Gaelic MA

Students on campus

Explore Scottish Gaelic language and culture through the centuries to the present-day, and develop your Gaelic language skills for the contemporary job market.

Explore Scottish Gaelic language and culture through the centuries to the present day, and develop your Gaelic language skills for the contemporary job market.

Ionnsaich mu chultar na Gàidhlig tro na linntean, agus leasaich do sgilean cànain airson chothroman cosnaidh nas fheàrr.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Gaelic MA (Hons): Q530 4 year degree

Programme structure

Year 1

There are three courses: Advanced 1 for students with a good pass in Higher Gàidhlig; Intermediate 1 for those with a good pass in Higher Gaelic; and Beginners 1 for absolute/near beginners.

Each course develops appropriate language skills, and offers differentiated study of modern literary texts as well as an overview of Gaelic society and culture in Scotland from earliest times to the present.

Year 2

You will continue to develop your language skills and knowledge of Gaelic culture, including aspects of contemporary sociolinguistics, through either of two courses:

  • Advanced 2 (taught in Gaelic): if you progress from Advanced 1 or Intermediate 1, you will study modern prose writing and post-1600 song and poetry on a variety of themes, as well as aspects of linguistics including the use of Gaelic in contemporary Scotland.
  • Intermediate 2 (taught in English and Gaelic): if you progress from Beginners 1, you will continue to practise and develop your language skills and you will study a range of modern Gaelic fiction, poetry and song.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4), you will concentrate on modern Scottish Gaelic language and literature, as well as studying Irish and the development and varieties of the Gaelic languages. Most of your courses will be taught through the medium of Gaelic.=

You will also write a dissertation in Gaelic, researching a relevant topic of your own choosing. 

For a broader Celtic curriculum incorporating Gaelic language skills, please see Celtic Studies.

Gaelic immersion year

If your Level 1 Gaelic course was Beginners or Intermediate, you will have the option of completing a Gaelic immersion year in Glasgow and South Uist after year 2, to develop advanced language skills and experience Gaelic community environments before entering Junior Honours. This is a skills development opportunity, not an Honours requirement.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Special Glasgow feature

Taigh na Gàidhlig

A bheil Gàidhlig agad? An còrdadh e riut fuireach còmhla ri daoine eile aig a bheil Gàidhlig? Tha sinn a’ toirt cothrom do dh’oileanaich aig a bheil Gàidhlig, fuireach ann am flat ri chèile airson na bliadhna acadaimigich. ’S e cothrom air leth a tha seo do luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig a bhith stèidhichte ann an àrainneachd Ghàidhlig fad bliadhna air àrainn an Oilthighe.

Airson barrachd fios air Taigh na Gàidhlig, sgrìobh gu Fiona Dunn, manaidsear leasachaidh na Gàidhlig: fiona.dunn@glasgow.ac.uk.

Gaelic Language Residency Scheme 

Do you speak Gaelic? Would you like to live on-campus with other Gaelic speakers? Taigh na Gàidhlig is a unique residency scheme offering Gaelic speaking students the opportunity to live together on-campus in a Gaelic environment for the academic year.

To find out more contact Fiona Dunn, fiona.dunn@glasgow.ac.uk.

Our international links

In your Honours years you will have the opportunity to spend one semester or two studying Irish at the National University of Ireland, Galway, or at various universities in North America and Australia.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2021

Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

Summary of entry requirements for Gaelic

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6) 

  • AAAAA Higher or AAAA Higher+B Advanced Higher (BBBB S5 minimum for consideration)
  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)

  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: one A-level Humanities subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL English and HL Humanities subject. 

2021 Admissions Policy and further information about entry requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

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)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ib, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.


  • 120 with 120 in two or more sub-scores including literacy and no sub-score below 110 for direct entry, in-sessional support requirement available for those with 120, 100 for 5 week PSE, 100 for 10 week PSE.
  • Tests must have been taken within 1 year of start date.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit 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 School of Modern Languages and Cultures 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 External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

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 see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Recent developments in support of Gaelic mean that Gaelic is a language with expanding career opportunities. Our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers in the media, publishing, the arts, teaching, academia, librarianship and law. Others find careers in the Civil Service, language planning/development with local authorities and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. 

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA (Hons)

Gaelic: Q530 (4 years)
Gaelic/Archaeology: V4Q5 (4 years)
Gaelic/Business & Management: QN52 (4 years)
Gaelic/Celtic Civilisation: Q590 (4 years)
Gaelic/Central & East European Studies: QR5R (4 years)
Gaelic/Comparative Literature: QQ5F (4 years)
Gaelic/English Language & Linguistics: QQ53 (4 years)
Gaelic/English Literature: Q3Q5 (4 years)
Gaelic/French: QR5C (5 years)
Gaelic/German: QR5F (5 years)
Gaelic/History: QV5C (4 years)
Gaelic/Mathematics: QG51 (4 years)
Gaelic/Philosophy: Q5V5 (4 years)
Gaelic/Portuguese: 7G4L (5 years)
Gaelic/Psychology: QC58 (4 years)
Apply via UCAS
Applicants must meet the Psychology requirements
Gaelic/Scottish History: QV52 (4 years)
Gaelic/Social & Public Policy: QL54 (4 years)
Gaelic/Theology & Religious Studies: VQ56 (4 years)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a number of Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new International and EU students for 2021 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

RUK Excellence Scholarship

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the University. Current students who have previously been in receipt of the award may reapply, however, preference will be given to applicants entering their first year of study.

RUK Access Bursary

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2021/22, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is typically £1,500 p.a. for each year of the degree programme, subject to satisfactory progress. Talent Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University's Colleges.

Dental School students are eligible for a Talent Scholarship in their first year of study only. They are eligible for the NHS Dental Student Support Grant in the following years.

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

Cowrie Foundation Scholarship

The University of Glasgow and The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will offer a scholarship to support Black African and Caribbean heritage applicants from socio-economically challenged backgrounds.  Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK and commencing an undergraduate study in the academic year 2021-2022.

The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation wants to fund 100 Black British students through UK universities in the next decade. More information on the Foundation can be found here.

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2021/22. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

We are also offering eight scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £2,500 stipend towards study costs, per year of study.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply


Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The University will accept Centre or Teacher Assessed Grades in lieu of exam results.

SQA applicants who are eligible for our Widening Participation programmes are encouraged to participate in one or more of these programmes, including Summer School, to support your application and the transition to higher education.

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 29 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website): this has been extended from 15 January 2021 due to covid restrictions.
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS

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