Gaelic - ULPAN ULPAN Certificated

What is special about this course?

Classes are usually twice weekly amd are structured to enable students to acquire and use new skills actively. Short phrases, which target key language points, are heard and repeated by the students who then practice the new structure with specific activities. - In each unit, sets of phrases are built up into a short scripted dialogue, which allows the students to use the language in a conversational setting. - Along with revision activities from previous sessions, there is a section on vocabulary building which lays the foundation for successive units. - The classes are especially rewarding for both students and tutors as everyone can see a steady growth in ability and confidence on a weekly basis. Weekly audio clips are made available to learners via the Ulpan website to allow continued practice at home.

The 144 units of Ùlpan are divided into 6 Levels of 24 units each.

Each unit takes an hour and a half, and follows the same structure, and every sixth unit revises the content of the previous five units.

Ùlpan students do a minimum of two units per week on different days.  At this rate, students should complete the course in around two years.

Ùlpan classes are run by a variety of different providers around the country, from colleges to councils.  Price, location, dates and times will vary, but the course content will be the same no matter where you attend a class.

Ùlpan uses communication as a means of learning.  You'll be speaking Gaelic from the first class onwards, and the tutor will use as little English as possible. 

You'll learn 12 or more phrases in each class along with activities and dialogues based on them, and much more besides. 

There isn't a lot of emphasis placed on teaching grammar as a subject in its own right, because you will learn that from inside the language, instead of talking about it in another language.

A little theory is useful when you're further on and it's crucial when you start writing, but that's a skill which is easier to pick up when you are already full of the sounds and rhythms and the musicality of the language.

Ùlpan is different to traditional evening classes in lots of ways, but one of the main differences is that students attend two classes per week.

If that sounds like a lot, don’t panic!  It’s only 3-4 hours out of your 168-hour week – so it still leaves you 164 to do everything else!  The reality is that one class per week won’t be very effective.

Learning a language, particularly a minority language, takes time and effort.  The Ùlpan course is designed to take learners towards fluency – but you can't learn fluency from a course alone.  Fluency comes through listening and talking every day.  Ùlpan is a map - it's you yourself that has to do the walking to your destination.

Entry requirements

No formal qualifications but an interest in the Gaelic language is important.

The Ùlpan course is fully researched and consists of 144 units, taught by trained Ùlpan tutors.

Ulpan is a fast and effective way to learn a language.  The Ulpan system teaches the student to use Gaelic, learning through listening and speaking. Speaking and understanding come first, with reading and writing used to reinforce the spoken word.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

Classes are taught in Gaelic, with the tutor keeping English to a minimum. Each unit contains useful phrases, games and a conversation, as well as written homework which the tutor will correct.

Students usually attend two classes a week as a minimum. This higher frequency gives students a regular opportunity to interact in Gaelic, a chance to top-up their short-to-medium-term memory (essential for language learning), and a real feeling of progress.

How long will my course last?

12 Weeks

Twice weekly, 12 week blocks per level, 6 levels in total.

Where can I study my course?

Start date

Please contact your local centre for more details on the course start date.


For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Gaelic - ULPAN ULPAN Certificated

To enrol, or for further information on this course, please contact your local Argyll College Centre

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Argyll College UHI. Argyll College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.