A student interested in studying in Germany recently mentioned to me that she was especially interested in Celtic Studies, and wanted to know if there were any specific programs in Germany. At first, I wanted to say that there were only general programs in which she could choose a "Schwerpunkt" for her studies, or a specific area of focus. But I wanted to confirm this, so I googled Celtic Studies and found that there were actually some specific programs available at both the Bachelor and Master level.
In German, the study of Celtic cultures and language is called Keltologie. This field was once studied at half a dozen universities across Germany, but all but two of these programs have been closed in the past twenty years. Fortunately, the two programs that still exist, at the University of Bonn and at the University of Marburg, are at two of the top universities for humanities scholars in the country.
The Celtic Studies program in Bonn is limited to a Bachelor program. This program is considered a "Begleitfach," or a minor subject. Still, for students interested in the subject, there are many advantages to studying in Bonn. The area boasts two associated research institutions: the German Center for Gaelic Language and Culture in Bonn and the SKSK in nearby Königswinter, an external institute of the University of Bonn for Celtic languages and culture.
The Keltologie Department at the University of Marburg is more robust and includes a Bachelor in Historical Language and Textual Analysis and Cultural Studies, which can also be studied with a major in Celtic Studies, a Master in Comparative Language Studies and a Master in Celtic Studies. Because the Bachelor is one major within the Historical Languages program, , students can try out a series of languages, such as Indian languages, Semetic languages, and Latin, before choosing a major subject.
Celtic Studies is a very specific major, and might not be the best choose for students at the beginning of their studies. But both programs available to students offer students the chance to test the waters before diving deep into the subject, while providing students with extensive resources to fully investigate their interest in the subject.
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