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An Cùrsa Adhartais

Award: Distance Learning
Study Mode: Distance Learning, Part-time
Duration: 2 Years
Code: UQ501
Course Contact: Distance Learning Team


An Cùrsa Adhartais is aimed at intermediate level learners whose goal is fluency in the language. It is a Distance Learning course which normally requires a minimum of two years to complete and is broadly equivalent to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig's An Cùrsa Comais. The main focus is on language skills, both speaking and writing, but a subject will be introduced in the second year of the course. Students can also choose to come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on one of the course's optional Weekend Schools to meet and speak Gaelic with fellow students.

The course is at Level 1 of UHI's Gaelic and Related Studies Degree program, and on successful completion of the course, students will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education from the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute.

Most of the learning is by self-study using workbooks and soundfiles in preparation for a weekly or twice-weekly structured telephone tutorial. These tutorials are an integral part of the course and allow contact with fellow students and a course tutor. As a rough average, students will spend around 15-20 hours per week in total on all learning activities connected with the course. Remember though that these are only averages - everybody is different, with their own pace.



Student Handbook & Module Descriptors

  Student Handbook 2020-21

Module Descriptors

Course Content


The Modules

An Cùrsa Adhartas is made up of seven sequential modules: six language modules and then a subject module. All the modules are taught through the medium of Gaelic.  The subject studied is Saoghal na Gàidhlig 1. This module introduces the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and examines the history and sociology of the region. The full content of modules is detailed in the Module Descriptors above.



Assessments are issued at the end of each language module and during the subject module and include written and oral assessments for the language modules, and short questions, project presentations and essays for the subject module. See module Descriptors for full details of assessments above.


Entry Requirements

Successful recent completion of An Cùrsa Inntrigidh is the standard entry point for An Cùrsa Adhartais. Alternatively, students will be permitted entry to the course with two Highers or equivalent plus completion of a written assessment and oral interview to gauge whether the applicants' prior learning is broadly equivalent to the pre-requisite level. Students will also need access to a computer and printer, a telephone, a headset with integrated microphone and have internet connection. In order to make the most of An Cùrsa Adhartais we recommend that students upgrade to the latest versions of programmes and that their computer meets the correct specifications. Please see Computer requirements in the PDF below.


Fees and Funding

For course costs please follow this link


Help with funding

Students resident in Scotland may be eligible for help with course funding through the 'part-time fee grant' (PFG),a scheme operated by SAAS (Students Award Agency for Scotland) with help available to students studying modules worth 30 credit points or above, in an academic year. More information is available at .

Applications for SAAS PFG should be made before the start of the Course.

If a student thinks they will have difficulty with the payment of fees they should speak to the course admin staff. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is always willing to help find solutions.

Progression Routes

Students who get at least 50% in assessments for modules CA5-CA7 of the An Cùrsa Adhartais have the opportunity to progess to the HE Diploma in Gaelic and Related Studies.


How to Apply

Please submit this enquiry form . The closing date for consideration for the August 2021 intake of the course is 21st June 2021. Please contact us using the enquiry form and a course application form will then be sent to you. If you're reading this after that date please get in touch annyway.

Any questions regarding the course should be directed to the Online Courses admin team on 01471 888 449 or by submitting the above enquiry form.



The course starts each year in August or September and takes two academic years to complete. In the first year there are four language modules and in the second year students will complete the two final language modules and a subject based module. Modules are taken sequentially and are taught through the medium of Gaelic.

Timetables are available below and include assessment and holiday dates. 21st June 2021 is the last date for applications for 2021/22.


  Timetable 2020 - 21 Modules 1 - 4

  Timetable 2020 -21 Modules 5 - 7


Tutorial times

Tutorial time choices are given before Induction and preparation week (see below) and each student'€™s tutorial time is confirmed during that week. A number of times, Monday to Friday, are available and students normally retain the same tutorial time for each Module.

Preparation and Induction to the course

There is an online induction and preparation week a week before the course start date, which allows students the opportunity to ensure that they are familiar with the practical and technical aspects of the course, to get in touch with other students and to start their coursework.

Holiday dates

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is closed during the Christmas and New Year period. In addition, there is a summer break for Distance Learning students and also a week in October and at or near Easter. No other local, National or Bank holidays are taken.

Closing dates for registrations

Closing dates for registrations are in place to allow Sabhal Mòr Ostaig staff to complete registrations, finalise student numbers, and to allocate tutorial times for Preparation and Induction Week. 21st June 2021 is the last date for applications for 2021/22.

Weekend Schools

For registered Cùrsa Adhartais students, and subject to interest, two-day study weekends are held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, for every two language modules. They are optional and offer the chance to revise and practice what has been learnt in the course and to meet other students and tutors. Students should book as far in advance as possible.


Saturday 9.45am to 4.45pm and Sunday 9.45am to 1pm (subject to slight change)


Bookings for weekend schools include College accommodation, if required, and food. There is no charge for tuition.


For local accommodation click here or go to
For College accommodation options see information below.

Travelling to SMO and map of College

Click here to view map of the college.


The Sabhal Mòr Ostaig library

A specialised collection which focuses on Scottish Gaelic language, culture and heritage will normally be open when weekend schools are running.

Book a Weekend School

To book a weekend school, please read the following information:

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig reserves the right to alter weekend schools or to cancel them

A separate booking and payment must be made for each weekend school

Dates and booking form for 2020-21 will be available after the course starts.

Enquiries about College accommodation should be e-mailed to the Distance Learning admin team. Payment will be taken when your booking has been confirmed.

Please note that payment is required on confirmation of booking.

Any questions should be e-mailed to the Distance Learning admin staff at