Isles’ cultural heritage to be recognised in new university degree course

The rich cultural heritage of the Northern Isles is to be the focus of a new postgraduate degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), which includes Shetland College.

The master of letters (MLitt) in Orkney and Shetland studies, developed by the Centre for Nordic Studies, will cover topics such as myths and origins, archaeological heritage, early Scottish and Norse literature, and the language and palaeography of older Scots.

Centre director and course leader Donna Heddle said: “The new course has been commended by the validation panel for its scope, course design and strategic importance. We already have a waiting list.

“Orkney and Shetland have always been important in a world context – Orkney, for example, appears on the earliest maps.

“The islands, along with Caithness on the mainland, are identified primarily by their Nordic cultural and linguistic heritage. They are positioned at the centre of the Nordic world and combine a wealth of archaeological and cultural heritage due to their strategic importance through the ages.”

The one-year course is due to be available from January next year and can be studied full or part-time at Shetland College or by distance learning. Dr Heddle said it would open doors to a range of careers including teaching, local government and tourism.


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