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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Scots language at university

Want to study Scots language at university?  Here are courses available at Scottish universities.

Edinburgh University

Scots language has previously been offered to first year students within the English language department and presumably could be offered in future if student numbers justify this.  Classes on the historical development of Scots language, the history of Scots dialects and modern Scots are currently available to Honours English language students.  Use of Scots in essays etc is not permitted. 

The School of Celtic Studies offers a Scots language module within its Ethnology degree.  Scots language can be studied at PhD level. 

Scots Language Dictionaries are based at the university.

Glasgow University

Scots literature is strong in Glasgow, and some Scots language teaching takes place at Honours level.  The emphasis is on the development of the language and establishing the language's pedigree.  Scots can be used in essays etc, so long as spelling systems are agreed.

Scots language classes are found integrated within English language courses at every level. An  MLitt programme in English language includes the history of the Scots language.  There is also a postgraduate level cross-cultural Scottish Studies course covering history, literature and politics.  PhD level Scots language study is possible here.



The traditional music degree includes a language element.  During first year this covers Gaelic and Scots.  After first year students specialise in either Gaelic or Scots and continue with this language strand to Honours level.  This will include learning the historical language, its development, perceptions and contemporary usage.

Moray House Teacher Training College

A Scots language option is available to honours secondary English teachers.  This option is to help enable the teacher teach Scots literature, so emphasizes use of texts. Both older and modern Scots language is analysed.


Aberdeen University

The Elphinstone Institute and the Forum for Research into the Languages of Scotland and Ulster are both closely connected to Aberdeen so much expertise is available here.  Modules on Scots language are available in the English language degree programme: the history of British Isles languages.  An MLitt programme in Irish and Scottish Studies is available and contains a Scots language element. PhD supervision in Scots language is available.

Stirling University

A Scottish literature course is available which includes texts in Scots language. This strand continues to postgraduate level.



Lothian Equal Access programme for schools promotes university study for those with no family history of university study, or other potential barriers to further education.  A collaboration between Napier, Stirling and Heriott Watt, the summer school includes a language/literature/media strand.  This will involve teaching of historical and modern Scots and phonetics.

Glasgow Goals project. Similar to the Lothian project.

Research Communication and Action. A project involving postgraduate language students applying theoretical research in Edinburgh schools.