Gaelic MA

Guth nan Eilthireach: Litreachas Gàidhlig anns an t-Saoghal Ùr GAELIC4043

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course focuses on the nineteenth-century Highland diaspora and the literary output of those Gaelic-speakers who settled overseas, considering the types of literature produced, the common themes and pre-occupations which emerged, the adaptation of literary traditions in new social contexts, the views expressed on new homelands, and the peoples and cultures encountered as well as the maintenance of relationships with the 'old world'. While the main focus of the course will be on Canada and the United States it will also draw on the more limited range of Gaelic literature produced in Australia and New Zealand.


2x1hr session per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in Gaelic and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words) - 25%

Delivery of 10 minute Seminar presentation - 5%

800 word summary or Powerpoint of presentation - 15%

Seminar participation - 5%

Examination (2-hour duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ Study a range of Gaelic literature - poetry and prose - composed and written by emigrant Gaels in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

■ Consider some of the key Gaelic literary figures and their contribution to the maintenance of Gaelic culture in overseas emigrant communities

■ Discuss a range of themes which emerge in the literary output of emigrant Gaels

■ Examine the ways in which poets and prose writers responded to their new homelands and the peoples and cultures which they encountered there

■ Explore aspects of the continuity & adaptation of traditional literary forms and genres

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the salient themes and features of emigrant Gaelic literature from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

■ Discuss some of the most important figures in the emigrant literary canon

■ Compare and contrast the responses of a range of Gaelic poets and writers to their new homelands

■ Outline the ways in which changing relationships between emigrant communities and the Scottish Highlands are represented in emigrant literature

■ Identify conservative and innovative aspects of emigrant literature through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century

■ Articulate their views clearly, both orally and in writing, on a range of primary and secondary sources

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.