Postgraduate taught 

Ancient Cultures MSc

Celtic Art: An Interdisciplinary Approach CELTCIV5023

  • Academic Session: 2018-19
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This module offers an interdisciplinary approach to the visual culture of the Celtic-speaking peoples from the Iron Age, through the Early Medieval and Medieval periods, to the Celtic Revivals of 19th and 20th century. It seeks to integrate art historical and other approaches to material culture with an examination of contemporary texts relating to the social and cultural context of art and artists, in order to foster a critical understanding of the contribution of visual arts to our knowledge of the history, culture and society of the Celtic-speaking peoples.


10 one-hour lectures (average of one per week)

6 one-hour seminars (average one per fortnight, including an introductory seminar)

4 one-hour tutorials (at beginning of course; two to support preparation of essay; and one for feedback)

The only shared experience with honours students is the 10 lectures (which are designed to introduce issues and establish critical approaches). The course is at the 'cutting edge', so all students, regardless of level, would sensibly share the same starting points. In the case of MLitt students, the ILOs reflect the higher level attained in seminars, tutorials and written work.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses

Celtic Arts Honours course.



seminar paper of 15 minutes on a topic selected by student in discussion with tutor: 30%

contribution to seminars (engagement with discussion and in setting agenda for next seminar): 10%

3,500 word essay: 60%



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. 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 are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

The aims of this module are to provide opportunities to

■ Engage with the latest research and critical perspectives in the disciplines of Latin and vernacular literature; history; palaeography; art history; and archaeology, as these relate to the visual culture of the Celtic-speaking peoples

■ Examine critically the interface between these disciplines, and the scholarly approaches that have contributed to each of them, in investigating the visual cultures of the Celtic-speaking peoples

■ Develop capacity to discuss a topic in depth, with attention to current debates and critical issues, and to communicate complex issues both in writing and orally to a small group.

■ Specialize in a particular area of interest, whether chronological, geographical, or thematic.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course


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

■ outline the social and cultural functions of Celtic art objects

■ demonstrate a critical understanding of their modes of production (technical and social)

■ describe and analyze iconography, ornament and other elements of style in detail

■ evaluate the innovative potential of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Celtic art

■ demonstrate that they can discuss a topic in depth, with a attention to current debates and critical issues, and articulate this in a substantial piece of writing.

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.