Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Celtic and Archaeology

UCAS code: QV54

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Celtic and Archaeology

Leugh an duilleag seo sa Gàidhlig

Uncover Scotland’s past and help shape its future. This programme offers you the opportunity to study the languages, literatures and cultures of the Celtic worlds alongside the archaeology of Scotland and the wider world.

Celtic

In Celtic, we work with the medieval literary tradition in Gaelic and Welsh (the most extensive in the whole of Europe), with the rich oral tradition recorded from the eighteenth century to the present day, and with poetry from the eighteenth-century golden age of Gaelic literature.

We explore nineteenth- and twentieth-century responses to the rapid social, cultural, and linguistic changes in countries where the Celtic languages are spoken, and work with the writing, song, and media production emerging from the lively and varied contemporary cultural scene in Gaelic Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic is at the heart of the study of Celtic at the University of Edinburgh, and at honours level, it is also possible to study modern Irish and the medieval Celtic languages.

At all levels, we offer courses in language, literature, history, and culture, enabling you to build your programme by developing your own interests in particular areas, periods, and disciplines of Celtic studies.

Archaeology

Your studies in archaeology take you back in time, and help you to develop a parallel range of skills in the interpretation of social and cultural change. The programme also enables students to appreciate the material basis of archaeology, the contested nature of objects, the social relationships that are spun around them and the people who use and interpret them.

Year 1

If you are already qualified in Scottish Gaelic, you will study Gaelic 1B, focusing on Scottish Gaelic language and literature. If you are a beginner you will study Gaelic 1A, concentrating on language learning. Introduction to Gaelic Language & Culture includes basic language-learning opportunities.

Celtic Civilisation 1A and 1B provide overviews of the social and cultural history of the Celtic peoples from late antiquity to the present day, including language, literature, religion and art.

You will also study Archaeology 1A and Archaeology 1B. These courses offer a broad introduction to our human past, identifying crucial events in the development from the evolution of the first humans several million years ago, to the emergence of farming and the development of civilisations in Europe, Egypt and the Near East.

These courses also cover the key techniques that archaeologists use. These range from methods of site discovery, excavation and recording and analysing artefacts, to more recent and innovative approaches to reconstruct the lifeways of past peoples, including the scientific analysis of animal and human remains.

In addition to your compulsory courses, you will also choose from a wide range of option courses.

Over the long vacation at the end of Year 1, you will normally be required to undertake three weeks of fieldwork.

Year 2

Two language courses expand and develop your familiarity with Scottish Gaelic language and literature. Gaelic 2A builds on the work of Gaelic 1A, while Gaelic 2B builds on the work of Gaelic 1B.

Two Celtic literature courses enable you to explore medieval, early modern and modern literature in translation, covering the Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic literary traditions. These courses lead on to the medieval curriculum at honours level, while Gaelic 2A or 2B lead to both the medieval and modern curriculum.

You will study the archaeology of Scotland from the earliest evidence of human occupation at the end of the last ice age to the Roman incursion in the early 1st millennium AD. A field trip to visit archaeological sites and visits to the Museum of Scotland are core components of this course.

You will also study Archaeology in Action, which develops your understanding of professional archaeological practice and explores exciting innovations in archaeological methods through real-world applications and hands-on practical exercises.

As in Year 1, you will also have a choice from a wide range of option courses

Year 3

You can develop your programme of study in Celtic by choosing courses from both the modern and the medieval programme.

Modern courses open up the study of literary, cultural, and historical aspects of Gaelic Scotland and Ireland from around 1600 to the present day, such as linguistics and sociolinguistics, modern Irish language, and advanced Gaelic language work aimed at developing high-level oral and writing skills.

Medieval courses introduce the early Irish and Welsh languages and develop your study of literature, history and culture.

You will study Theoretical Archaeology, which explores the history of archaeology from its antiquarian beginnings in the 18th and 19th centuries and its development as an academic discipline. You will consider the theories that archaeologists have used to understand and interpret the remains that they have found and examine how these ideas have changed over the past 150 years.

You will also study Archaeology in Practice, which focuses on the contemporary practice of archaeology in the UK as well as internationally, providing an insight into the practical skills required of professional archaeologists. You will choose one additional course from archaeology options.

Year 4

In Year 4, you will choose further specialist courses and will complete your dissertation.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Teaching will take place within the University's Central Area, in modern lecture theatres and seminar rooms. You will have access to the University's libraries, the School of Scottish Studies Archives – which include extensive Celtic library holdings – and general computer facilities, in George Square.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to study abroad through Erasmus+ and the University's international exchange programme.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars. In our language teaching, there is an emphasis on interaction and developing fluency, and on building the strong linguistic competencies required for a range of careers.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2019/20)

Thanks to an ever-broadening international reach, Celtic languages, literatures and cultures have a steady stream of enthusiastic new speakers and audiences.

In Scotland particularly, developments such as the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, the creation of BBC Alba (the Gaelic digital television service), and the ongoing expansion of Gaelic-medium education have increased demand for highly-educated Gaelic speakers or specialists in Celtic culture.

Celtic and Archaeology graduates are highly valued in the workplace for the skills they have gained in research, analysis, communication and presentation. Employment prospects are particularly high within education, journalism and the media, broadcasting (both radio and television), politics and the cultural sector. In some areas, there are more Gaelic-related jobs than there are people qualified to fill them.

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with the honours years in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: English at grade C and a language other than English at grade B.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4 and a language other than English at grade B or 6.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5 and a language other than English at grade 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

Please note that for degrees that have a subject requirement for a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language requirements

(Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Celtic and Archaeology

Additional costs

In Year 1 you will contribute to the cost of the vacation field school and fieldwork. Arrangements for the field school are currently under review. Normally the minimum requirement is three weeks of field experience. After Year 1, you may opt to undertake practical archaeological work in the vacations of Years 2 and 3.

Costs for assignments and other practical archaeological work depend on the type of work chosen and the location, which may vary from Scotland to the Middle East.

There may also be additional costs if you choose to study abroad in Year 3.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding