About us

About us

College of Arts / Colaiste nan Ealain 

bem-vindo / benvenuto / bienvenido / bienvenue / benvingut / добро пожаловать / fàilte / powitanie / vítejte / welcome / willkommen / 歡迎 

Inspiring people in Scotland and the world since 1451

Fàilte gu Colaiste nan Ealain / Welcome to the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow.

We have been at the forefront in inspiring people in Scotland and the world and delivering world-leading teaching and learning, research, discovery and knowledge exchange in the arts and humanities since 1451. We are the fourth oldest university in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland after Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews. 

Our alumni and former staff members include the philosophers Adam Smith, Francis Hutcheson and Thomas Reid; the jurist Sir James Dalrymple; the politicians Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Donald Dewar, John Smith and Nicola Sturgeon; writers such as James Boswell, Catherine Carswell, Janice Galloway, William McIlvaney, Helen MacInnes, Alistair MacLean, Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair and Edwin Morgan; and the pioneering chemist Joseph Black. 

The College of Arts, which is unusual in remaining a standalone Arts operation, is one of the largest of its kind in the UK Higher Education sector, with over 500 staff members and over 6,000 students and a growing international student population of almost 1,000 students from across the globe. With 4,000 undergraduate students and several hundred degree combinations, there is great flexibility in our undergraduate degrees. Our current cohort of over 1,000 postgraduate students enjoy a very broad range of different taught and research programmes this year. 

The greatest asset of the College is our inspiring people, who are highly dedicated to their work. Collaborating across disciplines within the University and with other world-class universities as well as government, industry, schools and cultural and heritage agencies, we aim for excellence in all that we do. We are committed to providing excellent teaching, learning and research, to disseminating knowledge, developing critical evaluative skills and creating new, socially relevant understanding with a view to preparing our students for the competitive workplace and global challenges of today and tomorrow. 


The National Student Survey (NSS) for 2015 showed overall satisfaction at over 91%, leaving us joint eighth in the UK for student satisfaction. 

The College’s research income and PG funding are in the UK top 10 and most subjects are consistently in the top 10 or 20 in various university guides. 

In the recent research assessment exercise (REF 2014), we had top 10 results for Celtic & Gaelic (overall and for outputs), English Language and Literature (environment), History (impact and environment), History of Art (impact and environment) and Theatre, Film and Television Studies and the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (environment, joint first place); and top 20 results for Celtic & Gaelic (environment), Classics (overall, outputs, impact and environment), History (overall), Theatre, Film and Television Studies and the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (overall and outputs), Theology and Religious Studies (impact).

Globally, Glasgow’s Arts and Humanities is ranked among the world’s top 100, ranked 58th in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 rankings. 

The College of Arts / Colaiste nan Ealain

We are home to four schools, an interdisciplinary research support unit (ArtsLab), a Graduate School and the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) — the world’s first national graduate school for the arts and humanities, which supports and trains 1,500 PhD students in HEIs across Scotland in collaboration with partners from the creative, cultural, arts and heritage sectors. Our four schools are: 

School of Critical Studies

School of Culture and Creative Arts

School of Humanities / Sgoil nan Daonnachdan

School of Modern Languages and Cultures / Sgoil nan Nua-Chànan is nan Cultar  

The College has strength and depth in the following areas and disciplines amongst others: 

American Studies, Archaeology, Arts and Media Informatics, Catalan, Celtic Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, Corpus Linguistics, Creative Writing, Cultural Policy, Czech, Dialectology, Digital Humanities, English Language and Linguistics, English Literature, Film and TV Studies, French, Gaelic, German, Global Security, Greek, History (Modern, Medieval and Scottish), History of Art, Information Management, Irish, Italian, Latin, Linguistics, Media Management, Museum Studies, Music, Philosophy, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Literature, Scottish Studies, Sociolinguistics, Spanish, Textile Conservation, Theatre Studies, Theology and Religious Studies, Translation Studies, War Studies. 

The College and the City of Glasgow, the friendliest city in the world

The College of Arts has worked in partnership with the city of Glasgow for over 560 years and values its links with the city. Glasgow (from Celtic and meaning ‘green hollow’) is a vibrant cosmopolitan multicultural international city and the College plays its part in welcoming people from around the globe and from every walk of life. 

The College and University is situated in the West End of Glasgow in a place called Gilmorehill (from the Gaelic personal name Gille Moire), just two miles from the city centre, which is easily accessed by subway, bus, taxi or on foot. Glasgow, situated near the west coast, is the traditional gateway to the spectacular Highlands and Islands and is less than an hour away from major European cities such as Edinburgh and Dublin. Glasgow is also home to Scotland’s national opera and media, and is renowned for its architecture, attractive museums, galleries, theatres, libraries, cinemas, music and comedy scene, parks, sports facilities, bistros, restaurants and bars. With its deep-rooted history, contemporary culture, facilities and friendly people, and its recent successful hosting of the Commonwealth Games, it is not surprising that Glasgow is seen as the friendliest city in the world according to www.roughguides.com

Whether you are a prospective or current student, a graduate, a new or returning visitor, I would like, on behalf of all my colleagues and the University, to extend a very warm welcome to you to Glasgow and to the College of Arts. 

Professor Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh
Vice Principal and Head of the College of Arts / Iar-Phrionnsabal agus Ceannard Cholaiste nan Ealain
Professor of Gaelic / Ollamh na Gàidhlig