Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Scottish Ethnology and Archaeology

UCAS code: VV94

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Scottish Ethnology and Archaeology

Uncover Scotland’s past and help shape its future. This programme combines two related yet distinct approaches to the study of human cultures, past and present.

Ethnology is the discipline which studies the culture and traditions of developed societies and is sometimes described as being at the intersection where history and anthropology meet. While commonly offered in universities across Europe, this is the only full undergraduate programme of its kind available within the UK.

Focusing on Scotland, but introducing comparative material from elsewhere, you will study the varying ways in which a modern European nation expresses itself culturally, through such forms as its customs, beliefs, social organisation, language, music and song.

How do these help to create and shape identity in the modern world? How do we use and make sense of the past from within our present, and how can this understanding help us to shape our future?

Working with a range of rich materials, from traditional archives to modern media and digital data, you will develop the practical and intellectual tools to help navigate and indeed influence contemporary culture and society in an increasingly globalised world.

While the ethnology component allows for the study of the recent past and the present, your studies in archaeology take you a good deal further 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 you 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

In Scottish Ethnology, you will study Scottish cultural history, heritage, cultural expression and representation. Courses also look at literature, music and visual arts and how these are linked to Scottish identity.

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, you will 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

You will study oral and visual representations of Scotland through music, song, art, photography and film and you will receive practical training in ethnographic fieldwork techniques and ethics.

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 have a choice from a wide range of option courses.

Year 3

You will choose from a range of specialist options such as Ethnological Fieldwork Methods, Traditional Narrative, Cultural Revivalism, Traditional Song, Scotland and Heritage, and Traditional Drama.

You will study Theoretical Archaeology, which explores the history of archaeology from its antiquarian beginnings in the 18th-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 undertake 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

Most of the teaching will take place at facilities located within the University's Central Area.

You will have access to the University's research, study and library facilities, specialist collections, including the School of Scottish Studies Archives, a unique and extensive collection of audio and visual material relating to the culture and tradition of Scotland, and the Archive’s extensive library holdings, including important Scottish ethnological, wider ethnological, and Celtic holdings.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through the Erasmus+ programme or 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, seminars and small group tutorials. Extensive use is also made of audio and visual resources, as well as readily accessible online materials.

Great care is taken in providing a welcoming learning environment with regular face-to-face access to tutors, lecturers and support staff.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through coursework and exams. In Years 3 and 4 you will complete a dissertation and regular presentations, as well as a range of innovative assessment forms such as 'audio essays' in the manner of a radio broadcast.

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)

Scottish Ethnology and Archaeology graduates are highly valued in the workplace for the skills they have gained in research, analysis, communication and presentation, as well as their strong understanding of culture and society.

Your enhanced ability to think for yourself, to distil complex issues down to their central points, and to understand the reasons for societal change, will give you the edge in careers across different sectors.

Recent graduates have developed successful careers in areas such as teaching, museums and heritage, arts and cultural management, tourism, broadcasting, the media and policy development.

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: AABB - 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. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABBB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AABB'.)
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'.)
  • IB: 36 points (grades 665 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '34 (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.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5.

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 qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 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 Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Scottish Ethnology and Archaeology

Additional costs

Depending on your programme of study and the courses chosen, you may spend time on fieldwork and excursions. Costs will vary according to the location.

There may 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