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University of Glasgow

Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy

University of Glasgow via FutureLearn


Celebrate Robert Burns with this free online course.

This free course from the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, University of Glasgow, will introduce you to the life, works and global celebrity of Robert Burns.

You’ll examine poems, songs, manuscripts, and objects used to commemorate the poet. You’ll also develop your understanding of Robert Burns’s posthumous reputation - from Burns Suppers and Burns Night through to Hogmanay.

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.

It is ideal for anyone considering further study in the field, such the courses offered by the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow.


  • Who was Robert Burns?
    • Welcome to the Course
    • Who is Robert Burns?
    • Was Burns a Patriot?
    • Was Burns a Lover?
    • Was Burns a Man of the People?
    • Summary
  • Poet or Songwriter?
    • Poet or Songwriter?
    • Burns as Poet
    • Of Mice and Men
    • Burns the Songwriter
    • 'Auld Lang Syne'
    • Summary
  • What Made Burns an International Icon?
    • What made Burns an International Icon?
    • The Cult of Burns
    • Burns and Material Culture
    • International Burns
    • Course Summary

Taught by

Gerard Carruthers


4.6 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 223 ratings

Start your review of Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy

  • Ben Curtis
    I always liked Burn's poetry a lot--one of the few poets called to mind frequently, but didn't realize just how popular he was, and still is, around the world. Its kind of amazing --considering the lack of attention from critics. Kind of like Puccini. I didn't think of him as a song writer, but that's another area in which Burns was highly influential. Doesn't please the critics so much for some reason, but has remained wildly popular among the people, and not just in British Empire lands. Especially appreciated the links to all the performances of his songs.
  • Gary Cowart
    Very nice course on Burns, his works, and his legacy. I just wish that the course was a little longer and that more of Burns' works could have been studied.

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