M.Litt. Irish & Scottish Studies

University of Aberdeen

Tuition fee:
  • € 3,696 / Year (EEA)
  • € 10,056 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, September  2015
Duration full-time: 9 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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The Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies (RIISS) is the first of its kind in the world for comparative and interdisciplinary research and graduate training on the history, literatures, languages and cultures of the two countries. RIISS, as an internationally recognised centre of excellence, offers unparalleled expertise in Irish and Scottish Studies and has created a carefully regulated, interdisciplinary MLitt programme that gives graduate students rigorous, yet flexible, research training. The Institute, which is also the headquarters for the AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, offers a programme that addresses the specific research interests of individual students while, at the same time, educating them about resources outside their proposed area of interest, thus helping them to conceptualise their scholarship and set it within a wider, historical, literary, linguistic or ethnological framework.
Offering innovative single-discipline, comparative and interdisciplinary postgraduate training, the MLitt is ideal for students who wish to study the history, literature and culture of Ireland and Scotland. Students will be able to draw expertise from the Institutes main staff, its prestigious advisory board and distinguished honorary professors and fellows, as well as from over eighty associated academic members of the University. The MLitt programme will also appeal to those who wish to avail of Aberdeen's excellent library collections.
Students can take this programme as a diploma, a stand-alone one-year or two-year part-time Masters degree (but immigration regulations prevent an overseas student from studying part-time), or as a first step towards a MPhil or PhD (subject to admission to a further degree programme either at Aberdeen or elsewhere). Hence, it is likely to appeal to those who wish to create a solid foundation on which to build a PhD proposal, those who wish to teach literature or history, and those who wish to study Literature, History or Celtic Studies at a postgraduate level to further their interest in culture and life-long learning.

For further information, please contact: Dr Shane Alcobia-Murphy
School of Language & Literature Tel: +44 (0)1224 272630Email: sam@abdn.ac.uk Web:


The MLitt in Irish-Scottish Studies allows students to construct a programme of study that will build on their previous educational experience and help them fulfil their intellectual ambitions. Students with a general interest in Irish or Scottish culture can therefore take courses that allow them to range broadly across the histories of Ireland and Scotland and across historical periods and languages. They can also engage in both historical and literary study or focus their work within a single discipline. Alternatively, as preparation for a PhD in either history or literature, students can construct a programme that allows them to specialise in particular historical periods: medieval, early modern, modern, or contemporary. They can also specialise in Gaelic literature and culture. Additionally, the MLitt in Irish-Scottish Studies provides an exciting environment for those who want to develop their skills in creative writing and offers creative writing courses on poetry and on prose fiction which link with the study of contemporary Irish and Scottish culture.
The Irish-Scottish Studies MLitt consists of three taught components (taken over two semesters) and a dissertation, which is researched and written between June and September. These amount to 180 course credits in a year. The taught components are:
(a) Core courses, taken by all students (minimum of 30 credits)
(b)Disciplinary and interdisciplinary training courses (minimum of 10 credits)
(c) Subject-based courses (maximum of 80 credits)
Students who satisfactorily pass the courses are allowed to proceed to:
(d) Dissertation of approximately 15,000 words (in English) on a topic agreed between the student and course organiser or supervisor, and due for submission in early September (60 credits).
Not all courses are available in every year, but courses normally available in components (a)-(c) are:
(a) Compulsory core courses :
Reading History's Past (20 credits)
Dissertation Preparation (10 credits)
(b) Disciplinary, interdisciplinary and language training courses:
Introduction to Historical Research (20 credits)
Palaeography (10 credits)
Introductory Gaelic Language 1 (20 credits)
Introductory Gaelic Language 2 (20 credits)
Mediaeval Gaelic Language and Literature 1 (20 credits)
Mediaeval Gaelic Language and Literature 2 (20 credits)
Medieval Irish-Scottish Studies (20 credits)
Basic Latin for Postgraduates (20 credits)
Intermediate Latin for Historians (20 credits)
(c) Subject-based courses:
The Narrow Ground: Northern Irish Politics and Literature since 1968 (20 credits)
W.B. Yeats and James Joyce (20 credits)
Walter Scott and His World (20 credits)
Scottish Literature: The Twentieth Century and Beyond (20 credits)
Postmodernism in Irish and Scottish Writing (20 credits)
Transatlantic Literature (20 credits)
Creative Writing :
Creative Writing I: Poetry (20 credits)
Creative Writing II: Prose (20 credits)
History :
Witchcraft, Traditional Practices and the Rise of Protestant 'Culture' in Early Modern Scotland (20 credits)
The Invention of Irish Nationalism (20 credits)
The Scottish and Irish Diaspora (20 credits)
The Vikings in Britain and Ireland (20 credits)
Trolls, Druids and the Walking Dead (20 credits)
Enlightenment in Comparison (20 credits)
The Image of the North (20 credits)
The British Empire and the Orient (20 credits)
Imaging Scotland: Art, Museums and Visual Culture (20 credits)


Normally a 2(i) degree or at a level deemed equivalent. Students whose first language is not English need to have a minimum of IELTS at 6.5, (with 6.0 in the writing component), or equivalent.

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