Introduction

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and Gaelic Studies is an ideal subject combination to add to your study in the lives and legacy of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian peoples. You will explore Gaelic from its Celtic origins to its role today as Scotland’s oldest living language. The language, historical perspective and study skills you will develop will give you a great advantage for a wide range of career options, especially with a Scottish or international dimension.

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.

Gaelic is an area of particular strength at Aberdeen. We have been teaching Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and culture for a hundred years, led by teachers and researchers passionate about Gaelic, and whose work directly influences Scottish policy on keeping Gaelic alive, healthy and important in Scotland today. Our students and staff play an important role in today’s Gaelic-speaking community in the north of Scotland through clubs, activities, networks and organisations.

Opportunities for graduates fluent in Scottish Gaelic are very good. Teaching, Gaelic development, arts management and librarianship are all career options and the commitment in Scotland to Gaelic broadcasting means increasing demand for Gaelic graduates to work in the media. You will also have transferable skills sought by employers in other sectors and business.

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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
52Q8

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

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

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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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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select at least one of the following:

  • Songs, Myths and Hero-Tales of the Old North (CE1537)
  • Barbarians (CE1033)

Plus one of the following Options:

Beginners:

  • Gaelic for Beginners 1A (GH1007)
  • Gaelic for Beginners 1B (GH1507)

Intermediate/Advanced:

  • Gaelic Language 1A (GH1013)
  • Gaelic Language 1B (GH1513)

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

Gaelic for Beginners 1a (GH1007) - 15 Credit Points

This is an 11-week course in the modern Scottish Gaelic language for students who have little or no prior experience of the language, or for students with no formal qualifications in Gaelic.

You will learn Gaelic through a mixture of interactive language classes, a class which focuses on conversational skills, and a programme of homework exercises, together with self-directed learning.

By the end of the course, you will be able to speak, read, write and understand Gaelic at a basic level and you will have mastered a large working vocabulary.

View detailed information about this course

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

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

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

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

View detailed information about this course

Gaelic Language 1a (GH1013) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Gaelic Language 1b (GH1513) - 15 Credit Points

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

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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

LT1009 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 LT1507. 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. Download Course Guide

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Latin 2 (LT1507) - 15 Credit Points

LT1507 picks up where LT1009 (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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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Gaelic Folklore (GH2006) - 15 Credit Points

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

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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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Optional Courses

Students must pick courses from level 1 and level 2 (listed below) Celtic & Anglo Saxon Studies, including at least one of the following:

  • CE 2034 Arthur in Mediaeval Celtic and Scandinavian Literature
  • CE 2563 Love, Loss and Revival: Gaelic Ireland, 1700 to the Present

Plus select one of the following options:

Beginner

  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009)
  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509)

Intermediate/Advanced:

  • Gaelic Language 2A (GH2013)
  • Gaelic Language 2B (GH2513)

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

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

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

View detailed information about this course

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

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

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Gaelic Language 2a (GH2013) - 15 Credit Points

This is the second year Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or similar level. It follows on from GH1513.

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Gaelic Language 2b (GH2513) - 15 Credit Points

This is the second half of the second year Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or similar level. It follows on from GH2013.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Gaelic Language A (GH3022) - 30 Credit Points

A level three Gaelic language course for students taking honours Gaelic. The course runs over both semesters and is topic based, enabling students to develop their ability to deal with a large range of subjects in Gaelic. The course also develops students' generic writing and oral skills.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points of level 3 Celtic & Anglo-Saxon courses from those listed below plus further courses of Level 3 Gaelic to gain 60 credits in the discipline.

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 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, blood feuds, 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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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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Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Kingship & Exercise of Authority in Earlier Mid (CE3595) - 30 Credit Points

Kingship and the Middle Ages seem to go together. In some cultures mediaeval kingship grew powerful, the public embodiment of a people and the creator of government and (therefore) state. But this was not so everywhere and at all times. The Germanic-speaking peoples, fearful of leaderly power, were very reluctant to embrace kingship. The Celtic-speaking peoples inherited a long-lived ideology of kingship but never embraced monarchy. We examine the development of kingship as social institution, taking the Celts as a whole and using the Anglo-Saxons as representative of a larger Germanic history.

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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).

View detailed information about this course

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).

View detailed information about this course

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Gaelic Language B (GH4022) - 30 Credit Points

A level four Gaelic language course for students taking honours Gaelic. The course runs over both semesters and is topic based, enabling students to develop their ability to deal with a large range of subjects in Gaelic. The course also develops students' generic writing and oral skills.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Choose one of the following options:

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507)

Plus select 60 credit points of level 4 Celtic & Anglo-Saxon courses (listed below), and further courses of Level 4 Gaelic to gain 60 credits in the 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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Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507) - 15 Credit Points

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

View detailed information about this course

Independent Study In Celtic & Anglo - Saxon Studies B (CE4099) - 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).

View detailed information about this course

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

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • 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: 45%
coursework: 36%
practical: 19%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 21%
independent: 79%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 60%
coursework: 27%
practical: 13%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 15%
independent: 85%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 39%
coursework: 54%
practical: 7%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 12%
independent: 88%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 24%
coursework: 62%
practical: 14%

Why Study Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and Gaelic Studies?

  • A unique programme in Scotland, emphasising critical thinking and small-group discussion, to gain in-depth knowledge of history, literature and languages, plus transferable skills to boost your employability.
  • All teaching is on the beautiful, late-mediaeval King’s College campus, and the surrounding countryside is rich in archaeological and historic remains of Scotland’s Celtic and Nordic past.
  • Academic staff are leading international researchers who have published widely on Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian literature and history, revealing new discoveries and debunking popular myths.
  • A vibrant Celtic Society, one of the oldest, most famous and liveliest student societies in the University, organising social and cultural events, including Welsh and Irish-themed evenings and traditional music sessions.
  • Strong tradition of commitment to Gaelic and a University Gaelic Language Plan to promote and develop Gaelic in the University in line with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
  • Close links with the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies and its literary magazine, Causeway / Cabhsair, which frequently includes poems and short stories from established and new Gaelic writers.
  • Student-run Celtic Society famous for its musical events, ceilidhs and trips and a great opportunity to use Gaelic in an informal, social context.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with an extensive Gaelic collection and treasures including the 10th century Book of Deer with some of the oldest examples of Gaelic writing to have survived from medieval Scotland.
  • A unique summer school, giving students the chance to practise their Gaelic language skills in a friendly, natural environment.
  • A strong Gaelic theme in the University’s popular May Festival which thousands every spring to hear world-famous authors, poets, public figures, scientists and other experts, and debate big issues in arts, literature and current affairs.

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

2020 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 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above).

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 - 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

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
  • Museum Officer
  • Researcher
  • Teacher

Our Experts

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

Other Expert
Professor Ralph O'Connor

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

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