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This abbreviated College handbook contains essential information that will guide you through your period of study at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. It is important that you read it carefully at the start of your course, and your programme leader or studies adviser will deal with any matters requiring further explanation.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is a community of students and staff with a shared mission to create a centre of excellence for Gaelic and the College is committed to developing a participative and supportive environment for all. As a student, you are encouraged to become involved in the decision-making process and to be members of key committees. Students are also encouraged to promote and engage in cultural and sporting activities within the college environment and further afield.

As a student or staff member, there are rules and regulations which require to be observed in order that the College is a safe and supportive environment for everyone. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is totally committed to fulfilling its obligations, as set out in the Student Charter and, as a student, you have obligations in relation to attendance and submission of coursework as described within your more detailed student/course handbook.

SMO is a partner of the UHI Millennium Institute and offers a range of learning opportunities geared to meet individual needs and circumstances. In addition to the OUVS and SQA validated courses, students are able to under-take distance and access provision in Gaelic. Since September 2002, students have been able to enjoy the new facilities at the SMO outreach centre on Islay - Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle.

Whether you are engaged in full or part-time study, postgraduate research, based on-site or off-campus I trust that you will find study through Sabhal Mòr enjoyable and fulfilling and that you will be successful in the course you have chosen.

John N. MacLeod
Head of Studies

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2003 2004

2nd September Beginning of Semester I

8th September Classes commence

3rd October College Graduation

15th-19th October October Holiday

15th-19th December Exam Week Semester I

19th December End of Semester I

16th January Staff in-service

26th January Beginning of Semester II

16th February-5th March Work Experience

5th-19th April Easter Break

17th May Exam Week

21st May End of Session

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The College Library which is situated at Arainn Chaluim Chille houses a multi-media collection which supports the College's courses. Library and learning facilities have recently been greatly enhanced, with a further expansion completed in session 2002/03.

The following services are available:-
book lending, computer-room and photocopier, careers information and training in finding information.

Students must complete a registration form in order to use the lending services. They will be notified of the rules then. It is essential that these rules are adhered to.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday

Tuesday & Wednesday

Thursday & Friday




*Closed for dinner between 5 and 5.30pm

Occasionally, the library will be open from 0900 to 1700 only, depending on staff numbers.

Because the library is part of the UHI Library Services staff and students on each site can access the main library services.



The dining room will be open at the following times:-






Evening Meal

(Residents only)





Saturday & Sunday


Evening Meal



Any students who have special dietary requirements due to medical conditions should notify the Facilities Manager.

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Students may speak to their Class Lecturer or their Studies Adviser if they have any queries or problems about an academic matter.

Each student will be given a Studies Adviser who will meet them up to 4 times per year to review the student's performance and progress and help with any other matter that the student wishes to raise.

If students have any concerns or require help and support in any of the following matters they may speak confidentially to Sheila Hamilton, the Student Adviser.

· Financial Matters
· Health and Welfare
· Personal Difficulties
· Housing
· Council Tax Exemption

Sheila's office is upstairs in Arainn Chaluim Chille next door to the Head of Studies.

Student Societies

Comann nan Oileanach is made up of each Class Representative. Students will also be represented on College Committees. Comann nan Oileanach is affiliated to NUS.

Students usually form Sporting and Social Clubs and they are encouraged to organize dances and cèilidh.

Student Societies have raised a substantial amount of money for charities in recent years.

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Students must attend classes punctually and regularly. Any student with a bad record of attendance will be given a warning.

Good Conduct

Good Conduct is expected from students. College rules and regulations must be adhered to and any student in breach of those rules will be disciplined.


Any student who is worried or concerned about bullying should speak to the Student Adviser.
Any students who are involved in bullying other students will be disciplined.


Smoking is not permitted inside the College Buildings.

College Property

Students may be required to repay the cost of any property on loan to them which they have lost or damaged.

Walks and Activities

Students must follow instructions from Event Leaders/Instructors for Health and Safety reasons.

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Information on College Policies is available from the Student Services Adviser and are also displayed in the course/student handbook.

Grievance Procedure

The grievance procedure allows you to pursue a problem which you feel needs to be resolved. If you experience a difficulty at the College you should make every effort to resolve the matter through informal discussion. Discussion in the first instance should be with the person concerned, whether it is another student or a member of staff. If this is not possible you should take the matter to the Student Adviser. If it is still unresolved, go to your Programme/Course Leader. Many difficulties can be solved by this means.

If having tried this you are still dissatisfied, you can submit a formal written statement of grievance to the Progamme/Course Leader who is obliged to provide a written response.

If dissatisfied with this response, you have the right of appeal to the Head of Studies, both in person and in writing, and through him to the College Board of Trustees if this proves necessary. The Board of Trustees is the final recourse for appeal.

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Good conduct and the adherence to College regulations is expected from all students.

Breaches of the College regulations could result in disciplinary action being taken against students.

Breaches of conduct occur in the following cases

· Take any action which adversely affects Health and Safety.
· Harassment of other students or members of staff.
· Disregard college rules and regulations.

The following actions are examples of misconduct for which students would receive a warning from their Course Leader or the Head of Studies.

· Persistent lateness for classes.
· Long periods of unexplained absence.
· Breach of College rules and regulations.
· Consistent failure to show proper standards of politeness and courtesy to students and other staff.

Gross Misconduct
These cases could lead to a student being excluded from college, either for a set period or permanently. The following is an indication (though not exhaustive) of where gross misconduct could lead to exclusion.

· Wilful or reckless disregard of safety regulations.
· Failure to follow instructions from a member of staff to carry out actions which are lawful and reasonable.
· Consumption of alcohol or drugs on College Premises.
· Attending college while under the influence of drink or drugs. Any assault or bullying of another student or member of staff within college premises.
Theft or wilful damage to property belonging to a student, member of staff or the college.

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· By taking up a place at college you have agreed to attend classes. Attendance is essential for academic progress and also for improving language skills.

· Attendance will be recorded in classes and any student with poor attendance will receive a warning. Students must attend at least 75% of classes.

· If you cannot attend college for any reason you must leave a message at the College before 10am to say why you are absent and when you expect to be back.

· If you are absent for over 5 consecutive days you will need to provide a doctor's certificate.

· Any student who is to be absent at the time of an assessment must inform the class lecturer of this beforehand. If a student is ill at the time of an assessment or examination a doctor's certificate must be given to the Head of Studies or the Course Leader.

· The College reserves the right to dismiss a student or terminate their scholarship because of poor attendance.


The College has a Gaelic Language Policy which will be issued and explained to all students.

All full-time courses are taught through the medium of Gaelic and students are expected to speak Gaelic at all times, particularly within the College campus. They will receive help and encouragement from staff and their fellow-students where required.

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The College has a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for students. You also have a responsibility to look after your own safety and that of others.

This means that you must:
· Acquaint yourself with the Health & Safety Regulations
· Observe all safety regulations imposed by the college.
· Not interfere with fire extinguishers, fire notices or anything else provided for your safety and welfare.
· Report anything that might cause an accident.

First Aid
First Aid boxes are placed strategically throughout the College. The materials provided are in accordance with the regulations laid down by the HSE.
The following staff members have First Aid training:-


Donald John Campbell

Sheila Hamilton

Carlotta Graham

Charles Culbertson

Catriona Johnston

Margaret Fowler

Sìm Innes

Jenny Barton

















If you have an accident or if you are unwell tell your Class Lecturer, the Student Adviser or a Receptionist at once.
If you suffer from a medical condition please inform the Student Mentor.

In the case of an accident or emergency:

1. Inform the nearest member of staff.
2. If no staff member is available send for a First Aider. Stay with the injured person.
3. Do not move the injured person unless for safety reasons.

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Students must be aware that they are responsible for their own safety and the safety of others.
They must be familiar with the College's fire regulations.

It is essential that these regulations are adhered to at all times and that every precaution is taken to prevent fire.

Since fire is such a great problem in the accommodation the fire regulations must be adhered to at all times. Any person failing to do this will be disciplined.

During the first fortnight of term training will be given in means of escape in the event of fire and the use of fire apparatus.
Students must pay attention to this training and remember that fire can cause loss of life.

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Director Tormod N. MacGilliosa
Head of Studies Iain T. MacLeòid
  Neach-teagaisg ann am Foghlam na Gaidhealtachd
Academic Staff  

An t-Oll. Meg Bateman
Stiùiriche Cùrsa Cumanta
Àrd-Oll. Mike Cormack
Stiùiriche BA na Meadhanan
Màiri Sìne Chaimbeul
Stiùiriche - Gàidhlig is Conaltradh
Niall Friseal
Stiùiriche Cùrsa Telebhisean
Iain Greumach
Neach-teagaisg ann an Gàidhlig is Conaltradh
Eardsaidh MacGilleathain
Neach-teagaisg cùrsa Iomall a' Chuain Siar
An t-Oll. Gillian Rothach
Stiùiriche Cùrsa Gàidhlig is Iomall a' Chuain Siar
Gabhain Mac a' Phearsain
Neach-teagaisg cùrsa Iomall a' Chuain Siar
Iain Mac a' Phearsain
Stiùiriche - An Cùrsa Comais
Catriona NicIain
Neach-teagaisg Cùrsa Telebhisean
An t-Oll. Caoimhin O Donnaile
Stiùiriche Teicneolas
Murchadh MacLeòid
Neach-teagaisg ann an Gàidhlig
Mark Wringe
Stiùiriche Cùrsa Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig
An t-Oll. Roy Wentworth
Neach-teagaisg cùrsa ICS agus CCG
Academic Registrar/Student Services Adviser Sheila Hamilton
Admissions Officer/Academic Admin. Assistant Nicola NicAoidh
Musician in Residence To be appointed
Writer in Residence Rob Kerr
Librarian Cairistiona Cain
Library Assistant Siùsaidh NicRath
ICT Senior Support Officer Màrtainn Dòmhnallach
Marketing Officer Angela NicIlliosa
Facilities Manager Carlotta Ghreumach
Accountant Màiri NicAoidh
Warden Dòmhnall Iain Caimbeul
Head Chef Iain MacEacharna

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Computing Facilities
The College has three computing rooms which students can use during the day and in the evening.
Rules applying to the use of computers are posted in the rooms. Students must sign the 'Acceptable Use' Policy.

The College Shop
Books and other study materials can be purchased here while other stock which is requested can be ordered.

Grants and Scholarships
Scholarships are available from the Finance Office at Àrainn Ostaig at the beginning of each session.
Loan cheques may be collected from Sheila Hamilton in room 3206.

Students should register with a local doctor:-

Sleat: Dr Venters - 01471-844283

Broadford Health Centre - 01471 822460

Church Services

Church of Scotland
Kilmore - 11.00am and 6.00pm
Gaelic Service 2.30pm on the second Sunday of the month.

Broadford - 10.30am and 6.00pm
Gaelic Service on the first and third Sunday of the month.

Roman Catholic Church - 6.00pm Saturday.
At Corrie Lodge Estate near the Pier in Broadford.

Free Church
Knock -11.00am and 6.00pm

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You should keep a diary to remind you of any important deadlines you must keep such as essays and other assignments and also dates of examinations and assessments.

Make sure that you study regularly e.g. each night. Through sitting assessments, you will be able to monitor your own progress and see whether you need to spend more time studying.

Make notes which are clear and easy to understand.

Read the question and any other instructions carefully so that you are sure you understand exactly what is required.

Make sure that you have revised and prepared properly.

If there is a set time for the assessment it is important that you answer each part and do not spend too long on any one question.

You will find some books in the College library helpful.

Websites that may be useful in terms of study skills.

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You may have to write a project on a topic chosen by your lecturer. You will be given guidelines on the areas of the topic which you are required to cover, how to research information and how long the project should be.

You will have to collect information and present it clearly.

Good planning is essential.

Begin with a first draft.

Check your research to see if there is anything you want to add.

Redraft in the best possible order adding more information, examples and illustrations or diagrams.

The writing should be divided into paragraphs and sections.
(You may wish to title each section).

You may redraft a few times until you are satisfied with your final draft.

This should be:-
· Easy to read and understand
· Spelt and punctuated correctly
· Neat and well presented.

You may wish to have a contents section and a list of sources.

Remember your front cover/title page.
You may be expected to type your final copy.

Quality is better than Quantity.

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Don't be put off by the word 'report'. Reports are usually written to help solve a problem. A situation is looked at, described and then possible solutions are offered.
Reports should be clear and factual and as simple and straight forward as possible. The report should not be biased in
A report should be written in the third person i.e. "ten people were asked for their opinions" not "I asked ten people what they thought about it".

Most reports are written on A4 paper using headings arranged as follows:-

A) TITLE - This indicates what the report is about.

B) AIM - a brief, clear statement of the pur pose of the report.

C) INVESTIGATION-a statement on the way information has been collected.

D) FINDINGS - the main body of the report, containing the findings of your investiga tion, which should be arranged in logical order. You should use sub-headings to organise this section.

E) CONCLUSION - You should summarise your main findings and draw a valid con clusion based on the evidence.

F) RECOMMENDATIONS-You may be asked to make recommendations.

G) Your report should be signed and dated

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Sabhal Mòr Ostaig recognises the need for an equal opportunities approach in its role as both an employer and provider of services. The College undertakes to ensure that all concerned will be treated with equal respect in an environment free from prejudice and harassment. The College accepts its obligations to fulfil the statutory requirements which make it unlawful for an employer or employee to discriminate or to treat an individual differently on the grounds of colour, ethnic origin or sex. This acceptance is not based simply on legal requirements and the College extends the principle to ex-offenders, and to such factors as age, religious belief and political opinion.

The Trustees and Senior Management Group have a responsibility to ensure that this policy receives the commitment of all members of staff and students through appropriate and effective communication and training. As an employer the College undertakes to review regularly its recruitment and employment practices to ensure that no group is put at a disadvantage either directly or indirectly. Attention will be paid to all parts of the employment process, from recruitment and selection through to training and career development.

The Equal Opportunities Group will assist in these responsibilities by monitoring all aspects of Equal Opportunities. Staff and students are also required to support this policy. They are required to carry out their duties having regard to equality of opportunity and to regard this as an integral part of College activities. The College will seek to ensure that there will be equality of opportunity for all staff and students in all aspects of College life.

Any breach of this policy will be treated as a serious matter which may warrant disciplinary action.

Farquhar MacIntosh
Chairman of Trustees

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More detailed information on UHI and College Policies and Services, assessment issues and course information are to be found in your Course/Student Handbook. A copy is available in the College Library.