Gaelic BA (Hons)

Course code Q531

What is special about this course?

Discover more about Gaelic society and its origins whilst gaining a high level of fluency in the Gaelic language, on our lively BA (Hons) Gaelic course.

Join the only course offering an immersive degree programme in Scottish Gaelic, as you explore the past, present and future of the Gaelic language, based in the Gàidhealtachd itself, and entirely through the medium of the language. Take of advantage of this amazing opportunity to develop your spoken and written language skills, learning from the largest team of Gaelic lecturers in Scotland, based at the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig) and at UHI North, West and Hebrids, Stornoway campus. 

Explore themes including: the arts; contemporary and traditional literature; minority language issues; oral tradition; and the relationship of Gaelic to other languages, including Irish Gaelic. Draw on the teaching team's wide range of academic specialisms to enrich your learning and open yourself up to exceptional employment opportunities, at a time when the skills of Gaelic graduates are in higher demand than can be satisfied. Move into your future career path understanding on a deeper level the distinctive contribution Gaelic culture has made to Scotland and the wider world, and fully equipped to be an active part of its future.

Special features

  • Campuses in stunning locations in Skye and Lewis with affordable accomodation on site, surrounded by vibrant Gaelic-speaking communities
  • Choose to study fully online from home for a more flexible learning route that fits in with your schedule
  • Enjoy an immersive language year at level 7 to develop fluency in beginner and intermediate learners (on site, or part-time over two years by distance learning), and allow fluent speakers to fully develop and build upon existing skills
  • Option to spend a semester studying in Nova Scotia or Ireland at Honours level
  • Undertake a workplace module to gain real-time experience of Gaelic-related employment

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

The first year of the programme is primarily a language foundation year. Depending on your linguistic ability on entry, you will study one of the following pathways:

Students on the Cùrsa Comais or Gàidhlig and Conaltradh paths will also study 1 of the following optional modules:

  • Cànan sa choimhearsnachd
  • Ceòl agus òrain Ghàidhlig 1
  • Ag amas air teagasg, litreachas

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • Cànan, cultar agus cinnidheachd
  • Gàidhlig 2

You will also study 4 of the following optional modules:

  • Ainm-eòlas na h-Alba
  • Bàrdachd bho 1900
  • Beul-aithris
  • Ceòl is òrain Ghàidhlig 2
  • Eachdraidh ceòl na Gàidhlig
  • Foghlam Gàidhlig ann an Alba
  • An sgeulachd ghoirid

Year 3 - BA

You will study the following core modules:

  • Dualchas Gàidhlig
  • Gàidhlig 3
  • Sgilean rannsachaidh

You will also study 3 of the following optional modules:

  • Bàrdachd 1600-1900
  • Dùbhlain sna sgìrean dùthchail is eile
  • Eachdraidh a' chànain sgrìobhte
  • Feallsanachd Eòrpach
  • Gàidhlig na h-Èireann
  • A' leasachadh choimhearsnachdan Gàidhlig: sgilean pragtaigeach
  • Poileasaidh is planadh cànain
  • Rosg Gàidhlig

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will study the following core modules:

  • Sgilean eadar-theangachaidh
  • Tràchdas ceuma (double credit)

You will also study 3 of the following optional modules:

  • An t-Aos Dàna
  • Coimhearsnachdan soirbheachail seasmhach
  • Na dualchainntean Gàidhlig
  • Poileasaidh xànain san àite-obrach
  • Sgrùdadh Ssèisealta
  • 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 - Stornoway campus
  • 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 a wide range of areas where Gaelic is desirable or essential, including:

  • Broadcasting
  • Teaching
  • Local and national government
  • Heritage centres and museums
  • Public bodies such as Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Gaelic Books Council etc
  • Community organisations with a Gaelic focus

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from BA (Hons) Gaelic 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 BA (Hons)

I want to start in 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.