University of the Highlands and Islands Thurso

University of the Highlands and Islands Thurso

The North Highland College UHI is at the heart of the community, providing an ideal platform for learning and progressing into work. Our learning and research centres are spread across the Highlands, offering courses ranging from Access, SVQ and NC level, right up to post-graduate and PHD level.

Whether your learning journey begins with a programme easing you back into education, or with a vocational scholarship to carry out some taster research work, we hope you choose to begin that journey with us.

North Highland College provides further education and higher education in the north of Scotland through a network of learning centres and by distance learning. It is a constituent college of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Thurso campus

Centre for Energy and Environment

The Centre for Energy and Environment building was designed by HRI Architects and completed in January 2011. It received a rating of excellent by BREEAM. and was awarded “best new building in the north region” at the Highlands and Islands Design Awards in 2012.


The College opened in 1959 and became an independent entity in 1993.

In July 2014, the college had 8,000 students enrolled in full-time and part-time courses, including more than 750 studying for university degrees. The college has campuses in Thurso, Halkirk, Wick, Alness and Dornoch.

Rural studies centre

The college has been offering equestrian courses since 1990. In September 2012 it has used a converted farm that combines stabling, classrooms and a purpose-built indoor arena. Dale Farm is a facility that is situated approximately six miles from the main campus in Thurso. The college also offers a gamekeeping and wildlife management course.

Environmental Research Institute

Environmental Research Institute (ERI) is a centre for environmental research

Centre for History

The centre in Dornoch opened in 2005. Since 2007 a number of degree courses have been offered that are centred on the history of the Highlands and Islands.


The principal, Mr Donald MacBeath, took up the post in June 2014.