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An Cùrsa Inntrigidh

Award: Distance Learning
Study Mode: Distance Learning, Part-time
Course Contact: Distance Learning Team


An Cùrsa Inntrigidh is a supported distance learning Gaelic course for complete beginners and learners with a little Gaelic.  The emphasis during learning is on speaking and listening skills, but reading and writing skills are also an important part of the course.

Course materials are accessed online and consist of study workbooks, sound files (or CDs) and tutorial workbooks.  Most of the learning is through self-study while weekly telephone tutorials allow contact with other course students and a tutor, and allow students to practice what they have been learning. Further conversation practice and revision is available on one of the course’s optional Weekend Schools, normally held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

On completion of the course, and having participated fully in its learning programme students should be able to use Gaelic reasonably confidently and will be eligible for entry to a first year University Level Gaelic course taught through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. For further details on this, please see An Cùrsa Comais and An Cùrsa Adhartais.

An Cùrsa Inntrigidh was awarded a CILT European Language Award in 2004 and the Routledge Prize for Adult Learners in recognition of its innovative approach to distance delivered second language learning.


Student Handbook 2021-22


Course Content

An Cùrsa Inntrigidh is a self-study tutor-supported Gaelic course for beginners made up of three parts – Earrann 1, 2 and 3. There are a number of start dates between August and June each year.  See timetables below.

Study and weekly tutorials

Course materials are accessed online and consist of study workbooks, soundfiles (or CDs) and tutorial workbooks and make up a carefully structured learning programme.

Students learn in their own time in advance of a weekly group telephone tutorial. The tutorials are an essential part of the course, allowing students to practice and use what they have learnt and are led by experienced tutors. Each tutorial lasts about 45 minutes. Read and listen to a sample exercise here

Certificate of completion

In order to gain a Sabhal Mòr Ostaig certificate of completion, students are required, for each part of the course, to pass assessments and to attain a minimum of 60% attendance at tutorials.


Assessments are an important part of the learning process and are issued at the end of each part of the course. For further information refer to the An Cùrsa Inntrigidh Student handbook above.

On successful completion of the course students may, subject to interview, gain entry to An Cùrsa Comais or progress to An Cùrsa Adhartais.

Extra study

Subject to interest, study weekends are held, normally at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for each part of the course. They are optional and offer the chance to consolidate and put into practice what has been learnt in the course. For further information on weekend schools and to book, please select the Weekend School tab above.

A range of supplemental study materials, designed to compliment the course, are offered. Access to a Discussion Board is also available which allows students to keep with each other.


Entry Requirements

Access to a phone and a computer. See computer_requirements


Fees and Funding

For course costs please follow this link


Help with funding

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


Progression Routes

Successful recent completion of An Cùrsa Inntrigidh allows entry to An Cùrsa Adhartais.


How to Apply

Please click here and submit the Enquiry form

Any questions regarding the course should be directed to the Distance Learning admin team on 01471 888 449 or by submitting the above enquiry form. The next intake of Earrann (part) 1 is in August 2021 and in September 2021 and after that in January 2022.



There are a number of start dates for each part of the course between August and June each year. The course can be studied through the Standard Track or the Accelerated Track. Which track a student chooses depends on their knowledge of Gaelic, on their language learning experience and the time they have available to commit each week of the course. For each week of the Standard Track, study time is estimated at between 8 and 10 hours and for each week of the Accelerated Track, study time is estimated at between 10 and 12 hours.

The intake pattern for the course is shown here.

PDF Icon  Intake Pattern

The next Earrann 1 will start in August 2021 and in September 2021 and after that in January 2022. Timetables for 2021/22 are here.

Timetables for Accelerated Track

  Accelerated Track Earrann 1, 2 & 3 2021 -22

Timetables for Standard Track

Standard Track Earrann 1 and 2, September 2021 - June 2022

 Standard Track Earrann 2 and 3, September 2021 - June 2022

 Standard Track Earrann 3, September 2021 - January 2022

 Standard Track Earrann 1, January - June 2022

Tutorial times

Tutorial time choices are given before Induction week and each student'€™s tutorial time is confirmed during Induction Week. A number of times, Monday to Friday, are available and students retain the same tutorial time for each part of the course.

Preparation and Induction to the course

For registered students of the course there is an online induction week two weeks 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, and to get in touch with other students. Preparation week takes place a week before the course start date and gives students the opportunity to phone at their scheduled tutorial time to talk to other students and their tutor, 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 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 Weeks.


Weekend Schools

For registered Cùrsa Inntrigidh students, and subject to interest, two-day study weekends are normally held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, for parts 2 and 3  of the course. 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. Dates and prices will be on the Virtual Learning Environment


Timetable for Weekend Schools

Saturday 9.45am to 4.45pm and Sunday 9.30am to 1.30pm (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 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 specialized collection which focuses on Scottish Gaelic language, culture and heritage will normally be open when weekend schools are running.

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.

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

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