Gaelic and Traditional Music BA (Hons)

UCAS code QW53
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music offers traditional singers and instrumentalists an outstanding education in Gaelic musical heritage within the broader contexts of Gaelic and related studies.

The course has a strong practical element where students learn from leading musicians and are given frequent opportunities to perform and record, both at the college and further afield.

You will be based in the heart of the Gàidhealtachd at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI and have the option of studying abroad for a semester in Canada or Ireland in the honours (4th) year.

Special features

  • Study and practice traditional music in the heart of a Gaelic community on the beautiful Isle of Skye
  • Improve Gaelic language skills
  • Develop a range of practical skills for solo and group performances, learning from leading practitioners
  • Deepen your understanding of music within the wider contexts of history and cultural studies with leading specialists
  • Make important professional contacts through a variety of learning opportunities
  • Learn 'hands-on' in an outstanding dedicated recording studio
  • Study for a semester in Ireland or Canada in year 4
  • Learn vital professional skills for a successful and wide-ranging career in the music industry


We offer modern student accommodation on campus ideally suited to students on this course.

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 and an audition to determine your level of musical ability
  • Please contact Admissions at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI for specific information regarding the musical audition requirements for this programme. Please phone 01471 888304 or email

Access routes

Year 1 - CertHE

Subjects include:

Year 2 - DipHE

Subjects include:

  • Music performance 2 (1:1 lessons, group singing
  • and ensemble classes)
  • Theory, composing and arranging 2
  • History of Gaelic music 2

Year 3 - BA

Subjects include:

  • Music performance 3 (1:1 lessons, group singing and ensemble classes)
  • Gaelic song 3
  • Professional, presentational and organisational skills

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Subjects include:

  • Music performance 4 (1:1 lessons, group singing and ensemble classes)
  • Themed production
  • Teaching music
  • Composing and arranging portfolio
  • Recording and producing

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • You will learn via face-to-face lectures and tutorials, plus practical musical work at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye and off-campus

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 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

  • September


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

*The Home-Scotland/EU fee rate is set by the Scottish Government and will be confirmed by March 2019.

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 £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 who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500 (2018-19 and 2019-20).

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:

  2018-19 2019-20
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £11,100 £11,650
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,550 £5,820
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,850 £1,940

**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 Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music course you might like to consider a career in:

  • The music profession
  • Gaelic cultural sector
  • Gaelic media
  • Education

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

There are no other courses that offer Gaelic and Traditional Music together like this course does and I believe that my ability to now speak Gaelic will be a great asset to my career. My advice would be, don’t just do something because you feel you have to or have been pressured into it: really consider whether it’s the right path for you, and if you will truly enjoy your studies in that area.

Lauren Byrne, fourth year student, BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music.

Apply for Gaelic and Traditional Music BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2019

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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