Introduction

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and English at Aberdeen adds to a fascinating study of the lives and legacy of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian peoples. In this programme, you will explore English language and literature through the ages and in all its glory, at a leading centre ranked second in the UK for the quality of our research. You will graduate with wide career options across the arts and skills transferable whichever direction you choose.

This programme is studied on campus.

Aberdeen has been a centre for Celtic studies for more than a century and is now a leading research centre 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.

English gives you all the advantages of a highly-rated teaching, research and creative hub, where you will explore poetry and prose through the dynamic relationship between author, reader and literary text, study every period from Chaucer to contemporary English, Scottish, Irish, European and American writers and examine the cultural and critical impact of powerful and controversial modern works.

You will be inspired by enthusiastic teachers and researchers, themselves acclaimed authors and poets, and be encouraged to develop your own creative writing skills.

This subject combination gives you essential skills in critical thinking, core writing, research, communication and other attributes which will make you attractive to employers whatever your career choice. Our graduates work in a wide variety of areas in the arts and elsewhere, including heritage management, teaching, publishing, research, librarianship, enterprise and broadcasting.

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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
7Q5Q

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.

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

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select courses worth at least 30 credits from the list of Level 1 options available in the Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies table of courses, including at least one of those listed below
  • Plus, select further courses of choice to make up 120 credit points
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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Acts of Reading (EL1009) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to the study of English by exploring the dynamic relationship between author, reader and text in a series of classic works of fiction and poetry. It covers a broad historical range (from Folk Tales and ballads to 21st century postmodernity) and offers a basic grounding in key elements of literary theory, literary history and the varieties of literary form.

View detailed information about this course

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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Controversial Classics (EL1513) - 15 Credit Points

Literature can provoke, offend and disturb as well as entertain. This course considers some of the most powerful and controversial works of modern literature. It examines the circumstances of publication, the nature of the controversy, and the cultural and critical impact of each work. The course shows how poems, plays and novels can raise searching questions about national, racial and personal identity, and looks at the methods used by writers to challenge their readers, as well the responses of readers to such challenges.

View detailed information about this course

Year 2

Year 2

Optional Courses

  • Select courses worth at least 30 credits from the list of Level 2 options available in the Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies table of courses, including at least one of those listed below
  • Plus, select further courses of choice to make up 120 credit points
Vikings in Celtic and Germanic Scotland (CE2035) - 15 Credit Points

In this course you will be introduced to the Viking Age (A.D. 800-1100), an era of vast economic and political change in western Europe. Scandinavian assaults and conquests changed many social norms, as did the development of urban culture and international trade associated with Vikings' activities. In these islands, outstanding vernacular literatures developed: for instance, we have fascinating texts in Gaelic, English, Scandinavian, and Welsh. Scotland provides an intense realisation of all these trends; this course is, therefore, particularly exciting for students who wish to explore Scottish history and culture, and Scotland's relationship with the rest of mediaeval Europe.

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Encounters with Shakespeare (EL2011) - 30 Credit Points

So you think you know Shakespeare? This course invites you to think again. Studying a range of plays we get behind the mythology of Shakespeare, and rediscover the dynamic inventiveness of the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the principal players in a period of literary experimentation that reinvented the possibilities of literature. Encounters with Shakespeare is your chance to find out more.

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The Celts, Their Neighbours, and The Classical World (CE2536) - 15 Credit Points

Greek and Roman interactions with, and perceptions of, Celtic and Germanic peoples will form the central theme of this course. We will analyse individual Classical authors' motives and judgments in relation to Celts and Germani, and how these perceptions evolved against the background of the emerging Roman Empire. The course also involves discussion of broader themes and questions posed by the sources, e.g. the portrayals of Celtic and Germanic peoples in Greek and Roman art, and the possible uses by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon literatures of Classical texts.

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The Tragedy of Knowledge (EL2512) - 30 Credit Points

This course traces the use of key Western myths from antiquity to the present to examine the way knowledge is often presented as both dangerous and compelling. As well as introducing students to a range of historical, social, and formal variations on the theme of knowledge, the course also highlights the role of storytelling and adaptation in the formation of knowledge and understanding.

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Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

Select a total of two courses from the following groups, each from a different group: Group 1: Medieval/Renaissance

  • EL30DQ: Knights, Virgins and Viragos, Chaucer and Medieval Writing
  • EL35CP: Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1640
  • EL3008 Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century

Group 2: Romantic/Victorian

  • EL30GK: Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and the Gothic in the Long 19th Century
  • EL3009: American Innovation
  • EL35XR: Romanticism
  • EL30HK American Insurrections: Writing, Self and Nation1776-1865
  • EL30QA Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories
  • EL35GK Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and Gothic in the Long 19th Century

Group 3: Contemporary/Modern

  • EL35KN Haunted Texts
  • EL30FF: Modernism: Make it New
  • EL35KM: Perversion of the Interior: Women’s Fiction 1925-1975
  • EL35UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma

Group 4

  • EL30JS: Anglo-American Children’s Literature
  • EL35YB: Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft
  • EL35EH: Classical Epic

Plus, select 60 credit points of level 3 Celtic & Anglo Saxon courses (listed below)

Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing (EL30DQ)
Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500 - 1640 (EL35CP)
Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and the Gothic in the Long 19th Century (EL30GK) - 30 Credit Points

Exploring connections between Gothic monstrosity and psychological realism, this course investigates an exciting range of texts and contexts from the long nineteenth century. Focusing on novels from 1789-1914, with some attention to other genres and adaptations, we ask what it means to be human, and how cultural anxieties and scientific/technological developments have affected literature (and vice versa). From doubling to degeneration, madness to the metropolis, villain to vampire, empire to the threat of extinction, we examine the work of writers such as Mary Shelley, Dickens, Poe, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Bram Stoker and H.G. Wells.

View detailed information about this course

American Innovation (EL3009) - 30 Credit Points

This level-three course offers an introduction to American literature and culture between 1850 and 1950, a century in which the United States was transformed from a rural economy to an industrialised super-power. You will learn about the key writers of this period, the issues that sparked their imaginations, and the literary strategies which they adopted, or at times invented, to express their response to the changing world around them. This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.

View detailed information about this course

Romanticism (EL35XR) - 30 Credit Points

The Romantic movement swept Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and produced some of the most innovative and exciting literature that has ever been seen. This rule breaking art helped shape the way that we consider art today and underpins many of our ideas about imagination, originality, creativity and self-expression. This course will explore the ways in which the Romantic movement manifested itself across Britain and Ireland and will consider writers such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Austen and Byron.

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States of Mind: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Writing (EL30IH)
Anglo - American Children’s Literature (EL30JS) - 30 Credit Points

From the picture book to the fairy tale, literature for children offers a wide range of literary modes of engaging with questions of human becoming. This course explores American and British children’s literature from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We will look at a range of genres including poetry, the school story, the adventure story and fantasy, as well as examining the construction of children’s literature as a genre of its own. We will engage in close reading, and consider historical and social context and questions of gender, race and sexuality.

View detailed information about this course

Modernism: Make IT New (EL30FF) - 30 Credit Points

The early twentieth century was a time of great literary experimentation as literary modernists rose to the challenge to make it new. We will explore modernism’s stylistic experimentation while also considering the social contexts and changes that shaped this literature. The course will examine a range of writers, genres, movements and locations which prompt us to consider what, when and where was modernism.

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Perversion of the Interior: Women's Fiction 1925 - 1975 (EL35KM) - 30 Credit Points

Gothic, Romance, Autobiography: these are the central topics of mid-twentieth-century fiction by and for women, and yet have often been critically neglected. Looking at a range of women's fiction in this period, including popular and middlebrow titles as well as literary classics, this course looks at what women wrote, what women read, and who deemed these works important. This course especially focuses on the relation between physical space (the home, the village) and psychological space (including representations of mental illness) in order to discuss the space of women's writing.

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Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma (EL35UT) - 30 Credit Points

How is the artist to respond when the virtual becomes the real and when words cannot carry the weight of trauma? How can an author avoid the accusations of voyeuristic prurience or crass opportunism when he or she attempts to re-present events of public violence? This multi-disciplinary course examines work from a wide range of modes, including fiction, poetry, film and graphic art, and looks at the difficulties of inscribing trauma and the ethics and praxis of remembrance. Key events covered include the Holocaust, the Sabra and Shatila massacre, 9-11, the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans.

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Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (EL3008) - 30 Credit Points

Literature has the power to reimagine society. The course will explore how poetry, drama and other literary forms across the century sought new literary approaches to meet the challenges of these times. We will examine different literary strategies adopted by authors to engage with their times, from those who drew upon classical precedent to others who brought new voices, and new publics, into the forum of literature. Texts on the course will vary each year, but will feature such authors as Ben Jonson, John Donne, Katharine Philips, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and Samuel Daniel.

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Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL35YB) - 30 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity, through lectures and interactive workshops, to develop their understanding of, and practical skills in, the writing of prose fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Taught by widely published, award-winning writers, it provides a thorough, practice-based understanding of creative process and of the technical challenges involved in developing an original idea into a completed literary artefact, presented to a professional standard. It also contributes to students' future career potential, whether as ‘creative’ or other kinds of professional writers/communicators.

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Classical Epic (EL35EH) - 30 Credit Points

This course is your opportunity to study four of the most influential and gripping texts of world literature. We begin in the oral culture of ancient Greece, with the Iliad's stark meditation on war and death, and the Odyssey's consolatory reflections on divine justice, poetry and love. In imperial Rome, we see the genre transformed into a monument to political power in Virgil's Aeneid, then thrown into disarray by Ovid's irreverent anti-epic, the Metamorphoses. We end by considering some of the ways these texts have been exploited and adapted across the intervening centuries, in poetry and prose, art and film.

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Brittonic Language Ia (CE3074)
Tales of Vengeance and Enchantment: the Heroic Age in Irish and Icelandic Saga Literature A (CE3088)
Brittonic Language Iia (CE3574)
Celtic and Anglo - Saxon Kingship and the Exercise of Authority in the Earlier Middle Ages (CE3595)
The Work of Angels (HA3594)
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Option 1

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • Select a further 45 credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (listed below)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in English

Option 2

  • English Dissertation (EL4502)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (listed below)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in English
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.

View detailed information about this course

English Dissertation (EL4502) - 30 Credit Points

Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within English literature.

View detailed information about this course

Brittonic Language Ib (CE4074)
Tales of Vengeance and Enchantment: the Heroic Age in Irish and Icelandic Saga Literature B (CE4088)
Brittonic Language Iib (CE4574)
Celtic and Anglo - Saxon Kingship and the Exercise of Authority in the Earlier Middle Ages (CE4595)
The Work of Angels (HA4594)

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
  • 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 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: 49%
coursework: 44%
practical: 7%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 14%
independent: 86%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 49%
coursework: 42%
practical: 9%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 13%
independent: 87%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 50%
coursework: 47%
practical: 3%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 6%
independent: 94%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 30%
coursework: 70%
practical: 0%

Why Study Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and English?

  • Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies is one of the most unique university programmes offered in Scotland. You will develop your critical thinking and analysis skills through the programme's strong focus on small-group discussion.
  • In the process of gaining an in-depth knowledge of the history, literature and languages of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon culture, you will develop many transferable skills that will enhance your employability.
  • You will be taught by leading researchers, recognised for their valuable contributions to published books and articles on a variety of topics including Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian literature and history.
  • Many of our students are members of the Celtic Society, one of the oldest student societies in the University. You will have the opportunity to be a part of social and cultural events, including Welsh and Irish themed evenings.
  • A large proportion of our Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies staff and postgraduate students are actively involved in research, so you will gain unique insights into the field.
  • Throughout the programme, you will have the opportunity to study optional courses, enabling you to develop your knowledge and understanding of areas that particularly interest you.
  • You will benefit from small class sizes and group discussion, meaning that you will have the opportunity to explore your thoughts and ideas with staff and students.
  • Our programme covers all periods of English Literature, which includes Scottish, Irish and American writing, providing you with a holistic overview of the subject. You will also benefit from courses in creative writing with our prize-winning and published creative writing team.
  • You will benefit from being taught by internationally recognised academics at the forefront of research in their field.
  • At Aberdeen, our teaching is research-led, so you will have unique insights into the subject based on research carried out by staff and postgraduate students.
  • The programme encompasses a range of teaching methods, from lectures and seminars to small-group tutorials and individual supervision.
  • The critical thinking and analysis skills that you develop will enable you to work in a wide variety of careers.
  • By Studying English at Aberdeen, you will become part of a unique group of students who have been taught English by world leading academics and researchers at one of the oldest universities in the UK.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

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


General Entry Requirements

2018 Entry
2019 Entry

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)

SQA Highers

Standard Offer: AABB - BBB
Applicants who have achieved between AABB - BBB are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers may be required in order to receive an offer of admission.

Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)
Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one or more Widening Participation criteria, are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers / Advanced Highers will be required in order to receive an offer of admission.

More information on our definition of Standard, Adjusted and Access Threshold entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard offer: BBB

Adjusted / Access Threshold: BB (or below)

More information on our definition of Standard, Adjusted and Access Threshold entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

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 an Undergraduate 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 - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

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

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) the tuition fee charged upon entry 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 2019/20
International Students £15,300
Students Admitted in 2019/20

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
  • Media Communications
  • Museum Officer
  • Researcher

Our Experts

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

Other Expert
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

Centre for Scandinavian Studies

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

Centre for the Novel

The Centre for the Novel is a interdisciplinary research centre which aim is to promote discussion about the theory and practice of the novel across a range of languages, historical periods and critical approaches.

Find out more

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