Introduction

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and History at Aberdeen adds to your exploration of the lives and legacy of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian peoples within a broad study of human activity. Aberdeen is steeped in 500 years of history, with fabulous collections of historic treasures, today ranked top in Scotland for the impact of its historical research – and you will gain the transferable skills to open up a wide spectrum of career opportunities.

This programme is studied on campus.

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

Aberdeen is ranked as the top university in Scotland for the impact of its history research and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework. Teaching is rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national quality assessment and student satisfaction of 95%.

We have particular strengths in Scottish, Irish and Scandinavian history – adding tremendous value to this degree combination. We also have research centres studying the history of global empires and the history of science, technology and medicine and fabulous historic treasures from every period in our award-winning library and special collections centre.

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, media 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
5V1Q

What You'll Study

In the first and second year, our students undertake broad, introductory courses which include small-group tutorial discussions.

At honours level, courses are focused on more specialised themes and students give seminar presentations on assigned topics. The degree culminates in the writing of a dissertation, in which the student undertakes a substantial research project on a subject of his/her own choice.

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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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

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

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Making History (HI1027) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians. Download course guide.

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Optional Courses

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

  • Songs, Myths and Hero-Tales of the Old North (CE1037)
  • Arthur and Finn, Beowulf and Alfred the Great: History, Law and Literature in the Early Medieval North (CE1534)

Select a further 30 credit points from level 1 courses in History and/or History of Art.
Select further credit points from courses of choice to a total of 120 credits.

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

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

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

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

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Year 2

Year 2

Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points from Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Study Level 2 courses, including at least one of:

  • Arthur in Medieval Celtic and Scandinavian Literature (CE2034)
  • Love, Loss and Revival: Gaelic Ireland, 1700 to the Present. (CE2563)

Select a further 60 credit points from level 2 courses in History.

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

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

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

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Arthur in Mediaeval Celtic and Scandinavian Literature (CE2034) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Thinking History (HI356J) - 30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies courses.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 History courses.
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • History in Practice II (HI4518)
  • Select a Special Subject course (listed below)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies.

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in History (HI4516)
  • Select a Special Subject course (listed below)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies.
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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History in Practice II (HI4518) - 30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

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Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516) - 30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout. Download Course Guide

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Special Subject: Irish Troubles (HI4001) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the events known collectively as the “Irish Troubles”. That is, the origins, development and partial conclusion of non-violent and violent opposition to the continuation of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s until the present day. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Enlightenment Compared: Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe (HI4003) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: French Revolution (HI4006)
Special Subject: Women and Men (HI4007) - 30 Credit Points

This course will address a number of themes, including modern studies of marriage; the western medieval church and marriage law, sexuality and gender in the middle ages; attitudes to love, marriage and the family; and sex roles and gender differences. We will examine the way in which gender and ideology influence the lives of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the middle ages by examining a variety of primary and secondary sources. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: Hitler (HI4008) - 30 Credit Points

Hitler is omnipresent in modern life. He appears everywhere in the media and he is invoked all the time in public and private discourse. Yet Adolf Hitler remains an enigma. While he tends to be reduced to a one-dimensional cardboard cutout villain outside of academia, inside academia there has been a tendency in recent years to diminish Hitler’s importance and to push Hitler to the sidelines. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009) - 30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy. Download course guide.

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Special Subject: European Constitutional Monarchies in the Long 19th Century (HI4023) - 30 Credit Points

On the eve of the First World War Europe was a continent of monarchies. A long 19th century of revolutions, wars, growing literacy, an expanding public sphere, changes in social, economic, intellectual and technological life and imperial expansion lay behind them, but the continent’s monarchical systems had survived in surprisingly rude health. That monarchies had flourished throughout these profound transformations points to their suppleness and ingenuity. This course offers new perspectives on the political cultures of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe. Download Course Guide

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Course Availability

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

How You'll Study

Our staff have a wealth of teaching experience gained from universities across the world. We use a range of teaching styles, including introductory lectures, small-group tutorial discussions, student seminar presentations and intensive language classes. Students are provided with regular feedback on their progress.

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: 55%
coursework: 35%
practical: 10%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 13%
independent: 87%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 49%
coursework: 43%
practical: 8%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 11%
independent: 89%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 60%
coursework: 37%
practical: 3%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 6%
independent: 94%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 30%
coursework: 67%
practical: 3%

Why Study Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and History?

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

Entry Requirements

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

Qualifications

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

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

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

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

Fees and Funding

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

Fee Waiver

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

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

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

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

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

Career Opportunities

  • Junior Lecturer
  • Museum Officer
  • Outreach and Community Engagement Officer

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for Sir Duncan Rice Library
Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more

Centre for Scandinavian Studies

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

Celtic Society

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

Unistats

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

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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