Scottish Gaelic is Scotland’s oldest living language, with both a varied past and a vibrant present. Gaelic is brought to life by a dedicated Gaelic language officer who promotes the language and culture across the University.
In the first year there are three parallel courses, one for students with a good pass in Higher Gàidhlig, a second for those with a good pass in Higher Gaelic and a third for absolute beginners. Whether you are a native speaker of Scottish Gaelic, a learner or a complete beginner, our Gaelic programme allows you to develop advanced language skills at the same time as acquiring in-depth knowledge and understanding of Scottish Gaelic language, culture and literature, and those of related languages such as modern Irish.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In the second year you continue to broaden your knowledge of Scottish Gaelic literature, as well as deepening your language skills.
If you progress through the courses for advanced Gaelic in first year, you will study 19th-century Gaelic writers such as Norman MacLeod, 17th- and 18th-century poetry (including Iain Lom and Sìleas na Ceapaich), and aspects of Gaelic linguistics including phonetics and sociolinguistics.
If you progress through the beginners’ course, you will continue to hone your language skills and also study a range of Gaelic writing, some of which is taught through the medium of Gaelic.
Students who are not fluent Gaelic speakers have the opportunity to improve their fluency by attending a three-week inter-university Gaelic summer school.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4), you will concentrate on modern Scottish Gaelic language and literature, whilst broadening out to the study of Irish and the development and varieties of the Gaelic languages. This allows you to study aspects of Gaelic literature and language in more depth, mostly through the medium of Gaelic, and to develop your critical and analytical skills.
You will also write a dissertation, researching a relevant topic of your own choosing.
In terms of language skills, you are trained to a high level of proficiency.
A feature of this programme is its emphasis on developing and widening your oral and listening skills in Scottish Gaelic. Many classes are taught through the medium of Gaelic.
The University has study abroad relationships with universities such as those in Galway and Vienna. In your Honours years you will have the opportunity to spend a semester studying Irish at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Recent developments in support for Gaelic, including its official recognition in the Scottish Parliament’s Achd na Gàidhlig, mean that Gaelic is a language with expanding career opportunities. Studying Gaelic at university opens doors to a diverse range of work in which Gaelic is essential. Over the last few years our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers in the media, publishing, primary and secondary teaching, academia, librarianship and law. Others find careers in language planning and development with local authorities and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
No prior knowledge of a Celtic language is required.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including English and a humanities subject or a language (including Gaelic) at grades A/B or B/A) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Please note that Advanced Highers in subjects where grades A or B have already been attained at Higher will not be double-counted. English and a humanities subject/language at grades A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AABB or ABBB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.