Learning Abroad Center
people in the street in Scotland

Summer in Scotland

LAC Program

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.

Program Details

Glasgow, United Kingdom
Summer Session
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite



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.  

This program has been canceled for Summer 2021 due to concerns related to covid-19.  

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. 

Program Structure

Program Level
3000 level courses

4–8 credits



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)

Research Track

All research projects are awarded 6 credits.

Life Sciences

Must be majoring in a Biological Science and be junior level

Mesophiles and Thermophiles in the Urban Environment

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?

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


Must be majoring in Psychology and be junior level

Psychology of Behaviour Change: Healthy and Sustainable Food Choices

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

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.


Must be majoring or minoring in History and be junior level

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Full Course list

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

  • Summer
2.5 Credits

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

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Literature

Functional Anatomy

  • Summer
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

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

History of Christianity in Scotland

  • Summer
3.75 Credits

Explore history of Christianity in Scotland.

For more information on this course click here

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Historical Perspectives

Physics for Engineers

  • Summer
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. 

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Physical Sciences

Physics for Life Sciences

  • Summer
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.

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Physical Sciences

Religion & Spirituality in Scotland

  • Summer
3.75 Credits

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

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Arts/Humanities

Scotland's Cultural Landscape: National Heritage and the Arts

  • Summer

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.

For more information on this course click here

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Arts/Humanities

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

  • Summer
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.

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Arts/Humanities

Women and Gender in the Bible and Contemporary Society

  • Summer
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.

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Arts/Humanities

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

  • Summer
2.5 Credits

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

For more information on this course click here.

Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Writing Intensive

Program Dates

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.

*Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 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 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term Abroad Date/Time Location
Summer 2021 TBD TBD


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

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.

Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

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.

Summer 2021


Complete pre-application advising.


The COVID-19 vaccine is now approved by the FDA and has been added to the list of required vaccinations for study abroad. We encourage you to complete your COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

You 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.

Program Contact

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

Eric Leinen or call at 612.625.9008