Introduction

Anthropology and Gaelic Studies at Aberdeen is a great study combination, adding to your existing grounding in what it means to ‘be human’. With a special focus on the people of the north, you will undertake and in-depth study of Gaelic, Scotland’s oldest living language, and its origins and culture. The language, perspective and skills you will develop will open up a wide range of career options with an international flavour.

This programme is studied on campus.

Anthropology – for which we boast 100% student satisfaction – will give you a thorough grounding in humanity, the differences in human cultures and communities and how they have developed. You will gain unique insights into behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world and find connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.

At Aberdeen, we’ve been teaching Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and culture for one hundred years, led by teachers and researchers passionate about Gaelic, and whose work directly influences Scottish policy on keeping Gaelic alive, healthy and important in Scotland today.

Today there are nearly 3,000 people in north-east Scotland with knowledge of Gaelic and our students and staff play an important role in the local community through Gaelic-interest clubs, activities, networks and organisations.

Opportunities for graduates fluent in Scottish Gaelic are plentiful. With the skills and perspective developed through anthropology, your career prospects are very bright and may include roles in teaching, Gaelic development, arts management and media.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
LQ65

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

View detailed information about this course

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003) - 15 Credit Points

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

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Modern Gaelic Scotland (GH1014) - 15 Credit Points

Gaelic is Scotland's oldest living language. In this introductory course you will learn about the Gaels, their history and their role in the shaping modern Scotland. You will also learn about how Gaelic language and culture became minoritised in its own country. Students will learn learn about various contemporary initiatives that are aimed at saving and promoting this indigenous language and culture and this will be compared to minority languages and cultures elsewhere in the world.

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Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502) - 15 Credit Points

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films.

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Optional Courses

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Beginners 1A (GH1007)
  • Gaelic for Beginners 1B (GH1507)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 1A (GH1013)
  • Gaelic Language 1B (GH1513)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Gaelic for Beginners 1a (GH1007) - 15 Credit Points

This is an 11-week course in the modern Scottish Gaelic language for students who have little or no prior experience of the language, or for students with no formal qualifications in Gaelic. You will learn Gaelic through a mixture of interactive language classes, a class which focuses on conversational skills, and a programme of homework exercises, together with self-directed learning.By the end of the course, you will be able to speak, read, write and understand Gaelic at a basic level and you will have mastered a large working vocabulary.

View detailed information about this course

Gaelic for Beginners 1b (GH1507) - 15 Credit Points

This is an 11-week course in the modern Scottish Gaelic language for students who have completed GH1007 Gaelic for Beginners 1A.

You will attend three interactive language classes and one conversation class each week, as well as undertaking self-directed learning.

By the end of the course you will be expected to have mastered a large working vocabulary and to be competent in understanding and using most of the major structures of the language.

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Gaelic Language 1a (GH1013) - 15 Credit Points

This is a Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or have studied it to a similar level elsewhere.

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Gaelic Language 1b (GH1513) - 15 Credit Points

This is the second-half of the first year Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or have studied it to a similar level elsewhere.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Political Anthropology (AT2513)
Anthropological Approaches to Religion (AT2514)
Gaelic Folklore (GH2006) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to the wonderful world of Gaelic folklore. The course will look at the traditional belief systems of the Scottish Gaels with regard to the second sight, fairies and the supernatural. Students will learn about folk healing and rituals about birth, death and marriage. Additionally students will look at some examples of traditional Gaelic stories, handed down for hundreds of years before finally being written. Students will learn about the different Gaelic song types and traditions. In looking at the songs and stories, students will also learn about the people who collected these folk items.

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Anthropology and Imperialism (AT2007)
Colonialism Re - Imagined (AT2008)
19th Century Gaelic Literature and Society (GH2506)

Optional Courses

  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009) and Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509) or Gaelic Language 2A (GH2007) and Gaelic Language 2B (GH2507) or Gaelic for Native Speakers 2A (GH2008) and Gaelic for Native Speakers 2B (GH2508)

Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2a (GH2009) - 15 Credit Points

This is the second year Gaelic language course for people who started learning in their first year. It builds on the foundations already set in the first year and continues to develop vocabulary, grammatical structures and idioms in both writing and speech.

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Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2b (GH2509) - 15 Credit Points

This course follows on from GH2009 and is for people who started learning in their first year. It continues to develop a range of linguistic competencies in written and oral language.

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Gaelic Language 2a (GH2007)
Gaelic Language 2b (GH2507)
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Anthropological Theory (AT3027) - 30 Credit Points

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

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Optional Courses

  • Level 3 Gaelic Language 1 (GH3020) and Level 4 Gaelic Language 1 (GH4020) or Advanced Writing Skill for Gaelic Native Speakers A (GH3003), Advanced Writing Skills for Gaelic Native Speakers B (GH4003)

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in Anthropology
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Anthropology.
  • Select further credit points to a total of 240 from level 3 and 4 courses in Gaelic Studies, with a minimum of 15 credit points from level 3 and 15 from level 4.

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507)
  • Select a further 90 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Anthropology.
  • Select further credit points to a total of 240 from level 3 and 4 courses in Gaelic Studies, with a minimum of 15 credit points from level 3 and 15 from level 4.
Advanced Gaelic Writing for Native Speakers - Level 3a (GH3003)
Advanced Gaelic Writing for Native Speakers - Level 4b (GH4003)
Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507) - 15 Credit Points

The dissertation course for honours Gaelic students is student-led. Students decide in consultation with academic staff what topic they would like to research and write about for their final dissertation. Students can chose any topic from the broad field that is Gaelic studies, including topics related to: Gaelic literature (a writer or a theme), Gaelic sociolinguistics, language planning, Gaelic cultural practices, etc.

View detailed information about this course

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Anthropological Theory (AT3027) - 30 Credit Points

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Level 3 Gaelic Language 1 (GH3020) and Level 4 Gaelic Language 1 (GH4020) or Advanced Writing Skill for Gaelic Native Speakers A (GH3003), Advanced Writing Skills for Gaelic Native Speakers B (GH4003)

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in Anthropology
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Anthropology.
  • Select further credit points to a total of 240 from level 3 and 4 courses in Gaelic Studies, with a minimum of 15 credit points from level 3 and 15 from level 4.

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507)
  • Select a further 90 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Anthropology.
  • Select further credit points to a total of 240 from level 3 and 4 courses in Gaelic Studies, with a minimum of 15 credit points from level 3 and 15 from level 4.
Advanced Gaelic Writing for Native Speakers - Level 3a (GH3003)
Advanced Gaelic Writing for Native Speakers - Level 4b (GH4003)
Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507) - 15 Credit Points

The dissertation course for honours Gaelic students is student-led. Students decide in consultation with academic staff what topic they would like to research and write about for their final dissertation. Students can chose any topic from the broad field that is Gaelic studies, including topics related to: Gaelic literature (a writer or a theme), Gaelic sociolinguistics, language planning, Gaelic cultural practices, etc.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 23%
independent: 77%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 44%
coursework: 48%
practical: 8%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 16%
independent: 84%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 53%
coursework: 38%
practical: 9%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 15%
independent: 85%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 30%
coursework: 70%
practical: 0%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 9%
independent: 91%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 22%
coursework: 76%
practical: 2%

Why Study Anthropology and Gaelic Studies?

  • Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing Anthropology departments in the UK.
  • Our core staff specialise in regions as diverse as Canada, the Central Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • We offer innovative ideas and a fresh vision of the subject, with an emphasis throughout on work at the cutting-edge of the discipline and research.
  • A vibrant student anthropology society regularly organises academic and social events bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students with staff outside the classroom.
  • The Department has a strong reputation for its teaching of Gaelic to students with no previous knowledge of the language and also welcomes students who have already studied Gaelic.
  • Aberdeen is one of the best places in the world to learn Gaelic as a complete beginner or polish your skills to a professional level if you already know the language.
  • Enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff with a wealth of teaching experience.
  • A range of entry levels (from absolute beginner to native speaker).
  • A range of degree options are available.
  • The student-run Celtic Society is famous for its musical events, ceilidhs and trips, and it provides an opportunity to use Gaelic in an informal, social context.
  • A unique summer school giving students the chance to practice their Gaelic in a natural environment.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

Qualifications

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

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

  • Social Research and Work.
  • Anthropology Expert.
  • Consultant with Anthropology and Gaelic specialism.

Our Experts

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.

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Top in Scotland for Anthropology

Source: National Student Survey 2016

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Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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