GSA Highlands and Islands

A 21st century design school in 19th century architecture

The Glasgow School of Art Highlands and Islands campus opened in January 2016.

The campus located at Blairs Steading on the Altyre Estate near Forres provides high-quality research and teaching space, and an exciting opportunity for students and staff to research and study in spectacular surroundings.

Inspirational space
The Steading comprises a group of Grade ‘A’ listed Italianate buildings, built in the 1830s.

The buildings have been converted into a GSA campus, providing inspiring studio, workshop and exhibition space as well as state of the art areas for research, teaching, prototyping and flexible lab work.

The Innovation School’s seasonal schools are also hosted here, creating an international meeting point for students and faculty from across the world.

Converted Italian-style villa with tree branches

GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus. Image credit: Paul Campbell

What happens at the campus?

The GSA is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s leading university-level institutions for the visual and creative disciplines. Our campus, located just outside Forres brings the GSA’s world-leading research and teaching to the region.

The GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus is a research and post-graduate teaching centre for international excellence in creativity and innovation. Home to a portfolio of The Innovation School’s research and teaching, we deliver Masters and PhD programmes, and the campus location enables us to research in geographically distributed contexts as well as innovate and teach in different ways.

Teaching studio at GSA Highlands and Islands

Teaching studio at GSA Highlands and Islands

We teach digitally, remotely and residentially as well as through short winter and summer schools. Through our vibrant research and teaching programmes, we address complex issues facing the region and beyond, such as youth migration and innovating the use of digital technologies.

The GSA is one of the top 20 art schools in the world (QS World Subject Rankings 2016). The Highlands and Islands campus builds on this reputation by collaborating internationally with partners, such as MIT and global businesses, in order to develop the creative capabilities of students, enterprises, communities and government.

The campus and the activities that are held within it all share a pioneering vision to contribute to the long-term, sustainable development of a creative, entrepreneurial and internationally connected Highlands and Islands, a vision we share with our partners Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).


Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam explains the Highlands and Islands campus from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

Italianate villa reflected in icy pond, through tree branches

Through the trees at GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Painting of Blairs Steading, Altyre Estate

Specially commissioned painting of Blairs Steadings, Altyre courtesy of Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming, Bt