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Course content

Programme description

This unique, interdisciplinary programme provides students with a professional grounding in the fields of Celtic and Scottish Studies. It caters for a wide range of interests, with pathways in Traditional Arts and Culture, Medieval and Early Modern Celtic and Gaelic Development and Policy.

You will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding in professional research methods and inquiry, language skills, literary and textual analysis or fieldwork and archiving, and a range of core topics in Celtic and Scottish studies.

You will undertake full research training in Celtic and Scottish studies. You will learn to analyse and synthesise this knowledge in an interdisciplinary context, question assumptions about the primacy of one specific discipline over others and receive an introduction to subjects which you may not have experienced at undergraduate level. You will also have the opportunity to take courses offered by the School of History, Classics & Archaeology.

Programme structure

The programme takes one academic year (12 months) of full-time study, or two years (24 months) of part-time study (part-time options are only available for UK or EU students).

You will complete one core course (20 credits total), five option courses (100 credits total) and a dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits).

Compulsory courses:

  • Research Skills and Methods in Celtic and Scottish Studies

Option courses may include:

  • Celtic & Scottish Studies Internship
  • The Supernatural World
  • Material Culture in Scotland
  • Scottish Emigrant Traditions

Work placement/internship opportunities

The internship is an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience in an area relevant to their studies. The economic environment is challenging for many graduates, and evidence of an internship is often a decisive factor in hiring decisions.

The internship has three main elements:

  • a work plan agreed between the host institution, the student, and the programme director
  • the work itself
  • an assessed final report

The precise nature of the internship will depend on agreements with the host institution, but it is likely to involve archival work, research assistance, curatorial work, or work in public relations.

Participating institutions may include Storytelling Centre, the National Library of Scotland Special Collections and Manuscripts departments, the National Sound Archive, the National Museums of Scotland, The School of Scottish Studies Archives, and the special collections of Edinburgh University.

Learning outcomes

You will develop the critical skills to evaluate and compare texts and a historical understanding of literature and culture, as well as transferable skills such as carrying out academic research, writing commentaries and essays, improving your analytical thought, using electronic resources and giving oral presentations.

You will gain:

  • familiarity with the broad context of Celtic and Scottish Studies
  • a solid understanding of bibliography and study methods
  • the ability to engage at a high level with the subject material
  • an awareness of current issues and concerns within selected research fields
  • the ability to engage in original research resulting in a dissertation in an area of specialism
  • opportunities for engagement with the professional field through an internship, if desired
  • the opportunity to study modern Scottish Gaelic or medieval Celtic languages

Career opportunities

There are a wide range of sectors within which you could apply your knowledge and skills such as journalism; social, government or cultural research; publishing; higher education; advertising; arts administration; information work; or programme research in broadcasting.


Visit the Celtic and Scottish Studies - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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