Short Courses

Short Courses Summer Edit at the National Galleries and National Library of Scotland

This summer the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning (COL) invites you to step inside some of Scotland’s most iconic surroundings.

An image from the Short Course - COL at the National Library of Scotland: Behind the Scenes

Want to delve into historic archives, discover treasures of old or explore some of the world’s greatest masterpieces?

Then look no further!

The Short Courses Summer Edit offers you a unique chance to get hands-on and behind the scenes at the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland.

Below you’ll find details of an exciting selection of courses that are running in conjunction with these inspiring institutions.  


Themes at the National Galleries of Scotland: Identity  

Religious identity, Primitive identity, Enlightened identity…

With selected works at the Scottish National Gallery as your focus, you’ll explore the theme ‘Identity’. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss a number of artworks relating to this theme and critically analyse its role in art from different periods and in different styles.   


COL at the National Galleries of Scotland: Masterpieces

Masterpiece: a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship.

You’ll spend an hour on each day of this course exploring pieces held at the Scottish National Gallery. Through examination and discussion you’ll learn to appreciate, understand and critically asses selected works and consider how these fit within the wider context of the history of Scottish art.


COL at the National Galleries of Scotland: Treasures of the 15th to 17th Centuries

The National Gallery of Scotland holds one of the finest collections of fifteenth-, sixteenth-, and seventeenth-century paintings in the country. This is your chance to explore it!

Over three days you’ll engage in lectures, discussions and gallery visits to examine the paintings and artists and consider how these wonderful treasures came to be in Scotland.

COL at the National Library of Scotland: Philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment

18th-century Edinburgh has been described as ‘a hotbed of genius’. Discover why.

This course will introduce you to some of the greatest Scottish philosophers and key philosophical themes of that period. You’ll take a walking tour of some of the sights in central Edinburgh that are significant to the era and explore the National Libraries’ major exhibition on the Scottish Enlightenment. You’ll even have the chance to meet the exhibition’s curator!


COL at the National Library of Scotland: Behind the Scenes

This course is a unique opportunity to explore Scotland’s largest library. 

You’ll get hands-on with the breadth of literary and musical manuscripts housed within the archives and hear from experts about how the pieces are collected, preserved and how they inform research.  

Breaking news.. Ian Rankin has recently gifted his literary archive to the NLS and this is your chance to get the lowdown on this exciting new acquisition!   

This is just a taster of what’s on offer this summer… click the link below and explore the full range of Short Courses.

Explore Short Courses Summer Edit