Introduction

Gaelic and Geography at Aberdeen combines all the advantages of in depth study of the language, literature and culture of Scotland’s oldest language – as a native speaker or complete beginner. Developing your skills in the language will complement your geography studies immensely as you learn about the Earth, the environment and the way humans have lived with it for centuries.

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.

Gaelic Studies concentrates on modern Scottish Gaelic language, literature and society. There are three distinct language streams in the degree course: for absolute or near beginners, for those with Higher Gaelic (learners), and for those with Higher Gàidhlig (native speakers).

The beginners’ intensive course helps students work towards fluency in both reading and writing in as short a time as possible, while the courses for those who have done Gaelic already focus on improving accuracy and increasing students’ vocabulary and range of expression.

In addition to the language, from first year onwards our students have the chance to learn about areas like folklore, literature, language planning, linguistics and sociolinguistics.

This particular degree programme covers the core courses as set out in the standard Geography degree.

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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
QL57

What You'll Study

In the first two years, compulsory studies in Gaelic will take up only some of your curriculum, and you choose other subjects to study alongside. So, it is important that you consider the broad range of subjects you might like to take before you arrive.

At Aberdeen, our Gaelic degree is offered as a Joint-Degree programme, so you can choose from Year 1 to have two main areas of study. The following information will help you identify what other subjects you can study with Gaelic to Honours level.

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.

View detailed information about this course

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.

View detailed information about this course

Global Worlds, Global Challenges (GG1008) - 15 Credit Points

The course explores major, global-scale issues associated with environmental change, world resources and prospects for development (sustainable or otherwise). Example topics include climate change, natural hazards, population growth, deforestation, water resources and global food supply. The course is designed to appeal to all students interested in the relationships between people and the natural environment, irrespective of their academic background or degree intention. The course combines aspects of the earth, environmental and social sciences. No prior knowledge is assumed.

View detailed information about this course

Global Worlds, Local Challenges (GG1510) - 15 Credit Points

This course considers the geographical patterns that characterise the Earth’s physical and human environments and landscapes, and the processes that operate within and lead to changes in these. It is also concerned with the ways in which people occupy the Earth’s surface, their movements and settlements, and their perceptions and use of landscapes, resources and space. Lecture material is presented in study blocks covering: glaciology and palaeoclimates; biogeography and soils; economic, social and historical geographies; and issues surrounding sustainability. Key concepts and skills are reinforced through small group teaching (PC-classes and tutorials).

View detailed information about this course

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.

View detailed information about this course

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.

View detailed information about this course

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.

View detailed information about this course

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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Space, Economy and Society (GG2014) - 15 Credit Points

GG2014 examines political, economic, social and cultural change from geographical perspectives. It makes use of a range of concepts and, being team-taught, uses case studies drawn from our own fields of research. Topics covered typically include: globalisation; economic geography; mobility and transport; political geography; rural change in Western Europe; and relationships between place and identity. The course is designed to be accessible to students from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations and sociology. It is intended to provide a foundation for higher level social science study, particularly in human geography.

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Skills and Techniques in Geosciences (GG2508) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to a range of scientific and social scientific skills and techniques used in Geography. The course involves a residential field trip in the Easter vacation, past venues have included: the Isle of Skye; the Isle of Arran, Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park. The trips enable students to employ skills and techniques learned in lectures and workgroup sessions to conduct original research into issues covered elsewhere.

Only available to students registered for programme year 2 of a Geography study aim or to students also taking at least 3 of GG2013, GG2014, GG2509 & GG2510

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009)
  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509)
  • At least two of the following: Physical Environments (GG2013); Environment and Society (GG2509); Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 2A (GH2013)
  • Gaelic Language 2B (GH2513)
  • At least two of the following: Physical Environments (GG2013); Environment and Society (GG2509); Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510)
Physical Environments (GG2013) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an understanding of environmental processes and landscape change through time and space. The course places Physical Geography as an integral component of Earth System Science. The first half of the course explores physical environmental processes, whilst the second focuses on evidence of environmental change across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Three themes of glaciology, hydrology and palaeoecology will be explored to illustrate the linkages and interactions between process and form over a range of temporal and spatial scales. The course is team-taught by staff with an emphasis on using examples from recent research projects.

View detailed information about this course

Environment and Society (GG2509) - 15 Credit Points

Interactions between human society and our environment have never been more complex or more critical in order to place us on a pathway to more sustainable future. This course explores the diverse approaches and perspectives that help us think about, explain and address all of the environmental challenges that we face in the 21st century. Students will be introduced to these approaches and perspectives and will have the opportunity to apply them across a range of regional and global environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable tourism, the energy crisis and the ozone hole.

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Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510) - 15 Credit Points

In a digital era of GPS navigators and many online map tools (e.g. Google Maps), there is an increase demand for professionals able to understand and manipulate geographical data and use these to monitor processes at various scales. The course provides a solid background in the acquisition of geographical data, both onshore and offshore with classic field-based and remote sensing techniques. It covers the creation and interpretation of maps and looks at the history of remote sensing and its science as well as providing the essential basis to understanding what a Geographical Information System is.

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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.

View detailed information about this course

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.

View detailed information about this course

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

Approaches to Geography (GG3071) - 15 Credit Points

This core course is designed to introduce Honours students to key debates on the nature and scope of academic geography. Geographers past and present have studied a huge variety of phenomena using a variety of tools to investigate their subject. This course will help you understand this diversity. Topics include: the changing meaning of the ‘environment’; the use and abuse of statistical analysis; the influence of left-wing and post-modern perspectives, and the role of technology. Students may specialise in particular aspects, or mix-and-match across the breadth of the discipline, as you wish.

View detailed information about this course

Research Design (GG3574) - 15 Credit Points

This core course builds on GG2508 to provide an introduction to the conduct of research in the Geosciences at an advanced level. It is intended to familiarise students with the skills necessary to design, implement and write up effective research. These skills will support work on undergraduate dissertations and other project work. The course also introduces careers research skills, and explores how you can best make use of your degree in the 'real world' after graduation: workshops run in partnership with the University's Career Service provide practical advice and training on how best to develop your career.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Plus further courses in Gaelic at level 3 to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
  • Plus a further 30 credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography
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

Option 1

  • Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507) AND Geographical Issues (GG4537)
  • Plus further courses in Gaelic at level 4 to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
  • Plus further credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline

Option 2

  • Disseration in Geography (GG4023)
  • Plus further courses in Gaelic at level 4 to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
  • Plus further credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Geography to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline
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.

View detailed information about this course

Geographical Issues (GG4537) - 30 Credit Points

This core, ‘capstone’ course is designed to develop further students’ critical understanding of the contemporary intellectual and real-world contexts in which the academic discipline of geography – and its graduates! – operates. The course involves the preparation of seminar presentations and short papers on a series of issues pertinent to contemporary geography. This work should showcase new philosophies and methodologies; and/or the relationships between geography and other academic disciplines; and/or applications of academic geography to real-world problems. Students also consider how they can best make use of their degree after graduation, with preparation of a reflective, career-planning report.

View detailed information about this course

Geography Dissertation (GG4023) - 30 Credit Points

The Honours dissertation provides students with the opportunity to produce a piece of independent and original research on an approved topic. Advanced level knowledge of a sub-area of the discipline is developed through independent study supervised by a member of academic staff. This course is compulsory for any students completing a single Honours degree in Geography and for any joint Honours student who has not registered to complete a dissertation in their other Honours subject.

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
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

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 learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Gaelic Studies and Geography?

Why 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.
  • 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.
  • An intensive 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 at which thousands attend to hear world-famous authors, poets, public figures, scientists and other experts, and debate big issues in arts, literature, and current affairs.
  • A warm welcome for students whatever your level of Gaelic, and long-standing experience in teaching this fascinating language to complete beginners.

Why Geography

  • Geography has a strong tradition at Aberdeen having been successfully taught here since the foundation of Marischal College in 1593 and established as a formal unit within the University in 1919.
  • The degree programme reflects modern day Geography, with course options reflecting the Department's research strengths in both human and physical Geography.
  • Our curriculum is also focussed on employability, with core courses on the degrees aimed at producing graduates who can think critically and in an interdisciplinary way, communicate well and are well educated in geographic skills and techniques.
  • The department, and its students, are at a distinct advantage being based in the north east of Scotland. The University is in close proximity to some of the most environmentally important and geographically varied landscapes in the whole of the UK.
  • We offer a range of Geography based degree programmes across Arts and Science, designed to suit the individual interests of our learners.
  • Students have the opportunity to engage with industry in a number of ways, and we have developed close working relationships through research and teaching with key organisations, including Aberdeen Harbour Board, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage etc.
  • Local, national and international field trips are an integral part of all our degree programmes in the Department.
  • We have an engaging and very active Geography Society, where you can build your networks and enhance your employability.
  • We draw from social, environmental and geosciences to address local and global sustainability challenges and the impact of rapid environmental change on contemporary surface processes.
  • In the 2014 REF results, we were
    1st in Scotland - Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Geology and Geosciences)
    1st in Scotland for Impact - Geosciences
    5th in the UK for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Property and Transport)

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

Find out More

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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

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.

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.

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Image for Geography Society
Geography Society

Geography Society

Student-led Geography society

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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