Introduction

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and Archaeology at Aberdeen adds to your exploration of the lives and legacy of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian peoples within a broad study of human activity.

This programme is studied on campus.

Aberdeen has been a centre for Celtic studies for more than a century, and leads research in all aspects of the northern polar regions including its peoples. You will study literature, culture, history and languages, inspired by leading specialists in the history and literature of Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, in medieval Celtic and Scandinavian literature, and the cultural history of Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England.

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies focuses on the history, culture and literature of the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon worlds. The programme also includes several language options and courses on Celtic literature in the modern age. Taught by leading inter-disciplinary research staff, you will benefit from being taught by world-leading experts in the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon fields.

Archaeology is a diverse and wide-ranging discipline that spans the humanities and physical sciences and is unique in exploring the human past in its entirety. In seeking to understand how ancient people lived their lives, structured their world, and engaged with their environment, archaeologists ask the big questions that can provide us with the tools to tackle global challenges in the present.

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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
5V6Q

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

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.

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Archaeology in Action: an Introduction (AY1003) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an introduction to how archaeological discoveries are made, the types of questions we can ask about past human societies using the evidence of their material remains, and the range of methods that archaeologists can draw on to try to answer the questions that excite them. By visiting archaeological sites, focussing on some of the world's most spectacular archaeological discoveries, and discussing some of the department's own original research projects, we will explore what the discipline of archaeology adds to our understanding of the human past and present, and what tools and techniques archaeologists employ in different environments.

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Caves to Kingdoms: an Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology (AY1503) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides a romping introduction to the deep human past, from our earliest hominin origins in Africa to the emergence of the first Early Medieval Kingdoms in Northern Europe. Along the way we will discover the key stages in the evolution of our species and what it means to be 'human', from our use of symbols to express thoughts, ritualstic behaviours to our domestication of plants and animals and militarized empires. The archaeological evidence for these fundamental transitions in human societies provides us with powerful insights into some of the world's most fascinating civilizations,

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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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Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points from Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Study Level 1 courses, including at least one of:

  • Course title: Songs, Myths and Hero-tales of the Old North: an Introduction to Early Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Literature (CE1037)
  • Arthur and Finn, Beowulf and Alfred the Great: History, Law and Literature in the Early Medieval North (CE1534)

Select further credit points from courses of choice to a total of 120 credits.

Songs, Myths and Hero - Tales of the Old North: an Introduction to Early Celtic and Anglo - Saxon Literature (CE1037) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces the oldest vernacular literature of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, beginning in the sixth century AD. We explore heroic narratives featuring, for example, the Scandinavian monster-fighter Beowulf (immortalized in England’s first epic poem), the Irish warrior Cú Chulainn (hero of the Táin) and the tragic Welsh princess Branwen, caught up in a fatal power-struggle between Wales and Ireland. We examine praise-poetry, meditative poetry, and look at mythological tales about the old gods and voyages to Otherworld isles in the western ocean.

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Arthur and Finn, Beowulf and Alfred the Great: History, Law and Literature in the Early Medieval North (CE1534) - 15 Credit Points

This course explores the changing cultures of the early mediaeval North, especially the cultural history and literatures of Britain and Ireland between the Anglo-Saxon settlement of south Britain and the Norman invasions half a millennium later. These islands were a cultural and ethnic melting-pot between Celtic and Germanic peoples, as seen through a rich body of texts: heroic poems, historical narratives, law-texts, family trees, letters and outlaw-legends. In lectures and small-group tutorials, we explore the diverse forms of social organisation which emerged, and we examine how these peoples interacted with each other: from sex to violence and everything in between.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Prehistoric Britain: from Boxgrove to Bede (AY2009) - 15 Credit Points

Britain has been inhabited by humans for more than half a million years. This course provides an introduction to the peoples and societies that have occupied this Island from the first pioneer populations to the dawn of history.

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Test Tubes and Trowels: an Introduction to Archaeological Science (AY2006) - 15 Credit Points

Ever wondered how Archaeologists know what Neandertals ate, or what killed Ötzi the Iceman? Test Tubes & Trowels provides an accessible overview of the key scientific approaches used in modern archaeology to better understand archaeological sites and materials and to reconstruct past lives. Using a combination of lectures and practical workshops, the course will cover scientific methods of dating, artefact provenancing and ancient technologies, methods used for the study of diet, health, and movements of humans and animals in the past, and the identification of the environmental impacts of past human activities.

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Past Lives (AY2508) - 15 Credit Points

Archaeology is ultimately the study of human social lives. This course provides students with a detailed introduction to archaeological approaches to the study of human society. Through case studies and key texts we will investigate how archaeology can generate detailed insights into the richness and diversity of the diverse human communities and individuals of the past.

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The Archaeology of The North: Lifeways & Cultural Change (AY2505) - 15 Credit Points

This course is a detailed introduction to the ecological, economic and spiritual dimensions to the archaeology of the northern world. Lectures will draw on a series of case-studies to examine the human adaptations to northern landscapes, ritual and spirituality, and finally the impact of colonisation and contact upon northern cultures. Practicals in the course will include hands-on introduction to traditional skills such as flint knapping, tool manufacture and use of an atlatl.

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Optional Courses

  • Select 30 credit points from Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Study Level 1 courses, including at least one of:
    • Arthur in Medieval Celtic and Scandinavian Literature (CE2034)
    • Love, Loss and Revival: Gaelic Ireland, 1700 to the Present (CE2563)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to a total of 120 credits.
Arthur in Mediaeval Celtic and Scandinavian Literature (CE2034) - 15 Credit Points

The course provides a survey of literature on Arthur in the Middle Ages, focusing on early Welsh and Gaelic sources, related Scandinavian literature and French, Welsh and English romances. It includes discussion of broader themes and questions posed by the literature, e.g. whether Arthur could have been a real person, how the Arthurian legend evolved over time and in different areas of Europe, and why the character has been elevated to iconic status.

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Love, Loss and Revival: Gaelic Ireland, 1700 to the Present (CE2563) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an introduction to Gaelic Ireland from the eighteenth century to the present. We will discuss the aims and achievements of all genres of literature written in modern Irish: for instance, political vision-poems, laments, short stories and autobiographies. The course will also cover in detail the major twentieth-century poets and their diverse motivations, e.g. self-discovery, urban/rural tension and commentary on political and social aspects of their own day. The connections between Irish literature and historical events, the changing status of the Irish language, and Ireland's relationship with the rest of Europe, will form important elements of the course.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Professional Archaeology i: Field Methods (AY3010) - 15 Credit Points

We only have three days to find out! Excavation and field survey in modern archaeology can lead to spectacular discoveries regarding our past. This course, built around a short fieldschool and follow-up practicals and classes, will introduce and develop key skills in field archaeology, including excavation, field survey and sampling. Students will go through the whole process of designing, carrying out and reporting on a site and landscape in a course that will provide invaluable professional development.

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Professional Archaeology II: Post - Excavation Analysis and Employment (AY3514) - 15 Credit Points

Lectures and laboratory practicals will provide experience in the techniques used to process and analyse archaeological artefacts and samples. We will introduce analytical basics for lithic, ceramic, faunal and historic artefact analysis as well as techniques for conserving, cataloguing and curating archaeological collections. This course also introduces practical skills required to obtain employment and placement in an archaeological workplace through practical exercises in writing CVs, job cover letters and job interview skills.

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Optional Courses

  • Select Archaeological Research Project Part I (AY3512) if selecting Archaeology Dissertation in Fourth Year.
  • Select further credit points from Archaeology Level 3 courses to gain 60 credits in this discipline.
  • Select 60 credit points of Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Level 3 courses.
Archaeological Research Project Part i (AY3512) - 15 Credit Points

This course is the first stage in producing an archaeological dissertation, which is completed in Level 4. Lectures and practical training sessions introduce the theory and practice of archaeological research design. As the course progresses the student puts this into practice through the development of their own original research project, its presentation at a research seminar, and the submission of a full research proposal, which they subsequently take forward as their dissertation. A personal supervisor is identified and provides support, in addition to the other lecturers involved in delivering the lectures and skills training.

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Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • Current Issues in Archaeology (AY4510)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies Level 4 courses.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Archaeology courses.

Option 2:

  • Archaeological Research Project Part II (AY4002)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies Level 4 courses.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Archaeology courses.
Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Studies (CE4598) - 30 Credit Points

The Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies is for Senior Honours students registered in the Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies degree programme. It will consist of approximately 3 one-hour tutorials, to provide students with guidance on selecting a suitable academic topic and developing a methodology for tackling this topic.

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Current Issues in Archaeology (AY4510) - 30 Credit Points

Archaeology is a contemporary discipline and the focus in archaeological questions, subject areas and theoretical debates constantly change with time. In this course we focus on some of the topics that are important for the ongoing research within our department, from domestication and climate change to community archaeology and relating to death. The different issues are discussed in text-based seminars, where the students themselves are responsible for presenting the topic and leading the seminars. The course aims to explore and challenge current trends in the archaeological discourse.

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Archaeological Research Project Part II (AY4002) - 30 Credit Points

Building directly on the skills learnt in AY3512, the student undertakes an original research project, under the guidance of their personal supervisor and course co-ordinator, and at the end of the course submits an archaeological dissertation. The session begins with a research seminar when students present how their research has progressed over the summer and what they will now be doing to complete it.

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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

  • Field Work
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • 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 learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year 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: 21%
independent: 79%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 41%
coursework: 55%
practical: 4%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 20%
independent: 80%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 55%
coursework: 41%
practical: 4%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 22%
independent: 78%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 36%
coursework: 64%
practical: 0%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 9%
independent: 91%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 27%
coursework: 70%
practical: 3%

Why Study Archaeology and Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies?

  • The Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies programme at Aberdeen is unique in Scotland, and emphasises critical thinking and small-group discussion.
  • Students gain not only an in-depth knowledge of history, literature, and languages, but transferable skills which will enhance their employability.
  • The academic staff are leading interdisciplinary researchers who have published books and articles in a wide variety of fields including Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian literature and history.
  • Our diverse courses are designed to engage students through lectures, tutorials and seminar presentations.
  • Many of our students are members of the Celtic Society, one of the oldest, most famous and liveliest student societies in the University.  The Society organises social and cultural events, including Welsh and Irish themed evenings and traditional music sessions.

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
S Grade/GCSE - Maths
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

Graduates gain essential skills, which include critical thinking, oral and written communication, task management, and organised and disciplined working practices. These skills are among the Graduate Attributes which students are encouraged to develop during their time at the University, and are crucial in a wide range of professional careers. Our graduates work in a wide variety of areas in the arts and elsewhere, including heritage management, teaching, research, librarianship, enterprise and broadcasting.

Career Opportunities

  • Junior Lecturer
  • Museum Officer
  • Researcher

Our Experts

Our courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and Archaeology are taught by experts in their field. Your teachers will include, among others:

Other Experts
Dr Aideen O'Leary

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.

Facilities

Image for Archaeology Fieldwork
Archaeology Fieldwork

Archaeology Fieldwork

We encourage all of our students to participate in a University field project, although opportunities to work on approved digs and surveys outside of the University are also supported.

Find out more

Centre for Scandinavian Studies

Aberdeen has the largest concentration of experts on early Scandinavia in the British Isles.

Celtic Society

One of the oldest, most famous and liveliest student societies in the University. The Society organises social and cultural events, including Welsh and Irish themed evenings and traditional music sessions.

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