Online Irish Studies Degree Program Information

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Irish studies or Celtic studies degree programs are not available online - this is a very niche field, and most undergraduate and graduate degree programs are only offered in campus-based formats. Online undergraduate certificates in Irish or Celtic Studies are fairly rare as well; they are offered by only one or two schools in the U.S., and only some of the coursework may be available online. Campus-based undergraduate certificate programs or minors in Irish studies or British-Irish Studies are much more common. It's important to note that most certificate and degree programs in this field strongly encourage or require a study abroad experience in Ireland. Prospective students should be familiar with Microsoft Office, and the use of webcams and media players. A fully online alternative for a degree program would be a bachelor's degree in history or European history, where students might be able to take some courses that align with their interest in Irish or Celtic history.

Irish Studies Certificate Program Information

There are no distance-learning programs in Irish studies at any degree level, though fully or partially online certificates are available at a very small number of colleges and universities. Through an online certificate program for Irish studies, students have the opportunity to examine the religion, politics and history of Ireland. These concepts provide insight into Irish culture and behaviors. Those applying to this program must have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Information and Requirements

An Irish studies online certificate is 12-15 credits and takes about a year to complete, depending on whether students take the courses full- or part-time. In online courses, students learn by watching pre-recorded lectures, completing assignments and participating in the occasional class discussion. They also read literature and historical material, which is chosen by professors who are usually Irish. Some certificate programs require in-person coursework, and some may require a study abroad experience.

Students must have a computer and reliable Internet connectivity to access courses. All programs have different software requirements, but students typically need media players, webcams and Microsoft Office.

List of Common Irish Studies Courses

These online and hybrid certificate programs don't have any general education requirements; they consist exclusively of courses related to Irish history, Irish culture and Ireland. Typically, students complete courses completely on their own time, so after one lesson is completed, they move to the next, without dealing with pre-determined due dates.

Medieval Ireland

Students examine Irish life during medieval society by examining the era's politics, society and culture. They also study the relevant history and literature of the time, including famous poets.

Modern Culture and Society in Ireland

This course examines Irish society between 1854 and 1998, including the famine and its ramifications. Students read 20th century literature and examine how nationalism in Ireland affected and continues to affect religion, family and the economy.

Early Ireland

Students learn about early Ireland from 431 to 1169 A.D. They study how Christianity arrived in Ireland and mingled with traditional beliefs, as well as the effects of the Viking invasions and the literature that sprung from the time period.

Contemporary Ireland: Political and Social Changes

Students examine modern Ireland through the eyes of current sociologists. They analyze how Ireland has changed over time, possible changes taking place in the present, as well as their presumed effects on the future.

Career Information for Graduates

Those who complete a certificate program for Irish studies are familiar with the history, literature, and archaeology of Ireland. Although additional education or experience may be required for some positions, graduates can find careers as travel agents, teachers or tour guides. For event planners, familiarity with Irish customs and society could help when planning events for individuals with an Irish background in or outside of the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the median annual salary for travel agents was $38,700, and meeting, convention and event planners made a median of $49,370 as of May 2018. According to the BLS, tour guides made a median salary of $26,570 as of May 2018.

Although rare, students interested in Irish history, politics and culture may enroll in an online certificate program in Irish studies. Graduates of these programs may be interested in careers as travel agents, event planners or tour guides.

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