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Course content

Course start date

September, January and May

About the course

Masters degree / Postgraduate Diploma / Postgraduate Certificate / Single-module study

Seeking to deepen your understanding of Scotland’s history and heritage in the global context from the comfort of your home? This course will equip you with the skills you need, and offers access to cutting edge, innovative research in Scottish historical studies. Delivered in an interactive online environment, this course is designed to provide students who cannot attend a fulltime postgraduate degree course in Scottish History with an opportunity to develop research skills and an understanding of the major topics and historiography of Scottish History.

Why study Scottish History at Dundee?

This course builds upon the current expertise within the History programme at Dundee to provide an integrated programme of study including research skills, a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts of Scottish History and historiography, and the chance through independent research to make a contribution to the development of Scottish history.

The central aim of this course is to examine the many different interpretations of Scottish history and you will be encouraged to think critically about the various ways in which historians have viewed the development of Scotland over the past five centuries and to consider some of the ways in which Scottish history has been portrayed in a popular context.

You will learn about:

- Debates and Issues in Scottish History from the sixteenth century to the present
- How to use the main sources available to historians of Scotland
- The Union of 1603 and the Covenanters
- The Scottish Reformation: Politics and Society
- The Union of 1707
- Jacobite rising
- Scottish Identity and Culture
- The ‘Highland Question’: Clearance and Improvement
- Health and welfare in the Highlands
- The Industrial Revolution
- Landscape and Environment
- Scotland and Empire
- Tourism and Leisure

Who should study this course?

This course is aimed at:

- Anyone with a good undergraduate degree wishing to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Scottish History. The University can consider applications from people with experience, but no first degree
- Graduates in History or related disciplines wishing to gain additional knowledge and skills to further their employment prospects
- History graduates considering PhD research

Individual modules can be taken as non-accredited modules for interest or personal development.

How you will be taught

The programme is delivered through online distance learning. You study from home and can be based anywhere in the world. You will have a tutor who is an expert in their field and will work through the modules with other students so you won’t feel isolated. Module authors and tutors include Dr Alan MacDonald, Professor Graeme Morton and Dr Patricia Whatley.

Modules run for 15 weeks, and pathways can take between 1 and 5 years. We suggest that students account for 15 hours per week of work for each module undertaken. Most of the student cohort will be studying part-time alongside employment and other commitments.

What you will study

There is one core module, worth 20 credits:

- Debates and Issues in Scottish History: Sources, Interpretations and Arguments

You will take 100 credits of optional modules from the following:

- Scottish National Identities since 1807
- Scottish Tourism, 1780-1930
- Health, Politics and Society in the Scottish Highlands, 1840-1945
- Scotland in the Age of Mary Queen of Scots
- War, Empire and Society: Scotland c 1870-1922
- Scotland: Land and People
- The Union of 1707

You can also take 40 credits worth of modules from the Centre for Archive and Information Studies

- Public History
- Scots Palaeography and Diplomatic
- Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in Scotland

Students can choose to graduate at 60 credits with a PG Cert, at 120 credits with a PG Dip or complete the Research Proposal and Dissertation module for the Masters. All modules are available in a standalone basis.

How you will be assessed

Coursework (100%) consisting of, per module:

- 55% Essay (4,000 words)
- 30% Assessed Tasks (2 short essays of c. 1000 words each)
- 15% Module Journal (c. 500 words every 2 weeks)

Tutors will provide regular support and feedback from the assessed tasks and module journal as the module progresses.

To complete the MLitt, students are also required to write an 18,000 word dissertation.


Students who take this course will gain a solid foundation from which they can proceed to doctoral research.

However, due to the non-vocational nature of a History degree many students also enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

For those wishing to use their studies more directly, for example in heritage, museum or archivist work, the job market is competitive, and the MLitt will provide students with a chance to further their knowledge and understanding of History and to demonstrate advanced research skills necessary for work in archives or heritage.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

Visit the MLitt Scottish History (Distance Learning) page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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