UHI offers first islands studies course

The Skye campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands. Picture: Contributed
The Skye campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands. Picture: Contributed
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STUDENTS around the world are being offered an islands studies course – the first of its kind in Scotland – at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The postgraduate course will explore cultural, political, economic and environmental aspects of islands.

Modules include ‘governance in small islands’, ‘tourism in ‘cold’ islands’ and ‘island futures’.

A ‘Scottish islands’ module will compare the cultures of people in the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland through their language, literature, history and politics.

The island studies MLitt will be delivered by teaching staff and from Orkney, Shetland, Skye and Lewis.

It will also feature guest speakers from these islands as well as from the Isle of Man, the Faroe Isles and Prince Edward Island.

Dr Andrew Jennings, lecturer at the Centre for Nordic Studies in Shetland and programme leader for the course, said: “Islands are wonderful places to live, work in and visit.

“Each island and island community is unique, yet throughout the world the experience of island life creates a shared experience.

“In this exciting new MLitt taught from the Scottish islands we will explore these bonds and the opportunities and challenges which island communities face. We will take an island perspective and learn from each other, instead of looking for advice and solutions from the mainland.”

Students can study the course on a part time or full time basis from a number of locations around the Highlands and Islands.

It will be offered at each of the university’s island-based campuses as well as at Perth College UHI, Inverness College UHI, West Highland College UHI and North Highland College UHI. It is also available anywhere in the world through distance learning.

Applications to start the islands studies MLitt in September are open now and there is also the opportunity to start in January 2014.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is a partnership of thirteen further and higher education colleges, specialist colleges and research institutions, distributed throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

They are bound together through constitutional, management and academic structures, and coordinated through an executive office.

There are currently over 7000 students studying on undergraduate and postgraduate courses or undertaking postgraduate research with the university.