Introduction

Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies combined with Language & Linguistics adds to your exploration of the lives and legacy of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian peoples with a deeper exploration of language, how it defines us as humans and how analysing this special human attribute helps us understand ourselves and our societies more fully. You will gain essential skills in critical thinking, analysis and research to make you attractive to employers whatever your career choice.

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 and their languages. You will also study literature, culture and history, 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.

Language & Linguistics at Aberdeen is the fascinating exploration of how human language and speech evolved, creating a bridge between sound and meaning. You will study the ways in which we acquire languages as children and adults and how languages and dialects vary and change over time.

Our understanding of language grows all the time with new discoveries in archaeology and palaeontology, neuroscience, animal behaviour, sociology, and psychology and new ways to apply linguistics theory in industry, medicine, and forensic science emerge year on year.

The knowledge and skills you will develop will make you very attractive to employers, especially if you choose a career in the media, advertising and marketing, information and communication technology, publishing, language teaching and health-related professions such as speech and language therapy.

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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
71Q1

What You'll Study

A degree in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and Language & Linguistics 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

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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English Structure and use (LN1003) - 15 Credit Points

This course opens up new ways for students to think about language by introducing them to the fundamentals of English linguistics. Students will learn how to identify and analyse the major "building blocks" of language in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Examples for illustration and discussion will be drawn from varieties of English spoken in the British Isles and worldwide, with lectures and tutorials geared to providing students with an active vocabulary with which to discuss language, and essential tools with which to analyse its structure and function.

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English Past and Present (LN1502) - 15 Credit Points

How do we get from Chaucer to Twitter? From Beowulf to Beyoncé? This course will look at the development of English over the last millennium and beyond, examining language changes in sound, structure and meaning. Students will also be introduced to present-day sociolinguistic study, and how it can to our understanding of language in the modern world and in the past.

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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 (CE1537)
  • Barbarians (CE1033)

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

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Language in Society (LN2008) - 30 Credit Points

Language is central to our humanity. Language and society are inextricably linked. Language unites; language divides. This course will develop your understanding of the social nature of language, providing insight into, among other things, the relationship between gender and language, language death and the art of persuasion.

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Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points from Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Study Level 1 and 2 courses, including at least one of:

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

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

Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points of level 3 Celtic & Anglo-Saxon courses from the list below, plus 60 level 3 credits of Language and Linguistics courses listed below.

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).

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Phonetics (LN3002) - 30 Credit Points

At pre-honours, you have focused on articulatory phonetics, gaining an understanding of how speech sounds are produced in the vocal tract. LN3002 links this knowledge to an investigation of acoustic phonetics: the analysis of soundwaves in order to identify different phonetic features. Each week there is a seminar to introduce phonetic theory, followed by a practical in which you will learn how to use the freely available Praat software to conduct acoustic analysis of your own voice before extending this to compare different voices. Assessment involves a combination of theoretical and practical work.

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Language: Variation and Change (LN3503) - 30 Credit Points

All languages are in a perpetual state of flux. This flux – a combination of variation and change – is socially meaningful. Gender, ethnicity, age, social background, perhaps even sexuality, affect how you speak. From this flux comes a never-ending cycle of linguistic change, which is affected by social factors.

This course provides an understanding of Sociolinguistics – the study of social effects on language use – and Historical Linguistics – the study of how language changes over time. Besides developing a grounding in the theory and methodology of these interconnected subjects, you will engage in hands-on analysis of data.

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Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Select one of the following dissertation options:

  • Dissertation in Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies (CE4598)
  • Dissertation in Language and Linguistics (LN4012)

Plus further course(s) of Level 4 Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies from the list below to gain 60 credits in the discipline.

Plus further course(s) of Level 4 Language and Linguistics from the list below 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 Language and Linguistics (LN4012) - 30 Credit Points

Once you have successfully completed three years of university-level study of Linguistics, this course allows you to develop and carry out an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice. It might be that a particular taught course has inspired you to explore a topic in more depth; your own reading might have prompted you to wonder about a particular question. You will be supervised by a member of the department who will be happy to give advice and support as you complete your dissertation of 7000-8000 words.

The Dissertation spans HS1 and HS2.

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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

Language Contact and Change in Language (LN4004) - 15 Credit Points

Linguistic contact is everywhere and eternal. English lexis is a particularly good example of this: less than half of the vocabulary of the present-day language is of native origin. But examples can be found elsewhere which are even more striking. Michif, for instance, has French noun morphology but Cree verb morphology. Here in northern Scotland, the pronunciation of the first consonant in the local equivalent of ‘what’ – fit – probably came about under Gaelic influence. This course will provide students with the theoretical and methodological insights which underlie the study of linguistic contact.

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Phonologies of English (LN4011) - 15 Credit Points

This course aims to introduce students to a range of phonological approaches, beginning with the classical phonemicist approach, which students have encountered in pre-honours courses, and moving on to consider topics including the role of syllables and metre and the development of models in generative phonology including differences between rule-based phonologies and constraint-based theories.

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Adopt A Dialect: Finding Resources and Planning Research (LN4506) - 15 Credit Points

Research on dialects of any language is always provisional. More information regularly becomes available; features which were once central to the dialect's system become increasingly marginalised in the language of younger students. A fresh analysis is always welcome; you can provide it. In this course you will catalogue what knowledge we presently have of a dialect, analyse what is missing and suggest a research project which will help increase our knowledge. While you will be given guidance, what dialect you research will be your own choice.

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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

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: 24%
independent: 76%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 66%
coursework: 25%
practical: 9%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 19%
independent: 81%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 54%
coursework: 36%
practical: 10%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 13%
independent: 87%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 52%
coursework: 43%
practical: 5%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 9%
independent: 91%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 15%
coursework: 83%
practical: 2%

Why Study Celtic & Anglo-Saxon Studies and Language & Linguistics?

  • 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 Linguistics, 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.
  • A vibrant linguistics research and teaching community and the benefits this study brings to other subjects such as modern languages, anthropology, sociology and history.
  • Award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, home to literary treasures collected over 500 years charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.

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 2020/21
International Students £17,200
Students Admitted in 2020/21

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

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.

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

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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