Gaelic and Development BA (Hons)

Course code Q505

What is special about this course?

If you are passionate about the Gaelic language and its future development within the community, then this internationally-acclaimed BA (Hons) Gaelic and Development course is for you.

With specialists in the Gaelic language very much in demand throughout Scotland, this broad-ranging degree will give you an excellent grounding in minority language planning, as well as the practical knowledge and work skills to explore how it is applied in communities today.

This course aims to provide you with an education and training in Gaelic language and community development. You will compare Gaelic and its communities with minority languages and cultures elsewhere and you will have the opportunity to spend a semester at university in Ireland or Canada.

Special features

  • The course offers the current best practice in language-planning and development from Europe
  • There is an international exchange programme with Canada or Ireland in the final year
  • Field trips
  • Three-week work placement in year one
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances


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

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, preferably including Gaelic (learners) or Gàidhlig (fluent speakers) at grade B or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • You will be required to attend an interview to assess your Gaelic language skills
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage
  • Please note: this course does not accept applications for deferred entry; if you wish to take a year out, for example, you must apply next year

Advanced entry

Entry to year 2 may be possible with:

  • CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais (CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais (English))
  • CertHE An Cùrsa Comais (CertHE An Cùrsa Comais (English))
  • CertHE Gàidhlig agus Conaltradh (CertHE Gaelic and Communication)

Entry to year 3 may be possible with: 

  • DipHE Gaelic and Related Studies

Access routes

Year 1 - CertHE

Choose to study a CertHE in:

Year 2 - DipHE

Subjects include:

  • Gaelic: past and present
  • Development issues in the Highlands and other remote areas
  • The Gaelic world 2

Year 3 - BA

Subjects include:

  • Language policy and planning
  • Language awareness
  • Globalisation and remote communities
  • Developing communities in the 21st century
  • Developing Gaelic communities: practical skills

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

  • Dissertation
  • Translation skills
  • Language policy
  • Language policy in the workplace
  • Sustainable development
  • Migration
  • Exchange programme in Ireland or Canada
  • Language policy and planning

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn via face-to-face tutorials, lectures and practical language classes at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye, or UHI Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis (ordinary BA degree only)
  • Some modules are studied online and by video conference

How long will my course last?

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

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?

  • Outer Hebrides - Years 1, 2 and 3 only
  • Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £305

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 2 DipHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 3 Degree £9,250 £9,250
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,542.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes.  Students will get an automatic scholarship of £3,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Year Level 2022-23 Full-time With scholarship 2023-24 Full-time
With scholarship
Year 1 CertHE £13,020  £10,020  £13,980 £10,980
Year 2 DipHE £13,020  £10,020  £13,980 £10,980
Year 3 Degree £13,020  £10,020  £13,980 £10,980
Year 4 Honours £13,020  Free £13,980 Free 

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £13,020 £13,980
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £6,510 £6,990
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £2,170 £2,330

Part-time study is not open to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


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.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this BA (Hons) Gaelic and Development, you might like to consider a career in:

  • Teacher training
  • Gaelic development
  • Community development
  • Public administration

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

If it wasn't for this programme, I wouldn’t have learned Gaelic to the level I now have. I've progressed to the PDA Gaelic Media course and work with BBC Alba and Radio nan Gaidheal. I also run a Gaelic news website, Naidheachdan: AAA. Studying here gives you a real advantage as the courses are highly regarded.

Alasdair Laing began his studies on the Gaelic and Development course and has now progressed to the PDA Gaelic Media course at our Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI campus.

If you're really keen to develop your Gaelic and get the best job opportunities, then this university should be seriously considered. I've had a very enjoyable and unique experience here and would recommend it to anyone. Attending a smaller campus has allowed me to work much more closely with staff and students than at a larger university.

Innes McQueen is in his third year of the BA (Hons) Gaelic and Development at our Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI campus on Skye.

I relocated to study here at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. It appealed to me as the campus focus is entirely on Gaelic and I'm interested in the development of minority languages. A primary school placement in my first year gave me the opportunity to develop my language and social skills. I would like to be a Gaelic Development Officer or pursue another career involving Gaelic.

Tabitha Freeburn, third year student, BA (Hons) Gaelic and Development, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI campus.

Apply for Gaelic and Development BA (Hons)

Please note that UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland will be changing their names to become UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

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.