Introduction

Gaelic Studies at Aberdeen is the perfect programme and location to explore the Gaelic language, its history, literature and Gaelic culture up to the present day. Whether you are a native speaker or complete beginner, you will be inspired by our world-leading experts in the Gaelic field and gain valuable skills and wide career options.

This programme is studied on campus.

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.

You will learn more about Scotland's oldest living language and develop your Gaelic skills in a friendly and supportive environment, either as your main focus of study or in addition to other subjects – for example you may be a teacher keen to add teaching in Gaelic language to your skill set.

Today, there are nearly 3,000 people in north-east Scotland with knowledge of Gaelic and our students and staff play an important role in the local community through Gaelic-interest 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 thrive in our friendly and vibrant international community, on our beautiful medieval campus with great facilities for learning, sports and leisure and many opportunities to develop additional skills and designed to make you a highly sought-after graduate in whatever career path you choose.

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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
Q530

What You'll Study

Gaelic at Aberdeen explores the culture and literature of the language and its people in both historical and modern contexts. The courses on offer will give you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of topics that particularly interest you. You will develop advanced language and communication skills by focusing equally on the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

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.

View detailed information about this course

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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Modern Gaelic Scotland (GH1014) - 15 Credit Points

Gaelic is Scotland's oldest living language. In this introductory course you will learn about the Gaels, their history and their role in the shaping modern Scotland. You will also learn about how Gaelic language and culture became minoritised in its own country. Students will learn learn about various contemporary initiatives that are aimed at saving and promoting this indigenous language and culture and this will be compared to minority languages and cultures elsewhere in the world.

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Optional Courses

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Beginners 1A (GH1007)
  • Gaelic for Beginners 1B (GH1507)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 1A (GH1013)
  • Gaelic Language 1B (GH1513)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 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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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

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009)
  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 2A (GH2013)
  • Gaelic Language 2B (GH2513)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
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 further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
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

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.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 75 credit points from level 4 courses in Gaelic Studies

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

Teaching is general in small groups, with an emphasis on seminars and tutorials. Assessment is by a mixture of continuous assessment and oral and written examinations.

Learning Methods

  • 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 Gaelic Studies?

  • 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.
  • Student-run Celtic Society famous for its musical events, ceilidhs and trips and a great opportunity to use Gaelic in an informal, social context.
  • 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.
  • 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 natural environment.
  • A strong Gaelic theme in the University’s popular May Festival which brings thousands onto campus every spring to hear world-famous authors, ports, public figures, broadcasters, scientists and other experts, and discuss and debate arts and literature and topical issues in our world today.
  • A warm welcome for students whatever your level of Gaelic and long-standing experience in teaching this fascinating language to complete beginners.

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 £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.

Undergraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out More

Careers

The language and communication skills that you learn from studying Gaelic will give you a solid grounding to pursue a career in a variety of industries. There are many opportunities for fluent Gaelic speakers in careers such as broadcasting, teaching, lecturing, print media and librarianship. With the launch of the new digital Gaelic TV channel, there is a particular demand for Gaelic graduates to work in the media.

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.

1,397 Gaelic speakers in Aberdeenshire

There were 1,397 Gaelic speakers in Aberdeenshire (2011 Census) with earliest written example from monastery of Deer circa 12th century. Gaelic was widely spoken across the British Isles at one time.

World Class Facilities

As a Gaelic student, you will be based at the University's School of Language and Literature, where you will have access to several specialist research centres. The centres bring together groups of scholars from a range of academic disciplines and foster links with other universities.

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