This programme offers an unrivalled range of courses that explore Scotland’s past across a broad chronological period – from the early medieval period to 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 will take a variety of seminar-style courses in small groups. Most courses are assessed by means of an extended piece of written work, while some courses may also assess non-written skills. You will complete two compulsory courses and select a further four options from a wide range of subjects on offer. You will then complete an independent research dissertation and will be assigned a supervisor from the outset.
The compulsory courses are:
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Option courses previously offered include those listed below (Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list).
The Material Culture of Gender in Eighteenth Century Britain
Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1834
War and Identities in Twentieth Century Britain and Ireland
Propaganda in Renaissance Scotland
Literature and History in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland
The British Empire in Political Thought
Gender, Crime and Deviancy: Britain c. 1860-1960
Currents of Radicalism, 1776-1848
On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:
a specialised knowledge and understanding of Scottish history
a detailed knowledge and understanding of the central historiographical issues of this area
an understanding of the interaction between historical sources and explanation
an appreciation of the historical and historiographical context of the student's individual area of research
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.