FROM September this year Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI, the Gaelic college on Skye, will be equipped to offer all levels of its degree programme via distance learning for the first time.
Students who wish to learn Gaelic and learn through Gaelic will now be able to follow an education programme which will allow them to go from beginner to degree holder, all by distance learning.
The College Principal, Professor Boyd Robertson, said: “This is a highly significant development which will enhance the College’s status as a national and international Centre of Excellence for Gaelic language and culture.
“We have had students from 24 countries attending short courses here this summer and this will enable these students and others in this country and abroad to undertake honours degree courses in Gaelic in the comfort of their own homes.”
Sabhal Mor Ostaig began delivering its Cursa Inntrigidh (Access Course) for beginners in 2000 through distance learning, and over 1,500 people have now undertaken the course.
Following on from its success the College made available in 2006 Cursa Adhartais (Advanced Course – year 1 of a degree programme) as a distance learning course, due to demand from students who wished to achieve full fluency.
It will now be possible for students to complete the modules for years 2 to 4 of two BA (honours) degree programmes through distance learning – the degree in Gaelic and development and the degree in Gaelic Language and Culture.
Lecturers with support from colleagues at the University of the Highlands and Islands worked together to design the delivery and structure of the courses.
Sabhal Mor’s Director of Studies, John Norman MacLeod, said: “Sabhal Mor Ostaig had gained a great deal of experience and expertise in supported distance learning delivery and in offering courses, both on-campus and at a distance, which provide students with a flexible and progressive learning experience.
“In addition to the two distance delivered degree courses, students can also progress to postgraduate study at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, available also through distance learning,” he continued.
“Individual modules from the distance delivered programmes are also offered as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in areas such as language policy and planning and community development.
“The degree courses also form elements of a teacher education programme, leading to a qualification in Gaelic with Education, delivered in partnership with the University of Aberdeen.”
For more information about Sabhal Mor Ostaig courses, visit www.smo.uhi.ac.uk