Introduction

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and History of Art adds to your exploration of the lives and legacy of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian peoples and their art and visual culture, tracing artistic development forward to the present day. Aberdeen is Scotland’s top-rated university for the impact of its research in history of art and the perfect choice to gain the specialist and transferable skills to open up a wide spectrum of exciting 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 norther polar regions including its peoples and the art they left behind. 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.

History of Art at Aberdeen is the opportunity to study the artistic expression of all periods – including buildings, sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints, decorative and industrial arts – all at a top-rated university steeped in 500 years of social, cultural and artistic history.

You will gain extensive specialised knowledge of the history of painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts in Europe and North America from the Middle Ages to the present day, inspired by researchers whose specialist areas range from Pictish art, Medieval architecture, Italian Baroque painting, early modern prints and Scottish and British painting from the 17th to 20th centuries.

You will be ideally placed to pursue a career in heritage management, art gallery and museum sectors, fine art conservation, arts education, publishing and journalism, or to apply your highly-developed and transferable skills in another sector.

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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
7QV2

What You'll Study

A degree in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Studies and History of Art is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable.

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Introduction to Art History (HA1004) - 15 Credit Points

This introductory course will trace major developments in the history of art in the western world from Classical art and architecture in ancient Greece to the beginnings of photography in the nineteenth century. Aspects of European art to be explored, through painting, prints, sculpture and architecture, will begin with Stone-Age cave painting and then range from the Classicism of Greece and Rome to the rise of the Medieval Gothic cathedrals, the rebirth of Classicism in the Renaissance to the grandeur of the Baroque, the ornament of the Rococo, and the revolutionary order of Neo-Classicism. Download course guide.

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Modern Art (HA1508) - 30 Credit Points

Beginning with the Romantic period, and the art and architecture of mid-Victorian Britain, this course will trace major developments in Western art through to the late twentieth century. Nineteenth-century modernism and modernity in France will be explored through Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the art of fin-de-siècle Paris. Twentieth-century modernist movements will include the primitivism of German Expressionism, the wildness of Fauvism, the analytical eye of Cubism and Futurism, the anarchy and dreams of Dada and Surrealism, and the rise of American painting with Abstract Expressionism. The move to postmodernism will be traced through Pop Art and beyond.

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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.

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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)

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

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Cathedrals to Caravaggio (HA2009) - 30 Credit Points

This course will survey western European art from circa 1100 to 1600. It will cover the styles known as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque. It will examine media including architecture, sculpture, metalwork and painting. The iconography of the Christian church forms the basis much of this art, but classical mythology and vernacular themes are also significant. Major themes include those of pilgrimage and church reform, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. It provides a fundamental understanding of the cultural world in which Aberdeen University began. Download course guide.

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Making Masterpieces: Six Works in Context (HA2509) - 15 Credit Points

This course focuses on six major artistic masterpieces considered in their original and critical contexts. All the works considered have achieved fame or notoriety and have had a major impact on the history of art and culture. Works discussed may include the Bayeux Tapestry, Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Caravaggio's Calling of St Matthew, Courbet's Stonebreakers and Duchamp's Fountain. Download Course Guide.

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In the Flesh: Art on Location (HA2806) - 15 Credit Points

This course is organised around a series of tutor-led class visits to sites of special art historical significance. The class will visit key locations in and around Aberdeen, and there is also a trip to Edinburgh. A range of important works of art and architecture will be studied in situ, and this study will be supported by staff lectures on related topics. The material on the course will be organised in relation to broad themes that will introduce students to major issues in the discipline of art history.

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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)

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

Fieldwork 1 (HA3088)

Throughout the honours programme, you will be encouraged to reflect on your developing skills and knowledge as an art historian. Through tutor-led and self-directed visits to various locations, the Fieldwork course will foster a wide appreciation of past and current issues in the art world, beyond the classroom. The course will include not only a study of art and architecture but also a consideration of their context, display, function and interpretation. Download course guide.

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Critical Perspectives in the History of Art (HA3079) - 30 Credit Points

Unlike most other art history courses, this is a text‐based course, which will focus on a number of selected ‘key texts’ by a range of authors from the history of art. In most classes, the chosen texts, which you will read in advance, will be examined in relation to a small number of pre‐chosen images. Discussion will focus on the way in which the issues raised in a prescribed text can usefully illuminate (or otherwise!) the given images. Download course guide.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 Celtic & Anglo-Saxon courses
  • Plus 30 credit points of Level 3 History of Art courses
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Fieldwork 2 (HA408A) - 30 Credit Points

In Part 2 of the course, you will continue your study of works of art and architecture in situ by undertaking a final fieldtrip. This can be as part of a tutor-led group visit, to Paris for example, or as a planned and agreed independent trip. You will complete your Flog with reflections on summer activities and then begin selecting the material for your Fieldwork ePortfolio. Unlike the Flog, this must be written in an academic style and will give you the opportunity to show how your thoughts and ideas as an art historian have been developing throughout the course. Download course guide.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies.
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in History of Art.

Option 2:

  • History of Art Dissertation (HA4588)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in History of Art.
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 of Art Dissertation (HA4588) - 30 Credit Points

Your dissertation is intended to give you the opportunity to carry out a piece of sustained research on a topic of your own choice and to demonstrate to the examiners your ability to present the results of such research in a proper, scholarly manner. Your research may be of various kinds. It may address works of art (or a single work of art) directly, through first-hand study in galleries, museums, or private collections, or it may be of a more literary kind, addressing critical or theoretical problems. Or it might involve both. Download course guide.

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

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.

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • 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 History of Art?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ranked the leading university in Scotland for the impact of History of Art research and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Our magnificent art collection, including the generous gifts of alumni through the centuries and modern artworks by leading Scottish artists making our spaces special and adding thought-provoking inspiration to our campus.
  • The inspiration of the beautiful King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, a treasure-house of history, showcasing some of the finest work of medieval craftsmen in Europe.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with an excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel.
  • Home to the Buildings of Scotland Project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the definitive inventory of Scottish Architecture for Aberdeenshire, Moray and Aberdeen.
  • Historic treasures including important medieval manuscripts and estate papers and the unique George Washington Wilson archive with over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer.
  • North-east Scotland’s distinguished architectural heritage from the Middle Ages onwards, the Aberdeen Art Gallery collections of French and British art, including one of the best collections of Victorian painting outside London.
  • The National Galleries of Scotland, the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Art Gallery and the Hunterian Museum are within easy reach by train, bus or car.
  • Visits to major galleries and architecture in Edinburgh, London and Paris, as part of your programme and a final year week-long visit to a city of artistic and cultural significance – most recently, Paris.

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

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 £15,000
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.

Undergraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

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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

  • Arts Manager
  • Curator
  • Junior Lecturer
  • Researcher

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

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.

George Washington Wilson Archive

A unique archive with over 45,000 original glass plate negatives made by this pioneer Victorian photographer.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

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