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Programme description

Research and field collection in Scottish Ethnology encompass the following main areas:

  • oral narrative
  • song and instrumental music
  • material culture
  • social organisation
  • custom and belief
  • place-names.

Both oral and written sources are stressed and Scotland offers excellent opportunities for fieldwork in Scots and Gaelic.

Training and support

All postgraduate students must enrol in the comprehensive training programme offered by Celtic & Scottish Studies, which articulates with generic training offered by the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. Primary sources are emphasised and the combination of archive work and fieldwork are particularly encouraged.


The School of Scottish Studies Archives include over 12,000 hours of sound recordings, an extensive photographic and video collection, manuscripts, Linguistic and Place-Name Surveys, and donated collections such as:

  • the John Levy Archive of religious music
  • the Burton-Manning Collection of Appalachian oral tradition
  • the Will Forret and Gus MacDonald Collections of Scottish music
  • the Edgar Ashton Folk Revival Collection

All are supported by the specialist Scottish Studies Library and online search facilities.

  • The University of Edinburgh Library, the National Archives and National Library of Scotland, and the Scottish Life Archive (National Museums of Scotland) are all located nearby.

Visit the Scottish Ethnology (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!




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