University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde

Scottish Gaelic in Scotland, UK


About the institution

The University of Strathclyde was established in 1796 as ‘the place of useful learning’ with a focus on practical subjects. It is the 3rd largest university of Scotland and was awarded the University of the Year in 2012 and again in 2019 in the Times Higher Education Awards. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework 90% of its research output was rated as either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The School of Education is part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and is the largest (initial) teacher education provider in Scotland, with a range of courses for both primary and secondary teachers. There are around 1200 postgraduate student teachers (approximately evenly split between primary and secondary) and also about 500 undergraduate primary students enrolled on the courses.

The School of Education at Strathclyde University is the only initial teacher educator provider that offers teachers an opportunity to qualify as a secondary subject teacher (for example French, Physics or maths) through the medium of Gaelic, and courses are also provided for primary level students so students can work in Gaelic Medium Education (an immersion education model of education which aims to ensure children become equally proficient in English and Gaelic by the end of their formal education) or teach Gaelic as a primary subject under the Scottish Government’s 1 + 2 Languages Policy – under which every child is entitled to learn at least 2 additional languages within the education system. All pre-service teachers are supported in the delivery of this policy within the classroom context through a range of modules, both compulsory and elective, that focus on supporting multilingualism, effective teaching and learning, and recognising the diverse language learning pathways of the children in the classroom to create culturally sensitive pedagogical approaches that support the rights of the child and allow children to be agents of their own (language) learning.

There is a strong research focus on languages in and for education at the School of Education, with staff also involved in programmes that support the teaching of English to speakers of other languages, as well as supporting bilingual learners in the classroom. Recent (funded) research studies have focussed on the creation of culturally sensitive teaching materials using minority languages and cultures, as well as initiatives to ensure that Gaelic is used within the community in a range of domains rather than being only associated with the education system.

Contact person in the project

Ingeborg Birnie, University of Strathclyde

Ingeborg Birnie

Senior Lecturer, School of Education