University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen

Ethnology and Folklore

The course sims to develop a broad-based understanding of how ethnology and folklore evolved, and of their approaches to the major genres of study: Material culture, custom and belief, oral narrative, song, childlore and games, sports and pastimes. Through case-studies of Scottish material, the course aims to show how the concepts of ethnology and folklore can be used to investigate important issues in contemporary society. Graduates from a variety of backgrounds will gain a sound knowledge of the concepts, skills and methodologies of ethnology and folklore, whether in preparation for doctoral research, or as an end in itself.

Entry requirements

Normally a good undergraduate degree in a humanities or social science subject. Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements (certain countries may be exempted from this requirement). This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen. Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations.

Course modules

The course has 3 components: Coursework covering the history and evolution of ethnology and folklore in relation to the major genres, and contemporary issues like reflexivity, identity, ethics and gender, along with case studies involving the application of ethnology and folklore concepts to contemporary Scottish society. Among other issues, cultural change and stability; language evolution; emigration and immigration, and the invented Scot, will be examined; practical training in fieldwork, transcription, processing, archiving and associated issues; and a fieldwork-based analytical project leading to a research dissertation of 20,000 words.

Assessment methods

The 1st 2 components of the course will be assessed by a combination of essays, presentations and examinations; class participation will also count towards the final assessment. The assessment for the third components will be based on the preparatory written and oral work for the fieldwork project and on the final dissertation.

Sponsorship information

There are various sources of funding to support you during your period of study. We have a number of scholarships and bursaries available to our students, and external sources of funding available.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MLitt Full-time September 2016 GBP 4,500 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2016 GBP 4,500 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2016 GBP 4,500 per Year 1 (EU) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2016 GBP 4,500 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2016 GBP 13,800 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MLitt Full-time September 2016 GBP 4,500 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MLitt Part-time September 2016 - 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
King's Campus Aberdeen AB24 3FX Scotland

Get in touch

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Key information

The Elphinstone Institute
Telephone number: 
01224 272996