Gaelic with Development BA (Hons)

Course code Q540

What is special about this course?

Do you want to play a part in securing the future of Gaelic language and culture in our society? Could you put your enthusiasm and skills to use, ensuring Gaelic is included and celebrated in our country and communities for generations to come?

Gaelic, like a huge proportion of the world's languages, faces an uncertain future. The importance of planning and development to maintain languages and culture within successful, sustainable  communities, often rural and peripheral, is increasingly recognised. Join our BA (Hons) Gaelic with Development, developed with awareness of these challenges and designed to equip you with  the skills needed to address them.

Learn about linguistic, economic, social, rural, community, and sustainable development, and their importance in determining the future of languages and cultures. Public bodies such as Bòrd na Gàidhlig and local authorities are legally required to develop language plans in collaboration with Gaelic advocates: learn to apply current theories of language decline and revitalisation to Gaelic in Scotland, and compare local situations with those in Europe and around the world, so that you can contribute to the discussion and become a fundamental part of the solution.

Special features

  • Excellent library resources
  • Teaching team with research specialisms in language maintenance and rural development
  • This is a specialist strand within the context of a Gaelic degree:
    • in years one and two, you will study general Gaelic topics (on the BA (Hons) Gaelic))
    • for the final two years of the programme, those who choose at least four specialist modules relating to development issues will pursue the Gaelic with Development pathway and qualify with a BA (Hons) Gaelic with Development

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grades BBC or above, including Gaelic (learners) or Gàidhlig (fluent speakers) at grade B or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above PLUS
  • 2 Standard Grade passes or equivalent
  • Students who don't hold a Higher or Standard grade pass in Gaelic will be assessed individually to ensure you are able to engage with the course materials and teaching
  • You will be required to attend an on-campus visit or to take part in an informal virtual interview, to decide which level 7 pathway is most suitable and to see if any additional support could help prepare for entry
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry

Entry to year 2 may be possible with:

Entry to year 3: 

  • in exceptional circumstances students may transfer into year three, with equivalent prior learning

Access routes

Year 1 - CertHE

For CertHE entry, please apply to BA (Hons) Gaelic year one (level 7).

Year 2 - DipHE

For DipHE entry, please apply to BA (Hons) Gaelic year two (level 8).

Year 3 - BA

You will study the following core modules:

  • Gàidhlig 3
  • Poileasaidh agus planadh cànain
  • Sgilean rannsachaidh

You will also study 3 of the following optional modules:

  • Dùbhlain sna sgìrean dùthchail
  • A' leasachadh choimhearsnachdan Gàidhlig: sgilean pragtaigeach
  • Bàrdachd 1600-1900
  • Dualchas Gàidhlig
  • Eachdraidh a' chànain sgrìobhte
  • Gàidhlig na h-Èireann
  • Feallsnachd Eòrpach

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will study the following core modules:

  • Coimhearsnachdan soirbheachail seasmhach
  • Poileasaidh cànain san àite-obrach
  • Sgilean eadar-theangachaidh
  • Tràchdas Ceuma (double module)

You will also study 1 of the following optional modules:

  • An t-Aos Dàna
  • Na dualchainntean Gàidhlig
  • Sgrùdadh spèisealta
  • Tuigse nan Ceilteach

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • This course can be studied either on site or online
  • On-campus students will learn via face-to-face tuition plus online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • Online students will learn via a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials, as well as online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors.
  • Level 7 is an intensive language year with a choice of intermediate or advanced pathways:
    • On-campus intermediate learners will follow CertHE An Cùrsa Comais
    • Online students will follow CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais over two years
    • Fluent and advanced speakers will follow CertHE Gàidhlig agus Conaltradh on site
  • For level 8 onwards, you will take part in smaller classes which combine online students (joining by videoconference) and on-campus students, enabling both groups to meet and share. For larger classes, on-site and off-site groups are held separately

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 35 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): up to 8 years @ 17 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): There is no time limit for completion - students whose time commitments do not allow them to study more than say, one module per semester, will not be disadvantaged

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?

  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
  • This course can be studied online from anywhere in the world. If you are studying fully online, you should apply to, and will be enrolled and supported by, staff at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Start date

  • September
  • January


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Students enrolled in Gaelic-medium teaching programmes at undergraduate and post-graduate level can apply to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for some additonal funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Public bodies, local and national organisations with a responsibility for Gaelic language plans, etc and for economic development
  • Academia
  • Community organisations with a Gaelic focus
  • Community development

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from BA (Hons) Gaelic with Development to the following courses:

  • PGDE Foghlam bun-sgoile/ard-sgoile
  • MEd Foghlam Gàidhlig
  • DipHE Na meadhanan Gàidhlig
  • MSC Cultar dùthchasach agus eachdraidh na Gàidhealtachd
  • MRes Gàidhlig agus Ceiltis
  • PhD studies

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Gaelic with Development BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023 or Jan/Feb 2024

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.