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CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais

AWARD: Certificate of Higher Education
STUDY MODE: Distance Learning,Part-time
COURSE LEADER: Distance Learning Team
COURSE CONTACT: Distance Learning Team ( )

CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais

CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais is aimed at intermediate level Gaelic 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 CertHE An Cùrsa Comais (one-year, on-campus Gaelic immersion course). The main focus is on language skills, both speaking and writing, but an additional subject will be introduced in the second year of the course. Students can also choose to come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for one of the course’s optional Weekend Schools to meet and speak Gaelic with fellow students.

The course is at Level 1 of the Gaelic and Related Studies degree programme, and on successful completion of the course, students will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) that will grant entry to any of our second-year degree courses. Most of the learning is by self-study using workbooks and soundfiles in preparation for a weekly or twice-weekly structured online 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. However, these are only averages and everybody learns at their own pace.

Student Handbook & Module Descriptors

  Student Handbook 2024-25

Module Descriptors


Course Content

Course Modules

CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais is made up of seven sequential modules: six language modules and then a subject module. All modules are taught through the medium of Gaelic.  The subject module 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 CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais. Alternatively, students with two Highers or equivalent can gain entry alongside completion of a written assessment and oral interview to gauge whether the applicants’ prior learning is broadly equivalent to the prerequisite level. Students will also need access to a computer and printer, a telephone, a headset with integrated microphone and have access to an internet connection. In order to make the most of An Cùrsa Adhartais, we recommend that students upgrade to the latest versions of computer programmes. Please see Computer Requirements in the PDF below.

Computer Requirements

Fees and Funding

For course costs, please visit our Fees page.

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 (Student Awards Agency for Scotland), with help available to students studying modules worth 30 credit points or more 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.

How to Apply

Please submit this enquiry form. The closing date for consideration for the August 2024 intake of the course is 17 June 2024. Please contact us using the enquiry form above and a course application form will then be sent to you. If you’re reading this after that date, please get in touch anyway. 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. The last date for applications for 2024/25 is 17 June 2024.

Timetable 2024 – 25 Modules 1 – 4

Timetable 2024 – 25 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 familiarises students with the practical and technical aspects of the course, and introduces them to their coursework and fellow students.

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. The last date for applications for 2024/25 is 17 June 2024.

Weekend Schools

For registered An Cùrsa Adhartais students, and subject to interest, two-day study weekends are normally held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for each part of the course. They are optional and offer students the chance to revise and practise 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 booking forms for 2024/25 weekend schools will be available after the course starts, and will be available on the Virtual Learning Environment.


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.


For College accommodation options, please visit our Accommodation page. For local accommodation, click here or go to

Travelling to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

Click here for information on travelling to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and to view a map of the College.

The Library

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 the weekend school or College accommodation should be emailed to the Distance Learning Team at . Payment will be taken when your booking has been confirmed.

Progression Routes

Students who get at least 50% in assessments for modules CA5–CA7 of CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais have the opportunity to progress to the DipHE Gaelic and Related Studies course.

Enquiry Form

If you would like to make an enquiry about CertHE An Cùrsa Adhartais, please do so here.

COURSE FEE 2024/25

* In most cases, Scottish domiciled fee status students have their fees paid for them by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) and may be eligible for living cost support.

Part-time students, distance learning, fee per module
15 credit Modules available only in An Cùrsa Adhartais


Download costs for all study modes and courses here (PDF)

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