Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Gaelic at the University? Perhaps the answer is here in our FAQ's.

How can I find out more about the University's Gaelic Language Plan?

Information about our Gaelic Language Plan can be found on this website. If you have a specific question, please contact Bria Mason, the University’s Gaelic Officer. Contact information is at the bottom of the page.

How can I find out more about Gaelic news and events at the University of Edinburgh?

I am a student. How can I use Gaelic at the University?

  • You can communicate with the University in Gaelic. The University has committed to responding to Gaelic correspondence in Gaelic, in the same time scale as would be expected in English.
  • The University has a policy on Gaelic in assessed work. The policy can be accessed at the following link.
  • You can request a Gaelic-speaking Personal Tutor within your School. The University will endeavour to assign you one.
  • The University will endeavour to organise a Gaelic-medium tutorial group (subject to tutor availability and student demand) in the following courses: Celtic Civilisation 1A & 1B, Scottish Studies 1A & 1B, Medieval Scottish History, and Early Modern Scottish History.
  • The University organises a variety of events that enable you to engage with Gaelic throughout the year. Keep an eye on our Events page, Facebook, and Twitter to stay informed. An Comunn Ceilteach (The Highland Society) is a student group that also offers opportunities to use Gaelic.

I am a member of staff. How can I use Gaelic in my work?

If you would like to use a bilingual email signature or to order bilingual business cards, please contact the University's Gaelic Language Officer (details at the bottom of the page) to request a translation of your details.

If you would like to use a bilingual out-of-office message, some templates are available at the link below.

I am a member of staff. Do I have any obligations relating to the Gaelic Language Plan?

The University's Gaelic Language Plan focuses on creating opportunities for Gaelic to be used and raising the status of Gaelic, not on imposing obligations on anyone. However, since the University has committed to some measures which affect all staff, it is important to keep the following commitments in mind:

  • The University will accept correspondence in Gaelic and will reply in Gaelic when a response is required. If you receive any correspondence in Gaelic and are unable to deal with it yourself, please seek the assistance of the University's Gaelic Officer.
  • Consideration is to be given to the inclusion of Gaelic in high-profile exhibitions, demonstrating equal respect for Gaelic and English, on a new or renewal basis.
  • The University will endeavour to assign a Gaelic-speaking Personal Tutor within a student's School, to any student who so requests. Staff should do their best to arrange this for any student who requests it.
  • The submission of assessed work in Gaelic is covered by a University policy which can be found at the following link.
  • All staff are encouraged to read the Gaelic Language Plan, as other commitments may apply to your specific area of work. All staff can support the ethos of the Gaelic Language Plan by maintaining a University culture where Gaelic and those who speak it are treated with respect.

How can I learn Gaelic?

  • With support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the University provides four six-week taster classes per year free of charge: one each for students and staff each Autumn and Spring. These classes are intended as an introduction to Gaelic that can lead on to further study.
  • The Office of Lifelong Learning offers evening classes. For their most up-to-date offering, see their website.
  • The department of Celtic & Scottish Studies offers credit-bearing courses. Students may be able to participate in these courses depending on the demands of their course of study.
  • There are conversation opportunities throughout the year run by the University and by EUSA’s Tandem project.
  • Information on language classes throughout Scotland and additional learning resources is available at the LearnGaelic website.

How can I access translation services?

We are currently working to establish a preferred University translation service. Until this is in place, please contact the University’s Gaelic Officer for advice.

How can I type vowels with grave accents on the University computers?

The easiest way to do this is to set your keyboard to United Kingdom Extended.

You can do this by opening the start menu and selected ‘Control Panel’. Then select ‘Region and Language’. Select the ‘Keyboards and Languages’ tab, then click the ‘Change Keyboards’ button. Click the ‘Add’ button, and click the plus sign next to ‘English (United Kingdom). Under ‘Keyboard’, selected ‘United Kingdom Extended’. Click the ‘Ok’ button. Ensure that ‘English (United Kingdom) - United Kingdom Extended’ is selected from the drop-down menu at the top of the ‘General’ tab which should now appear. Click the ‘Ok’ button to close the window. Click ‘Ok’ to close the Region and Language window.

Once you have done this, typing the grave accent is easy. Simply type this character: ‘ (found on the top left-hand corner of the keyboard) followed by the vowel you wish to write ( ‘+ U = Ù).

Is there Gaelic-medium software available on the University systems?

  • We are currently exploring what software could be used in Gaelic on the University systems. This answer will be updated as more software becomes available.

I don’t know much about Gaelic. How can I find out more?

The University offers frequent Gaelic Language & Culture taster sessions for staff and students throughout term time. These sessions deal with a variety of issues regarding the language, its history and place in Scotland and in Edinburgh, and its legacy and culture. These are available for booking through the MyEd events channel, and further information as well as upcoming dates can be found on the webpage below.

Bria Mason

Gaelic Officer

  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



5 Forrest Hill

Post Code