Introduction To Classical Gaelic GAELIC4009

  • Academic Session: 2018-19
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This is an introductory course in Classical Gaelic, the written language in Gaelic Ireland and Scotland during the period from approximately the early thirteenth century to the seventeenth, providing an introduction to the language of both poetry and prose, and to the metrics and literary style of syllabic bardic poetry as practised in the period.


Two one-hour sessions per week. This is one of the Honours options in Celtic and Gaelic and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into MA Gaelic and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words) - 30%

4 written translation exercises submitted on a fortnightly basis -10% each

one class test - 30%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ provide a linguistic description of Classical Gaelic;

■ introduce students to Classical Gaelic prose and poetry.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

■ describe some of the main linguistic differences between Classical Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic;

■ describe the main genres of Classical Gaelic poetry;

■ analyse the metre and metrical ornament of a poem;

■ describe the function of the Court Poet;

■ translate a seen prose passage from Classical Gaelic to English or Scottish Gaelic;

■ translate, with the aid of a dictionary, a simple unseen prose passage from Classical Gaelic to English.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.