Online course in Literature

Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy

Dig deeper into the life and works of Robert Burns, with this free University of Glasgow course.

  • Duration 3 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $69 Find out more

Celebrate Robert Burns with this free online course.

This free course from the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, University of Glasgow, will introduce you to the life, works and global celebrity of Robert Burns.

You’ll examine poems, songs, manuscripts, and objects used to commemorate the poet. You’ll also develop your understanding of Robert Burns’s posthumous reputation - from Burns Suppers and Burns Night through to Hogmanay.

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What topics will you cover?

  • The cultural reputation of Robert Burns as patriot, lover, and man of the people
  • Robert Burns as poet and songwriter
  • Major works such as ‘Scots Wha Hae’, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, ‘A Man’s a Man’, ‘The Vision’, and ‘Auld Lang Syne’
  • The commemoration of Burns in material culture
  • The international celebrity and legacy of Burns

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the poems, songs and legacy of Robert Burns
  • Discuss the reputation of Burns as a national and international poet
  • Collaborate with other learners in researching and mapping examples of Burns's global reach
  • Develop an understanding of Burns's place in Scottish literary tradition
  • Engage with diverse media related to the study of Burns, including poems, song recordings, videos, images, maps, and manuscripts

Who is the course for?

No previous experience or qualifications are required for this course - just an interest in Robert Burns, Scottish history and culture, or poetry and song in general.

It is ideal for anyone considering further study in the field, such the courses offered by the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow.

What do people say about this course?

Thank you for these three weeks and all these fascinating insights in the literary work and life of Robert Burns! The material provided by the educators and the comments by the fellow students were really helpful!

Course Learner

Thank you very much for your hard work, and for introducing many of us to this amazing figure as Robert Burns was. I really loved it and learned a lot about not only his work but his life, and a little more about Scottish culture. I'm looking forward to learning more and to follow this amazing bard, Robert Burns.

Course Learner

Who will you learn with?

Gerard Carruthers

Gerard Carruthers

Professor Gerard Carruthers FRSE is Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow.

Catriona Macdonald

Catriona Macdonald

I'm Reader in Late Modern Scottish History at the University of Glasgow. I'm also leading a research project on political poetry in the 19th and 20th centuries... hence the interest in Burns.

Pauline Mackay

Pauline Mackay

Lecturer in Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow's Centre for Robert Burns Studies

Ronnie Young

Ronnie Young

I am a Lecturer in Scottish Literature and educator on/co-ordinator of the 'Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy' course with Futurelearn.

Who developed the course?

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

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