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Culture and Heritage

At the University of the Highlands and Islands our research reflects the culture and heritage of the region in all its forms. We have considerable research strengths in the areas summarised below:


Gaelic language and culture

The UK's only Gaelic medium teaching and research institution at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye. It has a reputation for international excellence in research into Celtic studies and house an impressive collection of Gaelic, Celtic and Highland resources and archives.

Soillse - a research capacity building project to support and revitalise the Gaelic language and culture. This initiative is led by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI and the Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh and is funded by Scottish Funding Council SRDG scheme.

Remote and Rural studies

Researchers at the Centre for Remote and Rural Studies are addressing the social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges facing remote and rural regions across the globe.


In the historic town of Dornoch in Sutherland, the Centre for History is building a strong research base in all aspects of Highlands and Islands history. The Centre for History is committed to research that impacts civil society, cultural life, public discourse and public policy in the Highlands and Islands region and Scotland more broadly. Through close collaboration with cultural heritage bodies, policy makers, schools and local communities, the Centre for History disseminates its research to a wide range of audiences and aims to influence public understanding of the past in the region and its diaspora.


The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute is located in one of the most exciting archaeology areas in the world – Orkney in Northern Scotland. Surrounded by thousands of sites ranging from the Mesolithic to World War 2, The Archaeology Institute is well placed as a world-class teaching and research organisation to advance our understanding of the historic environment.

Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) was founded in 2007 in response to a demand for historic environment services in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. ORCA Marine was established in 2010 in order to extend archaeology services into the maritime sector. In 2014 ORCA became part of the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute; a partnership which allows ORCA to contribute to the research and outreach capabilities of the Archaeology Institute and at the same time utilise the considerable expertise and resources available.


At the Highland Theological College UHI Biblical studies, church history and pastoral theology are particular areas of study. The Reformed, evangelical ethos of the college is often reflected in the conference papers, articles and books published by HTC staff. The library at HTC contains approximately 65,000 volumes including significant special collections.

The Centre for Culture, Heritage and Tourism, based at Perth College UHI, carries out studies and supports organisations to assess and improve the economic impact of tourism and visitor experiences.

Nordic studies

The Centre for Nordic Studies (CNS) is an interdisciplinary research centre with two foci, one in Kirkwall, Orkney and the other in Lerwick, Shetland. Our aim is to preserve, rediscover and interpret the cultural heritage of Scotland and the wider Nordic world to the benefit of the local communities.  We offer five post-graduate programmes Viking Studies, Island Studies, Highlands and Islands Literature, Highlands and Islands Culture, Orkney and Shetland Studies, all locative studies that are particularly pertinent to the communities of Northern Scotland.  These communities are identified in a Scottish context primarily in terms of their Nordic cultural and linguistic heritage. Our research is enhancing the actual development and interpretation of that heritage by creating products, training packages and policy to engender economic prosperity and the enrichment of cultural life.