Ethnology and Folklore, MLitt

Ethnology and Folklore, MLitt


The MLitt in Ethnology and Folklore is unique in the UK. Through a wide variety of teaching contexts including seminars, field trips, guest lectures, and workshops, students gain a broad and in-depth understanding of the disciplines of Ethnology, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology. These disciplines are built on the study of culture in context and they use ethnographic methodologies to explore how people create meaning and shape the world around them through shared creative culture.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month

Through case studies of Scottish and international materials, the course will show how disciplinary concepts can be used to investigate important issues in contemporary society. Through a wide range of practical and theoretical training, graduates from a variety of backgrounds will gain a sound knowledge of the concepts, skills, and methodologies of the disciplines. Assessments, including essays, ethnographic reports, podcasts, and films, will ensure students are prepared for professional or academic work, including doctoral research, after graduation.

What You'll Study

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Critical Skills: Reading and Engagement (PD50C2)

This course will equip you with the essential skills required to engage with your postgraduate studies. Through a series of lectures, interactive seminars and authentic materials, you will build on your critical thinking skills with fellow PGT students from across the school. Critical Reading, essay writing and presentation skills will be offered as part of this course, providing students with skills fundamental to PGT and workplace contexts.

History, Genres & Methodologies of Ethnology & Folklore (EF5003)

30 Credit Points

This course introduces students to key elements in the study of Ethnology and Folklore.

Perspectives on Tradition, Identity, and Fieldwork (EF5004)

30 Credit Points

This course is divided into three strands: ‘Perspectives on Tradition’, ‘Perspectives on Identity’, and ‘Perspectives on Fieldwork’. These three strands come together to show how concepts from the disciplines of Ethnology and Folklore may be theoretically and practically applied to contemporary society.

Stage 2

Compulsory Courses

Critical Skills: Research and Dissemination (PD55C1)

This course will equip you with core research and dissemination skills. Centred on an interdisciplinary approach to research, the course will allow you to engage with peers from various research backgrounds to contribute, discuss and share in an interactive academic community. The course will detail key research techniques and communicative modes for successful dissemination. Communication skills specific to engaging with industry stakeholders will also be covered as part of this course in order to boost employability.

Oral Traditions (EF5503)

30 Credit Points

This course examines many of the principal oral genres historically studied in the disciplines of Ethnology and Folklore through seminars and guest-artist performances.

Intellectual and Practical Approaches to Scottish Contexts (EF5504)

30 Credit Points

This course explores contemporary issues in Ethnology, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology from a Scottish perspective.

Stage 3

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Ethnology & Folklore (EF5901)

60 Credit Points

This is a substantial, fieldwork based, analytical research dissertation of 20,000 words, excluding endnotes, bibliography, and appendices. Students will consult with the appropriate course tutor(s) in choosing the subject area for a dissertation before the beginning of the study period.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Home / RUK £11,077
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

By course work, by written examinations, or by a combination of these, as prescribed for each course, and by submission of a dissertation (MLitt candidates only). The degree of MLitt shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CGS Grade of D3 or above in EF 5901, irrespective of their performance in other courses.

Why Study Ethnology and Folklore?

  • You will join a small but vibrant group of staff and students at the Elphinstone Institute, a centre for the study of Ethnology, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen. Established in 1995 in celebration of the quincentenary of the University’s founding, the Institute teaches, researches, and promotes culture in context in North and North-East Scotland. 
  • As a student at the Elphinstone Institute, you will have the opportunity to join the countless inspiring events it hosts throughout the year including festivals, workshops, storytelling events, public lectures, film screenings, and much more.  
  • You will learn ethnographic methodologies and theoretical perspectives that will shape your future interactions with the world around you. These skills are applicable in a wide range of situations and will prepare you well for both academia and professional jobs in contexts such as heritage, tourism, museums and curation, entrepreneurship, and more. Skills learned in the course will be equally applicable to Scottish and international contexts.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Normally a good undergraduate degree in a humanities or social science subject.

References are not required in order for applicants to submit an application. They are not usually required in order for a decision to be made but in certain cases applicants may be asked to provide a single academic reference at the request of the academic selector.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Nicolas Le Bigre

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX