Celtic Studies MA

Celtic Place-Names Of Scotland CELTCIV4016

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

This course introduces the student to onomastics, the study of place-names, and through Celtic place-names investigates the many-layered language history of Scotland; it will focus on the evidence given by place-names for interaction among different peoples, social and religious institutions, political geography and political change, and local tradition. There is language content to the course, but it is also suitable for students who have not done Gaelic.


Two one-hour sessions per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. 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.

Excluded Courses






class preparation and participation 5%

2000 word essay  25%

One 1500-2000 written summary based on workshop (20%)


2 hour exam (50%)

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:

■ introduce place-names and the methodology of place-name studies;

■ explore the significance of Celtic place-names for the linguistic, political, social and religious history of Scotland.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify the various linguistic strands among the Celtic place-names of Scotland;

■ recognise key place-name elements and comment on their meaning and distributions;

■ discuss the historical, political, religious and linguistic significance of place-names;

■ demonstrate a proper methodological approach to the study of place-names, and an awareness of the problems involved.

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.