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.

Study 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
Degree marketing image

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.

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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Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), 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’.

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Songs, Myths and Hero - Tales of the Old North (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.

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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.

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Optional Courses

Select at least two course from the options provided below.

Plus EL1536 (optional)

Plus, select further courses of choice to make up 120 credit points.

Modern Irish Language for Beginners 1 (CE1036)

15 Credit Points

This course gives students an introduction to the modern Irish language. It covers basic conversation skills, and the structures of the language, through the use of songs, videos and speaking practice in class. It is open to those with little or no knowledge of the language.

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Latin 1 (LT1009)

15 Credit Points

Latin 1 is an introductory, intensive course for those with little or no previous exposure to Latin. Students completing this course should have a Latin vocabulary of about 400 words and a basic understanding of Latin grammar and syntax. Students successfully completing this course will be adequately prepared to attend Latin 2. Students will very likely discover that their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar/syntax is improved by their study of Latin. The etymological roots of many English words can be traced to the Latin language.

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Latin 2 (LT1507)

15 Credit Points

Latin 2 picks up where Latin 1 finished in first term. By the end of this course students should have a more or less comprehensive understanding of Latin syntax and grammar, a Latin vocabulary of 700-800 words, and should be capable of translating simple Latin texts into idiomatic English. Students will very likely discover that their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar/syntax is improved by their study of Latin.

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Gaelic Scotland (GH1015)

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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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.

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Modern Irish Language for Beginners 2 (CE1536)

15 Credit Points

Course Aim

This course aims to give students a continuation of their study of the modern Irish language, and will encourage conversations in Irish on more advanced topics.

Main Learning Outcomes By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. understand at a more advanced level the grammatical structures of the modern Irish language;
  2. read and comprehend more complex passages in Irish; and
  3. hold more challenging conversations in Irish.

Course Content

This course covers the grammatical structures of the modern Irish language at a more advanced level than Modern Irish Language for Beginners 1, including continued study of pronunciation and further analysis of the dialects of Irish. Students will be encouraged to practise conversation in Irish on more challenging topics

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

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Lost Gods and Hidden Monsters in the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages (CE1538)

15 Credit Points

Primordial giants, godlike ‘immortals’, elves, leprechauns, trolls, water-monsters and the walking dead: uncanny Otherworldly beings feature widely in the literature of the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages, as its Christian authors reimagined their cultures’ pagan pasts. Drawing primarily on Gaelic and Norse-Icelandic literature, this course will explore how these beings were conceptualized, how (if at all) they related to pre-Christian myth and religion, and why they continued to be significant to these cultures many centuries after Christianization.

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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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Rethinking Reading (EL1536)

15 Credit Points

Rethinking Reading invites you to consider what we do when we study literature. What shapes the idea of literature as we know it? How, and why, might we want to change the ways in which we think about texts? Who gets to decide, and why does it matter? Designed as an introduction to critical theory for students of literature, Rethinking Reading introduces several key topics in critical studies: literature, authorship, genre, sexuality, and posthumanism.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
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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Optional Courses

Candidates must select at least two of the following:

  • Arthur in Medieval Celtic and Scandinavian Literature (CE2034)
  • Vikings: An Introduction (HI2526)
  • Introduction to Scottish Gaelic Literature (GH2514)
  • Lost Gods and Hidden Monsters in the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages (CE1538)

Plus, select one of the following two courses:

  • The Tragedy of Knowledge (EL2512)
  • Power, Equality and Empire (EL2517)

Plus, select further courses of choice to make up 120 credit points.

Arthur in Medieval 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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Vikings: an Introduction (HI2526)

15 Credit Points

The year 793: a surprise viking attack on the peaceful monastic island of Lindisfarne. This raid is often considered to mark the beginning of the so-called Viking Age, a time of turbulence and transformation with repercussions throughout Europe and beyond. This period saw violence and warfare, cultural contact and religious conversion, political overhaul, and literary and artistic creativity. As well as critically interrogating the concepts of the ‘viking’ and the ‘Viking Age’, this course provides an introduction to key themes and topics in the study of early Scandinavia, c. 800-1200.

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Introduction to Scottish Gaelic Literature (GH2514)

15 Credit Points

This survey course is an introduction to Scottish Gaelic literature from the 17th century to the modern day. Scottish Gaelic has one of Europe's oldest secular literatures and this is an exciting choice for anyone with an interest in Scotland's history, literature and culture: it is taught using translated texts and originals for those whose Gaelic language is good enough. Students will gain new perspectives on key areas of Scottish society such as Jacobitism, the Clearances, the Highland Land Wars, the Celtic Twilight Movement and the Gaelic renaissance in the modern period. This course is suitable for anyone in Programme Year 2 with an interest in Scottish society.

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Lost Gods and Hidden Monsters in the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages (CE1538)

15 Credit Points

Primordial giants, godlike ‘immortals’, elves, leprechauns, trolls, water-monsters and the walking dead: uncanny Otherworldly beings feature widely in the literature of the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages, as its Christian authors reimagined their cultures’ pagan pasts. Drawing primarily on Gaelic and Norse-Icelandic literature, this course will explore how these beings were conceptualized, how (if at all) they related to pre-Christian myth and religion, and why they continued to be significant to these cultures many centuries after Christianization.

View detailed information about this course
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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Power, Equality and Empire (EL2517)

30 Credit Points

This optional course in literature allows students at pre-Honours to learn about the impact of global colonialism through the writings of those who experienced it and its repercussions. It includes theorists of our time and texts like Aphra Behn’s Oronoko and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The texts on this course are necessarily concerned with enslavement and freedom, with how one encounters difference, and what it means to possess or claim territory. In examining these issues students will engage with issues of power and equality over centuries of writing about colonialism and empire.

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Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

Select two courses from the following groups, each from a different group:

Medieval/Renaissance

  • Classical Epic (EL30EH)
  • Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1640 (EL30CP)
  • Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century (EL35EJ)

Romantic/Victorian

  • Romanticism (EL35XR)
  • Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion (EL35VB)
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories (EL30QA)
  • Britain and the 19th Century World (EL35SB)

Contemporary/Modern

  • Haunted Texts (EL35KN)
  • Modernism: Make it New (EL30FF)
  • Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL30YB)
  • American Voices: Self and Society, 1850-1930 (EL30RD)
  • Queer Times (EL35WC)

Also, select one course from the following:

  • Fallen Women and Self-Made Men (EL30VC)
  • Anglo-American Children's Literature (EL35JS)
  • Images Adequate to our Predicament: Art in the Anthropocene (EL35ZF)
  • Celtic Encounters: The Gaelic World in Irish and Scottish Literature (CE351C)
  • Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL30YB)

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

Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500 - 1640 (EL30CP)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the poetry, drama and prose of a period often referred to as the golden age of English literature. A period which saw Shakespeare and his contemporaries produce innovative new literary works in which the language of desire took centre stage.

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Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (EL35EJ)

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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Classical Epic (EL30EH)

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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Romanticism (EL30XR)

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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Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion (EL35VB)

30 Credit Points

This module covers some of the most prominent and popular genres of the Victorian period, including realism, detective fiction, sensation fiction, the ghost story and the social problem novel. We will learn how to identify a genre’s distinctive features, but also how it may overlap with other forms of fiction. By reading authors such as George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and H. G. Wells, we will think about how writers help to create and challenge generic boundaries.

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Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories (EL30QA)

30 Credit Points

While the short story is often said to have developed in America, nineteenth-century Scottish writing is in fact instrumental in the emergence of the form. Often drawing on oral and folk traditions Scottish writers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employ the supernatural, or our fear of it, to explore subjects such as guilt, fear, remorse and the extent to which we can control our own destinies. This course will explore the ways in which the short story in Scotland develops from the early nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. It will include writers such as Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Findlater and Lewis Grassic Gibbon

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Britain and the Nineteenth - Century World (EL35SB)

30 Credit Points

The Romantic (1782-1832) and Victorian (1832-1901) periods were ones of remarkable activity for British citizens abroad. Imperial expansion, increasing international trade, major conflicts and growing mass migration all drew more British citizens than ever into contact with the wider world. This course explores the footprints left by these interactions in nineteenth-century literature: critically examining how Britain saw the world and how the English-speaking world saw Britain during a century of unprecedented international activity. This course will combine canonical writers of empire and migration with less well-known accounts of the period. Writers covered may include Mary Shelley, Henry Derozio, Fergus Hume, Cornelia Sorabji, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle. The course will apply a range of critical lenses to this material offering students an introduction to key concepts and debates from nation theory, settler studies and postcolonial studies.

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Haunted Texts (EL35KN)

30 Credit Points

This course offers an overview of a wide range of twentieth-century Scottish literature, focusing on themes of haunting, death, and place. Including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama, the course explores questions of the relationship between self and society, the legacy of the past, and the formation of gendered and regional identities. There are lots of ghosts.

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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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American Voices: Self and Society, 1850 - 1930 (EL30RD)

30 Credit Points

This course examines an important and diverse period in the development of American literature, lasting from the mid-nineteenth century until the 1930s. During the course we will be analysing works by a variety of American writers from this period in their historical, social and political contexts as well as considering the ways in which they pioneered innovative literary forms and techniques.

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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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Fallen Women and Self - Made Men (EL30VC)

30 Credit Points

The Victorian period is often seen as a time of sexual repression and rigid gender roles, in which men and women were expected to perform in accordance with established codes of behaviour that were based on assumptions about innate masculinity and femininity. While this perception of Victorian attitudes may be true to some extent, many Victorians were well aware of the dangers of gender stereotyping, and wrote fiction in order to interrogate and challenge these expectations. Focussing mainly on the novel, but including some poetry and drama, this module explores how Victorian writers engaged with gender stereotypes, and considers the literary tactics that authors used to re-examine, overthrow and sometimes reaffirm them. We will also consider how these stereotypes changed during the nineteenth century in response to public controversies and campaigns that kept questions of gender at the forefront of public consciousness. Figures such as the Fallen Woman, the Self-Made man and the Angel in the House will be explored in texts by authors including Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Hardy.

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Queer Times (EL35WC)

30 Credit Points

This course adopts a cross-period approach, bringing contemporary and premodern texts into conversation in exploring representations of queer experiences and themes in diverse forms. Divided into three sections, queer presents, queer pasts, and queer futures, the course will introduce a selection of theoretical and critical readings in thinking about how representation is shaped by temporal and cultural context. We will consider the relationship between representation of queer experience and formal experimentation, and how queer forms impact on our sense of queer possibilities.

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Celtic Encounters: the Gaelic World in Irish and Scottish Literature (CE351C)

30 Credit Points

Celtic Encounters looks at the ways in which Irish and Scottish writers have reimagined texts of Celtic origin in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, from the Irish Literary Revival through the Scottish Literary Renaissance, to the present day. Writers have adapted Old Gaelic sagas and hero tales for modern consumption, reinvented themselves as latter-day bardic poets, and been inspired by the Celtic and Gaelic past to produce daringly modernist and experimental new work.

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Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL30YB)

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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Anglo - American Childrens Literature (EL35JS)

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.

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Images Adequate to Our Predicament: Art for the Anthropocene (EL35ZF)

30 Credit Points

Through the effects of technological progress, industrialisation, deforestation, mining, our dependence on fossil fuels and plastics, and the testing of nuclear weapons, humans have become geological agents – radically transforming the Earth System in ways that will leave a trace for millions of years to come. This realisation has come to be known as the ‘Anthropocene’ – the time of humans. The implications – materially, emotionally and intellectually – are vast and complex. How do writers and artists respond to this complexity? What role can literature, film and visual art play in our understanding of it? This course addresses these and other questions. By studying select works of literature, film and visual art from the last sixty years alongside critical, theoretical and scientific writing on the Anthropocene, can we identify those images that might be thought adequate to our predicament?

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Brittonic Language Ia (CE3074)

30 Credit Points

This course consists of an exposition of the grammar of mediaeval Welsh, accompanied by appropriate translation exercises and grammatical interpretation of selected passages.

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Tales of Vengeance & Enchantment:the Heroic Age in Saga Literature A (CE3088)

30 Credit Points

This course explores and compares the legendary saga-narratives written in medieval Ireland and Iceland which dramatize the great deeds and even greater misdeeds of Celtic and Scandinavian ‘heroes’. Characters studied range from the frenzied Ulster warrior Cu Chulainn to the tragic and troll-like Icelander Grettir the Strong and the mythic dragon-slayer Sigurdr the Volsung, made famous by Wagner but much wilder in the original. Stories studied will include cattle-raids, bloodfeuds, Otherworld quests and fights with zombies. By the end of the course, students will know how to go berserk in an informed and critically aware manner.

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Gaelic Learning Through the Ages (GH3024)

15 Credit Points

This course explores Gaelic learning from earliest times to the demise of traditional Gaelic society in the eighteenth century: its various branches, the principal literary, artistic and scientific achievements of the period, and the contact and exchange between native culture and the wider world.

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Independent Study In Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Studies A (CE3099)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide the opportunity for self-motivated students to pursue in-depth exploration of a specific topic in Celtic and/or Anglo-Saxon Studies. It gives students an opportunity for intensive engagement in a specific area within the research field of an individual staff member, and can be arranged as preparatory work towards a dissertation. The content of this course varies depending on the topic chosen, but the course focuses on enhancing the student's knowledge and research skills in the specified topic. Students interested in taking the course MUST discuss their specific interest before the course begins with a possible supervisor and with the Programme Co-ordinator (Aideen O'Leary).

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Scottish Archaeology (AY3009)

15 Credit Points

Here in Scotland we have a world-class record of past human society. From the spectacularly preserved Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae to 19th century clearance villages, this course explores the broad sweep of Scottish prehistoric and historic archaeology. In lectures and a day long study trip students will get an in-depth insight into the archaeology of Scotland and will explore some of the major issues in human history: the origins of agriculture and monumentality, worldview and belief in the north, settlement and social structure, urbanism and the emergence of the modern world.

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Brittonic Language Iia (CE3574)

30 Credit Points

The course consists of continued study of the grammar of mediaeval Welsh, accompanied by reading, translation exercises and grammatical interpretation of selected passages of text.

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Animals and Monsters in the Greek World and Beyond (DR352X)

30 Credit Points

This course will explore the role of animals and monsters in the Ancient Near East, ancient Greek, Roman Worlds.

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Independent Study In Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Studies A (CE3599)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide the opportunity for self-motivated students to pursue in-depth exploration of a specific topic in Celtic and/or Anglo-Saxon Studies. It gives students an opportunity for intensive engagement in a specific area within the research field of an individual staff member, and can be arranged as preparatory work towards a dissertation. The content of this course varies depending on the topic chosen, but the course focuses on enhancing the student's knowledge and research skills in the specified topic. Students interested in taking the course MUST discuss their specific interest before the course begins with a possible supervisor and with the Programme Co-ordinator (Aideen O'Leary).

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Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Choose one of the following:

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • English Dissertation (EL4502)

Plus select further credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (listed below) and level 4 courses in English to gain 60 credits in each discipline.

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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English Dissertation (EL4502)

30 Credit Points

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

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Special Subject: Myths of the North (HI4026)

30 Credit Points

This course critically evaluates representations and functions of Old Norse myth and legend in both medieval and modern contexts. It will enable students to better understand the myths, beliefs and stories of Viking and medieval Scandinavia in their own historical contexts, and to analyse the political and cultural implications of their endurance, significance and popularity into the modern world.

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Brittonic Language Ib (CE4074)

30 Credit Points

This course consists of an exposition of the grammar of mediaeval Welsh, accompanied by appropriate translation exercises and grammatical interpretation of selected passages of text.

View detailed information about this course
Tales of Vengeance & Enchantment:the Heroic Age in Saga Literature B (CE4088)

30 Credit Points

This course explores and compares the legendary saga-narratives written in medieval Ireland and Iceland which dramatize the great deeds and even greater misdeeds of Celtic and Scandinavian ‘heroes’. Characters studied range from the frenzied Ulster warrior Cu Chulainn to the tragic and troll-like Icelander Grettir the Strong and the mythic dragon-slayer Sigurdr the Volsung, made famous by Wagner but much wilder in the original. Stories studied will include cattle-raids, bloodfeuds, Otherworld quests and fights with zombies. By the end of the course, students will know how to go berserk in an informed and critically aware manner.

View detailed information about this course
Gaelic Learning Through the Ages (GH4024)

15 Credit Points

This course explores Gaelic learning from earliest times to the demise of traditional Gaelic society in the eighteenth century: its various branches, the principal literary, artistic and scientific achievements of the period, and the contact and exchange between native culture and the wider world.

View detailed information about this course
Independent Study In Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Studies B (CE4099)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide the opportunity for students to pursue in-depth exploration of a specific topic in Celtic and/or Anglo-Saxon Studies. It gives students an opportunity for intensive engagement in a specific area within the research field of an individual staff member, and can be arranged as preparatory work towards a dissertation. The content of this course may vary, but the course focuses on enhancing the student's knowledge and research skills in the specified topic. Students interested in taking the course should discuss their specific interest in advance, where possible, with the Programme Co-ordinator and a possible supervisor.

View detailed information about this course
Brittonic Language Iib (CE4574)

30 Credit Points

The course consists of continued study of the grammar of mediaeval Welsh, accompanied by reading, translation exercises and grammatical interpretation of selected passages of text.

View detailed information about this course
Celtic Encounters: the Gaelic World in Irish and Scottish Literature (CE451C)

30 Credit Points

Celtic Encounters looks at the ways in which Irish and Scottish writers have reimagined texts of Celtic origin in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, from the Irish Literary Revival through the Scottish Literary Renaissance, to the present day. Writers have adapted Old Gaelic sagas and hero tales for modern consumption, reinvented themselves as latter-day bardic poets, and been inspired by the Celtic and Gaelic past to produce daringly modernist and experimental new work.

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Independent Study In Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Studies B (CE4599)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide the opportunity for students to pursue in-depth exploration of a specific topic in Celtic and/or Anglo-Saxon Studies. It gives students an opportunity for intensive engagement in a specific area within the research field of an individual staff member, and can be arranged as preparatory work towards a dissertation. The content of this course may vary, but the course focuses on enhancing the student's knowledge and research skills in the specified topic. Students interested in taking the course should discuss their specific interest in advance, where possible, with the Programme Co-ordinator and a possible supervisor.

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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.

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

2021 Entry
2022 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

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

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

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

International Baccalaureate

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

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

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

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

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

International Baccalaureate

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

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


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

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 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 information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22
EU / International students £18,000
Students Admitted in 2021/22
Home Students £1,820
Students Admitted in 2021/22

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

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.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

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.

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Discover Uni 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