Gaelic Scotland BA (Hons)

Course code Q538

What is special about this course?

The BA (Hons) Gaelic Scotland has been designed for those with an interest in Gaelic language and Gaelic culture. You will develop a good understanding of Gaelic issues and acquire skills relevant for employment in a wide range of sectors.

The Gaelic Scotland degree is about Gaelic, taught in English, with Gaelic language modules suitable for all levels of ability.

As well as the language strands, you will study elements of Gaelic history and literature, and examine issues related to the development of the Gaelic language and culture.

There is no requirement for Gaelic language skills on entry: the course caters for and will strengthen all levels of linguistic capability. You will have the opportunity to learn the language or develop your language skills depending on your starting point. The course includes a beginners, learners and improvers, and fluent language strand. The most appropriate strand for you will be assessed during the application process.

Special features

  • You will have the opportunity to learn about Gaelic language and culture, as well as developing your language skills
  • No Gaelic skills are required at enrolment, these will be developed as part of the course
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development
  • International students can study online from their home country following the beginners language strand


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • International students, studying from their home country, whose first language is not English must meet language competency standards as noted on the international page of our website

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Sciences (12 SCQF credits) with 3 additional SCQF credits at level 7, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit, will be considered for direct entry to year two

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Gaelic story and song
  • The Gaelic world 1
  • Introduction to Gaelic prose

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Scotland's music
  • Historic landscapes
  • Scottish history 1603 to the 20th century

Depending on the language strand being followed, you will also take the following modules:

  • Beginners: Gaelic for Learners 1A and Gaelic for Learners 1B
  • Learners and improvers: Cùrsa Adhartais module 5 and Cùrsa Adhartais module 6
  • Advanced and fluent speakers: Gàidhlig a h-Aon and Cultar nan Gàidheal

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Introduction to Gaelic poetry
  • The Gaelic world 2
  • Folklore 

Depending on the language strand being followed, you will also take the following modules:

  • Beginners: Gaelic for Learners 2A and Gaelic for Learners 2B, plus one option module from the list below
  • Learners and improvers and advanced and fluent speakers: Gàidhlig 2, and Onomastics, plus one module from the list below

Option modules may include:

  • Golden mead and burning hearts
  • Languages on the edge
  • Land and people: the Scottish Highlands 1800 - 2000
  • Social history of the Highlands and Islands

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Scotland in film
  • Traditional culture
  • Nationalism and national identity
  • Research skills

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Gàidhlig 3 (fluent strand only)
  • Gaelic women’s poetry 1644-1746
  • Language policy and planning 1
  • Language awareness

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Traditional culture in the 21st century
  • Language policy in the workplace

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Translation skills (fluent strand only)
  • Language policy and planning 2
  • Vikings and Norse archaeology in the North Atlantic
  • Highland land wars

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. As this course was designed using our blended learning approach it will be delivered through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. You will have an opportunity to attend an online, face to face or blended induction at the start of the course. Further information will be provided by your home campus.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video conference tutorials and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE) with support from your tutors
  • International students undertaking the course from their home country can study online and by video conference, in real-time or recordings

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years 
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years 

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Highland Theological College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

International applicants studying online from home should apply to Lews Castle College UHI.

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government has confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals starting their study in Scotland from academic year 2021-22, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. For 2021-22, students will get an automatic scholarship of £3,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Year Level 2021-22 Full-time With scholarship
Year 1 HNC £12,360 £9,360 
Year 2 HND £12,360 £9,360 
Year 3 Degree £12,360 £9,360
Year 4 Honours Free Free

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £12,000 £12,360
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £6,000 £6,180
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £2,000 £2,060

Part-time study is not open to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Gaelic Scotland you might like to consider careers in:

  • Tourism
  • Community development
  • Teaching
  • Research

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

The course had a mix of Gaelic and English modules, which suited my level of Gaelic. It’s been the shortest 4 years of my life! It has given me the opportunity to follow the career I love: becoming a teacher and using what I have learned to teach children about the island they live on, including the history of the Gaelic language. 

Kirsty Watt graduated with a BA (Hons) Gaelic Scotland at our Lews Castle College UHI campus before continuing on to a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary).

I've passed all of my first year and am now working through my second year modules. I'm particularly enjoying the language, culture and identity module which is amazing as there are so many people on it from around the world. We discuss Gaelic of course but also so many other languages and how they have been affected by things like religion and oppression. My Gaelic is getting better and I am finding more opportunities to use it outside of university.

Cameron Spiers, second year student, BA (Hons) Gaelic Scotland.

I’d like a career in language planning and this course was the only one that offered modules in that area. I also wanted to learn more about Gaelic culture. I love the uniqueness of how the university works; with the variety of campuses that allows you to study without needing to move away.

Andrew-Michael Rae is studying on the BA (Hons) Gaelic Scotland.

Apply for Gaelic Scotland BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.