History with Gaelic Studies BA (Hons)

Course code V21G

What is special about this course?

The History element of this degree will allow you to examine, in detail, key themes in history from the medieval period to the present day. You will have the opportunity to analyse social, cultural, economic, political and demographic change within Scotland, and its links with Britain, Europe and the wider world. 

This degree will also allow you to do more than just study History, as it gives those with an interest in Gaelic language, culture and society the opportunity to take optional modules in these areas and have this recognised in their degree award.

Delivered by a blended learning format, students will benefit from collaborative discussions and activities with colleagues from a range of diverse backgrounds and experiences, facilitated by tutors with many years of experience in delivering online education. Each year, you will also build on your analytical and research abilities through a series of skills modules.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • This degree combines study of the history of Scotland, the wider British Isles, Europe and the North Atlantic world with the opportunity to learn or develop Gaelic language skills 
  • The Gaelic Studies element also complements the Highlands and Islands history strand that runs through the History part of the programme 
  • You can specialise in Scottish History at the upper levels to enable you to exit with a Scottish History with Gaelic Studies degree
  • Flexible study options will allow you to fit your studies around your personal circumstances 
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development 
  • You will benefit from access to recognised experts on the academic staff in both disciplines, whose own research interests are reflected in the modules they teach 
  • The Centre for History holds regular 'History Talks Live' seminars, which you are welcome to attend in person or online
  • There are opportunities to volunteer at local museums and archives, and occasional (voluntary) field trips in the university's region enhance the experience of your degree


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

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry:

  • Direct entry to year 2 may be possible with HNC Social Science (12 SCQF credits) with 3 additional SCQF credits at level 7 which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit

Access routes

If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE


You will study the following core module:

  • What is history? (S1)

PLUS a choice of two of the following modules:

  • People, protest and power: themes in modern British history (S1)
  • A middle age? Europe c. 1100-1500 (S2)
  • Empire, environment and identity: Scotland 1600-2000 (S2)

Gaelic Studies

You will also study:

  • Gaelic for learners 1a (S1)
  • Gaelic for learners 1b (S2)

If you are a fluent Gaelic speaker, Gaelic medium modules may be available. 

You will choose one further option module from a range of history, literature, archaeology and other humanities subjects, including Gaelic Studies options, which may include:

  • Gaelic story and song (S2)
  • Introduction to Gaelic prose (S1)
  • The Gaelic world 1 (S1)

Year 2 - DipHE


You will study the following core skills module:

  • Historians and history (S2)

Plus a choice of two of the following modules:

  • A curious age: European society and culture, 1500-1750 (S1)
  • Court, kirk and burgh in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland 
  • Themes in American history

Gaelic Studies

You will also study two modules that may include:

  • Gaelic for learners 2a (S1)
  • Gaelic for learners 2b (S2)

If you are a fluent Gaelic speaker, Gaelic medium modules may be available. 

You will choose one further option module from a range of history, literature, archaeology and other humanities subjects, including Gaelic studies - these may include:

  • Folklore (S1)
  • Introduction to Gaelic poetry (S1)
  • Onomastics (S2)

Please note that if you are a direct entrant to second year, we strongly advise that you take the Level 7 core module, What is History?, as your option. Please contact historyhelp@uhi.ac.uk to discuss this further.

Year 3 - BA


You will undertake the following core module:

  • Public history (S2)

Plus three modules which may include:

  • A study of things: material culture of medieval and early modern Europe
  • Alps, hills and plain? Central Europe to 1918
  • Crime, custom and conflict, 1700-1850
  • Crown-Magnate relations in later medieval Northern Scotland
  • Queer Britannia: gender, sexuality and performative identities in Britain, 1800-1950
  • Scots in North America
  • The Jacobites: patriots, rebels or opportunists?
  • War and chivalry in medieval Britain and France
  • Dynastic decline and religious violence: Valois France, 1550-1610

Students wishing to specialise in Scottish History at Level 10 and exit with a BA (Hons) Scottish History with Gaelic Studies are advised to take at least one Scottish History option, plus undertake a Scottish topic for their Public History project, or two Scottish History options.

Gaelic Studies

You will also study two modules which may include: 

  • Gaoir nam ban: Gaelic women's poetry 1644-1746 (S2)
  • Language policy and planning 1 (S2)
  • Nationalism and national identity (S2)
  • Traditional Gaelic culture (S1)

If you are a fluent Gaelic speaker, Gaelic medium modules may be available.

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

In fourth year, you will be required to undertake a dissertation in History. This is a double-credit module that runs across both semesters.


You will also choose two options that may include:

  • Death and destruction: the social impact of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)  
  • Fight the power: music and the politics of Black America
  • The Scottish Highlands before Culloden (1603-1707)
  • Chaos and conflict?: 'Civil Wars' in high medieval Scandinavia
  • Reaching the estate of manhood in later medieval and early modern Europe 
  • Noble, Rebel, King: Robert Bruce and medieval Scotland 
  • The empire strikes back: how the British Empire shaped Scotland 
  • The Highland wars: origins, aftermath and interpretations 
  • War cruel and sharp: a military history of the Hundred Years' War 

If you wish to exit with a BA (Hons) Scottish History with Gaelic Studies, you must undertake a Scottish History dissertation plus at least one further Scottish History module. 

Gaelic Studies

You will also study two modules which may include: 

  • Iarshader to Iraq (S1) 
  • Language policy in the workplace (S2) 
  • Traditional Gaelic Culture in the 21st Century (S1) 

If you are a fluent Gaelic speaker, Gaelic medium modules may be available.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.

How long will my course last?

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

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?

  • Argyll
  • HTC
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


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.

Additional costs

  • Participation in any History field trips or face-to-face activities will be at your own expense. Costs will vary dependent on student location etc. Attendance at such face to face events is optional and not essential for completion of the course. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed the the BA (Hons) History with Gaelic Studies or BA (Hons) Scottish History with Gaelic Studies, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Media
  • Politics 
  • Consultancy
  • Archives and museums
  • Government agencies and local authorities
  • Tourism and heritage management

Can I progress into further study?

You may progress from the BA (Hons) History with Gaelic Studies or BA (Hons) Scottish History with Gaelic Studies to postgraduate study including: 

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for History with Gaelic Studies BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023

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.