Gaelic Studies and Theology & Religion, MA

Gaelic Studies and Theology & Religion, MA

Introduction

Gaelic and Theology & Religion at Aberdeen combines the advantages of in-depth study of the language, literature and culture of Scotland’s oldest language – as a native speaker or complete beginner – with a fascinating exploration of the origin, function, and meaning of religion, studying and comparing the major religions across the world, and with special focus on Christian faith in historic and contemporary contexts.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
QV56
Degree marketing image

We’ve 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’ll 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.

In Theology & Religious Studies you’ll gain a sound understanding of the major religious traditions of the world, including their historical development and contemporary importance, with a special focus on Christian faith, life and doctrine in its historical, institutional and contemporary context. You’ll study biblical languages, the history of the church in the west, the Reformation in Scotland, the role of religion in ethical and political debates, and religious aspects of disability.

As a graduate you’ll be highly employable in a wide range of roles including church ministry and administration, media and journalism, public service and Scottish affairs. Opportunities for graduates fluent in Scottish Gaelic are especially good and include teaching, Gaelic development, arts management, and librarianship, and the commitment in Scotland to Gaelic broadcasting creates opportunities for Gaelic-speaking graduates to work in the media.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

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.

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’.

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.

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following options:

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Beginners 1A (GH1007)
  • Gaelic for Beginners 1B (GH1507)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 1A (GH1013)
  • Gaelic Language 1B (GH1513)

Plus, select at least 60 credit points from level 1 courses in Divinity or the following approved courses:

  • Latin 1 (LT1009)
  • Latin 2 (LT1507)

Also, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Latin 1 (LT1009)

15 Credit Points

Latin 1 is an introductory, intensive course for those with little or no previous exposure to Latin. Students completing this course should have a Latin vocabulary of about 400 words and a basic understanding of Latin grammar and syntax. Students successfully completing this course will be adequately prepared to attend Latin 2. Students will very likely discover that their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar/syntax is improved by their study of Latin. The etymological roots of many English words can be traced to the Latin language.

Latin 2 (LT1507)

15 Credit Points

Latin 2 picks up where Latin 1 finished in first term. By the end of this course students should have a more or less comprehensive understanding of Latin syntax and grammar, a Latin vocabulary of 700-800 words, and should be capable of translating simple Latin texts into idiomatic English. Students will very likely discover that their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar/syntax is improved by their study of Latin.

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.

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.

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following options:

Beginners

  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009)
  • Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Gaelic Language 2A (GH2013)
  • Gaelic Language 2B (GH2513)

Plus 60 further credit points from level 2 courses in Divinity.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Optional Courses

Select 30 further credit points from level 3 courses in Gaelic and 60 credit points from courses from level 3 courses in Divinity.

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.

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following Dissertation options:

  • Dissertation (DR4044) [First Semester]
  • Dissertation (DR4544) [Second Semester]
  • Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507)

Plus, select further credit points from courses in level 4 Gaelic and Divinity to gain 60 in each discipline.

Dissertation (DR4044)

30 Credit Points

This course involves the writing of a dissertation in one of the sub-disciplines in Divinity and Religious Studies. Independent Research work is done under the supervision of a member of staff. The dissertation is an extended essay, of no more than 10,000 words inclusive of references. Please note the 10,000 words does not include the bibliography

Dissertation (DR4544)

30 Credit Points

This course involves the writing of a dissertation in one of the sub-disciplines in Divinity and Religious Studies. Independent Research work is done under the supervision of a member of staff. The dissertation is an extended essay, of no more than 10,000 words inclusive of references. Please note the 10,000 words does not include the bibliography

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.

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; and
  • 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 Theology & Religion?

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 Theology

  • A wide variety of courses: from biblical languages to the Reformation in Scotland, and from Buddhist philosophy to the stories of the prophets in Islam.
  • An international community of eminent professors, including leading author and influential thinker Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics.
  • Specialist research and teaching centres include the Aberdeen University Centre for Ministry Studies, the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability, and the Kairos Forum for people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities.
  • The inspiration of the beautiful King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence and today a precious interfaith space for a multifaith University community.
  • Major historic treasures of national and international significance, including the archives of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland pre-1878 and fascinating local records of local estates and families through 500 years of religious turmoil.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and our beautiful Divinity Library with an extensive collection of theological material.
  • A packed programme of events, including theological lectures, café discussions, exhibitions and the annual May Festival with high profile speakers, scientists, authors and broadcasters debating big issues facing the world today.
  • According to the 2018 National Student Survey (NSS), Theology and Religious Studies is one of six subjects at the University of Aberdeen to receive a 100% student satisfaction rating.

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

2022 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.

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.

2023 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.

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
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
EU / International students £19,800
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 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.

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

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.

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

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