Street in Scotland lined with shops and cafes and filled with people in jackets

Summer in Scotland

  1. Program Details

    Experience the vibrant urban feel of the UK's third largest city while studying at the University of Glasgow, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom.

    Location Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Term Summer Session
    Housing Dormitory
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 3.0
    Student Type UofM Students
    Student Year Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite

    Research Projects Eligibility


    • Majoring or minoring in History
    • Junior level status

    Life Sciences

    • Majoring in a Biological Science
    • Junior level status


    • Majoring in Chemistry or a related discipline
    • Junior level status


    • Majoring in Psychology
    • Junior level status
  2. About Summer in Scotland

    Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, is a lively place to live and study. There is excellent shopping, nightlife, museums, parks and galleries. Glasgow is a friendly and welcoming multicultural city, recently voted "politest city in the UK."

    Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow consistently ranks as one of the UK's most highly-rated schools. The university is host to more than 20,000 students from over 100 countries and offers an exceptional breadth of academic choice across the physical and life sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

    Started in 2014, the University of Glasgow's International Summer School offers a wide range of classes, and hosts dozens of US and international students each June and July.  

    Housing & Meals

    For the summer progam, participants are housed in university flats.  Accommodation in your own room is included. Rooms are part of self-contained flats including well-equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Normally 4-5 other students will share the flat.

    The flats are located in the University’s Student accommodation, which is within easy walking distance of both the main campus where classes will take place, and of the renowned West End of Glasgow.


    In addition to some summer modules containing built-in excursions, the University of Glasgow arranges a number of social activities during the summer program. 

    Learning Outcomes

    Students studying at the University of Glasgow will:

    • augment their cross-cultural understanding through interaction with British and international students and community members;
    • gain appreciation of the academic culture of the UK and differences between the British and US educational systems through direct enrollment;
    • gain awareness and appreciation of British culture through dorm-style placements with British students, as well as access to a wide range of student organizations and clubs;
    • become more self-reliant through the experience of obtaining enrollment, housing, catering, and transportation independently;
    • become more effective at navigating differences by spending four to ten months of full integration in a foreign academic, cultural, and political climate;
    • and experience British and international perspectives on academic disciplines through direct enrollment at the British host university.

    Faculty & Staff

    Faculty and staff at the University of Glasgow are some of the best in the UK.  The university is a member of the Russell Group – an academic honor reserved for only the top British universities, and International Office staff assist students with all questions related to immigration, housing, academic registration, and campus life. 

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Host University Study
    Program Level 3000 level courses

    4–8 credits

    Please note that it is not possible to do a Summer course and a research project concurrently due to how time intensive the research projects are. 

    Most classes are based at the University of Glasgow's main campus in the west end of the city, and most feature academic excursions to various parts of Scotland. 

    For complete information on modules available, excursions and activities, dates and credits, visit the University of Glasgow's main International Summer School page. View the International Summer School Student Handbook.



    The International Summer School at the University of Glasgow offers a number of different academic modules and credit-bearing research placements to choose from. 

    The University of Glasgow International Summer School uses the Scottish credit scheme. The University of Minnesota converts Scottish credits at a 4:1 ratio (ex: 10 Scottish cr = 2.5 UofM cr).

    Research Track:

    Be placed in a research project overseen by faculty researchers at the University of Glasgow. Available placements for this 6 credit 6-week program are in the following subject areas:

    • Life Sciences 
    • Chemistry 
    • Psychology 
    • History

    Detailed project descriptions, intended outcomes and project eligibility for Summer 2021 

    Global Identity

    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  4. Research

    Life Sciences (Must be majoring in a Biological Science and be junior level)

    Mesophiles and Thermophiles in the Urban Environment
    6 Credits

    The project will use conventional microbiological techniques to sample from a range of urban environments that present thermal challenge and seek out mesophilic and thermophilic organisms able to survive and grow in these conditions. The properties of these bacteria will be analysed and identification will be attempted by sequencing of the 16s rRNA gene. Students on the project will develop skills in microbiology and molecular biology. and the project will offer substantial opportunity for independent investigation.

    Bacteria in Freshwater: A Historical Record of Past Pollution?
    6 Credits

    The aim of this project will be to characterize the bacteria of faecal origin in a local watercourse, to establish which indicator organisms are present, determine if any are pathogenic to humans, and then to attempt detection of bacteriophage. Students on the project will develop skills in environmental monitoring, microbiology and molecular biology.

    Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model Organism for Genetic Screens
    6 Credits

    The aim of this project will be to establish an experimental system with C. elegans using a forward genetic approach. Using ethylmathanesulforate (EMS), a mutagen that induces direct mutations in DNA, such as missense and nonsense mutations you will screen populations of C. elegans looking for any phenotypic changes that may be biologically interesting and attempt to further characterize the mutants. In addition, C. elegans is an excellent model organism for the study of addiction to compounds such as alcohol and caffeine, areas that can also be investigated during the project. This is a very exciting project as the outcome is unknown and it may lead to the identification of a new mutant phenotype.

    Investigating the reliability of Daphnia as a model to study the autonomic control of heart rate
    6 Credits

    The project will use neuropharmacological techniques to investigate the receptor system responsible for controlling the heart rate and will seek to compare that to what is known about our own autonomic nervous control of heart rate. It is known that the Daphnia HR will slow in response to parasympathetic stimulation using Acetylcholine and conversely increase by sympathetic stimulation, but there is limited information regarding the receptor systems involved and the pharmacology of the controlling system. The project will involve basic manipulation Daphnia under dissection microscopes such that their hearts can be easily viewed, and heart rate determined. Once proficiency in this technique is established, a systematic pharmacological investigation of the neural control of heart rate in the Daphnia will be conducted

    Genetic Engineering for Agriculture in a Changing Climate
    6 Credits

    One significant outcome of current climate change models is that agriculturally important species will become more susceptible to devastating diseases, leading to impacts on food supply. The aim of this project will be to investigate proteins involved in the spread of disease from cell to cell in plants. The student will conduct experiments which temporarily alter the expression levels or functions of relevant genes and proteins. The student will then investigate how different environmental conditions (temperature, light, water levels etc) affect cell to cell movement in combination with altered expression of the genes of interest.

    Chemistry (Must be majoring in Chemistry or a related disciple and be junior level)

    Co-creating Enquiry-Focused Experiments for the Organic Chemistry Teaching Laboratory
    6 Credits

    The School of Chemistry has designed and implemented online pre- and post-lab interactive activities for organic laboratories over the past two years. These have proved extremely popular with students and their introduction has led to significant increases in student confidence, technical ability, and satisfaction. While these outcomes are encouraging, undergraduate students continue to express frustration that in-lab practicals seem disconnected from lecture courses and do not promote team-working or enquiry-focused skills. Students have identified these skills as important graduate attributes, and it is therefore vital that we address these concerns where possible, including in the design of practical experiments.Therefore, the aim of these projects, is to research, design, optimise, enquiry-focused organic practicals, to enhance the student learning experience. The projects will provide participating students with valuable experience in organic synthesis, experimental techniques and equipment use, as well as problem-solving, team-working, and communication. Specifically, the projects will involve re-designing experiments that are currently part of the organic laboratory course at Glasgow. Students will explore key organic synthetic strategies, such as the use of Grignard reagents, Suzuki couplings (catalytic cycle shown below), the Wittig and Dieckmann reactions, amongst others. Participating students will also be trained in core techniques, including the use of column chromatography, distillation, TLC analysis and IR and NMR spectroscopy. Work will be undertaken in a working lab setting, and will be supervised directly by Dr Ciorsdaidh Watts.

    3D Printing of Gels
    6 Credits

    Hydrogels prepared from low molecular weight gelators are formed as a result of hierarchical intermolecular interactions between gelators to form fibres, and then further interactions between the self-assembled fibres via physical entanglements to give a network. These interactions can allow hydrogels to recover quickly after a high shear rate has been applied. This means that it is possible to 3D print these gels (see figure). We are interested in directly being able to 3D print gels for a number of applications, but to be able to do this effectively, we need to understand the link between the networks formed and how effective the printing is. In this project, we will investigate a number of different gels which have different networks to determine which gels are best printed under a number of conditions.

    Self-assembly in Polyoxometalates
    6 Credits

    Research in LVN group centres on understanding self-assembly. The strategies that nature employs to construct assemblies of polynuclear clusters are still unclear. During her career Dr Vilà-Nadal studied the assembly process of metal oxide clusters– and described – in several publications, see below – that despite the great number of controlling factors, within the small nuclearity range, these systems can be understood combining theoretical simulations (e.g. DFT, MD, CPMD, etc.) and experimental methods (e.g. ESI-MS experiments, NMR, UV vis, etc.). In this research we aim to understand, control and apply self-assembly to a wide range of molecular based systems leading to control of assemblies made from a variety of hard, soft, and hybrid materials using theory. Initially we will focus in two main applications of these new designed molecules, firstly to improve existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS) technology and secondly as all-inorganic porous materials (POMzites). The use of oxide based materials in electronics provides a way to further increase the circuit density in electronic devices, beyond the limitations of lithography. POMzites conceptually, bridge the gap between zeolites and metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and establish a new class of all-inorganic metal oxide frameworks that can be designed using topological and reactivity principles similar to MOFs. To start this work, we will leverage Dr Vilà-Nadal ‘s experience in molecular metal oxides, or polyoxometalates (POMs) since they offer a route to achieve this control at a molecular level, and she has been working in the field for over 10 years.

    Chemistry of the F-Elements
    6 Credits

    The f-elements (Ln and An) have wide application in materials science as a result of their unique electronic, photophysical, magnetic and nuclear properties. The processing of nano-structured materials from molecular precursors is increasingly important in pursuit of lowering cost and increasing performance with device miniaturization. We are an inorganic group focusing on synthesis of molecular f-element complexes and their transformation into materials. We can offer projects in: Luminescence Imaging, Catalytic Nanoparticles, Materials Synthesis, Ligand design and Molecular Synthesis.

    Luminescence Switching using Plasmonics
    6 Credits

    With the advent of technologies such as quantum computing and quantum radars, the need for new devices to control quantum states of materials are emerging. Luminescence is a property directly linked to the quantum state of a molecule. Using luminescence as a read-out mechanism we aim to control quantum states of organic molecules using plasmonics in an effort to create all light-based transistors. Our initial experiments have shown how the Purcell effect can be used to potentially achieve this goal. Specific plasmonic resonances have been able to trigger certain luminescent processes in organic molecules. The project will involve working with various nano fabricated plasmonic samples coated with specific organic molecules and measuring the changes in fluorescent properties with respect to the plasmonic design parameters.

    Block Copolymer Self-assembly and Polymer Particles
    6 Credits

    Polymer self-assembly is one of the major methods to synthesize defined polymer particles that can be utilized for various applications, e.g. as filler materials, for biomedical applications or optical applications. In our projects, we synthesize novel polymer particles from biocompatible polymers to achieve various structures in aqueous environment, e.g. capsules or hydrogel particles. The particles will be used to encapsulate biomacromolecules (proteins or enzymes) as well as small molecules (dyes or drugs) or as reaction environment (nano reactor). With the specific design of our polymers we can introduce additional properties like degradability, stimuli-response or targeted delivery, which will be tailored according to envisioned application. In the end, we target to utilize the particles in biomedical applications for example drug-delivery or enzyme therapy.

    Psychology (Must be majoring in Psychology and be junior level)

    Psychology of Behaviour Change: Healthy and Sustainable Food Choices
    6 Credits

    This project will develop tools to promote food choices that benefit people and planet health. We will examine how people cognitively represent plant-based foods, and how these representations can be shifted to increase desire for such foods. Working on this project will develop skills in literature review, experiment design, running an online or field study, understanding qualitative and quantitative data, and presenting results to varied audiences.

    Exploring Adolescent Wellbeing in the #Sleepyteens Research Project
    6 Credits

    This project involves working with survey data from thousands of Scottish adolescents in the national #sleepyteens research project, which includes measures of wellbeing, sleep and social media experiences. Students will be supported to review and present current research literature in this field. Students will develop skills in data wrangling and reproducible data analysis.

    History (Must be majoring or minoring in History and be junior level)

    British Popular Culture & Political Protest during the Cold War, 1946 to 1991
    6 Credits

    This research project will explore representations of political protest in British popular culture during the Cold War era, from opposition to the Vietnam War to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Students will engage with primary sources such as film, television, music and fashion (for example, the Janey Buchan Political Song Collection held by the University of Glasgow), analysing how these were used as tools of political protest and commentary during the Cold War. Working with the supervisor, the student will frame a research paper topic focusing on a specific source type, event, time period, person or place. This project will build skills in analysing and contextualising non-traditional sources.

    Oral History and Feminist Activism in Scotland, Britain and the United States, 1960s-2000
    6 Credits

    This research project will explore the women’s liberation movement, or ‘second-wave’ feminism, occurring from the late 1960s into the 1990s through English-language testimonies found in online oral history archives in the United Kingdom and the United States. Students will engage with oral history methodology, including an introduction to the practical and ethical dimensions of oral history interviewing. The course will include a visit to the Glasgow Women’s Library, the only accredited museum in the UK dedicated to women's lives, histories and achievements. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic focusing on selected oral history testimonies provided by feminist activists.

    Crime, Punishment and the Body in Early Modern and Modern Britain
    6 Credits

    This research project will explore the changing nature of penal punishment in Britain from early modern spectacles of public corporal punishment to the rise of formalised institutions of discipline and incarceration in the modern era. Students will explore how, between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, anxieties about the deterrent effect of public punishment grew alongside calls for a more ‘humane’ treatment of offenders. This shift will be investigated with a consideration of the implications of this change for wider ideas about ‘modernity’, perceptions of criminality and institutionalised power and control. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic using digitised archival source material and press reports on crime and punishment.

    Gender, Crime and the Law in Modern Britain
    6 Credits

    This research project will explore the ways in which gendered power relations and constructions of gender difference have shaped judicial and cultural responses to crime. Recognising the courtroom as a cultural space in which ideas about gender have been articulated, legitimised or rejected, this will investigate how socially constructed characteristics have been applied to male and female sexed bodies and have shaped how criminal offenders were perceived and regulated. Working with their supervisor, students will identify a research paper topic using digitised court records and press reports. Potential areas of focus include gender-based violence (e.g. spousal abuse, homicide and sexual violence), female criminality and the masculinisation of crime.

    Patriarchy, Gender, and the Law in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland and England
    6 Credits

    This research topic will explore men’s and women’s access to criminal, civil and ecclesiastical law in late medieval and early modern Scotland and England. Legal historians have shown that while women’s legal status was heavily regulated in theory, they were able to approach the courts in pursuit of their interests and that men’s access to law, while less regulated in comparison to women, could be contingent on their economic worth and household status. Students will explore the ways in which gendered power relations were upheld, resisted and negotiated by men and women within a legal framework. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic using legal handbooks and case records. There will be an opportunity to develop skills in palaeography through the study of archival court records.

    Protest and Propaganda in Scotland and England, c.1603-1707
    6 Credits

    This research project explores the idea that the turbulent seventeenth century was a time of increasing ‘politicisation’ in which ordinary men and women found new ways to participate in political debate. Students will consider how this change might be conceptualised and what forms this participation took, including seditious songs, mock executions and printed pamphlets. Working with their supervisor, students will develop a research paper topic using seventeenth-century printed propaganda from the university’s Special Collections archive.

  5. Courses

    Scottish Urban Landscape in Film & Glass: Glasgow School of Art
    2.5 Credits

    Offered in collaboration with the Glasgow School of Art, through research and practical experience develop skills in photography and film processing and glass techniques such as cutting, painting, and leading.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Arts & Humanities core.

    For more information on this course click here

    Writing the City: creative writing workshop on urban landscapes and the literary flâneur/flâneuse
    2.5 Credits

    Brings writers together in a supportive environment to explore urban and experimental styles.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Writing Intensive liberal education requirement.

    For more information on this course click here

    Religion & Spirituality in Scotland
    3.75 Credits

    Explore the importance of religious traditions and spirituality in Scotland, and how new agents seek to be active agents for change.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Arts & Humanities core.

    For more information on this course click here

    Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them: Approaching Fantasy Literature, from Fairy Tales to Harry Potter (Online Course)
    2.5 Credits

    This online course will introduce you to fantasy and the fantastic, often defined as the "literature of the impossible". 

    This class has been approved for UofM's Literature core.

    For more information on this course click here

    History of Christianity in Scotland
    3.75 Credits

    Explore history of Christianity in Scotland.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Historical Perspective core.

    For more information on this course click here

    Functional Anatomy--Due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, this course will not be available for 2021 but will run in 2022
    3.75 Credits

    Open-plan dissection labs provide functionally relevant exposure to all major regions of the body. Perfect for any pre-med or pre-health student.

    For more information on this course click here

    Scotland's Cultural Landscape: National Heritage and the Arts
    3 Credits

    Study a variety of Scotland art forms, undertake significant hands-on research and participate in class discussions of theories, methodologies, and interpretation of cultural practices.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Arts & Humanities core.

    For more information on this course click here

    Physics for Engineers
    7.5 Credits

    Note that this course has 2, 4-week complementary blocks. You must participate in both blocks. It is not possible to select one.

    Explore the basic ideas of physics in the areas of "mechanics, waves and optics" as a foundation for more advanced study of physics and for application in other sciences. 

    This class has been approved for UofM's Physical Science core.

    For more information on this course click here

    Physics for Life Sciences
    7.5 Credits

    Note that this course has 2, 4-week complementary blocks. You must participate in both blocks. It is not possible to select one.

    Explore the basic ideas of physics in the areas of dynamics (from a vectorial point of view), and thermal physics as a foundation for more advanced study of physics and for application in other sciences.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Physical Science core.

    For more information on this course click here

    Women and Gender in the Bible and Contemporary Society
    3.75 Credits

    Understand the ways in which readings of biblical women establish creative transactions between ancient patriarchal cultures and modern post-industrial cultures via counter-readings, misreadings and outraged readings, and more broadly, how this relates to our understanding of the place of the Bible in western society.

    This class has been approved for UofM's Arts & Humanities core.

    For more information on this course click here

  6. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Summer 2021 Course Track Mid June - Mid July Apr 15, 2021
    Summer 2021 Research Track Mid June - early August Mar 26, 2021

    For precise program dates, visit University of Glasgow's Summer School website.

    *If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in two parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately one week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Summer 2021 TBD TBD
  7. Fees for Summer in Scotland

    Summer 2020 - Education in a Globalised World Course

    Summer 2020 - Functional Anatomy Course

    Summer 2020 - Research Program

    University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

    The Total Program Fee reflects the host university’s international tuition rate converted into US dollars (minus 10% partner university discount), plus the Learning Abroad Center’s APAAC ($950) and required UofM international health insurance.

    If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  8. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Program Dates and Fees for term options
    Program Name Summer in Scotland
    Track Name Choose the track that corresponds to the dates you will be abroad. If your dates/track name don't appear in the list, contact the program team.
    Country United Kingdom


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    Upon submitting the online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:

    Submit to University of Glasgow:

    • University of Glasgow Application

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

  9. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Eric Leinen or call at 612.625.9008.

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for summer session 2021 due to COVID-19.