This programme offers a unrivalled range of courses that explore Scotland’s past across a broad chronological period – from the early medieval period to post-Union through to Scottish diaspora and contemporary developments – and Scotland’s place in a comparative and global context.
The examination of Scotland’s past has been at the centre of history teaching at the University of Edinburgh since the prestigious Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography was established in 1901. You’ll have access to some of the most impressive archival collections in the UK, both within the university and nearby. Taught by one of the largest groups of specialist Scottish historians found at any UK university, Edinburgh’s Scottish History programme is world-leading.
You take two compulsory courses that are common to all history students,and then choose four option courses from a wide range of subjects. You will also complete an independently researched dissertation.
The compulsory courses are:
Option courses previously available include:
On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.
The combination of specialised skills training courses and seminars, and the opportunity for independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.
The MSc by Research in Economic & Social History is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.
The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.
Economic and social history addresses the historical processes underlying the evolution of modern society by employing a range of insights and approaches from the social sciences, including economics, sociology and social anthropology.
Edinburgh has a large and distinguished group of academics in this research area. Their specialist fields provide students with an outstanding range of options, both in terms of historical period and areas of the world.
Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.
Graduate students are able to use two further large School study and resource rooms, which are open to all staff and students. There is access to lockers equipped with laptop charging facilities as well as standard lockers.
The building is wireless enabled and includes state of the art teaching rooms, meeting rooms, a common room, a refreshment area, and open social/breakout areas.
The programme combines lectures, seminars, tutorials, and computer-lab sessions. The skills and theory imparted in the research-training courses, along with many of the assignments, are designed to feed directly into the final dissertation work.
You will be examined through coursework and a dissertation totalling approximately 30,000 words.
The programme focuses on civil society, material culture, youth, gender, crime, cinema, economic growth and energy policy in a variety of historical contexts.
You take four compulsory courses and complete a dissertation. Each course is assessed by essays, usually of around 2,500 words.
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Historical Methodology and Historiography
Economic and Social Theory for Historical Analysis
Supervised Reading Course
Option courses may include:
Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain
Material Culture of Gender in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Cinema and Society in Britain
Slavery in the Atlantic World
British at War: 1939–45
Cinema and Society in South Asia
Clothing and Culture in Comparative Historical Contexts
This programme is specifically designed for students who anticipate progressing to a doctoral programme, but it can also function as excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.