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About the course

If you’ve ever welcomed in the New Year with a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” or enjoyed a whisky and haggis on Burns Night, you’re likely to be one of the thousands, nay millions, of fans of Robert Burns around the world.

Now you can celebrate the poems, songs, and legacy of the great Scottish poet in a new way - with this free online course from the University of Glasgow, which begins in January, the month in which we commemorate the poet’s life.

Learn how an 18th-century Scottish poet became a global icon

Over three weeks, we’ll introduce you to the life and works of Robert (“Rabbie” or “Robbie”) Burns, exploring three core questions:

  • Who was Robert Burns?
  • What made Robert Burns a poetic genius?
  • And what made Robert Burns a global icon?

In the process, you’ll examine archive material, original publications and manuscripts by Burns himself, recordings of Burns songs and examples of objects used to commemorate the poet. You’ll also look at and learn to interpret a selection of Robert Burns’s works in the context of Scottish history and culture. Poems and songs covered in the course include:

  • Auld Lang Syne
  • To a Mouse
  • To a Haggis
  • Ae Fond Kiss
  • A Red Red Rose
  • Scots Wha Hae
  • A Man’s a Man for a’ That
  • The Vision

Setting things in a wider context, you’ll also develop your understanding of Robert Burns’s reputation - from the rise of Burns Clubs and Burns Suppers following his death, to the continuing celebration of the poet today through Burns Night, Hogmanay (New Year) and beyond.

Learn with Scotland’s leading experts on Robert Burns

You’ll learn with experts from the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow, which leads the world in the academic study of the poet, his life and works, the history and culture of the period in which he lived, and his ongoing legacy.

So join us on 23 January 2017 for a new look at a world-famous poet.

If you want to find out a bit more about Robert Burns now, have a look at this post on the FutureLearn blog from Gerard Carruthers about the conspiracy theories that surround the poet.

Requirements

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.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00