes and saints; typical rituals, age-old legends and literary masterpieces: in this Bachelor's programme, you will study every aspect of Celtic culture and literature in great depth. Naturally, you will also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Celtic society, including its political history.

Ancient languages

Here in Utrecht, you will study two Celtic languages: Middle Welsh and Old Irish. This will enable you to read Celtic sources, which is vital for anyone wanting to gain a good understanding of Celtic culture. If you have a flair for languages and aren't someone who gives up easily, this is the right degree programme for you, as the grammar of these languages is not always clear cut. For example, Old Irish has up to 160 verb forms per verb. Sounds daunting, but if you love languages it’s paradise!

A connection with today's modern world

Although you will frequently immerse yourself in history when studying Celtic languages and culture, that's not where your studies end. You will also study modern Welsh and Irish and compare these languages with English, for example, and identify exactly how they are different to each other. You will also establish which elements of Celtic culture feature in modern films and other types of media. For example, when they hear the word Celtic, many people automatically think of The Lord of the Rings, but is there really such a link?

Ancient languages - current relevance

A hoard of gold from the first century before Christ, found near Maastricht and a crane operator who finds a virtually intact medieval book in an Irish peat bog – only the letters have become a bit more difficult to read. These are just two examples of recent discoveries in relation to Celtic languages and cultures, a research field that spans more than 2,500 years and evidently is still very current.


You have a passion for Celtic languages and culture: you like to read about Celtic myths and sagas and you're very familiar with terms like druid, warrior and bard. You also have an affinity with Ireland, Wales, Scotland or Brittany: all areas that still exude a Celtic feel to this very day. You are very aware of the important role that language plays in any culture, which is why you enjoy learning the special languages that the Celts spoke. Finally, you're not afraid to choose a degree programme based on your profound interest in the subject matter in question. You actually like the fact that the study of Celtic languages and culture is terra incognita for most people. This is because in addition to good academic skills that open up various options for you, this degree programme gives you a unique graduation profile.

  • Jim Slemmer, student Keltisch
    "It gives a great sense of satisfaction to be able to translate and understand an 800-year-old text – what an amazing feeling that is."
  • Marieke Peters, student Keltisch
    "The lectures are interesting and mentally stimulating and the lecturers are friendly and passionate."


Mode of study:
Language of instruction:
3 years
Tuition fee:
  • Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee 2022-2023, full-time): € 2,209
  • Institutional fee 2022-2023: € 9,895 (EU/EEA), € 11,000 (non-EU/EEA)
Offered by:
Degree: This Bachelor's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
BA (Bachelor of Arts)
Croho code: