Why join 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.
What topics will you cover?
This course explored:
- 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.
Who developed the course?
See all FutureLearn Reviews
Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript
Certificate of Achievement + transcript
Statement of Participation
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