Introduction

Gaelic Studies and German at Aberdeen is the ideal opportunity to combine in-depth study of the language, literature and culture of Scotland’s oldest language – as a native speaker or complete beginner – with the advantage of a major European language and its history and culture, opening up career opportunities in Scotland and internationally.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
60 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
QR52
Degree marketing image

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, with opportunities to get involved with northern Scotland’s Gaelic-interest community through clubs, activities, networks and organisations.

German at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.

You will develop your language skills, taught by native speakers from German and Austria, explore social, historical and cultural aspects of these countries and encounter the world of German artistic expression in the form of literature, film and art, together with a deeper understanding of Germany’s complex history.

You will also have opportunities to practise your developing language skills informally through our German Society and Drama Group.

As an integral part of your 5-year programme, you will spend the whole of year three developing your language skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in Germany or Austria.

You will graduate with German language skills to open opportunities in the UK and abroad in industry, politics, EU administration, local government and teaching. Opportunities for graduates fluent in Scottish Gaelic are also very good. Teaching, Gaelic development, arts management and librarianship are all career options and the commitment in Scotland to Gaelic broadcasting creates opportunities for Gaelic graduates to work in the media.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

View detailed information about this course
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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Gaelic Scotland (GH1015)

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

Select one of the following options:

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Beginners 1A (GH1007)
  • Gaelic for Beginners 1B (GH1507)
  • German for Beginners 1 (GM1054)
  • German for Beginners 2 (GM1554)
  • Background to German Beginners 1 (GM1049) AND/OR Background to German Beginners 2 (GM1549)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 1A (GH1013)
  • Gaelic Language 1B (GH1513)
  • German Language 1(GM1050)
  • German Language 2 (GM1550)
  • Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052) AND/OR Modern German Culture 2 (GM1556)

Plus 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.

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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.

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German for Beginners 1 (GM1054)

15 Credit Points

This language course provides students with a sound foundation in German (grammar and vocabulary). It enables students to understand the gist of authentic written and spoken German and to speak and write about familiar topics with a degree of accuracy and fluency.

No previous knowledge of German is required, but this course is also for students which took German at school before, on any level lower than Higher or A-level.

With 3 Language Classes and 1 Language Practical per week this course encourages and supports students to develop their personal self-study strategies.

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German for Beginners 2 (GM1554)

15 Credit Points

This language course provides students with a sound foundation in German (grammar and vocabulary). It enables students to understand the gist of authentic written and spoken German and to speak and write about familiar topics with a degree of accuracy and fluency.

No previous knowledge of German is required, but this course is also for students which took German at school before, on any level lower than Higher or A-level.

With 3 Language Classes and 1 Language Practical per week this course encourages and supports students to develop their personal self-study strategies.

View detailed information about this course
Background to German for Beginners 1 (GM1049)

15 Credit Points

Students will gain detailed knowledge and understanding of the fascinating political and cultural developments and historical events in 20th century Germany.

They will be introduced in weekly lectures and tutorials to a variety of texts and contemporary films.

This course is taught in English and normally taken in conjunction with GM1054 German for Beginners 1. It is specifically recommended to students with the intention to proceed with German Studies beyond level one.

No pre-requisites are required.

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Background to German for Beginners 2 (GM1549)

15 Credit Points

This course is intended for beginners, wishing to proceed with German Studies beyond level 1. It provides an introduction to selected German Short Stories from the 20th-century, with a particular focus on relating these to their cultural, historical and social context.

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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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German Language 1 (GM1050)

15 Credit Points

This module is designed for students with an SCE H in German or equivalent. The course develops receptive and productive oral and written German language skills. Students who are considering applying for entry to German Honours must take this course.

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German Language 2 (GM1550)

15 Credit Points

This module is designed for students with an SCE H in German or equivalent. The course develops receptive and productive oral and written German language skills. Students who are considering applying for entry to German Honours must take this course. The course builds on GM1050.

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Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052)

15 Credit Points

Learn more about German 20th-century literature, dealing with the events that shaped German and European history. As in all good literature, we will discuss universal themes and topics covering all of the most important aspects of modern life.

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Modern German Culture 2 (GM1556)

15 Credit Points

Learn more about modern German history, culture and literature while also extending your skills in reading German texts.

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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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Modern German Culture 3 (GM2043)

15 Credit Points

Learn more about modern German history and culture while also extending your skills in reading German texts.

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Modern German Culture 4 (GM2543)

15 Credit Points

This course consists of the study of selected aspects of German culture and involves the close analysis of German texts.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009)
  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509)
  • German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040)
  • German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 2A (GH2013)
  • Gaelic Language 2B (GH2513)
  • German Language 3 (GM2042)
  • German Language 4 (GM2542)
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
German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040)

15 Credit Points

The course consists of language classes leading to advanced communicative competence in German and it will include the analysis of contemporary texts drawn from a variety of contexts. This course may be taken only by students who have completed the German for Beginners courses.

View detailed information about this course
Gaelic Language 2a (GH2013)

15 Credit Points

This is the first 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 GH1513. It continues to develop accuracy in the language and increases usage across a wider variety of domains.

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.

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German Language 3 (GM2042)

15 Credit Points

This level two language course will build on and extend students' fluency and written skills in German.

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German Language 4 (GM2542)

15 Credit Points

Building on work done in GM 2042, the course will develop further language skills.

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German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540)

15 Credit Points

The intention of the course is to extend and reinforce further students' command of German grammar, vocabulary and syntactic structures, and to introduce various styles of written and spoken German. The course builds on the work done in GM2040 and is intended only for continuing beginners.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Academic session spent in a German-speaking country.

Year 4

Year 4

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.

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German Junior Honours Language Study (GM3069)

15 Credit Points

This junior honours language course will build on and extend students' written skills and fluency in German.

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Optional Courses

Select further courses in Gaelic and German at level 3 to gain a total of 60 credits in each discipline.

Year 5

Year 5

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
German Language Study for Senior Honours (GM4099)

30 Credit Points

Building on the skills gained during the Junior Honours language course and before, this module expands and refines German language expertise in writing, reading, speaking and listening, to an advanced level, for their final exit written and oral exam in German.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following dissertation options:

  • Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507)
  • Dissertation in German Studies (GM4052)

Select further courses in Gaelic and German at level 4 to gain a total of 60 credits in each discipline.

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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Dissertation in German (GM4052)

30 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research. The dissertation is to be written in German and followed by a 20 minute Viva.

View detailed information about this course

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
  • Research
  • 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 and German?

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 German

  • The highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last Scottish national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • A vibrant international community on campus and across the region, with many German-speaking students, staff and activities to get involved in and practise your language skills.
  • German Society open to all students interested in German and the German-speaking countries, organising drama performances and other events such as Kaffee and Kuchen, a German Stammtisch, film showings, and visits by German speakers and writers.
  • German Drama Group providing a great opportunity to produce an annual play, widen your language skills and meet other German students studying in Aberdeen. Previous years included works of 20th century dramatists Dürrenmatt, Borchert and Horvath.
  • Opportunities to study the rich literature and culture of Austria and Switzerland in addition to Germany.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the popular annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, authors and scientists to campus every spring, with an increasingly European flavour.
  • Your period abroad as a language assistant or visiting student - we have exchange scholarships with the Universities of Zurich, Kiel and Greifswald, and Erasmus partners including Leipzig, Cologne, Bonn, Trier and Graz in Austria.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with fabulous study facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and an extensive German collection to inspire your studies.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 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 information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22
EU / International students £18,000
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Financial support for your study year abroad

We provide funding to students starting in 2021/22 on degrees with a compulsory period abroad at the same level as the Turing funding. This financial support can be used towards rent in your new city overseas, general living costs, or travelling to see more of your new home country. Students going abroad will continue to pay their normal rate of tuition fees with no increased charges or need to change tuition fee arrangements to the host university. For a full overview of how the tuition fees work, you can check this helpful funding table on our website.

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 EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

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 and Employability 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.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni 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