Gaelic Language and Culture BA (Hons)

UCAS code Q530
Information line 0845 272 3600*

What is special about this course?

If you want to discover more about Gaelic society and its origins whilst gaining a high level of fluency in the Gaelic language, then this lively BA (Hons) Gaelic Language and Culture course is for you.

Themes include the arts, contemporary and traditional literature, minority language issues and oral tradition, and you will also explore the relationship of Gaelic to other languages, including Irish Gaelic.

You’ll be taught in a supportive environment by a dedicated team at Lews Castle College UHI on the Isle of Lewis, or at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye, who will help you gain confidence in the spoken and written language, offering small classes and individual support where necessary.

Special features

  • Become a confident, fluent speaker of Gaelic by immersion in the language, learning through Gaelic during your programme of study
  • Learn about the cultural evolution of Gaelic
  • Successful completion of the course will give you a recognised qualification for entry to teacher training
  • You will undertake a three week work placement in year one
  • You may choose to take part in an exchange programme to Canada or Ireland in your fourth year
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances


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

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above,preferably including Gaelic (learners) or Gàidhlig (fluent speakers) at grade B or above, Or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • You will be required to attend an interview to assess your Gaelic language skills
  • Applications are welcomed from candidates with non-standard qualifications

Access routes

  • An Cùrsa Inntrigidh (Access to Gaelic programme) - a distance learning programme, enabling students with no previous knowledge of Gaelic to achieve the entry level
  • Applicants who can demonstrate both advanced fluency and excellent written Gaelic may qualify for advanced entry direct to the second year of the programme.

Year 1 - CertHE

Year 1:  Intensive language year.  Depending on level of ability on entry, you will follow either:

You will undertake a three week Gaelic work placement.

Year 2 - DipHE

  • Gaelic language 2
  • Modern short story
  • Poetry since 1900
  • Oral culture
  • Scottish onomastics
  • Gaelic scholars and voyagers

Year 3 - BA

  • Gaelic language 3
  • Modern Gaelic prose writing
  • Irish language
  • Traditional culture
  • Gaelic poetry 1600-1900
  • History of Gaelic language
  • Creative writing
  • European philosophy

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

  • Gaelic dialects
  • Translation Skills
  • The Aos Dana
  • Celtic belief systems
  • Tradition in the 21st Century
  • Opportunity to study in Nova Scotia or Ireland

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn via face-to-face tutorials, lectures and practical language classes 
  • Some modules are studied online and by video conference or telephone tutorial

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

Start date



For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

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) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £8,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £8,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £8,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free* free*

*4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) -  £1,340 (2017-18) and £1,500 (2018-19).

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

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

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:

  2017-18 2018-19
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £10,500 £11,100
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,250 £5,550
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,750 £1,850

**There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous 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 your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Gaelic Language and Culture course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Teaching
  • Gaelic cultural, development and arts agencies
  • Gaelic media

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Gaelic Language and Culture to MSc Material Culture and Gàidhealtachd History or train for employment in radio/TV/online with the Diploma in Gaelic Media.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say

This was the right course for me as I wanted to study in Gaelic and I have an interest in Gaelic culture. The module choices are very interesting and my tutors are helpful and supportive. I've gained lots of skills and knowledge through my studies and on my primary school placement. It's a great place to study.

Kylie MacDonald, student, BA (Hons) Gaelic Language and Culture.

Apply for Gaelic Language and Culture BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2018

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates 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.

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